Religious nones are the new #1

The best place for the discussion of current events and politics. A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
Post Reply
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:36 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Religious nones are the new #1

Post by DNS » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:52 pm

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-re ... index.html
For the first time "No Religion" has topped a survey of Americans' religious identity, according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey.
Good or bad?

In one sense it is good, as agnostics and atheists tend to be more tolerant to Buddhists than evangelicals. On the other hand, could a society of religious nones be amoral? So far, it doesn't appear to be the case, though.

Herb Caplan
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:18 pm
Location: New York, New York

Re: Religious nones are the new #1

Post by Herb Caplan » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:07 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:52 pm
On the other hand, could a society of religious nones be amoral?
For now.

They are piggybacking on the Judeo-Christian (or Confucian or Buddhist in China) morals that already existed as the foundation of the societies they live in.

If you ask them, they will repeat morals that are exact or near identical to religious morals (no homicide, no stealing, etc.). What is the basis for these morals from an Atheist perspective?

• "It just makes sense." (begging the question / circular reasoning)
• "It's humanist." (ditto)
• "Morality is innate. Only a crazy person would kill other people [violate religious morals]." (contradiction)
• "It makes me feel bad/scared to [violate religious morals]." (what if I don't?)
• "Because you go to jail." / "Society works better if you don't kill or steal." (not a moral argument; also there could be a successful society that incentivizes needless homicide, e.g., ancient Mayans)
• "I don't need religion to tell me not to kill [violate religious morals]!" (begging the question)

This just shows how intellectually dishonest/lazy they are. If they really are outright rejecting traditional religion, they should do so in a consistent manner. They should justify themselves from first principles. What are the odds that of all the possible sets of morality rules that they happened to arrive at exactly the pre-existing religious ones?

What's really wrong with, say, committing genocide if someone charismatic argues that it benefits collective society to get rid of faulty biological machines—like removing slow programs from your computer? I'd like to hear how Atheist platitudes could make a robust counter-argument to this; only religious arguments would work.

Without a religious rationale for moral principles, how did the Atheists come up with theirs? Christianity, for example, says homicide is bad because it sends you to hell. Eastern religions have kar/mma. Traditional religions are very clear about the basis and motivation for moral behavior. When Moses was asked why you don't murder, he didn't just say, "Well the people before us had rules against that so we'll do the same thing too I guess."

But nah, Atheists won't worry about this. The whole point of Atheism is to not think about stuff like this. You don't have to make difficult choices when a police state makes them for you.
If you meet the Buddha (blessed be the arahant) on the road, kill him.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:36 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Religious nones are the new #1

Post by DNS » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:44 am

Herb Caplan wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:07 am
But nah, Atheists won't worry about this. The whole point of Atheism is to not think about stuff like this. You don't have to make difficult choices when a police state makes them for you.
:D Interesting points.

In light of this post, it appears you were being sarcastic in this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1452

I thought you were, but wasn't 100 percent sure. Now I see that image is an optical illusion, showing we can't always trust the senses and experience alone, as a counter-argument to atheists.

User avatar
Iconodule
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:33 pm

Re: Religious nones are the new #1

Post by Iconodule » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:24 pm

I suppose it depends on how one defines religion. Some might argue that our age is as religious as any owing to the proliferation of assumptions which, while not deriving from any recognized religion, are held as sacred. These include not only moral precepts but principles like nation, money, The Individual, etc.

Can morality arise from a source apart from religion (and without "piggybacking" off religion as Herb mentions)? I would say yes, theoretically. One of the points I remember from Plato's Republic, and his meditation on the Ring of Gyges, is that immoral acts proceed from a disordered soul. Even without assuming an afterlife or some kind of cosmic retribution (and Plato believed in both) the immoral soul brings harm and misery on itself (keep in mind that "soul", in ancient Greek thought, was not necessarily a supernatural entity). Such a moral stance might be inadequate but it's a start.

However, as I said, there are other widely shared values beside bare morals in our supposedly secular society. Greed, lust, hatred, even ignorance are widely valorized in this society, by diverse factions. Some people assume apathy toward religion or atheism are just empty spaces but in fact these spaces are filled with all kinds of stuff, much of it poisonous.
The ladder that leads to the Kingdom is hidden within you, and is found in your soul. Dive into yourself, and in your soul you will discover the rungs by which you are to ascend. - St. Isaac of Syria

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests