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The Forum > Article Comments > Religion: is it forever? > Comments

Religion: is it forever? : Comments

By Peter Bowden, published 22/7/2009

Rational beliefs in atheism will never entirely win out, for they are a total misunderstanding of human nature.

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Religion: is it forever...Well as they say there is a sucker born every day.
Posted by Kenny, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 9:50:46 AM
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The same old story

Who am I?
How did I get here?
Why am I here?

Religion can seem to give the answers people are looking for even if those answers are at the best extremely unlikely. So the curse of religion will probably stay with us forever propelled by a mass of unthinking scared little people who cannot face reality. The answer to the three questions? We are who we are, and our reason for being here is whatever we want to make it.

Is there a God? As an agnostic (not atheist) I have no idea. But I can say that it is not the God of religions.
Posted by Daviy, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:08:38 AM
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One of the best articles on this issue thanks Peter.

I used to think as the world becomes more educated and well-off the need for religion will diminish but I am no longer sure that is true. The US is one of the richest and educated (while in an insular way) and still remains a heavily Christian dominated country at the powerbroker level. Even President Bush declared he invaded Iraq on the advice of God.

I tend to agree with most of what you put forward Peter although I would hope that the negative aspects of religious extremism might cease in favour of a more moderate and tolerant religious landscape which I think would evolve over time with education and contact with different cultures (under multi-culturalism).

In relation to the concept of heaven, I think this still holds strong with most Christians as there is still much talk of forgiveness of the sin (to be accepted into heaven) rather than a more in-depth and altruistic seeking to understand the morality of the sin itself. Even in Buddhism the idea of reincarnation, like Heaven, is used to enforce a kind of moral law and the idea of being rewarded for good behaviour. Reincarnation would suggest forgiveness is not as important as adherence.

On point five, when arguing the existence of something that cannot be proved, the burden of proof should not lie with those seeking evidence.

Overall I think you are probably right, humans have always sought for something spiritual, meaning or a sense of community which the Church provides. I think that these things can be found via other means if one is sufficiently possessed of the means and inclination to seek community and human connections. The proof is in the many non-religious charities that have grown over the years through a sense of altruism and egalitarianism.

I think basically humans are naturally 'spiritual' (defined as seeking to understand those questions that Daviy posed above) and good but until we trust in our own self-determination, religions will continue to prosper.
Posted by pelican, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:18:01 AM
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In the Christian religion we only have to look at the Bible and its values for a community. The baby born in a stable; fury at merchants in the Temple; the Sabbath as a day of rest; the truth that shall make you free; the parables of Good Samaritan; the Prodigal Son; and others. The Sermon on the Mount; blessed are the meek

Much of the above is nonsense. Anyone who accepts such information as factual should have some courage and go to
www.godisimaginary.com
and see how many of the 50 arguments presented they can refute.
Or link to the video
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4339200993563581344
and see why Christian clerics are very selective when they quote from the Bible, from either testament.
Posted by Foyle, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:27:34 AM
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I see no need for religion to disappear. I see a great need for government to stop supporting it by such activities as the school chaplaincy program and taxpayer funding given to religious schools. People derive comfort and bonding through religion. Although I think all religion is basically nonsense and have no truck with any sort of supernatural belief I belong to a religious group and bond with it. I also belong to a secular humanist group and bond with that. If others think that is contradictory that's their problem not mine.

There is no special virtue in religious belief or in the rejection of religious belief. There are dirty dogs and good guys on both sides.

I think rejection of religious belief makes good sense. However, nobody should be obligated to follow what I consider good sense.

I object to the assumption that those who share one's beliefs are somehow better people than those who don't. I object to the assumption that what one believes is more important than what one does. Belief in a particular religious mumbo jumbo as a means of salvation is nonsense. Belief in salvation is nonsense. However, who am I to object to nonsense? Who do I have to be to object to nonsense?
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:42:27 AM
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Foyle and david f
This article is not about the truth or otherwise of religious belief but whether religion will survive or not, and why.
Posted by pelican, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:52:13 AM
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