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  1. #1
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Default Imagine a History Without Gods

    I'm always irritated and drawn to atheist vs theist 'discussions'. I grew up with these sort of conversations and the patterns seem comforting, but I also did everything I could to get away from my youth. My question has always been: Is the argument even worth it? Which brings this to my question, which is primarily posed to atheists who are more likely to engage in these sort of scraps. But, anybody feel free to answer:

    Imagine that humankind did not ever have the inclination to think any kind of anthropomorphic, or animorphic, or any kind of supernatural entity was responsible for any unexplained phenomena. Let's not say that they didn't have any imagination at all, let's just say that when they saw lightening in the distance, for whatever reason, they didn't attribute it to the great Perkūnas.

    How do you think we would have progressed differently? Would inter-human conflict be reduced? How about politics, technology? Get as detailed as you feel.

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    We would had most likely overpopulated the earth sooner, because there wouldnt had been so many wars in the name of god. Also we would had been further in technology much earlier, because people would had wanted to figure out real reasons for things that happen, also there wouldnt had been those crazy popes and religious organizations that did all they can to keep science and scientific thinking illegal and punishable by death. Yes alchemy(basis of all technology) used to be punishable by death because of religious wackos being in control, but luckily few people like newton still were brave enough to do it anyways. Bit on the other hand newton did alchemy because he thought god was telling him that he should do this..

    Too many variables to give any definite answer, who knows maybe we would still be in the stone age. But i think it might had been better if we all adopted buddhist philosophy type of world view instead of religious one. But maybe there wouldnt had been philosophies like this without gods..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    been those crazy popes and religious organizations that did all they can to keep science and scientific thinking illegal and punishable by death.
    Religious like Galileo or Newton?

    There's a lot of scientific research sponsored by Rome and religious organisations.

    I like these sorts of threads because they can demonstrate the sorts of myopathy which exists amongst a lot of young atheists, or perhaps I hope its just a matter of age, I find its a mirror image or carbon copy of protestant evangelists I knew in my teens.

    One thing I will say is that from Burke and Hare through to Josef Mengele there used to be within popular consciousness the "mad scientist" juxtapositioned to the "mad preacher" or "religious zealot", that's fading out, its a little like the individual who can hold forth about critical thinking, until they are asked to think critically about something they are more used to supporting, such as gay rights, free markets or getting high.

    Good thread Qlip, while belief in Gods may have mandated great crimes and cruelty historically, it has also mandated humanitarianism and I expect a history without them would resemble our own, the drives that have caused most of it remain the same and people would channel them some how. Perhaps without religious conflict the world would have stagnated, like the contrast between the west and Asia were non-theistic creeds were predominant.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    For humans not to desperately try to come up with narratives for how things work would be a huge problem. For well above 99% of human history, gods were a great way to explain the phenomena we would see. If we had just thrown up our hands and said "who cares what is causing this?", we would never have gotten the philosophical and technological tools we have today.

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    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Good thread Qlip, while belief in Gods may have mandated great crimes and cruelty historically, it has also mandated humanitarianism and I expect a history without them would resemble our own, the drives that have caused most of it remain the same and people would channel them some how. Perhaps without religious conflict the world would have stagnated, like the contrast between the west and Asia were non-theistic creeds were predominant.
    Indeedy. Not to mention history would be so freaking boring. Some of the mythologies and religious stories throughout history have produced some really interesting tales and I'm glad we have those stories
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  7. #7

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    Imagination is progress, so we have to be willing to get things wrong. If we had been a species that never imagined the unseeable, we would've stagnated. We'd still be cavemen banging around big cats with rocks and spears. Progress would be minimal and quickly plateau without the ability to imagine explanations/invisible forces behind all things.

    I think religion is a stage of our inner development like navigating seasons and illness and famine were stages of our outer development. I hope we don't get stuck here. I hope we can imagine our way beyond it. I have faith in our ingenuity as a species. I think we will. I think surviving this stage of the development will mark a new era for humanity.

    @Qlip I think if we had never imagined possibilities, that is the only possible explanation for never having imagined gods, and we would not be imagining the alternate possibility you are generating right now. IOW, we would be unrecognizable and not human at all.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Religious like Galileo or Newton?

    There's a lot of scientific research sponsored by Rome and religious organisations.

    I like these sorts of threads because they can demonstrate the sorts of myopathy which exists amongst a lot of young atheists, or perhaps I hope its just a matter of age, I find its a mirror image or carbon copy of protestant evangelists I knew in my teens.

    One thing I will say is that from Burke and Hare through to Josef Mengele there used to be within popular consciousness the "mad scientist" juxtapositioned to the "mad preacher" or "religious zealot", that's fading out, its a little like the individual who can hold forth about critical thinking, until they are asked to think critically about something they are more used to supporting, such as gay rights, free markets or getting high.

    Good thread Qlip, while belief in Gods may have mandated great crimes and cruelty historically, it has also mandated humanitarianism and I expect a history without them would resemble our own, the drives that have caused most of it remain the same and people would channel them some how. Perhaps without religious conflict the world would have stagnated, like the contrast between the west and Asia were non-theistic creeds were predominant.
    Yes lik newton, dunno what it was like for galileo. In england and in most europe in newtons time alchemy was punishable by death(it was basically seen anti religion and almost in par with witch craft) and newton made his discoveries in secret and had to bring them up very carefully to very selected people, lucky he had friends in very high position who he was able to share his discoveries with and was able to do that without exposing his alchemical practices.

    You did see that i was talking about the past, since the partial quote you made makes it seem as if i was talking about the present moment also..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Yes lik newton, dunno what it was like for galileo. In england and in most europe in newtons time alchemy was punishable by death(it was basically seen anti religion and almost in par with witch craft) and newton made his discoveries in secret and had to bring them up very carefully to very selected people, lucky he had friends in very high position who he was able to share his discoveries with and was able to do that without exposing his alchemical practices.

    You did see that i was talking about the past, since the partial quote you made makes it seem as if i was talking about the present moment also..
    Newton and Galileo were both motivated by religious convictions to make the discoveries they did.

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    Senior Member Munchies's Avatar
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    religion is great. Because it led us to a society that can look beyond the bullshit that is shoved down our throats. Although there is a lot of people who beleive in disbeleif which is hypocritical, it also has caused evolution of the mind. Religion is a form of slavery but for a person to become free he must see beyond the confines, from within the confines
    1+1=3 OMFG

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