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

  • View Poll Results: What do you believe?
    There are unique benefits
    30
    57.69%
    There are no unique benefits
    22
    42.31%

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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    Nope: 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.
    That's self-contradictory. If the answer is no, then chances are you would have the opportunity since there are higher likelihood options than religion.

    Not sure what you think the unique benefit is for religion...
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    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    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.
    What you're saying is true for lots of people.

    However I should point out that it can swing the other way, especially if belong to certain denominations (.e.g ones that believes predestination). Then you might live with the constant unremitting fear of not getting into paradise/heaven and/or being damned into hell.

    That was certainly my experience.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    That's self-contradictory. If the answer is no, then chances are you would have the opportunity since there are higher likelihood options than religion.

    Not sure what you think the unique benefit is for religion...
    Not sure where you're getting "higher-likelihood options" from.

    I understand what you're getting at, but the whole framing of what you're saying is at odds with how and why people tend to get into religion.

    The essence of what I'm saying is that there are benefits that many people wouldn't have accrued elsewhere if they hadn't gotten into religion.

    If you're really sticking with the whole "can't" angle, then this thread is pointless and we might as well call it now:

    No.

    /Thread.
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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    Not sure where you're getting "higher-likelihood options" from.

    I understand what you're getting at, but the whole framing of what you're saying is at odds with how and why people tend to get into religion.

    The essence of what I'm saying is that there are benefits that many people wouldn't have accrued elsewhere if they hadn't gotten into religion.
    You were the one who came up with likelihood remember?
    Spoiler:
    Show
    "Likelihood has to be taken into consideration if the discussion is to be fair or useful."


    I'm not interested as to 'how and why people tend to get into religion.' If that's what you wanna talk about why don't you start a new thread and stop repeatedly whining how you think this is a "pointless" discussion.

    Good, but those aren't unique benefits which is what this thread is about.
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    I'm not religious person myself but I do attempt to practice certain things and read biblical stuff.
    I have seen people become very Hopeful, peaceful, and happier through religion specifically Christianity. I read articles of people who experienced bad things in their life and become cheerful people through Christianity.

    Sure, you can be an atheist or non religious but I think there is something nice to know you're not in complete control of your life and the things that happen, and allowing a higher power to deal with it.
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    Truth, Contentment, and Contemplation
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    (Original post by xylas)
    You were the one who came up with likelihood remember?
    Spoiler:
    Show
    "Likelihood has to be taken into consideration if the discussion is to be fair or useful."
    Aware of that. I meant it in the sense that if people don't do X (where X is participate in religion), that doesn't mean they do Y instead. Hence the benefits gained from being involved in a religion (even if outweigh by the costs) are still probably more likely accrue to them than to the average person.

    I'm not interested as to 'how and why people tend to get into religion.' If that's what you wanna talk about why don't you start a new thread and stop repeatedly whining how you think this is a "pointless" discussion.
    OK sure. I personally think the parameters of this question make it so that the only viable answer to the title is:

    "No, UNLESS the religion's beliefs about salvation (if present in the religion) are accurate, AND being a member of the religion is also the only viable path to salvation."

    There. Done. Boring.
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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    Aware of that. I meant it in the sense that if people don't do X (where X is participate in religion), that doesn't mean they do Y instead. Hence the benefits gained from being involved in a religion (even if outweigh by the costs) are still probably more likely accrue to them than to the average person.

    OK sure. I personally think the parameters of this question make it so that the only viable answer to the title is:

    "No, UNLESS the religion's beliefs about salvation (if present in the religion) are accurate, AND being a member of the religion is also the only viable path to salvation."

    There. Done. Boring.
    Completely nonsensical. You voted for unique benefits yet have only been able to demonstrate reasons against. You say you're an anti-theist but allow the possibility that beliefs about salvation could be accurate?

    Not sure why you keep whining, if you're happy to leave what you've said like that then I'm not stopping you!
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    (Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
    Truth, Contentment, and Contemplation
    Care to elaborate, or provide some evidence?
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    I'm an Atheist but there is one benefit I have noticed, most religious people have this reassuring and never ending faith that everything will turn out fine and "it's all Gods plan".

    I wish I had that kind of faith in myself in my lowest moments.
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    Apparently praying generally makes people happier and healthier, according to a few articles I read a long time ago and don't remember how to find again. I don't know if the same benefits could be achieved through secular meditation.
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    Proving the existence of God - or moral dominance, for want of a better phrase, of any religion of another/atheism - is impossible. If I throw a stone out of my window, and it falls down, I can prove that for that stone, at that time, and with every parameter in the state that it was at that position in space-time, will fall to the ground. I CANNOT prove that every time that I throw it out of my window, it will fall down. I could do it 100 times and prove beyond all reasonable doubt that it does, indeed, fall down, but there is always the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that. What would happen then? We can predict with 99.9999999...% certainty that it will fall down, but what if it doesn't? Without trying it, we don't know for certain, and cannot disprove for certain that it will not fly off in a straight line instead.

    That's the same for religion. You cannot disprove God. We could scour the entire universe and determine that God is not there, but what if there's parallel universes? What if God decided to make himself invisible? What if we're looking with the wrong tools; maybe God uses something other than the electromagnetic spectrum? You could prove the existence of God in one sense, but perhaps not in another. So you cannot universally prove God's existence, either.

    So that's why you have to have faith, and that's the difficulty of religion. You can look at the problem from all angles, but you - as of yet, at least - cannot make a definite statement on God's existence. People feeling much happier after finding God? Placebo. Answered prayers? Random chance. Seeing or talking to God? Hallucinations, dreams that would happen anyway, inaccurate reports. In the same way: Atheists? Tainted by the devil. Bad things happening to good people? God works in mysterious ways. There are arguments for and against everything, and humans are extraordinarily good at coming up with them.

    Are there benefits of religion? The government seem to think that there could be, and there are many people across the world who believe in a deity of some kind, so there's got to be something good about it. Indeed, the vast majority of modern civilisations have their legal, moral, and societal roots in a religion and its ideology, and until relatively recently most countries had an official, state-sanctioned religion of which everybody was just about expected to be a member, and whilst you could make an argument that this amounted to a great way to control the populace (the payment of a tithe to the church and the preaching that a deity with the power to send an individual to eternal suffering would do so if they dared to step away from what Lords and Priests ordered was particularly convenient in Medieval times, especially) it did do a great deal to bring us from being animals to being sentient, both in terms of our ability to 'feel' (the definition of sentient), and stopping us from killing each other mindlessly (although a great deal of killing was done in the name of religion, namely the Crusades), if only because of a belief that our actions were being constantly watched and would be judged with real and eternal consequences.

    All in all, it's something of a mixed bag. Would any other system have had similar or better results? Possibly, but we'll never know. It's an interesting debate though, anyway!
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    (Original post by xylas)
    You voted for unique benefits
    When I voted I didn't anticipate that the scope of the question was so narrow. A normal part of any debate like this is querying the question. We've since established beyond doubt that you meant "unique" in the most literal way possible, which is fair enough.

    yet have only been able to demonstrate reasons against.
    ??? Eh? I haven't demonstrated anything.

    You say you're an anti-theist but allow the possibility that beliefs about salvation could be accurate?
    Believe it or not I'm able to separate my personal beliefs from the demands of answering a question. Look ma, no hands!

    Not sure why you keep whining, if you're happy to leave what you've said like that then I'm not stopping you!
    If you're so eager to see me gone then why do you keep quoting me, thereby triggering my notifications?
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    (Original post by SummerStrawberry)
    x
    What's your explanation if you (or from others who claim to have) had met a soothsayer who had accurate tellings about your past and future life?
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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
    When I voted I didn't anticipate that the scope of the question was so narrow. A normal part of any debate like this is querying the question. We've since established beyond doubt that you meant "unique" in the most literal way possible, which is fair enough.

    ??? Eh? I haven't demonstrated anything.

    Believe it or not I'm able to separate my personal beliefs from the demands of answering a question. Look ma, no hands!

    If you're so eager to see me gone then why do you keep quoting me, thereby triggering my notifications?
    Not sure what your problem with words is. It's a simple question and no-one else is struggling like you are. You said you were done but if you want to keep talking that's fine by me.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    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.
    That's exactly my point. Reward in the afterlife exists if the religion is true, and does not exist if the religion is not true.

    So really, a debate on the benefits of religion mainly just boils down to the usual "Is the religion true or not"?*
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    That's exactly my point. Reward in the afterlife exists if the religion is true, and does not exist if the religion is not true.

    So really, a debate on the benefits of religion mainly just boils down to the usual "Is the religion true or not"?*
    No, religion doesn't have to be 'true' to have a benefit.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    No, religion doesn't have to be 'true' to have a benefit.
    I don't claim it does.

    However its claims about the afterlife have to be "true" in order for there to be a reward in the afterlife.*
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I don't claim it does.
    So really, a debate on the benefits of religion mainly just boils down to the usual "Is the religion true or not"?
    Your short term memory can't be that bad!
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Your short term memory can't be that bad!
    That's a case of you misunderstanding what I've written rather than my short term memory, actually.

    We're talking about benefits to being religious that can't be got elsewhere, i.e. those such as afterlife rewards, which are only genuine benefits if the religion is true.*
 
 
 
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