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AbdelRahman Siddig

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Can we live without a religion?

Many people associate the word religion to Islam , Christianity or Judaism
but religion word is much more than that
religion in short form is a "life style " believe or not
your life style is your religion
religion is a template with Basic fields
Who Made life ?
Why he made ?
What he want from you? in other word how should we spend our time in this word ?
any answers to the above question will form a religion regardless of the answers
Who Made life ? no one
Why he made ? I don't know
What he want from you? No thing
how should we spend our time in this word ? as I wish
this a complete religion
but the question will be is it True or false answers
What I want to say

"No one can live a single moment without a religion "

but he can live with true or false religion deepening on his answers

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    May 26 2011: Can we live without religion? I think it is inevitable. Religion, all of them, are not only oppressive, they are based on ancient, inaccurate teachings that have been abolished by science and by our lessons learned from the past that didn't work.

    Humanity will eventually turn all man made religions extinct. Because willful ignorance is no longer the accepted norm.
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        May 29 2011: Kathy,
        I agree with Craig when he says "willful ignorance" and I will explain why I think so.

        Religions have dogmas as their foundation. Some of these dogmas look like "God exists and has always existed", "God created life".

        Now what is a dogma (from a dictionary): a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true : the Christian dogma of the Trinity for example.

        As you can see it is a principle, not a scientific discovery or theory. In fact they are "laid down" not found, discovered and verified. You are not supposed to seek proof of it and if you do you are labeled as mis-believer (best case) or as someone who has not "received the gift of faith" (this I find particularly well crafted from a psychological point of view since it tries to make you fell unlucky).

        Willfully accepting dogmas (as you do when you embrace a religion) is willful ignorance. You are willfully giving up on understanding something (that seem to have no answer) and accept an incontrovertible answer laid down by a prophet. The fact that you do not have answers to some questions cannot and should not make you accept dogmas as answers.

        I know this is not politically correct, but I believe it is an important thing we should pursue: a religion free world. I do not mean religion should be forbidden, I believe we should finally free ourselves from religion. But it will be a choice everyone makes.

        Consider that religions are very old and they date back to when there was no science to help us explain many things (rain, sun, wind, planets, fire). We had some Gods, like that of sun, that of wind. Things did not stand (science got rid of them). So new prophets came by saying there is only one God (two assumptions/dogmas here). It will take some time, but I believe we will eventually get rid of religions too and will accept the existence of some unanswerable questions.
      • May 31 2011: Kathy, the doctrines upon which the religions were based doesn't matter now. It DOESNT MATTER how nice and how useful they may have been. What matters is that now, in the present day, religions are opressive and inaccurate, you cannot deny that.

        And people need to stop believing in unobservable and unprovable things like "souls".

        And ofcourse religions are man made!

        And we may have willful ignorance, it's just that its willful ignorance of the imaginary.
      • Jun 2 2011: Cathy,
        What religions have served to the mankind? Hate? Wars? Psychological barriors? superstitions?gender inequality?
        What has been a single good cause?
        • Jun 15 2011: Oow yess ofcource and don't forget the amazing cultures they created
          Look at the world, look around what we people made instead of see only the hate. look how many great things faith made. Thousands of examples.. Just facking enjoy your life mate
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      May 26 2011: Craig said "inaccurate teachings that have been abolished by science"
      unfortunately science tell now can not and will not answer 5 years old question
      why we are here?
      people use the word" science and scientifically" as a reference in their talk and they forget what is science is?
      they forget science is a set of rules extracted from the materialistic world
      but science it self can not explain how the material it self came to existence in the first place
      • May 29 2011: i think the "why?" question is just a bad question.

        asking why something exists, implies that it necessarily has a purpose for someone or something.

        The best answer i can think of would be: you are here because your parents wanted you to be here.

        you can ask why about things where you know that these things have a purpose, otherwise you should ask: "How did it get here?" And science is very, very good at answering that question.

        Sometimes the "Why" question simply is inappropriate.

        i found a good answer to this by Richard Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSZ_fsG5uMg

        about how the matter came into existence, well, science answers it by saying that matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, so it existed forever and will exist forever. Its time that didnt exist forever, and space, and that came into existence at the big bang. That should settle the question, because as soon as you say something created it, i will ask: who created the creator? And if you solve the problem by saying that the creator just existed forever, i will say: Then wouldnt it be easier, require less assumptions, to say that matter and energy existed forever? What evidence do you have that matter and energy ever were created?
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      Jun 4 2011: Craig I don't see my self as ignorant because I'm a Christian. I see myself as quite informed actually, I don't mean in an arrogant way, but I mean that since I became a Christian I've found I have a deeper thirst for knowledge, about science, philosophy etc. I realise this is an anecdotal to your original post but hey I don't think most Christians do feel oppressed or ignorant.
      Granted yes the crazy bible belt Christians do give all Christians a bad press!
  • May 26 2011: Of course it is possible to live without a religion. And you mix up religion and beliefs. These are different things. Religion is a dogmatic organization around beliefs. Can we live without it? YES. Religion is a danger to life on earth.
    I'm actually shocked when i read some of your comments. Not because of your faith, but because you can't think without beliefs. Beliefs are not true. They are invention, like Santa Claus. There is absolutely no reason today to think that a god, as defined in religious books (books written by men for men, mostly as a control of society when there was no politic), exists. People who believe in god think they are so modest, humble, but most of them are incredibly arrogant because they have no doubt about things that can't be proved. And the logic sense is that there is probably no god.
    AND, as far as we know now, even if a so-called god created the universe, he didn't do anything since then (and that's a fact). If a god exists he/she/it probably think that religious people are stupid and crazy (as they just fought since centuries, when intelligent, mostly atheist/agnostic people invent and discover,sometimes for good reason, sometimes for bad. But without those people, we would still be living like 3000 years ago.
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      May 28 2011: Completely agree with your post. 
      I do not need to answer all questions (who ..., why, ...etc), I can live with uncertainty, or better said, I enjoy uncertainty. 
      When I am certain about something I worry there is something that I missed :-)
      To consider that we do not answer a question as an answer itself would be questionable to say the least. 
      We should not escape from freedom (uncertainty land) as it might have VERY bad consequences ... See "escape from freedom" by E.Fromm.
      I think we should all work towards a religion-free world. It is not easy since our cultures try to hard wire religion in to us by setting it in our minds since we are kids (when we are not able to question what we are being taught). One thing we should think of is some sort of human right to be religion free until a certain age.
    • Jun 18 2011: "Beliefs are not true"

      I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but believing that beliefs are not true is still believing.
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    May 21 2011: Who Made life? Nobody..
    Why he made? See above.
    What he want from you? See above.
    How should we spend our time in this word? However we want.

    Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

    I'm a secular humanist/naturalist.

    I do not call myself religious. I am not religious by definition or choice.
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      May 22 2011: Danye
      your religion called atheism
      "Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods"
      Religion is the believe No matter what this believe is
      even believing there is No GOD is a religion
      Islam religion is similar to yours with two extra words
      There is no GOD expect Allah
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        May 23 2011: For some strange reason, many people keep getting the idea that atheism is itself some sort of religion. It's an assertion which I keep hearing in newsgroups, in private email, and in this site's chat room. Maybe it is because these people are so caught up in their own religious beliefs that they cannot imagine any person living without religion of some sort. Maybe it is due to some persistent misunderstanding of what atheism is. And maybe they just don't care that what they are saying really doesn't make any sense.

        ATHEISM IS NOT A RELIGION.
        • May 24 2011: Yes it is. This idea that Religion hinges on some supreme being is false, as there are plenty of religions without one.

          Atheism for one.
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          May 25 2011: there is a BIG different between concept and product
          if we say vehicle is mean for human transportation
          then every object that can transport human is a vehicle

          religion is an answer to the root cause of the existence
          and since ATHEISM has an answer to the root cause of existence which is Accident or Searching for new answer
          then ATHEISM qualify to be a religion
        • Jun 11 2011: @ AbdelRahman Siddig
          And yet when I look up religion in a dictionary the word listed under antonyms is atheism. I do understand that the goal justifies the means but toying with definitions of words just to create an impression that atheism is the same animal with a different name is unjustified. Lack of faith can be called a belief just as chaos can be called some kind of order, but while semantically it may sound acceptable to some it does not describe the position in a reasonable way at all. "Not collecting stamps is not a hobby".
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          Jun 11 2011: In my opinion, the major difference between atheism and religion is that religion involves the belief of a higher supreme being ( god) whereas atheism doesn't.That's why I don't consider atheism to be a form of religion.Do correct me if I'm mistaken.
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          Jun 18 2011: As an atheist myself, I like to think of atheism as not to be a form, or any form of religion. At the same time, perhaps the analysis could be done in terms of a "religion", as a "belief". Being an atheist is a belief, and if therefore someone who thinks of atheism as some type of religion, or belief, then yes, atheism is a belief.

          The real point here is: There is no god.
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          Jun 19 2011: Do we really have tos start calling ourselves non-believers instead of atheists or is that a religion too?

          Let's clarify once and for all that belief and religion are two different things. You can be a feminist and believe that women should be treated much better than they are today. Does that make feminism a religion? No.

          You could argue that many religions have no God but other spiritual concepts. But do these people refer to themselves as atheists? Again no.

          Atheists are people who don't believe in any form of religion (yes I use the word believe and I'm not letting anyone hijack it to mean religion).

          As I once said in another thread, if A has property B and C has property B too, that doesn't mean A = C, that's an association fallacy. Say what you want about atheism, it certainly doesn't tick all the boxes of religion.

          Either we can start calling ourselves something else or we can all just start facing the music and stop playing around with semantics.
        • Jul 21 2011: I agree with the previous few posts. My interpretation of the word religion is a belief SYSTEM and in this system a person must believe everything presented (generally a higher power too) and do everything told that is necessary (including not doing certain things, too) in order to gain some type of reward, even if it is just an acceptance with the higher power(s). From what I've seen/heard atheists just don't believe in anything out there, so they don't even do the first step. Now, if we're saying that every belief is a religion, or creates another religion, then I'm changing my religion daily just by believing it won't rain one day, then being disproven, and believing the rain won't stop, then being disproven. So many religions would be falsified every second >.> Well, not that most aren't already.
  • Jun 19 2011: "Can we live without a religion?"
    yes.
    but it is risky.
    because no one could prove afterlife not exist.
    so it is risky like driving at high speed with no insurance.
    or building a home not resistant to earthquake.
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      Jun 19 2011: It isn't more risky than subscribing to one particular faith over all others. Maybe we're both wrong and we're both infuriating the mighty Norse God Odin. Maybe we're part of a cyclic universe and this conversation will happen time and time again. The difference is that, as an atheist I'm not constrained to a huge set of rules about what I cannot eat or what ritual I have to follow or what I'm not allowed to do this day or that. Until there's solid reasons to believe in the aferlife, you might as well pick any idea out of the hat of infinite possibilities and hope you got it right (although it may make no difference in the end).
      • Jun 20 2011: "It isn't more risky than subscribing to one particular faith over all others."
        I am Muslims and I have no risk. I do is doing pray some minutes in day and fasting one month per year. this makes life risky?

        "Maybe we're part of a cyclic universe and this conversation will happen time and time again. "
        I can not live with maybe and perhaps. I prefer to life with evidence. until know the most certain evidence I have found is Koran and TRUE Islam.
        also Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said:
        "God has 12000 universe."

        "Maybe we're part of a cyclic universe and this conversation will happen time and time again"
        not maybe. according to Islamic sayings this happened and happens again and again.

        but please note each human has only one life. and we will not have any new opportunity after our death.
        *** today is doing and not result. tomorrow is result and not doing ***
        prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

        I pick by wisdom. not random.
        also about eating the important ones is wine and pork, blood. eating of other does usually not happen so much in life.
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          Jun 20 2011: It's not particularly compelling. You've shown in the other thread that you yourself rely heavily on other people's interpretation of the Koran. An interpretation rife with manipulation.
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          Jul 11 2011: Matthieu makes an excellent point which bears repeating: if the reason to believe is to have "insurance" against the possibility of missing out on heaven (positive) or against the wrath of the Creator (negative), then believing in any faith is just as risky as having no faith, because you could very well have the *wrong* faith. This is one of the many problems with "Pascal's Wager" (an argument advanced in support of Christian faith, with the exact same rationale). To repeat Matthieu's words, "Maybe we're both wrong and we're both infuriating the mighty Norse God Odin."

          "I can not live with maybe and perhaps." Now you're getting to the real reason for religion. People crave security, and religion offers security above and beyond all else.
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          Jul 16 2011: Life is not meant to be risk-free or even "low" risk. What substantial good has happened without risk being taken?
          In that regard, by virtue of your decision to follow the teachings of Islam to the exclusion of all else, you have taken an extreme risk. It may very well suit your own definition of living life to the fullest, but others - those who adhere to different religious teachings and those who don't look to religion at all to find meaning in life - all are in a very real sense taking their own paths towards earthly death. Life is risky, but there is no "insurance" you can buy to minimize that risk.
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          Jul 16 2011: Tony - "people crave security, and religion offers security above and beyond all else"

          This is the elephant in the church/temple/mosque!

          For me, religion would be the easy way out of the difficult yet beautiful labyrinth of life.
      • Jun 21 2011: many people interpret Koran.
        I only relay on some of them.
        some who are said by Koran itself.
        Koran itself like pieces of a puzzle guided us which interpret is accepted by God and Koran.
        Koran always has at least one alive true interpreter even today.
        I explained who are them here:
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/3351/understanding_quran.html

        "An interpretation rife with manipulation."
        agree.

        please reading different interpretations for science and general information about Koran does not mean relay.
        for relay only few interpretations are valid.
      • Jun 24 2011: "It's not particularly compelling. You've shown in the other thread that you yourself rely heavily on other people's interpretation "
        please read this thread:
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/3351/understanding_quran.html?c=266738
        carefully to know which interpret of Koran is reliable and which is not.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_the_two_weighty_things
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fourteen_Infallibles
        each of them have lots of reliable interpret of Koran. and other is valid only if have enough certain proof.
        please not studying interpret in having more knowledge about Koran is different of reliable interpret.
        you know anythings in newspaper but not all things you read is reliable.
        only interpret having enough support by proof and rational and sayings of prophet and Ahl al Bayt are reliable. not any interpret.
      • Jul 11 2011: Dear Tony Kuphaldt,
        1- Pascal's Wager is a rational and logical argument independent of any religion. it is first step and next step is selecting true religion.
        2- religion as Insurance is the min. benefit of religion and benefits of believing is not limited to it. but as Insurance it is min. req. to be safe from Hell.
        3-"Maybe we're both wrong" this is logically true. then what? this causes leaving all religions completely?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions
        the reply is simple: researching among religions to find out which is the true religion God satisfy (by assumption that God exist in this Insurance plan)
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          Jul 15 2011: The main fault I see in Pascal's Wager is that it assumes the very doctrine it argues for: reward for belief and no reward for non-belief. The Wager is a valid argument for belief in God only if there is the possibility of a God who rewards those who believe in Him, *and* there is no significant risk incurred by believing. If the possibility of reward for non-belief and/or the possibility of punishment for wrong belief exists, then the Wager fails.

          If, for example, Buddhists are correct by teaching that eternal suffering is caused by craving, and that this cycle may be broken only by relinquishing those cravings, then Pascal's Wager may be used to argue for *not* clinging to a God who grants love and eternal bliss. This simple change in initial assumptions reveals Pascal's Wager to be a circular argument: it assumes the very thing it argues for.

          Another problem I see with Pascal's Wager is that it offers God as a means to an end, rather than an end itself. Many religious people I know would take offence at this notion, that God would honor the faith of someone who is merely looking to get a piece of heaven for themselves. To them, faith springs from a deep love of God with no expectation of reward.

          Thirdly, Pascal's Wager ignores the immediate harm done to the individual by believing in something as a means to an end. I would argue that choosing to believe in something primarily to appease a superior is to sell out your own integrity.

          There may very well be good reasons to believe in God, but a wager based on the probability of personal gain is not one of them.
      • Jul 16 2011: Dear Jim,
        what if God did not accept your self made religion at Judgement day?
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          Jul 16 2011: Dear S.R.,
          what if Odin did not accept your self made religion on Judgment day?
        • Jul 22 2011: Dude, come on. You're a Muslim. Don't you know how many Christian fundies out there believe you'll go to hell for this fact? You don't switch to Christianity for "safety". If you're concerned about hedging your bets, why don't you convert to Judaism? I think all the Abrahamic religions offer at least some concession to the Jews. Besides, religions are always raging about not worshiping other gods, but atheism gets a fairly mild admonition in comparison, so by your logic wouldn't atheism be the safest thing to go with? And what about Jainism and Wicca and Hinduism and the Buddhist religions and Scientology and Roman mythology and Mormonism and Shinto? If you think your religion is true, then that's great for you, and you should base your arguments on why you think so. But arguing that a person should believe because not believing is "risky" is not really a good argument.
      • Jul 16 2011: Dear Matthieu,
        Jim said that this is his beliefs so it is made by himself.
        I do not let myself make any reigion. because if only one human follow me I should be responsible for his sins at Judgement day and I am partner in every deed of him.
        I try to not say anything out of Koran and Hadith (sayings of Fourteen Infallibles)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fourteen_Infallibles
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_the_two_weighty_things
        if I be successful do not not add anything from myself then it is not self made and it is Muhammad (PBUH) made which is actually God made.
        at Judgement day God is Judge and judge is based on rules of God. not rules of any one other.
        at Judgement day God says to who believe in anything other than God:
        http://tanzil.net/#search/quran/%D8%B4%D8%B1%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A
      • Jul 18 2011: Dear Tony,
        it is talking about after death.
        Indeed not believing had rewards before death.

        "If the possibility of reward for non-belief "
        at least one evidence for this should be. but bible and Koran and Torah says other thing.

        about Buddhism it needs research. I consider Buddhist beliefs specially returning to world after death false.

        anyway this is start and is not all. after start much research about religions and God is needed.
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          Jul 22 2011: There is no evidence of reward for non-belief, just as there is no evidence of reward for belief. Sadly, all we have to go on are the non-verifiable and contradictory claims of other people. What actual research -- and by that I mean the examination of primary data -- could one do to verify whether any particular life-after-death claim is real?

          Ironically, that's what Pascal's Wager was based on: an argument for faith based solely on the probability of reward for having faith, in the absence of evidence either for or against the existence of God. What I'm saying is that Pascal's Wager is a circular argument: it argues for the very thing it assumes. Assume that there is the possibility of reward for belief (with no reward for non-belief), and it leads you to the "safest bet" of belief. But if you admit the possibility of reward for non-belief, Pascal's Wager might just lead you to skepticism. Like all circular arguments, Pascal's Wager is arbitrary and therefore invalid.

          I am very curious what you would propose a person do as "research" to verify a religious claim about the afterlife, and specifically what one must do to enter Heaven.
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      Jun 19 2011: Why do we need the bribe of an afterlife to live a good and decent life right now?
      • Jun 20 2011: sorry.
        I did not understand.
        please explain.
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          Jun 20 2011: I mean all religions promise us a heaven if we live good lives on Earth, or threaten us with hell if we are bad.

          So then people are being motivated to be good only because they will go to heaven, and not because they genuinely care for and have consideration for other people.

          That is like a bribe.

          What will happen as a result is that people will stop being creative. They will only look to their holy books for what to do and what not to do. When a new situation arises that was not mentioned in the holy book, they will still react in old ways, which may not be suitable to the newer problems. The essence of being in the world is to adapt and change as the world changes. Strict adherence to centuries-old books without adaptation is like not accepting change and living in the past.

          I'm not saying there's no good in holy books, but we should be allowed to take the spirit of the holy books and reframe it for the changing times.

          For example, in this age of scientific research and rational explanation, the concept of an afterlife is, with all due respect, a little silly. It can still remain as a belief, but we should not base our behavior on that belief. That is very simple-minded.
      • Jun 21 2011: "So then people are being motivated to be good only because they will go to heaven, and not because they genuinely care for and have consideration for other people."
        not only for Hell.

        the pray and obeying God is in 3 category:
        1- for fear of Hell
        2- for greed of Heaven
        3- some pray and obey God because they found God worthy to appreciate.

        not the pray of all people are the same.

        "What will happen as a result is that people will stop being creative. "
        disagree. God wants to people be creative.

        "When a new situation arises that was not mentioned in the holy book, they will still react in old ways, "
        disagree. religion laws are like formula and has some principals and new secondary rules can be made according to new happenings. in Islam this is called fatwa.

        religion is compatible with change.

        "I'm not saying there's no good in holy books, but we should be allowed to take the spirit of the holy books and reframe it for the changing times."
        already religion is so.

        "For example, in this age of scientific research and rational explanation, the concept of an afterlife is, with all due respect, a little silly."
        many things were silly before discovery by sciense.
        until there is no evidece or proof for disproving afterlife a rational human does not deny it.

        "It can still remain as a belief, but we should not base our behavior on that belief. "
        why?
        the behaviors that religion wants are not silly. I do not know what special behavior you say? if there is any God we should obey it. perhaps you say some behaviors in deviated and changed religion during history. when a religion is expired and out of date God send his new and updated religion.

        "That is very simple-minded."
        every thing has its price. people maybe befool a believer. but real believer does not care about it.
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          Jun 22 2011: My friend,

          "3- some pray and obey God because they found God worthy to appreciate".
          I'm glad for you if you believe this.

          Have your beliefs, have your religion, have your God, but please don't force others to do as you do.

          Because each and every argument that you put forth on behalf of Allah, a Christian can do the same on behalf of his God, a Jew can do the same on behalf of his Yahweh, a Zoroastrian can do the same on behalf of Ahura Mazda, a Buddhist can do the same on behalf of the Buddha, a Hindu can do the same on behalf of his numerous Gods.

          Your religion may be good from what you describe, but that is not what we see in the world. How you treat other people shows more of your religion than what is in the books.

          The Arabs from the 7th century onwards have been going around and destroying other cultures and Islamizing every civilization. Even in Iran they forced conversion of the Zoroastrians to Islam or massacred thousands who refused to convert. They are now a minority in their own country, or moved to other countries. I don't have to repeat facts from history here.

          To think that only you or your religion is true and only your God is true speaks of supreme arrogance and egoism. When different languages, skin colors and bone structures are equal, how can you say that one conception of the same Divine Spirit is lower than the other.

          Can you go into the minds of other people to see what they feel about their conception of God? If not, out of respect, leave every person to his/her own God an his/her own beliefs. We can only dare to demand civil behavior from one another and nothing more.

          From your arguments, I see that you are not willing to step outside of your beliefs and put forth reasonable statements. You use circular logic - "why is Koran good? Because we believe so. Why do we believe so? because the Koran says so. Why does the Koran say so? Because it is good"

          I will stop here. Peace be with you and to others around you.
      • Jun 28 2011: Dear Abhiram Lohit,
        religions are two type
        1- God made like Abraham religions
        2- man made

        the 2 are only superstition
        the one are now all expired unless Islam. why Gods sends new prophet? Jesus after Moses and Muhammad after Jesus (peace on them all)?
        is not the latest religion more original?

        it depends of if God exist or not.
        please first research it then about religion
        if God exist then God decides which religion is true and accepted not you.
        you say all are true. this is pluralism.
        please read:
        http://www.al-islam.org/religiouspluralism/
        http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/default.asp?url=pluralism.htm

        not all beliefs are truth.

        please do not prejudice about me.
        yes some Muslims use circular logic. but not all.
        when I used circular logic?
        this is your belief.
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        Jul 20 2011: @ Abhiram ": Why do we need the bribe of an afterlife to live a good and decent life right now?"
        why do you gain skills to work for a company which will take care of your needs
        this the default nature of human
        run after gain and run away from pain
    • Jul 11 2011: You see the fact that an afterlife can't be proven as a risk and as a reason to be religious while in fact that fear is a product of your religion. I haven't got any fears about a possible afterlife because what can happen after I die can at best be positive and at least be neutral, because I don't have the outrageous belief that a being that created everything would punish me eternally for simply being human. Please stop using TED for evangelical purposes. You're all just preaching to the choir. The only people that feel the need to ask these kind of questions are people who need religion in the first place and want to convice others of theirs. This question is completely irrelevant and boring for people who are doing perfectly fine without religion.

      Oh, and everybody please stop bending the definition of religion. Everyone needs beliefs because it's simply impossible to fact-check everything you hear. Organized faith-groups with rules on how to live and what to believe on the other hand, are completely unnecessary and actually damaging in the long run (and they've been here for a looooong run already).

      P.S.: Using terms like 'TRUE religion' and 'real believers' really makes you sound arrogant and as brainwashed as all the other suckers who think their religion is true and real.
      • Jul 11 2011: "You see the fact that an afterlife can't be proven as a risk and as a reason to be religious"
        can this be a prove?:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

        "in fact that fear is a product of your religion."
        no fear is from wisdom and logic and possibility of danger.

        "and at least be neutral,"
        at least is Hell.

        "because I don't have the outrageous belief that a being that created everything would punish me eternally for simply being human."
        your belief does not change situation if Hell exist.
        not for being human. but because you had wisdom at your life and did not seek and find and obey God.

        "Please stop using TED for evangelical purposes."
        1-I am not christian
        2- I do not see such think in ted terms

        "P.S.: Using terms like 'TRUE religion' and 'real believers' really makes you sound arrogant and as brainwashed as all the other suckers who think their religion is true and real."
        OK. but this not prove 'TRUE religion' and 'real believers' not exist even if all religious people be brainwashed.

        also washed brain is more clean then unwashed brain!
        • Jul 11 2011: You talk about proof for statements about beliefs in gods and the afterlife while there simply are none, no matter how many interesting links you post here or how many times you ask others to prove their statements.

          You say that the fear of hell is due to 'wisdom and logic and possibility of danger' while only the possibility of danger is a real (and in my opinion) the only good reason for fear. Seeing that hell is as likely to exist as fairies and unicorns and equally unprovable, for me the probability is so low that it's not something to worry about.
          My mother, who loves me, always used reasonable punishment when I did something wrong and only to teach me something. Believing that a being, which is infinitely more intelligent and loving than my mother, could punish me for eternity without the possibilty of me learning from the experience is something I have no reason to believe.

          I'm sorry to say this but you try to come of as a rational person while at the same time you're completely oblivious to the irrationality of your beliefs. Like all the other fruitless 'discussions' I've had with religious people this won't go anywhere because your faith is sealed in a part of your brain which has shut itself off from reality and that's one of the things which makes religion so scary to me.
      • Jul 13 2011: OK
        so better to wait to see the result of your low probability after death.
        see you there!
        • Jul 22 2011: So you admit that if Hell does exist, you'll be there?
      • Jul 14 2011: Dear iqbal,
        also kind of statements of who can not prove afterlife not exist but believe it.
        they are called materialists.
        they believe only material exist with no prove for not existence of soul and God and Hell and NDE and sleep dreams (seen by soul not for reflection of day activities) and many other non-material facts.
        I wonder how they reject what they do not know and can not prove it not exist although there are many facts about their existence (even science have no clear explain for them)

        which kind of statements are more irrational? my statement or materialists statements?
        also I say this statement as final reply to who do not consider any value to some arguments like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager and are not ready to accept anything non-material exist.
        this is my final reply after lots of arguments. not my first reply.
        but terrorists have no talk their first reply is killing before any talk.
        Muslims first talk then kill only who block Muslims from spreading their ideas.
        terrorists first kill then not talk.
        what are called who kill Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Bahrain, Pakistan,...? are they terrorists? or only Muslims are terrorist? and when Muslims are killed "terrorist" change name to "human right" and "peace in middle east"?
        what is the name of killing children in Palestine?
        http://rememberthesechildren.org/about.html
        http://www.ifamericansknew.com/stats/children.html
        http://rememberthesechildren.org/remember2000.html
        why word terrorist is used only for Muslims? who decide about this? do you disagree TV learns this to people? who controls the larges TV channels?
        • Jul 22 2011: Personally I found the terrorist statement offensive, and I'm not even Muslim. I have a problem with this statement: "Muslims first talk then kill only who block Muslims from spreading their ideas. terrorists first kill then not talk." Why do you have to kill anyone? Why can't we all just have our beliefs, and cohabitate. I know religion will not die anytime soon, so morals won't be made out of hoping for other's welfare but for our own selfish gain in the afterlife. However, why can't you be a Muslim over here on the right, and this other person be a Christian over here on the left, and this other person be another religion, or have a lack of religion, and everyone just admit that they failed to convert the person, and still be nice to them and give them equal rights to live, be happy, and be free. I'm tired of religions causing people to kill each other just because groups of people will not change their religion to all be the same. Just stop killing, that's something I really ask for. Stop killing, and hurting, and discriminating. Just accept that someone is going to believe differently than you, and that's ok for them.

          We all decide to have different toothpaste, hair colors, clothes, and shoes, without killing each other. Why can't we have different beliefs and rituals?
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    May 20 2011: that's right, just keep redefining words. religion is not anymore religion, but life style.

    okay, i got the rules finally. my question: can you live without an elephant? by elephant, i don't mean the animal with big ears and trunk, but air to breath. but wait, because by air, i mean all the important things in life! are you still with me?

    so the question is that whether we can live without life style? is that the question?
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      May 22 2011: Religion influence your lifestyle
      people who believe there is GOD they will try to live as HE instruct them
      people who believe there is no GOD they will try to live as They been Instructed by them self or by other
      what I'm saying is believing and disbelieving are both religion
      not like air and elephant
  • A J

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    Jul 23 2011: The most ethical, caring, respectful and life loving people I know are "non-believers", either of the there is no god type or the agnostic type where they just dont see evidence of god. Therefore, no, you dont need god to live and you certainly dont need him to live on the right path of a good human being. The popularity of belief I think resides in the comfort of believing that there is something after death besides eternal nothingness. Everybody wants to believe they will see their husband,wife, family,friends again or at least be something. It is also relaxing to feel someone/something is there for you when no one is and that all that happens is for some reason and not just utter chaos. But this doesnt make it impossible to live without belief, maybe just scarier at the end, for reason of wanting to continue existing. Besides, most "religious people" I know are major hipocrits, to a point that it disgusts me. Look at the popularity of hymen reconstruction in very conservative places, or how about all the Saudi guys that went to my college and got drunk so bad that they burned down their dorm- twice! But they made it to Jomaa and fasted for Ramadan, I know many extremely religious people (pray five times a day, active at the synagogue, church every sunday types) that drink, gamble engage in premarital sex, steal, curse etc. I think God would hypothetically speaking be able to sort who the winners are. And unbeliever or not, we all can feel if whats in our hearts is good and live to a level of happiness accordingly.
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      Jul 23 2011: Yes for sure you can live with this type of believe(there is n God)
      but you still have a religion which is based on this believe No God
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    Jun 19 2011: Yes, you can live without a religion ( = belief and faith in an invisible man up in the sky).

    All the moral and ethical teachings have value for the preservation of the human race. Divine punishment was only an excuse to make simple-minded people behave. The intelligent ones don't need threats of "eternal damnation" to behave in a civilized and decent manner to one another.

    If, on the other hand, you want to say that there is a sum total of existence that is eternal, and undergoes modifications to form and un-form the universe, then there is no objection. Let humans be the final authority on human affairs.
    • Jun 20 2011: religion ( = belief and faith in an invisible man up in the sky)?
      who is that man?

      "Let humans be the final authority on human affairs."
      what if afterlife existed? who will be authority?
      do you promise to help me if I was in Hell?
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        Jun 20 2011: The man who 1) is so insecure about his power that he wants us to tell him everyday how powerful he is.
        2) is a ruthless dictator who is immature and childish and wants his "people" to kill others only because they worship another ruthless dictator who is also immature and childish.
        3) is so undivine and utterly and lowly human that he needs a "business agreement" like cutting off foreskins or sacrificing sons to prove that we will not "cheat" on the "business deal". And if somebody cheats, KILL THEM! Even if they were the kindest people you ever met.
        4) talks in terms of "kingdoms and rule" like any other worldly human.

        And so on and so forth.

        Do you get my point? All of this is a construction by human beings, for human beings. Even the afterlife.

        Once you're dead, that's it. There's nothing that's going to travel to some other place. It's all recycled around on the Earth. I need proof that there is heaven or hell. For me heaven is here if I'm happy and hell is here if I'm in pain. So I try to be happy and make others happy RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.
        • Jun 21 2011: the God I know is not man.
          the God I know is Allah.

          and about Allah:
          "tell him everyday how powerful he is." does not mean he is insecure.
          pray is like home work and has no benefit for God and all has benefit for human.
          does a teacher need to homework?

          God is not man nor human nor material.

          God has no son

          God does not need needs cutting off foreskins. its for human health and is a proof for obeying God. but God does not need it and human has free will to obey or not obey.

          God selected the 'high" attribute for himself and banned it for human to unselfish humans be known.

          "Do you get my point?"
          yes

          " All of this is a construction by human beings, '
          disagree. so who made Koran?

          "There's nothing that's going to travel to some other place"
          proof?
          death is like sleep. how do you travel in sleep dream?

          "I need proof that there is heaven or hell."
          Koran.

          "For me heaven is here if I'm happy "
          heaven has no end. but happy in this world has end and is always beside a pain.

          "and hell is here if I'm in pain. "
          pain is only a tiny sample of Hell.

          "So I try to be happy and make others happy RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW."
          so what about after death?
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    May 30 2011: No, I believe humanity would suffer without religion. I am not very religious myself, but I know there are people who feel morally obligated to place their faith in higher, unknown powers. The cause of such could possibly be derived from the anxiety of uncertainty that the world offers; the appeal of having an all-knowing deity-like figure to rely on, even in an after-life, is too great a deal to compromise -- even if science can prove otherwise.
    • May 31 2011: Humanity has probably suffered MORE under religion than anything else. Religion has, at times, been an excuse to throw our humanity out the window. People shouldn't need to believe in imaginary beings to make themselves feel better. People should instead be able to put trust in other people (I completely understand why it is impossible for some to do that right now). The world will be a much better place when people stop worshipping gods, and start worshipping each other.

      Not being the product of some creator, or atleast not one that is actually watching you and cares about you, shouldn't make you feel any less special to be human. It sure doesn't for me.

      And that is actually the PROBLEM with religion, that people can "feel morally obligated to place their faith in higher, uknown powers". But believing in "uknown powers" is a step in the right direction, because religions today, or atleast all the major ones, claim to KNOW what this power is, how it functions, and even what it wants.
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        Jun 9 2011: I agree with you -- religion has caused more than its fair share of problems, however, that doesn't take away from the fact that where ever there are humans there are those who will seek a higher power. Religion coexists with humanity, where ever there is man there is some form of worship. Even when we date back to primitive times we see that spiritual beliefs were present.
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      Jun 18 2011: Religion keeps humans from suffering in the same way morphine keeps humans from suffering from pain.
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        Jun 19 2011: Tell that to those African Catholics who could have protected themselves from AIDS but didn't because the Pope said no.
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        Jun 19 2011: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." -from the song "God" by John Lennon
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    May 23 2011: Your life style is your culture.. not your religion. Religion can effect a culture, but culture can live without a religion (it doesn't works the other way around). You can live life trying to answer the question, sometimes knowing the answer (usually fooling yourself.. but that's opinion), or simply living with acceptance that you will never know the answer. You can go through these different views through your life (sometimes even in a day).

    My Question is this - Can we Die without a religion?
    Science has answered so many questions that make the answers from religion out of date.
    But on our death beds, the ultimate mystery of what happens after death (if anything), even the most unbelieving will pray to... "God" or whoever. Why? An honest answer would be "Just in case"

    I am trying to knock religion off it's pedestal, because life goes on weather there is a God or not. Religion can be someones culture, but not everybody's. God certainly isn't mind. Toilet paper is my culture, I use it everyday, and more often then I think about God... who ever SHE is..
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    May 20 2011: I can live without religion, but not without science.
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      May 20 2011: I can live without religion .. in fact I can live without anything that cant kill me .
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      May 20 2011: Can you live without answers to these questions
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        May 20 2011: I have no answers to any of the questions you asked and seem to be getting along just fine.
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          May 21 2011: Even if your answers is I don't know
          this still counted as an ANSWERS
          we can name your religion Idonotisim
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        May 21 2011: No. calling something a religion does not make it thus. Religion is a word with a particular meaning. Me not having answers to questions does not fit into that meaning. Besides for my lack of answers not being a religion, that reply was in response to the question "Can you live without answers to these questions" and I am affirming that in fact one can live, and well I might add, without answers to those questions.
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          May 22 2011: then you did not absorb the meaning of the word religion
          this the purpose of the topic to remove the association of word religion from famous one
          and associate it with the topics each religion address
          Who Made life
          Why he made it

          like some people think OS=Windows
          while you can have other OS like Mac Unix ..etc
      • Comment deleted

  • Jul 22 2011: We can live without a religion, it's obvious. Animals do it (opinion of course, I'm not sure if they store food in winter and sacrifice to a god for spring to come again, we used to). Of course there is a higher being out there who is more intelligent/evolved than we are. The odds are against us being the best out there. Sorry. But why do we all worry so much and need so much attention and approval from these beings we don't even really have talking back to us? Whatever your answer is, it may be right for you, but it's probably not right for every single person out there.

    Humanity will probably not live without religion for a very long time, if ever.

    My wish is that one day humans will be able to define morally right ways of life based on treating people how those people want to be treated, and helping out everyone selflessly, instead of a religion and a higher power's supposed desires. If we all did that, we'd never have to look out for ourselves because other people would. We're still animals though, unfortunately, so we'll probably never be able to do that either, as survival is our number one goal, and we wouldn't give up our last bit of food for most people.

    Personally I think it is childish of humanity to have to be threatened in order for them to be nice to each other, and told that if you do good to the people who are like you and ignore/convert/kill/hurt/scare/annoy people who aren't they'll get a giant cookie/a crowd of virgins/whatever else they want when they die.

    Just be good for the sake of being good, and you're going to die anyways, just cope with it.
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      Jul 22 2011: Why you take death for granted
      There are some people planing to escape from death
      Or at least wish if they could live for ever
  • Jul 21 2011: I guarantee we can live without religion. Does that mean that any religion is wrong? No. Does that mean that we should all drop religion? No.

    I think people are a little foolish in thinking that religion is caused by a need for a deity or such. Many people simply believe. It's not that they can't live without it.
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    Jun 30 2011: By this time did you not get enough evidence here in TED that people can live happily peacefully without religion?
  • Jun 23 2011: YES! It would be a great world with much more peace, acceptance and understanding!!!!
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      Jun 24 2011: Amen bro!
    • Jun 24 2011: war will exist even without religion.
      the original reason of war is greed. and religion is a tool in hand of emperors to collect more soldiers using beliefs of believers.

      you mean kings will stop war when there is no religion?
      so secular countries should not have any war.
  • Comment deleted

  • May 26 2011: And why do you use the word "he"? Why not "she"???? Actually, in most oldest beliefs, it was a "she". As in real life (you know, the one you reject), women/females give birth, not men/males. And genetically speaing, women are 100% women. Not men. If there is a god, it's a SHE. Or a IT. But definitely not a HE.
    And I KNOW GOD IS A GIANT SPAGHETTI MONSTER WHO LIVES ON THE BACK OF A TURTLE CALLED CHTROPECK.
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    May 26 2011: Hi all,
    IF GOD really wanted religion - it will make one for all. Like Rain. Like Sun. Like Death.

    I was reading your comments, is really nice to see people are interested about this aspect of life and the way religion contributes in separating people and cultures based on a system of belief.

    From my life journey until now i know for sure that a higher intelligence exists, i am driven to and by it, it provides and rewards my efforts even if there are for good or bad reasons (if the concept of good and bad really exists).

    What is really striking from your comments is the fact that most can't really separate the Religion from God - or what we correlate in our life with God (our own experience) or what we are preached (religiously) in our life that God is or represents. Based on this two factors - inside and outside input about religion - we MUST understand that what @ AbdelRahman Siddig was affirming about life stile is connected with the culture we are born into and our way of development like full rational human beings to comprehend religion facts.

    @Kathy K there is such power behind your affirmations about searching your soul and the spiritual journey and the right path.
    It strikes the fact that you don't ask yourself that maybe you are born in the wrong religion - and you will feel more fulfilled and happy in your life being a Buddhist - peaceful, searching for the under obvious reality layers human beings hold.

    Also, the fact that you don't give ANY credibility to today's science and the experience that we transmitted betwin generations and the way humanity evolved in the last hundreds of years - i am really wandering how you can give some much credibility to stories about sacrifice made 2000 years ago.

    Religion was invented when the first 'wise guy' convinced the first 'fool' that he needs him so God can hear his fears, wishes, hopes and dreams. There is only one connection to God and that's directly to him - no third party involved.

    My opinion.
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    Jul 24 2011: I would to thanks every who contribute at this topic and apologize for those I did not reply to them
    I do not know why TED change the time from open-end ?
    any way I want to focus in 2 points
    this topic was not about which religion is correct and which one is wrong
    this topic about defining what is religion ???
    many people disagree with my definition which was
    religion is the answers to life fundamentals questions
    Why life exists in first place ?
    who made it ?
    what he want from us?
    the second point is
    dis-believing is believing
    so I believe in GOD I have my religion and if you believe there is no GOD you also have your own religion
    say O non believers you have your own religion and I have mine
    in other word each one have his own reference point which he refer to when things come across
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    Jul 22 2011: This discussion as by the proposition of the question, turned to which religion is better too fast. I think the question in itself is wrong because it proposes that by living you're religious. Therefore, if the question in itself is accepted, the only logical answer is: no, can't live without a religion.
    But if we understand religion as the own consensus approves (a set of practices enticing spirituality), we can then work on true possibilities.
    Personally, i think we can live without spiritual practices. But I direct my answer to the risk of defining such thing. Religion is the most personal thing a person may have. Even if the religion is practiced in group, faith comes from within. So I always fear statistics of democratic (majority) understandings about faith.
  • Jul 22 2011: Who Made life ? no one
    Why he made ? I don't know
    What he want from you? No thing
    how should we spend our time in this word ? as I wish
    this a complete religion
    "No one can live a single moment without a religion "

    Abdel, I would be cautious calling atheism a religion. Religiosity requires belief in the existence of a supernatural force or entity. Most atheists are naturalists, and reject supernaturalism as non-existent and from a logical approach non-sensical. As many atheists have consciously rejected the religions they were raised with, the definition of atheism as a religion could be seen by some as not only incorrect, but even offensive. Certainly, most philosophies within atheism require a certain minimal degree of belief within the bounds of epistemology (eg. the continuity of the laws of nature) but as no supernatural elements are involved, these belief systems are not technically religions.
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    Jul 21 2011: Yes, anyone who wants to can, to each their own.

    In my eyes your comparing apples and oranges, if James didnt know who the owner of the home was then he could go and shake Tony's hand and see that he is a physical being. If some one asked if God is real and i replied no, then they said well here he is, come shake his hand, they would remove all doubt.

    AbdelRahman Siddig said "GOD does not explain every thing to us but he explained in clear details which path we should walk into to escape from hell and enter haven" GOD does not explain anything directly to us but more on the lines of vicariously through many disciples who wrote in a book in their own words years after the death of his son
  • Jul 20 2011: Who has measured the input of religion for life over the history?

    Let’s do not forget why a religion came into being for.Let’s not forget what was happening before religions.

    What you lose in having religion?
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    Jul 17 2011: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain
    I'll say it again
    God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

    -Lyric from the song "God" by John Lennon
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    Jul 11 2011: The word "religion" does not have any one unique histrically established meaning. It is also not clear that there is one best meaning which we should ascribe to it in all situations.

    Since we are all born into a world in which we make decisions, we are all in need of some set of beliefs to base our decisions upon. These will include beliefs about what should be done and what should be believed. If for purposes of this discussion, we want to call such a belief system a "religion", then yes, everyone needs a religion. On the other hand, if we want to define religion as a set of beliefs that includes beliefs about supernbatural beings, then the answer is no, we do not need that.

    Another way of defining religion is by looking at the sort of justification that the beliefs have. Scientific beliefs supposedly require empirical justification. It is sometimes supposed that religious beliefs are different since empirical jusification is not required. So the question "can we live without religion" could be restated as "Do we need to have at least some beliefs that are not subject to empirical verification?"

    I think the answer to that question is yes. Certain evaluative beliefs about the difference between good and bad are needed in order to make decisions, but those beliefs are not subject to fully empirical verification.

    So, each of us needs a core of moral beliefs. Those may or may not include beliefs about supernatural beings. If you want to call this moral core a "religion" even if it does not include beliefs about supernatural beings, then we each need a "religion". If you want to define religion as a set of beliefs about supernatural beings, then religion is not necessary.

    Of course the difficult question has to do with what our moral core "ought" to be. That question seems to require a circular, self justifying answer. Usually we do not like circular reasoning. What should we do in this situation?
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    Jul 8 2011: Here is a puzzle for you. Consider someone who answers your religion questions like this:

    Who Made Life: I don't know
    Why He Made: I don't know
    What He Want From You: I don't know
    How Should We Spend Our Time In This World: I don't know

    If the person giving these answers is honest (i.e. the person honestly does not know who made life, etc.), then those answers are indeed true. Does that person therefore live with a true religion?
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      Jul 9 2011: No I will explain later why no
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      Jul 10 2011: If Tony is the owner of the home and James have no idea who is the owner of the home
      and when James been asked this question who is the owner of the home
      He replied I do not know
      Is his answer is correct
      He is honest is his answer but his honesty does not remove the fact which
      Is Tony is the owner of the home
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        Jul 10 2011: I completely agree that declaring "I don't know" does not change the facts of the matter. If someone answers "I don't know" to any of your religion questions, it does not change the facts related to those questions. Objective reality does not depend on our knowledge or ignorance of it.

        The reason why I asked this question is because you include "I don't know" as a religion. My question to you is whether or not an honest declaration of ignorance is itself a religion, as you seem to say in your introduction. If "I don't know" is not a religion, then we must conclude it is definitely possible to live without a religion because many people live without answers to these very questions. On the other hand, if "I don't know" is a religion, then I would ask whether or not it is a *true* religion. Does "true religion" leave room for uncertainty, even if that is the most honest answer a person can give?

        You and I have corresponded on other threads, and I see the same pattern here: you seem to hold that there are definite answers to these questions which we can be absolutely sure of. I agree with you that there indeed are definite answers to these questions, but I do not see how any human being can know those answers with certainty. The possibilities are so vast, the evidence so scanty, and our perception of reality so veiled by physical and mental limitations, that the only honest response I see for any fallible human being is to admit they don't really know.

        This is where "religion" steps in: religions of all kinds encourage people to be sure about things they lack the ability to confirm or deny. This is what separates mere hope from religious faith: a certainty beyond reason. This is also what people like myself try to avoid: we see the dangers inherent to faith, and choose to temper our hopes with the knowledge of our own limitations.
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          Jul 20 2011: why I do not will be consider as a religion
          because simply some people when they are not sure which path to take
          and they say it is not important all path are the same its does not matter
          but in reality they must be walking in certain path our jumping between them

          "Does "true religion" leave room for uncertainty, "
          yes it does but not in major topics
          like why we are here
          GOD does not explain every thing to us
          but he explained in clear details which path we should walk into to escape from hell and enter haven
          so the are a room for uncertainty in most of the thing around us but not in which way we should take
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        Jul 21 2011: I completely agree with you that to say "all paths are the same and it does not matter" is very silly. Clearly, all religions are not the same: they make incompatible claims about history, the nature of reality, the choices we should make in our lives, and other important matters.

        However, saying "I don't know" is not a religion. Rather, it is the absence of belief. It is possible to live without religion. Many people do it every day, myself included.