Re: Purpose of religion
Christianity and Islam both are demonstrations of what happens when people take half-heard stories only slightly understood, and tack them on to pre-existing religious structures... they are both far from Judaism in regards to locus of control, and in viewing the Divine as completely outside of the physical.
You say that all three faiths use the same evidence for the existence of the Divine... yet you consider that sharing of basic evidence (communication from those especially sensitive to the Presence of the Divine, the complexity of existence, the shared ability of most people with effort and determination to open themselves to a sense of some sort of Divine Presence) to be false.
You note the idea of such a sense being "a warm fuzzy feeling." Although in my experience it is so much more, if that is what you've felt in faith-inducing environments and activities, then that's what we've got to work with. A warm, fuzzy feeling. An emotional internal experience, just as all emotional experiences are. So, you must therefore feel that all internal emotional experiences must be false hallucinations. Warm fuzzies when reaching out to a Divine Presence, warm fuzzies when reaching out to a family member, warm fuzzies when petting a puppy... none can then be accepted as real.
How about your own thoughts? You can share your thoughts through words after the fact, but you cannot induce telepathic syncopatic experience in someone else. We're supposed to take your word that your thoughts are what your words communicate... if indeed we truly share approximately similar comprehension of what the words mean. Another hallucination.
You must not take the word of anyone for their emotional state, that anyone even has an emotional state or a thought process, or that your own conscious state or sensory experience of your environment is anything other than an illusion.
Interesting that you limit what hallucinations you've experienced, that you are willing to accept as part of your reality.
Because you are so focused on the physical realm, and see energy as a tool to serve matter, rather than the reverse, you will not be able to reconcile the duality of all things, including joy/pain, day/night, etc.
"An innocent person cannot be righteous, and a righteous person cannot be innocent."
--"King of Flesh and Blood," Moshe Shamir
Innocence -- the lack of life experience (especially the difficult things), is a state of stagnation. Only through challenges can we grow into mature individuals. Challenges that tend to not be fun while we are going through them.
As far as your idea that people are born even a little bit caring, once again, you show your lack of experience in dealing with infants and children. People are born selfish, and must be guided to learn caring... a process started from earliest infancy. Removing religion from the equation will increase the number of people acting selfishly throughout their lives, not decrease it.
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- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Hannah Miriam
>(although most of the Christians are probably pretty secular) with the
> bestonnet wrote: You'll see that they are majority Christian
> non-religious massively outnumbering the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist,I never said it did (though in general about half of those who claim
> Jews, etc combined by quite a decent margin.
> "no religion" or "no religious affliation" does not automatically
> = athiest.
to be non-religious are in fact atheists and the other half have some
vague belief in a higher power).
> It means they aren't affiliated with a religion, not that theySuch people do exist in great number and are pretty much harmless.
> have no belief in G-d. I know many people who do believe in G-d, but
> do not consider themselves part of a religion.
Whether their kids will also believe in a god is another matter.
> Your census information does not list "athiest" or "agnostic,"Very few people will actually answer atheist or agnostic when given an
> only that they do not identify or affiliate with a particular faith.
open ended question about their religion (if I were just asked what
religion I was I'd just say that I don't have one (atheism isn't a
religion anyway)) so statistics which do mention them separately
probably are undercounting.
To get an accurate answer you'd need to add another question asking
people whether they believe in a god or higher power (I suspect the
results from that would be rather laughable when we find out how many
Christian atheists are out there).
> That accounts for 1/4 of the population for each country (about).Very few if you ask them an open ended question about religion (or a
> What percent of that 1/4 actually would self-identify as athiest or
multiple choice question that includes a no religion answer and a box
for writing in what isn't on the list), if you include atheism as an
option on a survey you'll get a higher number, directly ask if they
believe in a god or higher power and you'll find that about half of
them will say no.
> I quote from the UK information regarding "no religion," theyHow many religions aren't recognised by the UK government? Probably
> included those who DID include a religion not officially recognized
> by the government...
pretty much no real religions that anyone in the UK follows.
That probably only applies to parody religions.
> "About sixteen per cent of the UK population stated that they had noYes, there was a big e-mail campaign in the UK, Australia and New
> religion. This category included agnostics, atheists, heathens and
> those who wrote Jedi Knight."
> "heathens and those who wrote Jedi Knight" ... hmmm.....
Zealand to write Jedi Knight on the census under the claim that it
would cause the government to recognise Jedi as a religion if enough
people put it down. Most of the people who did that probably were
non-religious and just having a joke at government expense.
> bestonnet wrote: I wasn't even trying to show causality (though IHow am I meant to know who is a True Scotsman?
> did mention what I thought the causality was), merely that a
> religious society is not necessarily healthier than a non-religious
> Are you determining this by religion (adherence to a social code
> driven by a group consensus of how to relate to G-d), or by faith
> (actual direct interaction with the Divine, not just lip-service for
> social belonging)?
> bestonnet wrote: There are a lot of religious scientists but ifWell it depends on who you consider to be the elites, NAS members are
> you look at the elites of the scientific community there are very
> few who aren't atheists.
> Amazing... most of what I've seen is the other way around.
a pretty good sample of elite scientists and they do tend to be atheistic.
Even among the less elite scientists belief in a god is less
widespread than the general population.