Religion does some good

phooney
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Religion does some good

I've often been pointed to the examples of all the charity activities that church groups get involved in.  Orphanages, feed the homeless, donate blood etc.

 

This has equally often been thrown in my face as examples of why theists are more 'moral' people than athiests.

In my opinion, the extent of religious people involved in such activities is probably more related to being part of a group that can better organise their free time, and has more tax-free income to fund them.

Also if one were to draw conclusions about the motivations of such activities is it logical to assume that a theist is doing it for the afterlife reward (or to avoid the afterlife punishment) while any similar activities of the atheist is motivated purely for the reason of doing some good?

 With the growing awareness of atheism are there more atheist groups organising such charitable activities as these, or are we atheists as a group still too used to going our own way to pool resources for such things in the name of.....what?  Free thought?


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Yes, there are atheist

Yes, there are atheist working together for charity. A person shouldn't need to do it in the name of something though. For the record if a theist is giving up on arguments to prove their god and is trying to just get you to leave it alone you have them backed into a cornor.

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Yes, but religious charity

Yes, but religious charity is often a quid pro quo - I'll do something nice for you, as long as you listen to me tell you about my nonexistant buddy in the sky.

So religious "charity" isn't charitable at all.  It's an attempt to get more people to glom onto the blob known as belief.  Although I'm of the mind that there is no such thing as altruism, religious charity is usually far more about converting people than helping them.

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

-BHG


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The 'good effect' of

The 'good effect' of religion interests me.
It's clear that religion mostly gives people a warped vision of ethics but it can also motivate people to be more ethical so there's a bit of a dilemna.

That's why people find forms of Buddhism and Pantheism very attractive as they contain the common-sense-based humanistic ethics alongside a mystic philosophy that motivates 'spiritual' practice.


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Family_Guy wrote: Yes, but

Family_Guy wrote:

Yes, but religious charity is often a quid pro quo - I'll do something nice for you, as long as you listen to me tell you about my nonexistant buddy in the sky.

So religious "charity" isn't charitable at all. It's an attempt to get more people to glom onto the blob known as belief. Although I'm of the mind that there is no such thing as altruism, religious charity is usually far more about converting people than helping them.

Yes, but then the Christian's charity is in trying to save you from eternal punishment/shame in hell. I their mind, this pales in comparison to whatever temporal suffering a person is in.


deludedgod
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Yes, there are plent of

Yes, there are plent of religious people who do good, but the question you should ask yourself is that do these people do so because they are religious or because they are good people to begin with? There are lots of awful religious people who commit terrible atrocities because they are religious. As Bertrand Russell said, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things, that takes religion.

Studying neurology, I often ponder what drives a supposedly rational being, a human, to create religion. I suggested that it is a by-product of our morality (not vice-versa), and that it was called upon to fill in the gaps where science did not understand, to appease the questioning nature of man.

The irony of course is that people still subscribe to it in this age where most of it has been debunked. 

Religion does do many good things, but the counterweight created by the evil it produces means that it is probably not, as a sum total, a force for good. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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phooney
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I do like that Bertrand

I do like that Bertrand Russell quote.

When I went to see Richard Dawkins speak while he was promoting his God Delusion book he mentioned that he suspected there was potentially a Darwinian reason for religion.  The evidence for that conclusion is that every culture has/had some kind of religion.

Problems being of course that they were all based on filling those gaps in knowledge with a single answer, none of the cultures came up with the same answer, and many of them believe that if you have a different answer you'll go to hell (or some equivalent) and worse yet, some of them believe that if you have a different answer it's their personal responsibility to cause you to meet your maker.


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Any good that can come from

Any good that can come from religion can just as easily come from any secular organization. Unless your idea of goodness is being complacent with ignorance...


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phooney wrote: When I went

phooney wrote:
When I went to see Richard Dawkins speak while he was promoting his God Delusion book he mentioned that he suspected there was potentially a Darwinian reason for religion. The evidence for that conclusion is that every culture has/had some kind of religion.


He isn't the only man who thinks that phooney and it is more of an evolution of memes.

Quote:
Problems being of course that they were all based on filling those gaps in knowledge with a single answer, none of the cultures came up with the same answer, and many of them believe that if you have a different answer you'll go to hell (or some equivalent) and worse yet, some of them believe that if you have a different answer it's their personal responsibility to cause you to meet your maker.


Do all animals evolve into the same thing or even the same way? Of course ideas are going to be different when people form them in different parts of the world. While there was contact between people back then it certainly wasn't like it is today.