What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-09-2015, 08:57 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
My personal take is that there is no telling how a non-religious culture would have affected the development of Homo Sap. Also, personally, based on what we see of recorded history, maybe there could have been something else less divisive and destructive. What would it be? I can't describe it. But the current situation is sick, in terms of the hatred and killing.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-09-2015, 09:03 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
There would be more scientific literacy for one thing. Less conflict over one piece of land in the middle east. Less bigotry toward gays. It's difficult to even imagine, but hopefully we are moving in that direction.

A man should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. -Ferris Bueller

That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs but what a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom. -Jack Sparrow
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Imathinker's post
24-09-2015, 09:18 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
(24-09-2015 09:03 PM)Imathinker Wrote:  There would be more scientific literacy for one thing. Less conflict over one piece of land in the middle east. Less bigotry toward gays. It's difficult to even imagine, but hopefully we are moving in that direction.

Agreed.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-09-2015, 09:24 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
Its hard to think about for sure.

I still think that we would be more scientifically evolved which could be a bad thing or we could have fully functional quantum computers. Who knows what else.

Religion played an important role that made us who we are today, but I with what we know now..I think its time to set it aside and move on to bigger and better things. I think its okay to follow the culture but not believe in it literally as many still do today.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-09-2015, 10:36 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
I honestly do not know. I'd love to run ancestor simulations to find out.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-09-2015, 10:49 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
We never would have made the switch from pre civilization tribal egalitarianism to post agriculture technology driven scarce resource dependent society without something to keep our obsolete instincts at bay. That something came in the form of religion. The simple answer is that if religion never came along, agriculture would have failed and we'd still be picking berries and hunting proverbial mammoths.

Not that I'm against that, but we certainly wouldn't be the utopian over educated technological powerhouse that many of you are imagining.

'Murican Canadian
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-09-2015, 10:54 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
(24-09-2015 08:57 PM)Fireball Wrote:  ... no telling how a non-religious culture would have affected the development of Homo Sap.
...

Other than what Girly posted?

Wink

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
24-09-2015, 11:24 PM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
Better. Not perfect. But better.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-09-2015, 12:41 AM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
[Image: deus-ex-human-revolution-city.jpg]

[Image: Sci%20Fi%20City%201920x1%2080%20(1).jpg]

[Image: 39898_sci_fi_sci_fi_city.jpg]


A lot like this!

Also, we are living on Mars and on our way of going interstellar!


My Youtube channel if anyone is interested.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEkRdbq...rLEz-0jEHQ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-09-2015, 01:26 AM
RE: What would YOU think the world would be like if religion never existed?
Hrrrrrm.

Part of what makes this question so difficult is that religion -- or the seeds of it -- seem to be rooted in our psychology. Things like pareidolia, illusion of external agency, anthropomorphization, etc cause us to see human-like intelligence behind natural phenomena. This doesn't ALWAYS cause religion to happen, but most societies until the advent of science independently developed some sort of faith- or superstition-based belief system. There's an off-cited tribal society that never developed a concept of gods, but to the best of my knowledge that's the ONLY ONE. Religion, at least in pre-scientific cultures, is the norm.

So if hypothetically religion never came to be, the question that bothers me is WHY DIDN'T IT, because the difference hints at a drastically changed landscape of human psychology, worldwide in scope and having significant impacts beyond just preventing the advent of religion.

Also significant is the tremendous social role that religion played in the rise and unification of civilization. Primitive societies that united into cities and early empires out of individual tribes would needed to find some unifying identity beyond blood relation. Ideally this identity would need to be something they were willing to die for, because societies with this feature could produce armies that could conquer their neighbors, and those lacking this feature were conquered and had the new identity forced upon them. Dislike religion all we want, but it's one of the most survivable memetic forms out there and for good reason. Much of early civilization was intermingled with religion, not just as a feature of their lives, but the entire reason to submit to the state, to the point where religion and state were indistinguishable. The development of mathematics and writing, both keys to advancing beyond this primitive state, were thoroughly entangled in religion.

While I won't go so far as to say that religion was NECESSARY for civilization to form and propagate beyond the status of small tribes, it was pivotal in our history, and viewing civilizations in a Darwinian sense it would provide a strong advantage to those who possessed it, at least in that stage of history. (Later, when literacy and traditions of law had spread widely enough for people to be widely educated... say around the time of the first or second millennia BCE... it would become less useful and more of a hindrance. But in the fifth and fourth millenia BCE, it served a useful purpose.)

So that's two problems. First, primitive humans would have a widespread tendency to form myths and fables that would be the seeds for religion. And second, any religion formed the basis for early societies to unify, giving them advantages over their neighbors and thus turning religion into a decisive competitive advantage. If only a few people came up with it, the societies they founded would end up ruling the world.

For this scenario to happen, either NONE of them could come up with the idea of religion, or someone would have had to rapidly come up with something more effective to supplant its rise.

In the first case, our growth would have been very much stunted. We probably wouldn't have been that peaceful, as resources limited by poor technology and infrastructure would have capped our population and we would have fought over them. Specialization and the way it allowed for science and invention would have been a long time in coming.

In the second case... what would have supplanted it? It would have required a willigness -- without strong precedent of tradition such as we enjoy today -- to submit to the laws of a state authority, as well as a willingness to risk death on behalf of the state, all without a myth of an afterlife with rewards and punishments. I can think of a few possible ways to do this. A premature form of nationalism, where every person in the larger society is a relative by adoption, could have done it. So to could a few unifying philosophies that didn't cross the line to religion... but probably not initially something akin to humanism. Philosophies accommodating an equality and empathy for all peoples require extensive contact with a wide range of peoples, and that's not going to happen so early on.

But regardless, in THIS case, things would develop fairly similarly. Oh, the borders and the names of the conquerors and so on would be different, but the path of civilization would be the same. We might have fewer retrograde science-suppressing religions holding us back... though who knows what those philosophies-that-aren't-religions would take objection to. As the concept of a state became established in its own right as the norm, something that didn't need a religion or philosophy or so forth to hold it together and give it authority, things would have started to skyrocket. But an important thing to remember is that human population (or more importantly, educated human population with leisure time) is the true driver of science and invention. Free thought and lack of religious meddling can prevent this from being dampened, but removing that damper won't work miracles. We couldn't simply have "skipped" the Dark Ages and enjoyed the continuation of the exponential growth curve that followed, not without accounting for the lack of interim population increase or the way that agricultural technology advanced to the point where a smaller share of the population was needed to grow food, freeing up a larger leisure class.

We'd be further ahead today... maybe by a century or three, would be my guess... but that lead would grow the more time went on, because this alternate version of ourselves wouldn't be impeded by religion the way we are.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: