• OpinionsMatter
    85
    If your religion is not on here, please let me know and I will fix that. Tell us why YOUR opinion is better in the comments below, because every opinion matters.
    1. Atheism or Religion? (14 votes)
        Atheism
        36%
        Christianity
        29%
        Buddism
          0%
        Hinduism
          0%
        Catholic
          0%
        Tribal
          0%
        Other
        36%
  • I like sushi
    617
    I don’t understand the question. I think adherring rigidly to one particular way of thinking is neither useful nor progressive. In that sense I could side more with Atheism, yet not all Religious people are truly dogmatic and not all Atheistic people are truly progressive or openminded.

    Value structures are difficult things to measure against wach other as we’ve no clear ruler with which to measure things. Some prefer one ruler whilst others prefer another.

    In thid respect I would say that the existence of both the atheistic view and the religious view (whatever they are) are useful as poles from which to open up a line of communication between. It is also worth noting that “atheist” is now a political term whereas in the past it merely meant “I don’t believe that!” when asked by religious types who assumed belief in a god/s was the only and correct way to orietate themselves in the world.

    Generally speaking I would say the differences are due mainly as to where people chose to focus their attention and the manner in which they create a fitting and useful narrative to position themselves against the immediate/imminently “unknown”.

    So put me down for “all of the above and anything else that may or may not spring to mind” :)
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    Your post seems to contain a confusion. I have a har time understanding why people have such problems with understanding atheism.

    I'll try to explain.
    You have positive(positioning) statements of the form:
    B exists.
    B has properties x, y, z.
    Let's call this position Bist

    Now theres people saying this(refering to either properties or existance) is wrong.
    Let's call them aBist.
    The second statement is a pure negation and does not contain any positive statement at all.

    A aBist could himself state C or D or E ect exists and has properties x, y, z or even that B exists but B having properties a, b, c and not x, y, z.
    Basically this means that any other logical option of then Bist is a aBist.
    However negations are not real properties we could define a Human as not Rock or not Horse or not...
    Simularly you saying I don't like warm sushi doesn't mean that you are saying anything else in regards to any other dish. It doesn't even mean that you are saying I don't like sushi.

    Now theism includes two statements
    1) God(s) exists
    2) God(s) interacts(s) after creation.

    Positions that negate this and therefore are atheistic Positions include:
    Deism(God exists but doesn't interact/only creates once), Simulationtheory(Person that interacts exist (depends on the usage of the termGod)), Materialism, Physicalism, Naturalism, Spiritualism, Dualism ect.
    Depending if you demand of Gods to have humanlike attributes/forms. You could argue that Beliefs that f.e. use god like beings but represents them soley as animals is not a theism.
    However the common ground between this sometimes mutually exclusive Positions is merley the negation of theism.

    This leads to the conclusion that your survey is flawed since f.e. Buddism and or tribal can be interpreted to fall in to the category atheism.
  • Frank Apisa
    487
    Theism seems to resolve into: "A guess that at least one god exists in the REALITY."

    Atheism is a bit more murky, but seems to resolve into "A guess that no gods exist in the REALITY."

    They are both reasonable guesses...and one is certainly closer to the truth than the other. It seems they cannot both be correct...although "existence" is so imponderable and "human understanding" possibly so primitive, one cannot be sure.

    All that said, what seem to me to be "better for us"...would be not to guess in either direction.

    You do not have that option available, OM.
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    I think religion (using the exact words from the OP title) is "better for us", because it encourages us to behave better. Better for our species. Sometimes even better for the world we live in (although this is rarer).

    Interesting to note that Islam is not one of the religions listed.... :chin:

    My religion is Gaian Daoism, but there's little point in adding this designation to the list, I feel. :wink:
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    Positions that negate this and therefore are atheistic Positions include:
    Deism(God exists but doesn't interact/only creates once)
    CaZaNOx

    The OP is asking which is "better for us", theism or atheism. It is not asking which one is right or correct.... :chin:
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    I am aware of that. I don't think that I was arguing about the correctness. At least I don't see how my post in general or the part you quotet is making a statement about correctnes. Afterall it's only a listing of the position.
    This contains implicitly that I address the OP as being unspecific since atheism as such includes a hughe amount of mutualy exclusiv positions.
    Or in other words: the OP seems to view atheism itself as positive stance that endorses a specific view, which as I argue isn't the case.
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    In regards to the concept of Deism. Where would you see the difference between the terms? How do you categorize them? Where do you get your understanding of the term theism as only stating the existance of god from?
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    I don't think that I was arguing about the correctness.CaZaNOx

    OK, but it looked to me as though you were. The OP asked us to consider, not theism and atheism themselves, but whether theism or atheism is "better for us".

    Make YOUR Opinion Count! Vote Whether Atheism or Religion is Better for us. — OP title
    I thought this was an interesting contrast, which needs no explanation of the terms. We all know what they mean.

    it's only a listing of the positionCaZaNOx
    Which none of us need, do we? I think after all these centuries of discussion, we all know what theism and atheism are. :wink: But which is "better for us"? :chin:
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    Fair point to a certain degree.
    I thought this was an interesting contrast, which needs no explanation of the terms. We all know what they mean.Pattern-chaser
    In a "classical" debate regarding correctness I would agree. I still find it stunning that it is so hard to address the actual positiv positions like materialism, physicalism, naturalism ect by name but I see that this could lead to an unnessary disortion of the topic.
    However since the OP adressess as you state
    The OP asked us to consider, not theism and atheism themselves, but whether theism or atheism is "better for us".Pattern-chaser
    We are not arguing about a topic that is as clear as you suggest when you write
    I think after all these centuries of discussion, we all know what theism and atheism are.Pattern-chaser

    Since "Better for us" f.e. can address positions regarding how we ought to act. Like f.e. example moral realism, moral anti-realism, moral skepticism ect.
    I don't think the positions are significally linked to the debatte what onthological framework we use.
    We could maybe in a oversimplifing manner state that theism holds some degree of moral realism. However it is also concivable that some atheist endorse a moral realism. The focus on the ontological framework therefore seems missplaced.
    However I agree that the question the OP formulates is an intresting one.
  • Frank Apisa
    487
    ↪Frank Apisa
    In regards to the concept of Deism. Where would you see the difference between the terms?
    CaZaNOx

    What terms?


    How do you categorize them?

    I am not sure of what terms you are asking me to contrast.

    You mentioned "deism" but no other. Not sure what you are asking.

    Where do you get your understanding of the term theism as only stating the existance of god from?

    I didn't say that.

    I said, "Theism seems to resolve into: "A guess that at least one god exists in the REALITY."

    It certainly seems that way to me.

    Do you understand it differently? Do it appear to resolve itself differently to you?
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    I am not sure of what terms you are asking me to contrast.Frank Apisa
    I was refering to the difference between deism and theism.
    I would argue that theism in contrast to deism also requires god to be active after the act of creation. Otherwise I would suppose you are not able to make a meaningfull distinction between deism and theism.
    However I'am unsure what you mean when you say:
    Theism seems to resolve into: "A guess that at least one god exists in the REALITY.Frank Apisa
    My interpretation was that this means, that your undrestanding of the term theism is only stating the existance of god(s). However you negated this Interpretation so I am curious why you negated this.
    By stating
    I didn't say that.Frank Apisa
  • S
    9.7k
    So, the question is something like: fairy tales and submissiveness to a supposed authority, or reality and independence, i.e. you are your own authority? I'll go with the latter. :up:
  • S
    9.7k
    I think religion (using the exact words from the OP title) is "better for us", because it encourages us to behave better. Better for our species. Sometimes even better for the world we live in (although this is rarer).Pattern-chaser

    How naive. Have you ever read Nietzsche? Or any of the New Atheists?
  • Frank Apisa
    487
    ↪Frank Apisa

    I am not sure of what terms you are asking me to contrast. — Frank Apisa

    I was refering to the difference between deism and theism.
    I would argue that theism in contrast to deism also requires god to be active after the act of creation. Otherwise I would suppose you are not able to make a meaningfull distinction between deism and theism.
    CaZaNOx

    In my opinion, deists and theists both make a guess that a "god or gods" exist. That is central to both disciplines. They do make different guesses about the nature of the gods they guess exist...but that seems an insignificant particular.

    Insofar as they both guess there is a god (or are gods)...there is no meaningful distinction between them to my mind.



    However I'am unsure what you mean when you say:

    Theism seems to resolve into: "A guess that at least one god exists in the REALITY. — Frank Apisa

    My interpretation was that this means, that your undrestanding of the term theism is only stating the existance of god(s).

    However you negated this Interpretation so I am curious why you negated this.
    By stating

    I didn't say that. — Frank Apisa

    Your use of the word "only" in your reply does not make sense to me. I have not offered an "only" in this matter.

    I do, however, assert that an essential of theism is a guess that at least one god exists.

    For me, theism does seem to resolve into a guess that at least one god exists.

    Do you disagree?

    As to the question of what I said or did not say: I disagreed with what you said I said...because I did NOT SAY IT.

    What I said was...(and essentially, I am now repeating it for the third time)...theism seems to resolve into a guess that at least one god exists.

    I am not sure what you are contesting...or questioning.
  • CaZaNOx
    49
    Ok I think the issue is resolved with the clarification you provided.
    However I'll try to explain why I used "only" so it gets clear for your aswell what the "issue"/missunderstanding was.
    In my conception of the terms deism and theism, deism is a more general term.
    I understand deism to mean: At least one god exists.
    And theism to mean: At least one god exists + god or gods are active after creation.

    Therefore I understood your statement about theism to "only" mention the first part with leaving the second part away. Therefore I understood your statement to "only" resolve into a statement about existence, that does not voice any further specifications about the nature of god.

    This in my view however describes a deism and not a theism. However this further specifications, if I understand you correctly, doesn't matter to you in regard to the discussion we are having since you view the difference of deism and theism as "an insignificant particular".
    I think this should make clear why I used "only" to describe your position.

    For me, theism does seem to resolve into a guess that at least one god exists.

    Do you disagree?
    Frank Apisa

    From my explanation how I conceptualise theism the description you provided is incomplete but not false, or maybe better put a diffrent one then I use which motivated me to ask you how you view the difference of deism and theism.

    I also think the disagreement that I have is merley motivated due to my different conception of the terms. However I think one could argue which of the Definition seems more reasonable for this topic.
    In other words we could argue if the fact that god is active or passive is significant for evaluating if atheism or religion is better for us. However I would concede that the significance is only limited in regards to the topic at hand.

    I think this resolves the discussion or do you haven any further objections?
  • OpinionsMatter
    85
    Thank-you for all sharing your opinions, they matter so much! My thought would be religion, but I'm slightly hesitant between the two(Religion and Atheism). Religion has many benefits, but believing possibly false information could have adverse effects on one's well being. But Atheism seems to benefit most of us just as well, allowing room to feel free from the burden of belief in a deity of sorts.
  • S
    9.7k
    Religion has many benefits, but believing possibly false information could have adverse effects on one's well being.OpinionsMatter

    This makes it sound like a choice, when it actually isn't. I replied in a similar fashion, "I'll go with...". But it actually isn't a choice. It's not really about whatever benefits there might be. I simply cannot believe if I am unconvinced, even if I would be much better off as a result. I can't just flip a switch.
  • OpinionsMatter
    85
    I simply cannot believe if I am unconvinced, even if I would be much better off as a result. I can't just flip a switch.S

    And what convinces you of things? Sure, you would have to be convinced first, but you believe that other people have religion, do you not? Are you convinced that people believe in something that could be either true or false? What convinces you that red is red and green is green, or that apple is opposite to orange? Questions to ponder.
  • S
    9.7k
    And what convinces you of things?OpinionsMatter

    That's not a simple question. Reason, logic, experience, common sense, science, intuition, explanatory power...

    Sure, you would have to be convinced first, but you believe that other people have religion, do you not?OpinionsMatter

    Yes. But I am not other people. I have higher standards.

    Are you convinced that people believe in something that could be either true or false?OpinionsMatter

    Yes, that's the law of bivalence.

    What convinces you that red is red and green is green...OpinionsMatter

    That's the law of identity. It is extremely intuitive and to reject it leads to absurdity.

    ...or that apple is opposite to orange?OpinionsMatter

    It isn't actually, they're just two different fruits. Neither apples nor oranges have opposites.

    Questions to ponder.OpinionsMatter

    I didn't ponder them for very long because they weren't very deep.
  • OpinionsMatter
    85
    Sure, you would have to be convinced first, but you believe that other people have religion, do you not? — OpinionsMatter
    Yes. But I am not other people. I have higher standards.
    S
    'Higher standards'? You make it sound like their belief is lesser, or that it isn't as meaningful as your own. Do you believe that they have 'lower standards' by believing in something that may or may not have less stability than your own?
  • S
    9.7k
    'Higher standards'? You make it sound like their belief is lesser, or that it isn't as meaningful as your own. Do you believe that they have 'lower standards' by believing in something that may or may not have less stability than your own?OpinionsMatter

    Yes, higher standards. I don't appeal to authority or to emotion, for example. That is not uncommon for religious people. It is lesser. Less reasonable, for example. I didn't mention or suggest anything about meaningfulness or stability.
  • ZhouBoTong
    181
    All that said, what seem to me to be "better for us"...would be not to guess in either direction.Frank Apisa

    Entirely agreed, but by definition I think that is an atheist position? Not that that would matter if no one was guessing...hmmmm...in any case I agree with the sentiment.

    Atheism or Religion?
    AtheismChristianityBuddismHinduismCatholicTribalOther
    OpinionsMatter

    Just a minor point...Catholic is christian and all Catholics are christian. No need for 2 categories. I get that the Catholic Church has committed (or at least permitted) atrocities throughout history, but the rest of Christianity doesn't get to just separate themselves (they can and did separate themselves physically and philosophically but that does not change the definition of "christian"). It is all christian.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.4k
    Different "religions" are better for different individuals and different groups of people living in different times and environments.

    "Atheism", supposedly being the lack of religion in this case (irreligion), is sometimes also better for certain individuals and groups in certain environments.

    Are you asking about what is more useful to the average person? To society? To technological progress? Population growth? To philanthropy? Average human welfare? Equitable universal minimum of human welfare? etc...

    If you're asking what is better in terms of knowledge, since religions invariably make wild assumptions, it's probably better to make none.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k
    I think religion (using the exact words from the OP title) is "better for us", because it encourages us to behave better.Pattern-chaser

    What if you don't agree with a lot of the ethical stances of the major religions?
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    Neither religion or atheism are good world views. Both of them are incorrect, and both tend to be too dogmatic about their beliefs. Moreover, both views rely on fallacious thinking. I'm not going to say why I believe this in this thread, because I've written about it in other threads, and other forums.
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    I think religion (using the exact words from the OP title) is "better for us", because it encourages us to behave better. — Pattern-chaser


    What if you don't agree with a lot of the ethical stances of the major religions?
    Terrapin Station
    [My highlighting.]

    Sorry about the delay in replying. There are good reasons ... which you really don't want to read through! :wink:

    I take your "you" to be singular, just as I took the OP's "us" to be plural. So I considered the question to refer to us communally, ignoring the individual perspective. So it doesn't matter if you or I don't agree with the ethical stances of various religions. It matters only that large numbers of people are drawn together by religion, and this encourages them to work together, in a communal and co-operative way. We humans are most (only?) successful when we work together. We are social animals. Religion is "better for us" because it helps us work together socially/communally, to the benefit of our whole species.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k


    Doesn't "behave better" have an ethical/moral connotation?
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    Yes, I suppose it does, but I wasn't even addressing that. My comment was as fundamental as it looked. By "work better" I meant work optimally, to the greatest benefit of our species. But, since I can see no other way to judge it, I might suggest that working optimally is morally superior...? :chin:
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k


    Okay . . . there, though, I just don't agree that religion has any positive influence on social cooperation. It's impossible to establish truth values for counterfactuals there, though.
  • Pattern-chaser
    950
    Members of religions work together. If the religion is widespread enough, then we end up with large numbers of us working co-operatively, which is the benefit I describe. Religons with few members obviously cannot offer this benefit. Other social institutions can/could also deliver this same benefit, provided they can attract sufficient numbers of humans to their 'cause'.
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