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Are there any benefits to being religious that can't be got elsewhere? Watch

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    There are unique benefits
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    There are no unique benefits
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    I dunno. I feel religion (and associated beliefs) are just a form of lying to yourself to make you feel better (sorry!). So in that sense, any other lies that you could tell yourselves as part of a group with themes of morality and mortality would come to the same effect
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Aimed at both religious and non-religious ppl. Can you think of any benefits that are completely unique to being involved in a particular religion?

    Edit: so far no-one has argued there are unique benefits so pretty one-sided atm (I assume the poll responses must not all be genuine then)
    That all depends on whether or not the religion in question is actually true, which is a whole new debate in itself.

    Fundamentally, the benefit of being religious is supposed to be "belief in that which is true", just like the benefit of having any other kind of knowledge. Additionally, religious people will often believe the benefit of being religious is that "I'm going to be rewarded in the after life, while non-religious people won't be".

    These are unique benefits but of course the debate is about whether or not they're actually true.*

    *
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    That all depends on whether or not the religion in question is actually true, which is a whole new debate in itself.

    Fundamentally, the benefit of being religious is supposed to be "belief in that which is true", just like the benefit of having any other kind of knowledge. Additionally, religious people will often believe the benefit of being religious is that "I'm going to be rewarded in the after life, while non-religious people won't be".

    These are unique benefits but of course the debate is about whether or not they're actually true.
    I think you're confused over the meaning of benefit. Something can't benefit you if it doesn't exist. For someone to prove a unique benefit they would have to prove that it exists before they prove it is unique.

    Reward in the afterlife is not a unique benefit until someone can prove it exists and that it is unique to being religious.
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    One (true) story I was told in Church a few years ago:

    There was a man in hospital with what quickly became a terminal illness. He was known by the doctors and nurses on the ward as a happy person whose smile would never be removed, so nobody wanted to be the one to tell him that there was nothing more that they could do for him and that he would surely die. Eventually, the consultant went to his bedside and explained to him and his family the prognosis. He was overjoyed, and shouted to the rest of the ward with joy that he was dying, and would be going to see Jesus in heaven.

    The irony of the situation was that things began to look up for him medically, and he was discharged two weeks later, but that story sticks in my mind as perhaps the one benefit of religion that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Whether it was the elation of knowing that he would soon go to heaven that resulted in the man getting better or something entirely different I do not know, but that man's conviction that he would go to be with Jesus in heaven sticks out in my mind as the most extraordinary example of what a person can get from their faith.
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    (Original post by SummerStrawberry)
    The irony of the situation was that things began to look up for him medically, and he was discharged two weeks later, but that story sticks in my mind as perhaps the one benefit of religion that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Whether it was the elation of knowing that he would soon go to heaven that resulted in the man getting better or something entirely different I do not know, but that man's conviction that he would go to be with Jesus in heaven sticks out in my mind as the most extraordinary example of what a person can get from their faith.
    Perhaps, but this is by no means unique to following a religion. Also a conviction of being in a heaven is not much of a benefit (any more than being high is a benefit).
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    I would say the main "benefit" would be a faith in and relationship with a particular Deity. (Or multiple Deities). That's not really something you can get elsewhere.
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    I was raised in a "Charismatic Evangelical" church (basically revivalists). However I'm no longer religious, and indeed am now best described as an anti-theist and secularist. That is to say a polite and tolerant kind, and NOT of the New Atheist sort.

    I voted that there are unique benefits. The biggest would be a sense of community and a support network. Despite leaving the church a while ago, I still have lots of family friends who are devout christians.

    This isn't to say that the costs outweigh the benefits (they don't in my experience) but the benefits are real.
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    Well when I was younger I used to go to Church. The only reason why I liked going was because of my friends I made and the free food

    Not for me, but some people might like religion because of the morals you get from it and also thibking someone is there for you.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Perhaps, but this is by no means unique to following a religion. Also a conviction of being in a heaven is not much of a benefit (any more than being high is a benefit).
    What I meant was that his conviction that he would go to heaven gave him a great deal of peace in himself. Even though he did not eventually die of that illness, he would have been happy to do so, and that would most certainly have given a greater sense of peace to his family, as well.

    Sorry if I wasn't particularly clear in my original post!
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    (Original post by SummerStrawberry)
    What I meant was that his conviction that he would go to heaven gave him a great deal of peace in himself. Even though he did not eventually die of that illness, he would have been happy to do so, and that would most certainly have given a greater sense of peace to his family, as well.

    Sorry if I wasn't particularly clear in my original post!
    Peace in oneself is all well and good but it's not very objective (it may mean different things to different individuals). It's also impossible to say this is unique to being religious since there are other worldviews which could give at least as much 'peace in oneself' when it comes to dying.

    I do appreciate you trying to explain the case for religion though, I've tried myself it's very difficult!
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    (Original post by stripystockings)
    I would say the main "benefit" would be a faith in and relationship with a particular Deity. (Or multiple Deities). That's not really something you can get elsewhere.
    Having faith in something is not a benefit! Neither is a 'relationship' without you showing what exactly you get in return (love, money, pleasure etc take your pick )

    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    I voted that there are unique benefits. The biggest would be a sense of community and a support network. Despite leaving the church a while ago, I still have lots of family friends who are devout christians.

    This isn't to say that the costs outweigh the benefits (they don't in my experience) but the benefits are real.
    Aha, but you haven't shown why you think they are unique. You can easily get a sense of community and support network outside of religion!
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Aha, but you haven't shown why you think they are unique. You can easily get a sense of community and support network outside of religion!
    Erm. Sure. But the chances are that you wouldn't have cause or the opportunity to go find get that support network if you weren't engaged in that religion.

    If you're going by the strict definition of "can not", then this thread is pointless. Because of course some combination of circumstances exists where you can get pretty much any benefit from x or y. Likelihood has to be taken into consideration if the discussion is to be fair or useful.
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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    Erm. Sure. But the chances are that you wouldn't have cause or the opportunity to go find get that support network if you weren't engaged in that religion.

    If you're going by the strict definition of "can not", then this thread is pointless. Because of course some combination of circumstances exists where you can get pretty much any benefit from x or y. Likelihood has to be taken into consideration if the discussion is to be fair or useful.
    Are you saying religion has the highest likelihood of finding a support network?
    That would require some sort of evidence, in my observation I have not found that to be the case at all.
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    No.

    /Thread.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Are you saying religion has the highest likelihood of finding a support network?
    Nope:

    But the chances are that you wouldn't have cause or the opportunity to go find that support network if you weren't engaged in that religion.
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    (Original post by theBranicAc)
    being religious is not about the advanatges or vice versa !
    It is - Heaven or no Heaven! Blackmail at its finest.

    I think there are benefits gained in spirituality, but that doesn't require a religion.
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    (Original post by Mactotaur)
    The confidence in the afterlife translates to not fearing death, but it's probably best not to have this - if you know there's nothing after death, you'll make more of an effort to do everything you can, experience as much as possible.
    I disagree with that. I pretty much maintain a belief in something so I don't get overly depressed about dying. As someone with anxiety I know you can paralysed with fear and hence not experience life to the fullest for fear of dying (i.e. refusing to go on a plane can really affect your ability to travel).

    I'll be the first to admit my belief is irrational and I also really dislike organised religion. However, I would say that being able to have the reassurance of believing death is more than just nothingness is very valuable for a lot of people.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Yes. Salvation.
    Which religion is the correct one though?
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    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    I'll be the first to admit my belief is irrational and I also really dislike organised religion. However, I would say that being able to have the reassurance of believing death is more than just nothingness is very valuable for a lot of people.
    I'm pretty sure it's the second reason religion was invented in the first place (the second being "What's that roaring in the sky?").
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    (Original post by theBranicAc)
    being religious is not about the advanatges
    On the contrary, following a religion is ALL about the supposed benefits - as illustrated by the responses from religious people in this thread.
 
 
 
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