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Kendall Boyer

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The philosophical ideology of religion as a tool to better oneself

It has, for a long time, been my belief that religion should be something that reinforces one's personal beliefs rather than something that defines them. Religion as it is today has become a product that is peddled door to door and in front of schools, or even in some businesses, telling people what to believe, and how and when to believe it. This is a travesty, as it makes it nothing more than a joke, and even worse is that we are inflicting it upon our young before they even know the full implications that a belief holds.
Religion should be something one finds for themselves. It is a search for one's inner self, what they believe, based on morals they observe, learn, and deduce of their own volition.
When I was little, living in a Christian community, I asked my mom about her religion. She wouldn't tell me, and instead instructed me that if I wanted a religion, I had to do the research myself and find one that agreed with me. This set me on a path of evolving belief, that changes and grows as I do. And, like my mom, it's not a topic I bring up at the drop of a hat. I hold my beliefs as a personal affair, only to be shared if the topic is brought up.
The idea of religion as it is needs to change and evolve, brought back from being a "product" we try to convince others to buy, but rather something to be cherished, and shared at the correct opportunity.

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    Mar 11 2014: Religion is an artifact of the past before science. When you have no answers, you make up stuff to tell the kids. We call that religion. It is sad in today's world so many people have decided to let weak minded fools tell them what the "truth" really is.

    If there is a god or great spirit it is in me and cannot be shared. Nothing could be more personal. Evangelical religions are an affront to clarity of thought and freedom of belief.

    (and hearing some one preaching at work or at lunch just pisses me off!!!)
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      Mar 11 2014: What an angry little man, you support your faith in science by belittling and insulting things you have a closed mind to. Many scientists also believe in religion or are spiritual, and many religions believe in science. A scientist that believes only his belief could possibly be correct, is as bad as religion that believes only their belief is correct.

      Plus I fail to understand why anyone would discourage a belief in something that has millions of people living civilized.
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        Mar 13 2014: How do you know how tall he is?

        I note how you insert faith..... In regards to science. Suggest there is profound differences between having a reasonable confidence in science which is based on evidence and proven to work and speculative contradictory religious beliefs based on revelation and interpretations of personal experiences.

        we don't need religion to be civilised. It had a role just like monarchies, but we don't need those either now.

        seems reasonable to challenge religious beliefs that we know contradict each other. We know all but one must be false, and there is no compelling evidence to support any of them.

        I support freedom of religion, and speech. But also find it strange that people assert their religious beliefs as being true, when they should know there have been thousands or millions of conflicting religious beliefs based on revelation.

        I support reasonable beliefs, based on evidence and logic. I seek the truth, and it obviously doesn't lie with thousands of conflicting religious beliefs.

        many scientists believe in different religions so many of them must be wrong.

        I guess those not to a particular religion sometimes get frustrated with the fallacious arguments and blindness to the bizarreness of so many different beliefs not backed by any evidence or sound arguments.

        I guess it's just human nature to assume agency, to protect our beliefs even if ridiculous, and be shaped by cultural religious technologies

        A mature approach to science ensures we differentiate between well established elements such as evolution and the more speculative hypotheses. On the whole science seems more reliable than revelation and intuition. It doesn't invent meaning of console, it just points out what's real and we can find meaning within this reality without resorting to this or that god or goddess concept.

        our growing knowledge and understanding seems to indicate religions are human technologies that make less and less sense in my opinion.
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        Mar 13 2014: I find it more efficient to just quote people.
        "A scientist that believes only his belief could possibly be correct, is as bad as religion that believes only their belief is correct."

        sci·en·tist
        a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.

        sci·ence
        the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

        re·li·gion
        the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

        be·lief
        an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

        true
        in accordance with fact or reality.

        fact
        a thing that is indisputably the case.

        I am, of course, assuming that you can connect the dots....
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          Mar 13 2014: As stated in Wikipedia;

          "A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. "

          NOTE: Not one word about “worship” or “God”. For example the religion of Buddhism, that teaches god in unknowable and thus a waste to spend much time thinking about. Hmm? How much time does the atheist-science cultural waste on thinking of ways to disprove god.
        • Mar 13 2014: And since you feel yourself to pontificate upon "science" in such a high-handed fashion, you must be an actual scientist, right, with a professional record, right? You're not just some groupie or cheerleader, right?
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        Mar 13 2014: This is the reason for the simple response of definitions. In context we were speaking of religions that believed in god and more specifically evangelist religions. So really Buddhism is not relevant to the conversation (because it avoids the concept of God). Are you saying that you weren't defending religions that believe in god?

        Finally, not much time at all.
        • Mar 13 2014: And what peer-reviewed professional journals are you published in? That is, after all, how scientists gauge their output in the modern era.
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        Mar 14 2014: Are you getting pissed off at me because I am quoting stuff from the dictionary and reminding you about the context of the conversation? I think that is a silly thing for you to puff your feathers at me for.
        And as for your other comment “you must be an actual scientist, right, with a professional record, right? You're not just some groupie or cheerleader, right?" So I have become a groupie or a cheerleader by quoting the definition of words?
        I have a question for you, what exactly makes you smarter than me? Are you saying that you have some kind of special powers because you have been published? Personally, that seems pretty pompous. Or are you saying that there is some special “professional scientist” text book that makes you know more about science than anyone else.
        Just because you have been published (and I have not) doesn’t mean you are above the context of an argument and the definitions of words.
        As for your use of the "special" word pontificate, do you even know what it means? Because if I am pontificating by telling you the definition of words and also the context of the conversation then doesn't any conversation that has ever occurred include pontificating? And by the way, any quote of a definition would be dogmatic. If you are a scientist wouldn't you know by now that the definitions of words are the basis of any conversation?
        You should really relax because all I was doing was making sure that people knew the words and their implications, if that is really so bad then you shouldn’t be on a site for conversation.
        By the way isn't one of the jobs of a scientist to define things?

        I really hope you don't take offense to my words they are only intellectual.
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          Mar 18 2014: Wow what a surprise! Your hate is so unforgiving you have to go back centuries to make an argument.
          I did state that wrong for there is “currently” over “5-BILLION” religious people in the world, and let’s face it most people killing in the name of religion are really killing for land, gold, power or some other reason.

          Over the centuries millions of people have been killed in the name of justice, does that mean you also hate justice? And how about love people have been killed in the name of love, so should we ban that old fashion notion.
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      Mar 11 2014: I'm not a fan of preaching, either, as I stated. There is nothing wrong with believing something so long as it doesn't overshadow your ability to continue to learn, and that's the point I was trying to make. Too many people use religion as an excuse to remain closed off when it can be just as easily used to expand one's mind.
      • Mar 12 2014: For what it's worth, I don't think that you're preaching. And I'm as anti-religious as they come.

        Interesting idea if I've got it right. To look into the confines of our cultural heritage, wherever it comes from, to better ourselves seems to be the idea. Though you centred the cultural heritage on the religious I think it would work beyond those.
    • Mar 13 2014: Whiggishness serves no good purpose. There is no such thing as inevitable progress--but any actual professional scientist knows this. What journals are you published in? Mine include FASEB Journal, Molecular Psychiatry, Gene, and Cell.
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        Mar 14 2014: So is what you are saying that the "state of progress" is always be equal to or less then the previous "state of progress"?

        And also are you saying that if you are published you understand reality better than anyone else?
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      Mar 17 2014: Hi Jim,
      Since when was science not a religion? It has its high priests and exemplars. It has its rituals. It has its dogmatic beliefs. It has its barriers to entry. It has its credo. It has its special clothing and reward systems. It has its special language. And like religion, it lacks spirituality.

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