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L.A. Hall

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Would religion exist if the first humans had our scientific knowledge?

I am steadfast in my opposition of religion.

I believe there is a beauty to mystery and living well. I believe religion unknowingly does its followers wrong. It tells them that all beauty you see is God's doing.

I believe God is the ultimate manifestation of not knowing the answers. He is the life-filled alternative to an "I don't know."

I believe religion functions as ethics, as philosophy, for those too weak to act good on their own fruition, and need some sort of motivation to be good: a ticket to heaven will do.

So, my question is this: do you believe that, if the first humans knew everything we know today -- about biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and so on -- would religion exist? If so, why? If not, would this be a good or bad thing?

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  • Jan 4 2013: I am steadfast as well, but I come down as an atheist because I have no need for religion. There may very well be a God but in every case of belief I've seen, in every person, they need God. It's a very one-sided relationship! The debate around the existence of God is a fascinating one, only because it attracts some of the dumbest people on the planet.

    I actually can't understand people who cannot admit that they don't know. What the hell is so wrong with that? I have no idea what it would be like to not exist, it doesn't scare me because I cannot imagine how that would feel or anything. I don't know what happens. I don't know how we came to be. It doesn't bother me from day to day because it seems quite clear what I'm supposed to do in life.

    So no, religion as we know it would not exist if we were just popped up one day like this. The world's larger religions are all traditionally stubborn and close-minded, they've changed such a tiny amount over the course of their lifetimes. Some even dying out because they couldn't change or adapt to new evidence. In our hypothetical situation, no it wouldn't be a bad thing because we don't get morality from religion, or anything else for that matter. It's all inherit to human nature, it was demonstrated that Rhesus monkeys (I think, cannot remember for sure) show morality towards each other when imbalances are observed with food.

    I listen to a podcast that had mentioned that there was a panel of experts whom discussed all the history of religion and whether or not it's been wholly good or bad for people. They said they decided upon bad, I'd have to agree with that.

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