Religion as a Cost/Benefit to Humanity

Toland

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The church didn't create the dark ages! The dark ages were created by hordes of armies destroying multiple civilizations and leaving Europe in a state of constant warfare. Remember the Romans? The fall of the Roman empire heralded in the dark ages. If anything the Church held the light of scholarship throughout those barbaric times and maintained historical accounts which are still used today help understand the dark ages better. The church was one of the only lights throughout the dark ages. Cluney Abbey and other such places are good examples of this. While the world was falling to crap all around them, the church was one of (if not the only) places of refuge for the crapped upon peasants of the day. This doesn't just apply to the Christian church either.

With all due respect, refer to any history book on the subject of the dark ages before writing any more of these kinds of OPs :)
A mix of half-truth and utter nonsense. You clearly haven't taken your own advice on referring to the history books before posting rubbish.
 


Roisin3

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Because of convenience, mostly. And a good bit of ignorance too.
Really?

Keep that myth close, Roisín.

Or better still, bone up on the subject.

After all, every day is a schoolday.
Bone up yourself.

if people use the koran to justify atrocities, where does that leave the book of Leviticus in the Bible ? both books condone the murder of blasphemers.

why has one group forgotten the murderous parts of their holy book when others didnt ?
New cloth isn't sewn onto old. New wine isn't poured into old wine skins.

This is elementary Christian exegesis.
 

edg

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I never actually said the Church created the dark ages. Just an image designed to provoke debate.
Look at your graph. It actually states "The hole left by the Christian dark ages."
 

Hunter-Gatherer

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telling me 'the Church was the preserver of the light during the dark ages'' is akin to telling me ''drug dealers kept the health service going during a recession''

the job of any Church is to keep people ignorant and brainwashed.
 

Trainwreck

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ISIS are looking for lads like you to help with the destruction of religious shrines, statues, icons etc.

Are you any good with explosives, or even a lump hammer?
You know that isn't what is required. Just expunging religious ideologies from publicly funded activities, banning religion (not sociological study of religion) in schools etc.
 

edg

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A mix of half-truth and utter nonsense. You clearly haven't taken your own advice on referring to the history books before posting rubbish.
If you say so. I consider myself a bit of a history buff. I would debate any point you had to make in your post but you haven't made any. My two points are this. No religion caused the dark ages. The dark ages were created by the power vacuum left by the fall of the Roman Empire. This is held as mainstream history. Different religions held the light of scholarship and education throughout the dark ages while Europe was falling to crap around them. What do you find "utter nonsense" about these simple facts?
 

Roisin3

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Has anyone mentioned the Germans yet?

If you say so. I consider myself a bit of a history buff. I would debate any point you had to make in your post but you haven't made any. My two points are this. No religion caused the dark ages. The dark ages were created by the power vacuum left by the fall of the Roman Empire. This is held as mainstream history. Different religions held the light of scholarship and education throughout the dark ages while Europe was falling to crap around them. What do you find "utter nonsense" about these simple facts?
He's sensitive about who wrecked the place.
 

Henry94.

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It's hard to know the answer without a religion free planet to compare it to. Given that most of us were raised in one or other religion you could start by asking has it been a net benefit to yourself. I would have to say no. It got in the way of honest inquiry, filled my head with nonsense and gave power over me to people who did not have my interests at heart.

Moving on you could ask if it was a net benefit for the country you live in. That's an easy no for Ireland. In fact it is hard to think of any country that did well out of religion and many that suffered grievously. So if the countries of the world did badly because of religion it follows that the world did badly too.
 

*EPIC SUCCESS*

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It's hard to know the answer without a religion free planet to compare it to. Given that most of us were raised in one or other religion you could start by asking has it been a net benefit to yourself. I would have to say no. It got in the way of honest inquiry, filled my head with nonsense and gave power over me to people who did not have my interests at heart.

Moving on you could ask if it was a net benefit for the country you live in. That's an easy no for Ireland. In fact it is hard to think of any country that did well out of religion and many that suffered grievously. So if the countries of the world did badly because of religion it follows that the world did badly too.
I grew up with absolutely zero religion, spent a lot of my early childhood abroad so its all a bit of a mystery to me to be honest? Friends are always coming out with religious quips and comments and I am still confused by many of them?

I'm relatively happy and successfully and cannot see what religion could do for me at this stage of my life, which is, based on average lifespans today, over its halfway point.

I have neither a problem or an interest in religion, but one thing is certain, a set of beliefs never hurt anyone, people using those beliefs as an excuse did.
 

nozzferrahhtoo

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It's hard to know the answer without a religion free planet to compare it to.
True, but we do have societies on our planet today which can be compared against each other. And the more secular of our societies, your Scandinavian areas and so forth, do tend to fare better in terms of things like literacy, education, standard of life, freedoms, charity per capita and so forth.

So yes we do not have a complete data set to do comparisons on, without a completely religion free planet to observer, but we do have at least some data we can work with.

A lot of the people I have seen do cost-benefit analysis approaches to religion, like the OP is seeking, tend to do so by harking to the past and claiming (often without substantiation) that religion was useful in the infancy of our species for things like Social Cohesion and Wartime motivation and courage and the like.

But when one looks at things only in terms of TODAY we find the training wheels should be coming off and we do not have those needs any more. All the things people claim religion is required for, or just brings some benefits to, such as morality or charity and the like are things we are now WELL capable of doing without religion.

So religion, at best, it seems is entirely superfluous to requirements in any way. It is, at best, packaging. If morality and charity and so forth is the useful product, religion at best provides us with some packaging that is used to perpetuate the product. Little better than the flashy wrapper on your Twix.

But, like any plastic wrapping on a chocolate bar, the packaging comes with costs. Polluting and damaging our world. And this too is true of religion. Much of the negative effects religion brings us would be hard pushed to be justified even if religion WAS being useful to us. But in a world where religion appears entirely superfluous to any real requirements.......... it is horrifically unjustifiable.
 

making waves

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Compulsory viewing for anyone interested in debating this topic

[video=youtube;pCH2NG9qTSw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCH2NG9qTSw[/video]
 

Old Mr Grouser

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If one were to conduct a cost benefit analysis of Relgion and its contribution to humanity, how would it be reported?

Certainly, I feel that it did bring many benefits throughout history in the development of civil society but today, I feel it is mostly negative in its influence. Conversely, scientific advancement was negatively impacted by religion throughout history but it's decline today has seen an increase in individualism which can have negative impacts on society.

So I open the question to the house.




Zoo
 

MauriceColgan

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There is no meaning to life but life itself.

An accident of Cosmic explosion brought us here and another will dismiss us.

Religion in an inflicted sickness of the mind by those in the business. Sometimes self inflicted too. Like some Elvis fans.



She is a Nun now, since 1963. Mother Dolores Hart. The note came this morning
 

Cruimh

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New cloth isn't sewn onto old. New wine isn't poured into old wine skins.

This is elementary Christian exegesis.
What did Christ supposedly say about the teachings that were in place when he arrived?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
 

*EPIC SUCCESS*

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There is no meaning to life but life itself.

An accident of Cosmic explosion brought us here and another will dismiss us.

Religion in an inflicted sickness of the mind by those in the business. Sometimes self inflicted too. Like some Elvis fans.



She is a Nun now, since 1963. Mother Dolores Hart.
If I was to take to Religion, I think I would like the Church of Elvis.

I mean, come on....Don't be cruel? What's not to like!

Elvis vs Jesus: Other Similarities
 

dalyp

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There would have been no republican President since the 70's without religion
 

ticketyboo

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It's hard to know the answer without a religion free planet to compare it to. Given that most of us were raised in one or other religion you could start by asking has it been a net benefit to yourself. I would have to say no. It got in the way of honest inquiry, filled my head with nonsense and gave power over me to people who did not have my interests at heart.

Moving on you could ask if it was a net benefit for the country you live in. That's an easy no for Ireland. In fact it is hard to think of any country that did well out of religion and many that suffered grievously. So if the countries of the world did badly because of religion it follows that the world did badly too.
Agree with that....in particular, looking locally, you could probably argue that Ireland remaining steadfast to Catholicism while our nearest neighbours signed up to the Protestant religion has set the parameters for this country's history for hundreds of years...
I've enjoyed thus far the contributions from many and marvelled at how some of those I generally disagreed with have shown that they do possess a critical functioning brain......I'm going to to lower the tone....:-(..
I pretty much believe that religion is largely a load of pish...for the simple reason that most of the ones I've had any knowledge of insist that theirs is the one true faith, co-existence with those who differ is at the most benign frowned upon.....various classes of unbelievers, infidels, heretics is the lot of those who disagree and access to varying numbers of virgins and sitting beside a kindly gent with a white beard on a cloud will be denied....and that's putting it kindly....if you subscribe to said pish and accept it blindly then you understand why the grotesque atrocities which happen can happen...a while back a Glasgow shopkeeper was stabbed to death because he posted a message wishing his Christian friends a happy Easter..if my memory is right his murderer travelled from England to commit the attack....
I have a very simplified view of religion, at its most positive viewpoint, is to try and instill a basic morality while we're here, to discourage you from the kind of behavior in the commandments, with the caveat that should you not follow the basic morality plays laid down in church teachings then the dark fires await you until eternity...
Exhibit B....if my kingdom is indeed not of this world then how come so many of our clergy are very, very wealthy....?
 

'orebel

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