Do some people need god to be good?

the carrot of heaven, the stick of hell etc.

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Do some people need belief in God to be good?

Yes
4
19%
Probably
2
10%
No eye deer
0
No votes
Probably not
6
29%
No
8
38%
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1
5%
 
Total votes : 21

Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#21  Postby igorfrankensteen » Nov 24, 2016 10:42 pm

Direct and specific answer to the question AS ASKED (not as imagined):

yes. SOME people will behave themselves better, if they believe that they are being watched by a powerful authority at all times, than they will if they think they can easily get away with behaving in a manner which the rest of their society finds unpleasant.

And, no, in that the word "need" in the opening question, suggests that the authority which these people will behave for, has to be a god. The same people who will only behave as others would like them to, if there is a magic being watching, will also behave the same way, if the monitoring authority is a non-magic, but nevertheless inescapable presence.

It is my OPINION, that one of the specific and purposeful reasons why many religions were invented, was because it was hoped that if people could be persuaded to believe in magic monitoring, that the people who wanted to force them to behave differently, might get more sleep, and would save money on guards.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#22  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 25, 2016 1:23 am

In a word: control.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#23  Postby tuco » Nov 25, 2016 2:24 am

Calilasseia wrote:The sort of people who actually need to feel they're being watched, in order to behave in something resembling a decent and humane manner toward others, are the reason we invented police. Though of course said invention immediately brought us into head on collision with the conundrum of quis custodiet ipsos custodies?.

Quite simply, those who claim that we need an invisible magic man in order to behave ourselves, are the very people I would suggest be kept a very long way away from even modest levels of power and responsibility. We are not lacking in precedents, with respect to the manner in which past individuals of this ilk visited all sorts of horrors on their fellows.


We? ;)

Moral is what we do when not watched. Who would agree with this?

The said need, of some people, for imaginary man diminishes when such man becomes less imaginary and more real, for example with presence of police or security cameras or FUA and moderators.

The question is not whether some people lack modest level of power and responsibility, the question is whether some people need God to achieve the same results as people who have power and responsibility. In other words, its not about what we want it to be but what it is. Its about realities.

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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#24  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 9:30 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:It is my OPINION, that one of the specific and purposeful reasons why many religions were invented, was because it was hoped that if people could be persuaded to believe in magic monitoring, that the people who wanted to force them to behave differently, might get more sleep, and would save money on guards.


Imo, there might be some truth in this, but it seems like too much of a cynical conspiracy theory.

An anthropologist once said "It seems apparent that one thing religion or belief helps us do is deal with problems of human life that are significant, persistent, and intolerable. One important way in which religious beliefs accomplish this is by providing a set of ideas about how and why the world is put together that allows people to accommodate anxieties and deal with misfortune".
https://www.quora.com/What-if-some-day- ... -worse-Why

Now, it may be that some clever people have deliberately decided to exploit this existential predicament/weakness in individuals for the purposes of either extending their power base and/or maintaining law and order.....but that might imply that the founders themselves did not truly believe.

I might however agree that kings and rulers have, invariably, exploited religions as a means of power and control, but that is a slightly different thing (having more to do with promotion rather than invention) though quite closely related.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#25  Postby Scot Dutchy » Nov 25, 2016 9:48 am

The_Metatron wrote:In a word: control.


Exactly and nothing else. All dictators have realised that.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#26  Postby Sendraks » Nov 25, 2016 10:30 am

If you "need" someone to tell you how to be good (be it a god or other authority figure), you're not being "good" you're just doing what someone else tells you to do.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#27  Postby Rumraket » Nov 25, 2016 10:52 am

Keep It Real wrote:
Do you think theism is bad for civilisation?


Not really, I think we still need it. Haven't you heard theists argue that without God everybody would be raping and murdering? They're talking about themselves when they say that. Not everyone can keep an even keel without the carrot of Heaven and the stick of Hell.

I think everyoneone who isn't genetically predisposed to hard sociopathy can, with the right secular upbringing, become totally morally normal, ethical human beings.

The people who say that without God watching them, they'd be raping and killing, have been conditioned to think like that. with a normal secular upbringing, they wouldn't actually be saying that shit.

Even if these people still believe people behave only because of a carrot-and-stick model instilled in them, then the societal carrot-and-stick(prison or normal social life with coworkers, friends and family) model seems to be just as effective as the Paradise-and-Hell model is at instilling in people a sense of moral responsibility through a threat of punishment and a promise of reward for good behavior.

Pertinent example: Scandinavia.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#28  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 11:04 am

Rumraket wrote:Pertinent example: Scandinavia.


I largely agree, in principle.

I wonder though, if conditions in Scandinavia (a part of the world I hugely admire, to the point that I would like it to somehow take over the world) were to be swopped with conditions in, say, Burundi (with no offence intended to any Burundians present) in a 'Trading Places' (the movie) type of switcheroo....

Iow, is the degree of 'need' for god related to circumstance and in that sense is atheism a sort of luxury commodity?
Last edited by archibald on Nov 25, 2016 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#29  Postby Sendraks » Nov 25, 2016 11:35 am

archibald wrote:I wonder though, if conditions in Scandinavia (a part of the world I hugely admire, to the point that I would like it to somehow take over the world) were to be swopped with conditions in, say, Burundi (with no offence intended to any Burundians present) in a 'Trading Places' (the movie) type of switcheroo....


And yet the population of Burundi is 80-90% Christian.

As long as you think that killing the other person is what god wants and you're doing "good" by engaging in that act, you're going to be able to justify the ongoing perpetration of violence against your fellow man.

To put it another way, people believing in god in Burundi appears to be achieving little in the way of "good."
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#30  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 11:39 am

Sendraks wrote:
archibald wrote:I wonder though, if conditions in Scandinavia (a part of the world I hugely admire, to the point that I would like it to somehow take over the world) were to be swopped with conditions in, say, Burundi (with no offence intended to any Burundians present) in a 'Trading Places' (the movie) type of switcheroo....


And yet the population of Burundi is 80-90% Christian.

As long as you think that killing the other person is what god wants and you're doing "good" by engaging in that act, you're going to be able to justify the ongoing perpetration of violence against your fellow man.

To put it another way, people believing in god in Burundi appears to be achieving little in the way of "good."


Yes, sure, but that's slightly different to asking why religiosity has not naturally waned there instead of Scandinavia.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#31  Postby Sendraks » Nov 25, 2016 11:44 am

archibald wrote:Yes, sure, but that's slightly different to asking why religiosity has not naturally waned there instead of Scandinavia.


Its an interesting question but one that isn't going to be answered without years of research into the social, economic, political history of the region.

However, if I were to entertain the idea that there was a simple answer to that question, I would like to offer 'Europeans.'
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#32  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 11:49 am

Sendraks wrote:
archibald wrote:Yes, sure, but that's slightly different to asking why religiosity has not naturally waned there instead of Scandinavia.


Its an interesting question but one that isn't going to be answered without years of research into the social, economic, political history of the region.

However, if I were to entertain the idea that there was a simple answer to that question, I would like to offer 'Europeans.'


I think you are right, that it is bound to be a complicated issue.

There are some very interesting suggested/possible answers here:

WHY ARE DANES AND SWEDES SO IRRELIGIOUS?
http://tapir.pdc.no/pdf/NJRS/2009/2009-01-4.pdf

One of which is the one I was alluding to, the theory that in societies where there is lower existential security, there is a greater need for the balm that religion provides, even if the balm is an illusion and even if it doesn't actually end up working well at a societal level.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#33  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 11:52 am

Another (Menckenian) way of looking at it might be to say that there appears to be a greater need for more city police to patrol the more deprived neighbourhoods.

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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#34  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 12:04 pm

Sendraks wrote:To put it another way, people believing in god in Burundi appears to be achieving little in the way of "good."


Arguably yes, so we have to distinguish between needing as in something actually being needed (ideally) and needing as in believing that it is necessary (an emotional need).

Which, thinking about it, the OP probably already assumes, so apologies for stating the obvious.

Though I'm not entirely sure the latter (emotional need) wouldn't be 'real', and/or more true (which in some cases might get as low, at worst, as 'better than nothing') in certain circumstances.

I suppose the caveat is that we don't know whether life in Burundi-type-predicaments would be better or worse with or without the balm. We might say the same about Europe in the middle ages, when life was by and large nasty, brutish and short. It would be no use going back in a time machine and saying to someone, in their particular, not-very-nice medieval circumstances, 'ah but you don't need religion, you just need more existential security', even if it is in many ways ultimately more true to say that, because unless you could pull that rabbit out of a hat for the person you're saying it to.....they might reply, ''that's easy for you to say, but I don't happen to have been born in Scandinavia in the 20th century, do I?'
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#35  Postby tuco » Nov 25, 2016 5:36 pm

archibald wrote:
Rumraket wrote:Pertinent example: Scandinavia.


I largely agree, in principle.

I wonder though, if conditions in Scandinavia (a part of the world I hugely admire, to the point that I would like it to somehow take over the world) were to be swopped with conditions in, say, Burundi (with no offence intended to any Burundians present) in a 'Trading Places' (the movie) type of switcheroo....

Iow, is the degree of 'need' for god related to circumstance and in that sense is atheism a sort of luxury commodity?


Atheism possibly thrives in "luxury", I prefer to call it "welfare state" instead, but its not condition necessary. Atheism can also be (by)product of repression against religion, see communism and religion for example.

There is not one way to salvation ;)
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#36  Postby Scot Dutchy » Nov 25, 2016 6:50 pm

Dont they still have religious taxation in Scandinavian countries?
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#37  Postby archibald » Nov 25, 2016 8:30 pm

tuco wrote:Atheism possibly thrives in "luxury", I prefer to call it "welfare state" instead, but its not condition necessary. Atheism can also be (by)product of repression against religion, see communism and religion for example.

There is not one way to salvation ;)


Good point. I had forgotten about coercion.

Though you can take a horse away from the water, but can you stop him from drinking? What I mean is, do you think that coercion of that sort actually works, or just seems to, on the surface?

And of course, if you read the article I linked to earlier on 'why are Danes and Swedes so irreligious?'', you can see that (a) the 'existential comfort' explanation is only one of several, and (b) all of them are nothing more than suggested (sometimes researched) plausibilities at best. So I agree that none of them can be seen as sufficient causes, even in the single example of Scandinavia (which is actually several examples anyway).

I am not entirely sure if 'existential comfort' or 'luxury' necessarily equates with 'welfare state' but perhaps I am not understanding your particular use of the phrase. If you mean an individual (personal) state of affairs (and not a national one), then I agree.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#38  Postby Corneel » Nov 25, 2016 9:51 pm

archibald wrote:
tuco wrote:Atheism possibly thrives in "luxury", I prefer to call it "welfare state" instead, but its not condition necessary. Atheism can also be (by)product of repression against religion, see communism and religion for example.

There is not one way to salvation ;)


Good point. I had forgotten about coercion.

In that case and in the absence of other factors that would diminish religiosity, you'd probably end up with something which will resemble religion (leadership cult or ideological cult).
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#39  Postby tuco » Nov 25, 2016 9:59 pm

There are case studies, from the so-called Soviet era, with various results. Take Czech Republic and Poland for example. Very different results with relatively similar conditions*.

I think it can work but does not always work. Other conditions, which would be interesting subject to explore though demanding quite a bit of information*, need to be present for it to work.

And I do not understand "luxury" :) The article you linked uses following description: being safe, secure, and successful societies, which is basically what I call welfare state because without redistribution of wealth its not generally easy to satisfy safe and secure conditions and without being successful there is nothing to redistribute.

Due to the success of the most well-developed welfare systems within the
democratic world (Einhorn and Logue 2003), the wealth in Scandinavia is shared to an
impressive degree throughout the nations’ populations; the gap between the rich and the
poor in Denmark and Sweden is smaller than in any other industrialized democracies.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#40  Postby igorfrankensteen » Nov 25, 2016 10:45 pm

archibald wrote:
igorfrankensteen wrote:It is my OPINION, that one of the specific and purposeful reasons why many religions were invented, was because it was hoped that if people could be persuaded to believe in magic monitoring, that the people who wanted to force them to behave differently, might get more sleep, and would save money on guards.


Imo, there might be some truth in this, but it seems like too much of a cynical conspiracy theory.

An anthropologist once said "It seems apparent that one thing religion or belief helps us do is deal with problems of human life that are significant, persistent, and intolerable. One important way in which religious beliefs accomplish this is by providing a set of ideas about how and why the world is put together that allows people to accommodate anxieties and deal with misfortune".
https://www.quora.com/What-if-some-day- ... -worse-Why

Now, it may be that some clever people have deliberately decided to exploit this existential predicament/weakness in individuals for the purposes of either extending their power base and/or maintaining law and order.....but that might imply that the founders themselves did not truly believe.

I might however agree that kings and rulers have, invariably, exploited religions as a means of power and control, but that is a slightly different thing (having more to do with promotion rather than invention) though quite closely related.


I added the bold to your remarks, where you detail the reason why I carefully used the phrase " one of the specific and purposeful reasons." As in not the sole or primary one, for every instance.

I look at the world, as a series of events, followed by problem solving efforts by the subjects of said events. There are several ways that inventing, declaring, supposing, or even postulating magic, can work as a "solution" to serious challenges. No matter where you look, no matter how scientific or logical or political or religious you get, SOMEONE will come along and find a way to use whatever you put in place as your favored solution, to sneak something past, that artificially and dishonestly uses the "nice" reason for your solution, to do something that solves the "problem" THEY happen to see. And it is not at all unusual, for someone else's use of your "solution," to be to gain the reverse result, of the one you intended.
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