I think there are more cons than pros to religion
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« on: April 26, 2017, 10:57:19 pm »

I find it to be very inhibiting
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 11:50:25 pm »

religion poisons everything.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 12:17:42 am »

I can't really find any substantial PROs for religion...
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 06:36:34 am »

I find it to be very inhibiting

Please expand your point, to further the discussion. 
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 11:42:47 am »

I'm not sure how helpful I think it is to generalise in sweeping terms about "religion" - a term that encompases a huge swathe of human social, cultural and political life. Even generalising about specific religious traditions is hazardous (and I wouldn't recommend it, at least in the case of the larger and older traditions).

If you shared more about your experience it might be possible to consider more deeply the particular aspects of religious traditions that could be considered negative or positive.  And, for that matter, about the various ideological and philosophical systems that might replace them (none of which, in my view, are without their own considerable drawbacks).

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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 11:50:52 am »

A think it CAN be generalized in terms of believing something there is no evidence for. People are being encouraged not to think for themselves and not to solve their own problems (mostly goes to christians). Furthermore, in some cases it gives excuses to do what you wanted to do anyway and making others believe you're doing the right thing.

Any PROs that religion might have, like the feeling of unity, charity, finding peace in troubling times... None of that is exclusive to religion and is, in my opinion, severly outweighed by critical thinking, free of any dogma.

Higgs, I find secular humanism is as good as they come in philosophical terms. Mind you, I am not for banning any form of ideology or religion, but I will fight them if they inflict harm to anyone (including my own Grin )
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 12:08:19 pm »

A think it CAN be generalized in terms of believing something there is no evidence for. People are being encouraged not to think for themselves and not to solve their own problems (mostly goes to christians). Furthermore, in some cases it gives excuses to do what you wanted to do anyway and making others believe you're doing the right thing.

Any PROs that religion might have, like the feeling of unity, charity, finding peace in troubling times... None of that is exclusive to religion and is, in my opinion, severly outweighed by critical thinking, free of any dogma.

But, of course, 'religious' people (and I think the word 'religion' is so problematic that I'm going to put it in scare-quotes) do indeed think there is evidence for their religion. This is precisely the point at issue. It is merely not the sort of evidence that atheists will accept.

Undoubtedly you are right that "sometimes" religion gives people excuses to do what they want to do anyway. But it is hardly unique in that regard: people do not have any difficulty, to my mind, in finding pretexts for doing things they really want to do. Religion can be useful for this, but it is not essential. And I would say 'religion' is rather better and more remarkable for sometimes making people do things they really do not want to do. 

Of course, my list of 'pros' for religion would be rather different from yours. I would be prepared to admit that many of the things you list can come from other things - such as moral philosophies, political principles and so forth. But then, those things can often begin to look like 'dogmas'. And if they are not 'dogmas' - that is, firmly held beliefs - then they are very unreliable guides to moral action. And so the line between 'religious' and 'non-religious' belief-systems often looks extremely fuzzy. Perhaps in part because there is, to my knowledge, absolutely no commonly-agreed definition of just what a 'religion' is.

But I am not going to argue that 'religion'  (as commonly understood) is better at producing charity, unity, etc. than any other system. I'm merely questioning the assumption that if 'religion' was whipped away from the scene, the same qualities could be inculcated just as effectively by means of - say - utilitarianism or virtue ethics, without any of the risks that religion poses. I challenge the assumption merely that religion has no pros to speak of, or that its pros are clearly and evidently outweighed by cons. Both these claims strike me as rather difficult to argue even to a modest standard of proof.
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 12:54:42 pm »

Religion by definition is a belief without the -objective- evidence. Of course, people find evidence in everything for almost any belief. If there was evidence for a perticular religion, then there wouldn't need to be a belief for it.
I just want the evidence to be true and a religious belief system is not a good way to ascertain what is truth and what isn't. That is all I am saying concerning evidence. Most often the evidence you speak of have supernatural tendencies or just cognitive bias, could you give a specific example that objectively holds?

Theistic religions like christianity and islam are the ones I am mostly criticizing, I don't know much about many other religions but if a supernatural aspect exists, then I think it's bad. Historically, it made sense before we knew much about the world that surrounds us. Today, it does not, it hampers scientific and objective knowledge.

As for the weight of pros, I would always argue that NOW, it is not needed:
1. Religions (like christianity or islam) for example have rules written in ancient scriptures. There are pretty weird rules there that no man with common sense would follow these days. People have to cherry pick what they like and are willing to ignore some of written text while at the same time defending other texts they value as sensible.
2. If we do approve changing the meaning of religious texts and updating them for modern times, then we don't need the religious texts anyway.

There definately are pros in religion, like charity, but then there's the cons... Plenty
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 02:28:53 pm »

First, I don't think any sort of knowledge is "objective" in the sense you seem to have in mind. Knowledge in fact seems to me to be subjective by its very nature - in the sense that knowledge cannot exist without somebody to know it (that is, a subject). This goes for scientific knowledge too, which is certainly verifiable, but only on its own terms (you might say that scientific truth is true, but only scientifically true!). It is not disparaging science in any way to say that it is not 'true' in the sense that (most) religious truth-claims are claimed to be true. And I find it a little worrying that many people who want to do away with religion propose to put science in its place. There may be systems of thought that can provide for us some or many of the things that 'religion' does, but I think it is putting far too much faith in science to expect it to assume that burden. In the same way, I don't really see how it can be true that religion "hampers scientific knowledge" (or if it does, it seems to be failing dismally). I don't think religion and scientific knowledge have much to do with each other at all.

You are quite right, however, to say that many features of modern religions are offensive to "common sense" - and this strikes me as one of their great advantages. Perhaps because I'm instinctively suspicious of "common sense" (or "popular wisdom"), I think texts and traditions that interrogate the consensus of the current moment are extremely valuable. The very fact that Christianity and Islam both challenge so many of the unquestioned assumptions of our liberal, secular and capitalist culture seems to me to be one of the things that makes them very powerful and often very unpopular: even where their demands seem bizarre or silly, they remind us that there are alternatives to the dominant moral and political discourses, and that things haven't always been the way they are. They question our historical narrative of moral and epistemological 'progress.'  And they hold out the possibility of a radically different system of value and of regime of truth. 

 These things are not separate things from the good (or bad) outcomes of religious faith; you can't just keep the love and charity and lose the pilgrimage and sacraments. Nor do I think that religions contain a generic and universal set of positive qualities that could simply be transferred without loss to humanism or rationalism (admitting that those quasi-religious traditions are  not without their own particular virtues). Whatever is good in Christianity belongs properly to Christianity, and while you might well think that the 'religious' virtues of humanism are superior, they are not identical or interchangeable.
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 04:13:55 pm »

LOL the topic is pro /cons about religion and surely it's going to be AGAIN science vs religion  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 10:17:00 am »

Well, Higgs, I disagree on many of your points.

1. (Scientific knowledge and religion have nothing to do with each other at all.) You might argue that all knowledge is "subjective" because we use our senses to gain it, but each of my senses and senses of all the people around me corroborate that knowledge so it is quite reliable. You seem to be using the term "subjective" to find an excuse to equalize something we observe everyday with things we never do. If I fall from a 10 story building, I will most likely die. That's as close to objective, as you can get. Things like life after death and washing away sins after believing in Jesus have not been observed. Not by reliable sources anyway.
And by hampering science, just take a look at evolution denialists for example, that stems from creationism and creationism stems from theistic religion.

2. I don't see how things offensive to common sense can be an advantage. If you don't like that word, I can change it to individual morality: what ever I do has consequences on others and I take those into account. TO say that christianity and islam question the liberal views is totally backwards. It is not liberal views that have slavery condoned into their sacred texts, liberals don't kill gays, liberals don't protect their rapist coleagues in churches. If you had something else that qualifies as a radically different view of truth, by all means say it. Though, whatever you might have, can't be exclusive to religion. I'm not saying that all religious people do afwul things, but if they don't, they don't because they have their own morality and sense of good.

3. Love and charity are something people are capable of with or without religion.
"Whatever is good in Christianity belongs properly to Christianity". Please, do name something that is good and is good exclusively in christianity.
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