Agnostic supports religion on the bases of HOPE.

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Agnostic supports religion on the bases of HOPE.

I wasn't sure what category this belonged to but hopefully someone can help me out.


I am an atheist and am having a discussion with my father which is agnostic. He defends religion because he believes that religion has the upper hand in terms of morality but putting that aside for now he more specifically argues that religion gives "weak minded" (as he put it) people hope and helps them through the tough times in their lives. So he is basically saying that they would be dead if it wasn't for the "hope" that religion offers. So that assumes that those people would have committed suicide or given up on life if they were non-religious.

Of course, I argued that because he could not make that person "re-live" their lives as an atheist, he could not compare which world view would ultimatly serve them better, through the tough times and what not. It is a big assumption to say that religion "saves" lives because it offers people hope when there is no scientific study to prove that those people would have killed themselves without religion. I personally believe that atheists appreciate life a whole lot more than theists do because of the fact that most atheists believe that this is the only life we get, so suicide is probably the last thing we would contemplate.

Is there a better argument that I can give my father on this subject? Would appreciate any ideas or insights.

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I have to agree with your

I have to agree with your father. If the Underpants Fairy didn't magically steal Hope from the Mole People of Planet Zeist and sprinkle it onto me in the form of dust, I would probably be raping and murdering everyone I see because I was so darn depressed and had no moral compass.

LOL. According to Michael Martin, in his book, "Atheism: A Philisophical Justification," he describes two reasons allegedly good for believing something is true: epistemic reasons (based on a high likelihood of truth) and beneficial reasons (because believing leads to a positive outcome for the believer but holds no promise of truth).

Martin goes into length about this so I can't really synthesize it here, so I'll just say that I know I'd rather seek truth than live an attractive lie. To do otherwise would mean living dishonestly, and I have too much self-respect to do that. This really goes back to the famous philosophical debate that they borrowed in The Matrix with the whole blue pill/red pill thing. Here's a great Dawkins interview where he addresses this quite elequantly.

Youtube link shortened

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I agree with you that the

I agree with you that the search for truth is more important than being comfortable in a lie, but the issue here is not really about what you and I would choose or prefer but rather what is best for those ignorant people that need to be told what to do by "god" or whatever. Now mind u, i don't hold that view.

 In my opinion, religion causes people to be lazy in the mind and basically stupid. So, in getting rid of religion, people would naturally become smarter(question things). I guess I give people the benefit of the doubt.

My dad's argument is the opposite, that there are and will always be a massive amount of stupid people and "society" needs to control them somehow. So, religion is used as a tool to control them. He defends religion because he claims that it is good as a "tool" to control people.

I think that is just wrong, but....well, i guess that is why i'm looking for logical arguments against it, but it might be hard because this is more of a moral issues. Hell, I'll try anyway.


BTW, your link didn't work. Seems they took it off because of copyright :s

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For some people I think

For some people I think your father is right religion can give 'hope' but so can drugs, so can playing 'World of Warcraft' a lot.

The hope however does not come without  a cost rational thinking . guilt pain even.

 For some people this price may well be worth paying.


Heroin is not good for you but you don't take it away from a person until you get a replacement.

Friends or secular councilling can be a replacement for religion unfortunately this  isnt always avaliable 


False god's can give hope but that doesnt make them any less false