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Thread: Good Without God?

  1. #21
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBob View Post
    God was invented by humans way back when to help keep slaves in line without having to beat or kill them.
    I certainly think that people had religious beliefs long before slavery came into existence as an economic institution. There are indications that our Upper Paleolithic 'caveman' ancestors had religious beliefs of SOME sort, as evidenced by the marvelous cave-paintings they left behind, and the so-called 'Venus figurines'. We shouldn't pretend that we understand what their beliefs were, but it does seem they had some. Even the Neanderthals seem to have buried their dead, so perhaps that speaks to some belief in the afterlife. For that matter, I've even seen videos of chimpanzees doing a weird kind of 'rain dance', and it was hard (for me at least) to avoid the impression that the chimpanzees were overawed by rain falling from the sky. I think religion has very deep roots in the human psyche. I DON'T think it was invented as a justification for slavery. Having said that, I would agree that once slavery did come into existence, the power structure that benefited from it certainly was more than happy to use whatever religion was present to, as you say, "help keep slaves in line without having to beat or kill them". And in fact, not just slaves, but ordinary people as well. Surely the common folk of Egypt were overawed by the Great Pyramids that their Pharaohs had them build for them. From all the evidence we have, the common folks of Egypt really DID believe that their Pharaohs were really semi-Divine. And if the God-King tells you to go build him a Great Pyramid, you are NOT going to say, "No, I don't really feel like doing that today, sorry!"
    Thanks from MaryAnne

  2. #22
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaFrayed View Post
    Hi MaryAnne - I think like so many already have, if you have faith or belief in "God(s)", I don't believe you have to give it up, because of how some human beings are acting. I know lots of people with all kinds of beliefs and faiths in their gods and they have some grave troubles with how some others of their faith are doing as some Christians appear to be doing. Exploiting people's faith in gods, to forward personal political agendas that have nothing to do with that (any) religion, but use cloaking oneself in claims to "believe" or as "preachers" of that (any) religion, they can gain the trust of those who "have faith". This is con artistry and this is what, ironically (or astutely) the books of the Christian faith, caution the truly faithful, about.

    I don't believe one has to have any religion or have faith in any god, to be observant and recognize what "good" and being "good" is and in some ways one might see the books of the Christian faith as support or reiteration of what one might believe defines "good" and all that defines its opposite or "evil". I have not compared Christianity to other religions as to how many denominations, sects, etc. each main religious belief has, but Christianity may beat all others when it comes to identified differences in the ways people believe. That, to me, does not express a lot of unity of belief, even if there may be a main underlying thread of faith that joins them all together. Because the books of the Bible were written by mortal human beings, and there are striking consistencies, but also inconsistencies that are not as numerous as the consistencies, I am not sure how some people take the books of the Christian Bible literally. I see it more as a collection of observances of human behavior and kind of a guide (although one that presents some dire threats about disobeying) for how humans can best get along together, if only they have faith in the overall theme, which to me, is "good", yet ruined by humans that skew, morph, spin and twist it about to forward their personal bigotry and political agendas, then exploit anyone's faith in Christ or God to somehow make them believe the twisted, spun, skewed, morphed, personal bigotry, personal politics versions of the books of the bible.

    How people are not comparing, as you and others have, what the books of the bible say with how some are skewing it or looking the other way about some parts while obsessing about their cherry picked, skewed, personal, (perhaps literal-in their mind) interpretation of specific passages, away from the overall theme, seems strange to me, but for how some of us or all of us might be drawn to certain similar beliefs, even if those beliefs have a basis in some form of bigotry and building some sort of justification for it.

    I have felt and seen a slow slow progression to both sides of this issue, organized religion being used to promote political agendas with the building of justifications for bigotry (because of interpretations of some passages in the Bible) and people seeing how this is wrong and after trying to point this out or having it deepen, leaving organized religion, but still retaining their faith or belief in God or Christ. Because of their experience they don't have much faith in organized faith, but they still have faith in their god(s) and in the overall themes they find in their scripture, which they observe to match up with anything that would describe "good" in a universal way, faith in any gods, or not.

    Places of worship, regardless of the religion have historically been places of social gathering, friendship and presented a sense community, based on religion and in some sense, "humanity" as it describes the "good" or mutual respect for human existence and pursuit of happiness, within the bounds of respecting one another and differences in what brings happiness and what is needed, with regard to things like sustenance, for all humans, to survive. I believe honest people, regardless of their faith in any sort of gods or not, recognize that bigotry is not something they would define as "good", by any means, but that recognizing all people have a right to be here, just as anyone might consider their own right to be here, is something that is good, and that with that there is good in mutually respecting one another as if everyone else, were us......going back to the ethics of reciprocity, for Christians, the "Golden Rule"........ Mutual respect would cover not just having an equal right to exist, but an equal right to have one's space respected.....meaning, if you want someone to not treat you terribly, then do not treat others terribly or do things that do not respect others or one another.

    I seriously do not think one needs gods for that, but I do think it helps to teach children to recognize what's "good" as they grow to be adults, if for no other reason than preparing them for being adults and not having to go through a longer process to recognize this on their own, possibly hurting themselves or others in that process.

    Joining with other good people is obviously a good thing.....The unfortunate thing is what you have pointed out, that what were places where lessons of people helping one another or learning to help one another and all the things one would recognize in the Bible as good things, have turned into places that seem to pit people against one another. Perhaps finding people you know that have also left or are thinking about leaving based on the same disappointments and getting together in your homes from time to time, even formulating some ways to help others as a group, beyond what I imagine you already do, individually. "Church of the Blue Sky" or "Church of the Grass that Flows in the Wind"......maybe simply call your group..... "Getting Back to Our Roots" or "Oh, the Humanity".

    I have few doubts there are others like around you that have recognized the same thing and if enough grassroots groups form and draw away from organized religions that have begun to either support bigotry and the opposite of what so many see the Bible as teaching or religions that look the other way from some sinners, based on that sinner being a "champion" of their political agenda, while obsessing about the sins of others (like LGBQT and those that want to terminate their pregnancy, especially when it comes as the result of rape (the ultimate physical assault, short of killing someone)).

    I hope you are able to find them and gather them together, if for no other reason than for you all to renew your faith in humanity and the capacity of humans to do good, if not any gods you may believe in.

    Best,
    Knot
    Thank you Knot for that great post. Just one more reason I call you Friend!

    What is happening in our Churches and Country have me, and many others seriously depressed. I am hearing it all around.

    But that one hour I spend early on Sunday morning is nourishment. All about loving and helping each other. Maybe I just need encouragement right now.

    The Ten Commandments will help us through.

  3. #23
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I certainly think that people had religious beliefs long before slavery came into existence as an economic institution. There are indications that our Upper Paleolithic 'caveman' ancestors had religious beliefs of SOME sort, as evidenced by the marvelous cave-paintings they left behind, and the so-called 'Venus figurines'. We shouldn't pretend that we understand what their beliefs were, but it does seem they had some. Even the Neanderthals seem to have buried their dead, so perhaps that speaks to some belief in the afterlife. For that matter, I've even seen videos of chimpanzees doing a weird kind of 'rain dance', and it was hard (for me at least) to avoid the impression that the chimpanzees were overawed by rain falling from the sky. I think religion has very deep roots in the human psyche. I DON'T think it was invented as a justification for slavery. Having said that, I would agree that once slavery did come into existence, the power structure that benefited from it certainly was more than happy to use whatever religion was present to, as you say, "help keep slaves in line without having to beat or kill them". And in fact, not just slaves, but ordinary people as well. Surely the common folk of Egypt were overawed by the Great Pyramids that their Pharaohs had them build for them. From all the evidence we have, the common folks of Egypt really DID believe that their Pharaohs were really semi-Divine. And if the God-King tells you to go build him a Great Pyramid, you are NOT going to say, "No, I don't really feel like doing that today, sorry!"
    Used and abused by man. But often used for good.
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  4. #24
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    Thanks LeRoy.none of us actually know the beginning of the Universe. ...
    The difference is that irreligious people consider the beginning of the universe as “unknown,” while religious people consider it “unknowable.” That’s a big difference in my book. I’m not willing to qualify anything in our universe (or elsewhere) as “unknowable.”
    Thanks from Friday13

  5. #25
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. But think we all knew people can be good without God. That thing called Conscience inside of us gives us the sense of right and wrong. We know instinctively when we are wrong unless our conscience has been deadened by wrong doing.
    Thanks from BigLeRoy

  6. #26
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    That thing called Conscience inside of us gives us the sense of right and wrong.
    That has nothing to do with whether there can be good without G-d. Children need to be taught the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and that has nothing to do with the religious question.
    Thanks from HCProf

  7. #27
    New Member jet57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    Seems more and more are rejecting Religion as it exists today.

    I would like for you to share your opinions with me. A new group has formed in Northern Ohio, joining many over the world who miss the friendships they enjoyed in Churches.

    After losing friends when I decided I could no longer accept the anger and hate of those who stepped out of line if they did not believe the same way. I felt the need for new friends. A Church that had become a branch of the Republican Party.

    Can you be good without god? | Debate.org

    I often wonder if this is not the reason for Internet addictions.
    I don't think it's rejecting God as much as it is rejecting joining. Group organizations all over, the last I looked, were having trouble with membership. There is always another factor with churches and that the political stuff, that may be having an effect as well <shrug>. I don't attend church because I don't like being sold Jesus and yanked into volunteering for everything. I used to love going to churches of all kinds, but not so much anymore.

  8. #28
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    That has nothing to do with whether there can be good without G-d. Children need to be taught the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and that has nothing to do with the religious question.
    It is also important to lead by example as well.

  9. #29
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    That has nothing to do with whether there can be good without G-d. Children need to be taught the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and that has nothing to do with the religious question.
    Yes,it does because that is in you from the beginning. People can deaden it by constant wrong doing.

    That is what governs all of our actions. As for teaching children there are people from the worst circumstances who are good,others from the highest standards are bad.

    It is a personal choice once you become an adult.

    But with the answers here it seems people can be good without God. Billions are.
    Last edited by MaryAnne; 18th June 2018 at 01:13 AM.

  10. #30
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    I don't think it's rejecting God as much as it is rejecting joining. Group organizations all over, the last I looked, were having trouble with membership. There is always another factor with churches and that the political stuff, that may be having an effect as well <shrug>. I don't attend church because I don't like being sold Jesus and yanked into volunteering for everything. I used to love going to churches of all kinds, but not so much anymore.
    That is why I used the word Religion Jet. Religion is man made. I know many who seldom enter a Church but have faith.

    Many Churches are mostly fellowship and have givers and takers. After years of being a giver I now just go to Service. All Organizations are the same, Workers and others, your choice.

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