Do some people need god to be good?

the carrot of heaven, the stick of hell etc.

Christianity, Islam, Other Religions & Belief Systems.

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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?

#41  Postby Agrippina » Nov 26, 2016 7:58 am

It may not be a simple matter of choice, according to something I read this morning:

According to the experts who study political leanings, liberals and conservatives do not just see things differently. They are different—in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them. For example, in a study published in January, a team led by psychologist Michael Dodd and political scientist John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln found that when viewing a collage of photographs, conservatives' eyes unconsciously lingered 15 percent longer on repellent images, such as car wrecks and excrement—suggesting that conservatives are more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats.
Meanwhile examining the contents of 76 college students' bedrooms, as one group did in a 2008 study, revealed that conservatives possessed more cleaning and organizational items, such as ironing boards and calendars, confirmation that they are orderly and self-disciplined. Liberals owned more books and travel-related memorabilia, which conforms with previous research suggesting that they are open and novelty-seeking.


On morality:

On topics where liberals and conservatives will never see eye to eye, opposing sides can try to cultivate mutual respect. In The Righteous Mind, Haidt identifies several areas of morality. Liberals, he says, tend to value two of them: caring for people who are vulnerable and fairness, which for liberals tends to mean sharing resources equally. Conservatives care about those things, too, but for them fairness means proportionality—that people should get what they deserve based on the amount of effort they have put in. Conservatives also emphasize loyalty and authority>, values helpful for maintaining a stable society.


...and...

Haidt has a message for both sides. He wants the left to acknowledge that the right's emphasis on laws, institutions, customs and religion is valuable. Conservatives recognize that democracy is a huge achievement and that maintaining the social order requires imposing constraints on people. Liberal values, on the other hand, also serve important roles: ensuring that the rights of weaker members of society are respected; limiting the harmful effects, such as pollution, that corporations sometimes pass on to others; and fostering innovation by supporting diverse ideas and ways of life.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/calling-truce-political-wars/
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#42  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 12:37 pm

Corneel wrote:
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).


Indeed. That seems like a good possibility.

There's also the segue into 'spirituality' (aka vagueness) which I believe is quite popular, even in Scandinavia. I stand to be corrected by someone from there. I read that a surprising proportion of Icelanders, for example, entertain the notion of elves.

On a side note, superstition (of which religion is arguably just one sophisticated type) has always been, I read, particularly popular in the former USSR, and indeed China (another 'atheist state').
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#43  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 12:47 pm

tuco wrote: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.


I think I see what you mean.

What I was thinking was that at the individual level, more 'luxury' (in terms of existential security, which might include health, financial security and so on) could be (arguably is) correlated to lower religiosity, so that countries which had more of these individuals would be less religious, regardless of the way it was spread out internally, in the country.

But I suppose you are right, that a high degree of spread (as in a welfare state) will mean that there are more individuals crossing the comfort threshold, because even in an overall wealthy country, if the wealth is privately concentrated among a minority, this will inevitably limit the proportion of those gaining, as you call it, salvation.

Of course, comfort/luxury/existential security is arguably relative, in that even the poorest in many western countries are better off than the bulk of the populations in less developed countries, but I don't know how that might factor in.

On the subject of your phrase 'welfare state' I wonder if in some ways this replaces god as 'the one who looks after me'. But that is just a passing thought.
Last edited by archibald on Nov 26, 2016 1:02 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#44  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 12:52 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote: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.


Well then we do not disagree much, and if we do it is probably only in terms of emphasis.

Maybe I am naive, but I tend to think that religions get invented (initially) by the genuinely, deluded religious more so than the disingenuous. That they more often than not get hijacked by the disingenuous for reasons other than true belief (often power-chasing reasons) is something I would see as slightly different.

That said, I am not ruling out that in some cases they may even be invented dishonestly.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#45  Postby igorfrankensteen » Nov 26, 2016 3:10 pm

archibald wrote:
igorfrankensteen wrote: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.


Well then we do not disagree much, and if we do it is probably only in terms of emphasis.

Maybe I am naive, but I tend to think that religions get invented (initially) by the genuinely, deluded religious more so than the disingenuous. That they more often than not get hijacked by the disingenuous for reasons other than true belief (often power-chasing reasons) is something I would see as slightly different.

That said, I am not ruling out that in some cases they may even be invented dishonestly.



I agree, that we seem to agree for the most part. What I am seeing that is a few degrees off from what you said here, is that very few human endeavors start from a single source, targeting a single goal, and then proceed directly towards that goal. Instead, they tend to be interactive and evolutionary in how they progress.

With something like a religion or a philosophy, what I see is that it is rare that anyone STARTS with the goal of creating a comprehensive vision of the world, combined with a universal guide for living. Instead, they proceed more organically, with immediate targets changing as circumstances change, and with modifications and refinements added in often almost random ways.

I suggest as a study example for us, not an official mainstream religion, but one of the more recent "religions" which have sprung up in modern times.

For example, the religions which grew out of diets. Veganism started out as people trying to either lose weight, or increase health, by altering what they eat, to avoid meat. An initial thought for many, wasn't anything moral or magic, it was just the sense that meat seemed greasy and made them feel worse than vegetables did. At some point, it occurred to someone to extend the prohibition from meat itself, to anything related to meat.

Although SOME real science was involved from the beginning, with the decision to go meatless, most people didn't want to dedicate their lives to the deep study of the physics of digestion and human cell structure, they just wanted to lose a few pounds, and feel more like dancing. So the science part of eating took a back seat, and simplified notions were scribbled in, to guide anyone else who wanted to join in. People who have trouble motivating themselves for health reasons, but still wanted to try, may have added imaginary MORAL reasons not to eat meat. Others reinforced that vague moral notion, with magic, by declaring various fantasy reasons not to eat meat, were the reason why some people who eat meat have less fun than they thought they were having.

Then various private enterprise food providers joined in, seeing a new market for their goods, and some honestly proclaimed themselves vegans, while others simply pretended to believe in the magic, in order to increase sales.

As others with alternate motivations joined the enterprise, some of the "originator/leaders" may begin to rebel against their ideas being used to promote ingenuous, and often "incorrect" versions of veganism, by writing up "official guidelines." Bibles of veganism.

We often see in modern times, small clusters of people who have grasped on to some faddish idea, and taken emotional comfort from it's simplicity, to arrange for the betterment of their neighborhood, and the best interests of their children, to turn their simplified ideas into a legal system. They don't turn religion in to government duplicitously at all. They do it either (or both) to help more people benefit from the ideals faster, or to make it that much easier for them to live as they want to (by requiring all food vendors to cater to their expectations, for example). They want to protect their children from being mislead back to eating meat, or whatever, so they vote to give the government control over schooling, advertising content, entertainment concepts, and so on.

The original idea, was just to save money on meat, or to lose weight. But one thing lead to another, side issues were introduced, and the original core idea of living free and living well, became an oppression.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#46  Postby tuco » Nov 26, 2016 3:48 pm

archibald wrote:
tuco wrote: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.


I think I see what you mean.

What I was thinking was that at the individual level, more 'luxury' (in terms of existential security, which might include health, financial security and so on) could be (arguably is) correlated to lower religiosity, so that countries which had more of these individuals would be less religious, regardless of the way it was spread out internally, in the country.

But I suppose you are right, that a high degree of spread (as in a welfare state) will mean that there are more individuals crossing the comfort threshold, because even in an overall wealthy country, if the wealth is privately concentrated among a minority, this will inevitably limit the proportion of those gaining, as you call it, salvation.

Of course, comfort/luxury/existential security is arguably relative, in that even the poorest in many western countries are better off than the bulk of the populations in less developed countries, but I don't know how that might factor in.

On the subject of your phrase 'welfare state' I wonder if in some ways this replaces god as 'the one who looks after me'. But that is just a passing thought.


It diminishes, at least according to some or potentially, personal responsibility. As for "God who looks after me", there are many interpretations and understandings of what God is/means, but to me its more like "God who looks over me".

As for rich and poor countries. Wealth is indeed relative and that is why I am lead to believe that welfare is more important than luxury. This post, in recent Castro thread by Willie71, pretty much describes situation in the so-called communist countries, I mentioned with regards to repression of religion, some 30 years ago. There were no luxuries but there was security and safety, with the state looking over and after everyone.

If Scandinavia, as number of case studies, has low religiosity because of a) historical circumstances b) welfare c) empowered women and if there are number of countries formerly belonging to the so-called communist bloc who also have low religiosity because a) repressions b) welfare c) kind of substitute, then intersection in form of welfare offers itself.

Salvation was a joke, as indicated by smiley, not to be taken seriously. It could be argued that from certain point of view, heading towards any goal is like heading towards Jesus. Be it moral landscape or technological progress or infant mortality or rational skepticism. Why this way? Because we like it /shrugs
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#47  Postby Corneel » Nov 26, 2016 4:26 pm

tuco wrote:
archibald wrote:
tuco wrote: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.


I think I see what you mean.

What I was thinking was that at the individual level, more 'luxury' (in terms of existential security, which might include health, financial security and so on) could be (arguably is) correlated to lower religiosity, so that countries which had more of these individuals would be less religious, regardless of the way it was spread out internally, in the country.

But I suppose you are right, that a high degree of spread (as in a welfare state) will mean that there are more individuals crossing the comfort threshold, because even in an overall wealthy country, if the wealth is privately concentrated among a minority, this will inevitably limit the proportion of those gaining, as you call it, salvation.

Of course, comfort/luxury/existential security is arguably relative, in that even the poorest in many western countries are better off than the bulk of the populations in less developed countries, but I don't know how that might factor in.

On the subject of your phrase 'welfare state' I wonder if in some ways this replaces god as 'the one who looks after me'. But that is just a passing thought.


It diminishes, at least according to some or potentially, personal responsibility. As for "God who looks after me", there are many interpretations and understandings of what God is/means, but to me its more like "God who looks over me".

As for rich and poor countries. Wealth is indeed relative and that is why I am lead to believe that welfare is more important than luxury. This post, in recent Castro thread by Willie71, pretty much describes situation in the so-called communist countries, I mentioned with regards to repression of religion, some 30 years ago. There were no luxuries but there was security and safety, with the state looking over and after everyone.

If Scandinavia, as number of case studies, has low religiosity because of a) historical circumstances b) welfare c) empowered women and if there are number of countries formerly belonging to the so-called communist bloc who also have low religiosity because a) repressions b) welfare c) kind of substitute, then intersection in form of welfare offers itself.

Salvation was a joke, as indicated by smiley, not to be taken seriously. It could be argued that from certain point of view, heading towards any goal is like heading towards Jesus. Be it moral landscape or technological progress or infant mortality or rational skepticism. Why this way? Because we like it /shrugs

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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#48  Postby tuco » Nov 26, 2016 4:34 pm

Me? All I need is love, imaginary or real ;)
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#49  Postby Agrippina » Nov 27, 2016 7:44 am

Yeah me too.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

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

igorfrankensteen wrote:The original idea, was just to save money on meat, or to lose weight. But one thing lead to another, side issues were introduced, and the original core idea of living free and living well, became an oppression.


That seems like a reasonably good analogy.

When you began to suggest looking at new religions, I thought for a moment you were going to cite the one started (so I once read) in rural China, where the 'magic man'/founder convinced villagers that him having sex with their wives and young women would ensure a good harvest. Something about fertilisation, as I recall.

That's one that seems to me might have been started with disingenuous motives.

Indeed, now that I think about it, there seem to be quite a few cults in which the boss guy gets a lot of sex.......... :ask:
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#51  Postby archibald » Nov 30, 2016 9:29 am

tuco wrote:Salvation was a joke, as indicated by smiley, not to be taken seriously.


Yes. I was just re-using it. :)

tuco wrote: It could be argued that from certain point of view, heading towards any goal is like heading towards Jesus. Be it moral landscape or technological progress or infant mortality or rational skepticism. Why this way? Because we like it /shrugs


It could be argued, from a certain point of view, as you say. I do think that those things you mentioned, and I might add consumerism (arguably the world's biggest religion) but that would be generalising. There are ways in which none of these things are quite like religion in the strict sense, I think.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#52  Postby tuco » Nov 30, 2016 11:12 pm

Of course not, religion is much more than believing in something. That is why I did not write it but wrote instead heading towards something, meaning: believing in something and applying such belief in everyday life.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#53  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 01, 2016 8:41 am

tuco wrote:Of course not, religion is much more than believing in something. That is why I did not write it but wrote instead heading towards something, meaning: believing in something and applying such belief in everyday life.


I don't know who's applying and who isn't. They tell lots of anecdotes. Beyond that, 'heading toward something' is another way of saying 'keeping busy', unless you know what the destination is ahead of time. But yes, religion is a lot more than 'believing in something', which is all about those anecdotes.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#54  Postby archibald » Dec 01, 2016 9:30 am

tuco wrote:Of course not, religion is much more than believing in something. That is why I did not write it but wrote instead heading towards something, meaning: believing in something and applying such belief in everyday life.


Yes, I was agreeing with you.

There are definitions of religion, by some sociologists (and many dictionaries too) which are so broad as to include things like consumerism as a religion (in which it can be argued to be a subsidiary denomination of the Holy Church Of Self) and for the most part, I wouldn't strongly disagree. When I'm feeling particularly broad-minded, I might even accept that atheism is a sort of religion, or at the very least a belief system.

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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#55  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 01, 2016 9:41 am

That is not atheism. That is the way theists see atheism.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#56  Postby archibald » Dec 01, 2016 10:00 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:That is not atheism. That is the way theists see atheism.


One true scotsman fallacy, surely?
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#57  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 01, 2016 1:02 pm

archibald wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:That is not atheism. That is the way theists see atheism.


One true scotsman fallacy, surely?


No, it's not a fallacy. It doesn't have enough content even to be a fallacy. It doesn't tell us anything about atheism, right or wrong. It's an opinion about other people's opinions.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#58  Postby Clive Durdle » Dec 02, 2016 6:27 pm

Are there not correlations between corruption religiosity hierarchy and inequality?

Isn't the converse true - belief in gods causes immorality?
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#59  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 02, 2016 6:53 pm

Said the prostitute to the bishop. :lol:
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#60  Postby tuco » Dec 02, 2016 6:57 pm

archibald wrote:
tuco wrote:Of course not, religion is much more than believing in something. That is why I did not write it but wrote instead heading towards something, meaning: believing in something and applying such belief in everyday life.


Yes, I was agreeing with you.

There are definitions of religion, by some sociologists (and many dictionaries too) which are so broad as to include things like consumerism as a religion (in which it can be argued to be a subsidiary denomination of the Holy Church Of Self) and for the most part, I wouldn't strongly disagree. When I'm feeling particularly broad-minded, I might even accept that atheism is a sort of religion, or at the very least a belief system.

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A bunch of atheists on a Sunday morning in London, England, who clearly don't need god to go to church, at least.


Any of them are members here? ;)
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