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Dale Westlund

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I propose that religeon is the major factor holding back the advancement of the human race.

One of my favorite quotes, and I have to admit I don't know who said it but it was a post that my son put up on his facebook one day.. "Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told.. Religeon is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.." That pretty much says it all in a nut shell. I grew up in a very religeous household where we were taught to obey whatever the bible told us.. Then I grew up and grew a brain of my own. What do you think?

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    Apr 12 2012: We're getting there.
    Most people with an education are atheists. So it's working.
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      Apr 12 2012: Where are we getting, Gerald?
      Your fallacious generalization about educated people being atheists presupposes that Atheism is not a religion. A strong argument exists that it is a religion and is therefor included in the list of defendants in this case. You have a right to an attorney!
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        Apr 12 2012: What fallacy? Gerald did not say "everybody" with an education. He said "most people." I still think that it is not most people, but if education increases in quality it could be.

        Atheism is not a religion. That it is a religion is just a religious attempt at putting something you can arrive at by reason into the same category as the religious superstitions. But it is obviously false.

        But I am listening.
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          Apr 12 2012: Doesn't "most people" qualify as a generalization? I say it does. The only explanation you recognize for the non-majority status of atheists in the category of "people with an education" is the low quality of education available? Perhaps another explanation would be that it is not necessary to be a faithful follower of the atheist religion to be educated. Hmmm. You arrived at the conclusion there is no god by Reason? You must have proven a negative to do it. Congratulations on being the first to do so. We should alert the science authorites that you have attained to omniscience. Gabo, if you can prove there is no God please do so. I'm getting deleted for sure now.
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          Apr 13 2012: I stopped being a Christian at university.
          In part just from maturing intellectually.
          Also being exposed to more ideas.
          Being trained to think etc.
          Education probably saved me from religion much earlier than without.
      • Apr 12 2012: Atheists should not call themselves such (as Sam Harrison points out in one of his speeches) as it allows others to make it look like a religion or give it various meaning.

        Do we have a group of people called non-astronomers ? No we don't.

        People that do not believe in God do not have a book or religious practices to follow so how it can be a religion? They are missing religious framework, that's all.
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          Apr 13 2012: Non Theists. Non believers.Non supernaturalists, brights, it probably doesn't matter too much what the label is except for marketing/perception purposes.

          But a label is needed to have the conversation.

          Just like smokers and non smokers. Otherwise non smokers are just smokers who don't smoke.
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        Apr 12 2012: Hi Edward,

        If you read my answer to Maria below, you might notice that it is not necessary to "prove a negative" to reach atheism by reason. If you need more explanation(s) let me know.

        Be well.
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        Apr 12 2012: I would not conclude in any way that atheism is a religeion.. It is simply a belief. Saying that atheism is a religeon is like saying that alcoholism or drug addiction is a desease.. It's a choice....
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          Apr 13 2012: Nope, atheism is not "a belief," it is a conclusion.
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        Apr 13 2012: Funny thing about things that don't exist : you can't ever prove their non-existence.

        And science doesn't work that way. Scientists don't prove that angels don't exist, then deduct the laws of astronomy... They simply work out how things work.
        Sometimes, things seem to work fine without Santa Claus and Peter Pan, so we don't bother taking their supernatural intervention into the equations.

        Some day, maybe, we'll find something about the universe that might only be explained by the presence of a supernatural creator.
    • Apr 12 2012: Hi Gerald,

      I disagree with the common believe that religious people are less intelligent or less educated then atheist or agnostic people.
      Generations of great philosophers, scientists, artists have been and are still now religious, and this does not make them less great.
      Also, I agree with Edward.
      A believer believes in the existence of a God without any scientific proof of His existence.
      An atheist believes in the non existence of God without any scientific evidence.
      They are both dogmatic, even if they are opposite.

      The existence of God has been an argument for philosophers for centuries, but I think that now we can say that it is an undecidable statement, to use Godel words.
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        Apr 12 2012: No Maria,

        I don't believe in gods because there is no evidence that they are "out there." Not only that, most believed gods are nonsensical. Thus, I don't need "scientific proof" to reject them. They are obviously false. I have no reason to believe in any of the most mysterious/ethereal ones because they look a lot like mere consolation prizes for those who want to hold to some god after rejecting the common nonsense.

        So, I reason about it, thus reject the beliefs. Nothing dogmatic about it.

        Some self-declared "agnostics," are of the "undecidable" mind-set. I am not because, to rephrase a bit of what I said above, that depends on what god(s) we are talking about. The nonsensical ones, or the most ethereal, undemonstrable, and useless ones? The latter are "undecidable." But who cares?
      • Apr 12 2012: "An atheist believes in the non existence of God without any scientific evidence"

        I disagree. I think atheists do not see proof for existence of God and therefore it does not exist for them. It is not a belief but rather a matter of fact for them.

        Wikipedia explains that:
        "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist"
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

        Absence of belief does not equal a belief of non existence.

        cheers
        • Apr 12 2012: Hi Zdenek,

          This is indeed a really interesting matter.

          Atheists do believe, as they think gods are not existing.
          The absence of belief is proper of agnostics, who said: I do not know if a god exists and I do not care.
          I am talking about "belief" for religious and atheists as in both of cases there is no scientific proof or concrete evidence for any of the alternatives.
          As you said, "atheists do not see proof therefore it does not exist for them". For religious people, the contrary is true.
          After all, nodody has come back from death to tell us what there is after, or if there s anything. (unless we took into consideration Risen Christ, but He cannot be a valid argument in this discussion :) )
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        Apr 13 2012: No Maria,

        As I said above, atheism is not a belief, it is a conclusion. There is quite the difference.
        • Apr 13 2012: Hi Maria,

          I cannot directly comment to your post above so I do it here.

          Lets put aside the disagreement about atheists beliefs. What really is distinct between religious and non-religious people is whether they follow certain set of given ideas that are not questioned and for which no proof exists.

          cheers
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        Apr 13 2012: Maria,

        While there may be some data to support the idea that better educated and high IQ people may have a greater proportion of non believers than the general population, its not a particularly important point.

        If it were the other way around it wouldn't make particular religious belief any more or less sustainable. It is not a proof. But perhaps an interesting correlation.

        Perhaps it is just pointing out the obvious that the more human ideas you are exposed to the more you might question the beliefs you have due to where and when you were born.

        I actually believe over time more and more people will dump traditional religion. Most have their roots >2000 years ago. They are increasing a bad match for enlightenment values of equality, freedom, responsibility. With globalisation we are increasingly exposed to other religions that make competing claims. They all can't be true. Transcendent experiences seem be universal whatever the relgion and also via non religious means e.g. meditation. It seems it is all going on in our head. With better science and education we see the universe seems to run via natural processes just fine. There are less gaps for god and increasing dissonance.

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