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  #101  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:56 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Although I'm not religious, the studies clearly show that religious people are happier, healthier, they live longer, they are less likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs, they have better marriages, they are more charitable (even for non-religious charities like blood donation), they recover better from hardships, they commit less crime, they are more sociable, they are less likely to cheat on their spouse, and they have better self-control.

These represent huge, huge benefits for society.
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  #102  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:57 AM
VernWinterbottom VernWinterbottom is offline
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What I picked up from a college sociology/anthropology course years ago is this: Religions evolve to help keep a particular group or society functioning in a productive and orderly manner in its particular time and place. This may benefit the society as a whole or the governing class of the society or both.
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  #103  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:00 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
That analogy doesn't work because there's plenty of evidence besides what they say as to who is President. With religion on the other hand, there's no evidence at all beyond their unsupported word as to which religion is the "true way" and which is false. If I claim to be the one true god there's just as much evidence for that as for any other religion.
Great, except that you don't look for evidence. You dismiss it all out of hand and call it bullshit.

Quote:
In all of the supernatural claims it makes.
I'm not quite sure what supernatural claims it makes. But how about the daily, down to earth practices that it espouses. You do know that it has a bunch of them, right?

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That's not a religious claim of fact, that's a common social rule.
So? It's a good rule.

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Obviously you don't, or you'd be sitting in a corner somewhere out of your mind on heroin or something similar. Your definition of "enlightened" sounds an awful lot like "high on opiates".
Really? The only way to be happy is through drugs? Good luck with that.
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  #104  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:06 AM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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You're not sure what supernatural claims religion makes? Really?

Most of them claim that there is a deity, or multiple deities. Many claim that prayer has the power to effect real and measurable change in the world. The one I was personally raised in claims that miracles are real.

I don't think this should be surprising or revelatory to anyone posting here.
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  #105  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:06 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
My analogy is quite apt. Der Trihs's claim is that when things contradict each other, then none can be true. That's clearly a false claim.
And it isn't what I said. Again; religions contradict each other, and there's nothing but their unsupported word as to which if any is true. You conveniently left out the second part. Nor did I say that none can be true because of that, just that it's strong evidence that none of them is true.
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  #106  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:11 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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You're not sure what supernatural claims religion makes? Really?
I'm quite well aware of the supernatural claims that "religion" makes. I was addressing the practices of Buddhism directly. Please stay on-topic.
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  #107  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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Great, except that you don't look for evidence. You dismiss it all out of hand and call it bullshit.
Because in all of history, there's never been any such evidence. Which is why you are condemning me for "dismissing it out of hand" and not simply whipping that evidence out and winning the argument, not just with me but with all other rival religions.
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  #108  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:14 AM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
I'm quite well aware of the supernatural claims that "religion" makes. I was addressing the practices of Buddhism directly. Please stay on-topic.
Oh, on-topic. OK, one of the local churches sponsors a Christmas bazaar every year and it's a great place to get inexpensive handmade crafts and tree ornaments and whatnot.
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  #109  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:18 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
And it isn't what I said. Again; religions contradict each other, and there's nothing but their unsupported word as to which if any is true. You conveniently left out the second part. Nor did I say that none can be true because of that, just that it's strong evidence that none of them is true.
Yes, that is what you said.

As to which one is true, that's up to individuals to decide. As for evidence, you'll have to take peoples' word for it. I know that's not enough for you, but that's not my problem.

Instead of looking at how religions all contradict each other, how about looking at what they have in common? They all say that stealing is bad. They all say that murder is bad. Are they wrong? According to you, they are. Oh, but those are just common sense rules of society. Sure, but they are also the major cornerstones of every major religion.
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  #110  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:20 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
Because in all of history, there's never been any such evidence. Which is why you are condemning me for "dismissing it out of hand" and not simply whipping that evidence out and winning the argument, not just with me but with all other rival religions.
As for evidence, read this thread. Plenty of people have come up with plenty of things.

And do you really think that I'm trying to win an argument with all rival religions? Where did you get that from?
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  #111  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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Originally Posted by Surreal View Post
Although I'm not religious, the studies clearly show that religious people are happier, healthier, they live longer, they are less likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs, they have better marriages, they are more charitable (even for non-religious charities like blood donation), they recover better from hardships, they commit less crime, they are more sociable, they are less likely to cheat on their spouse, and they have better self-control.

These represent huge, huge benefits for society.
Except most of that isn't true. On the contrary, religion is correlated with all sorts of social dysfunction, and religious people tend to be less ethical than unbelievers.

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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
As to which one is true, that's up to individuals to decide.
No it isn't. Reality is what it is; a religions that is wrong is wrong regardless of whether or not someone insists that it is right.

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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
As for evidence, you'll have to take peoples' word for it. I know that's not enough for you, but that's not my problem.
It's your problem because it means your particular religion has no more basis than the rantings of some random homeless guy on a street corner. His word has just as much evidence going for it as that of any believer. And since religions contradict each other, the overwhelming majority of religions must be false, which means the overwhelming majority of those people's "word" is worthless.

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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Instead of looking at how religions all contradict each other, how about looking at what they have in common? They all say that stealing is bad. They all say that murder is bad. Are they wrong?
That's just a matter of stealing common secular principles and pretending they are religious. Nor do all religions say that stealing is wrong or that murder is wrong.
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  #112  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:26 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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As for evidence, read this thread. Plenty of people have come up with plenty of things.
Nonsense. No one has produced any evidence for the truth of any religion.
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  #113  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:26 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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The local Episcopal church uses a large portion of offerings/contributions to run the only food pantry in the area, serving hundreds of families each month. They also run a 2nd hand store and give the profits from that to the food pantry. Both the pantry and the store are run entirely by volunteers.
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  #114  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:31 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Rodgers01, I apologize for helping to turn this thread into what you fervently hoped it wouldn't.

And I'm going to stop arguing with Der Trihs. I should have known better.

Namaste.
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  #115  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:39 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs
...religious people tend to be less ethical than unbelievers.
Cite? And no, your cite does not prove this. What you would need to show (if this allegation were true) is a cite that compensates for cultural differences by showing that religious people within a given culture are less ethical than non-religious.

As to the OP -
Quote:
People who attend religious services weekly or more are happier (43% very happy) than those who attend monthly or less (31%); or seldom or never (26%). This correlation between happiness and frequency of church attendance has been a consistent finding in the General Social Surveys taken over the years.
Cite.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #116  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:42 AM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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I'm not really sure what purpose it serves to do a study showing that believers or nonbelievers are more ethical or charitable or happy than the other group, honestly. Does anyone see a study like that and think, "Oh wow, the atheists are happier! I'm going to do that now instead." Or vice versa?

I mean, I guess it's a defense against "Atheists/religious people are dicks," but personally I don't need a study to tell me that some atheists and religious people are dicks, and some aren't.
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  #117  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:42 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
You're not sure what supernatural claims religion makes? Really?

Most of them claim that there is a deity, or multiple deities. Many claim that prayer has the power to effect real and measurable change in the world. The one I was personally raised in claims that miracles are real.

I don't think this should be surprising or revelatory to anyone posting here.
But those claims are not, as you say yourself, universal. And if we are going to have a thread in general about the good religion does, we have to consider that religions vary a lot from the Westboro Baptist Church.

This is not a conversation about what this religion espouses, or what that one believes, or which one is right...this is a conversation about the benefits given to society or individuals by religion in general. Which one is right, if any, is irrelevant to the conversation, just like which sport is more fun to play is irrelevant in a conversation on what benefits participating in sports provides.
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  #118  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:19 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
I'm not really sure what purpose it serves to do a study showing that believers or nonbelievers are more ethical or charitable or happy than the other group, honestly. Does anyone see a study like that and think, "Oh wow, the atheists are happier! I'm going to do that now instead." Or vice versa?

I mean, I guess it's a defense against "Atheists/religious people are dicks," but personally I don't need a study to tell me that some atheists and religious people are dicks, and some aren't.
Correlation is not causation...but it does imply causation in one direction or the other. The question then becomes, are you more likely to be charitable if you are religious or more likely to be religious if you are charitable. If its the second, then religion isnt doing any good...if its the first, and say you decide that one of the values you want to pass along to your children is charity, belonging to a church may help cement that value.

I see this a lot because I'm a Unitarian Sunday school teacher. And that is a huge driver for our growing church membership, people who are unchurched, and who aren't really looking for dogma (or they'd join a more mainstream religion) wanting to cement a set of values for their children. As adults, our values are fairly set, and when UUs get adult converts without families it's often for community, not for values..they find us because their values already agree with ours. Few join a UU church for the dogma.
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  #119  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:19 AM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Rodgers01, I apologize for helping to turn this thread into what you fervently hoped it wouldn't.

And I'm going to stop arguing with Der Trihs. I should have known better.

Namaste.
tdn, thanks, and no worries. I should have posted this in MPSIMS in the first place - that might have helped it stay on track.

Namaste indeed.
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  #120  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:28 AM
Enola Straight Enola Straight is offline
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Religion IMHO, is the anti-ego.

Your ego is your mind's defense mechanism: it dosen't want to be happy or good, it wants to be right...it wants to win.

The ego props you up and finds fault in others.

Religion provides a framework to force you to find fault in yourself and find worth on others.
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  #121  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:34 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Straight View Post
Religion IMHO, is the anti-ego.

Your ego is your mind's defense mechanism: it dosen't want to be happy or good, it wants to be right...it wants to win.

The ego props you up and finds fault in others.

Religion provides a framework to force you to find fault in yourself and find worth on others.
And those without religion...?
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  #122  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:51 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Enola Straight View Post
Religion provides a framework to force you to find fault in yourself and find worth on others.
I would argue that in at least a few religions, you are not forced to find fault in yourself, but rather find beauty in yourself. And yes, without ego.
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  #123  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:26 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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When I debate with religious people, inevitably they say "If I there were no God, why shouldn't I kill/steal from/rape/cheat you right now?" I am grateful to religion for protecting me from these people who apparently are just a prayer away from becoming homicidal sociopaths.
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  #124  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:29 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Originally Posted by Enola Straight View Post
Religion provides a framework to force you to find fault in yourself and find worth on others.
Or a framework for torturing and killing those who don't believe as you believe.

Really, there are some islands of beauty and inspiration in some religions at some times, but it flies in the face of reality to pretend they're all like that all the time.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 05-22-2012 at 12:29 PM..
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  #125  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:54 PM
Enola Straight Enola Straight is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
And those without religion...?

Philosophy.

It is possible to arrive at an anti-ego position without mention of a deity, soul/spirit, or afterlife.
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  #126  
Old 05-22-2012, 05:23 PM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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Xmas! Lots of merchants depend on shoppers who have been shamed into over-spending. And if it weren't for Cadbury Eggs at Easter, I'm not sure they'd do well enough in the US for me to buy their chocolate during the rest of the year (though the American version pales in comparison to the genuine goods). Oh, and those who like their Coca-Cola with real sugar are always pleased when Passover rolls around.
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