Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Spectrum
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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Spectrum » November 14th, 2017, 10:41 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
Spectrum wrote:

(Nested quote removed.)

For anyone who can convince themselves and others of any pros [positive] associated with theism.
Note there are many politicians who exploit the pros of religion for their selfish political interests. Note the listing I have provided above.
I'm looking for some objective ground, if there's any in this case. Facing similar situations, people can convince themselves of many different things, even having opposite views. For example, one may see the idea that theism comforts people in distress as positive, while others will see it as a negative outcome. So, the picture of how the weights of pros and cons are distributed looks fuzzy righy now and the configurations seem endless. It may be possible to say only which particular configuration one wants to subscribe to, you know, just to compare notes, but it will hardly provide a common ground to reach a conclusion.
I understand it is difficult and no one has done a thorough exercise to assess the current state of the pros and cons of theism. So what is going on is, SOME theists are hiding under this umbrella of difficulty to commit their very terrible evil acts to satisfy their lusts for paradise and virgins.

One discovery I noted is, a problem may seem difficult or even insurmountable but if we dare to venture, and after many drafts we will begin to see some light in it.

Thus to begin we have to lists "all" the pros claimed by theists and "all" the cons and evils of theism.

The most common pro assigned to theism is a ground for morality.
I believe the most critical pros with the heaviest weightage is the psychological benefits from theism but normally theists do not even think or understood this benefit to them.

The cons of theism is very obvious;
Here is one readily available stats re violence with deaths;
https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/
32,093 deadly attacks since 911.

Others lesser evil acts from theists can be collected from News reports on a daily basis.
In addition I have speculated based on the inherent evils elements in the Quran, there is a potential threat to the extermination of the human species with a greater probability than from secular politics.

From Christianity, there is a hindrance to progress where Christian prefer to study creationism rather than evolutionary theories.

I believe when we put all these pros and cons onto 'paper' and keep reviewing it for improvement we can get somewhere and my "hunch" is the cons of theism are outweighing its pros at present and will be in the future.

This will be a basis for a serious consideration to replace theism [in the future and voluntarily] with non-theistic approaches that are benign to deal with the same inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Burning ghost » November 14th, 2017, 10:56 pm

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Spectrum
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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Spectrum » November 14th, 2017, 11:00 pm

Atreyu wrote:
Spectrum wrote:However the difficulty with theism is the root process is very deeply embedded in the brain and mind.
What isn't? You could make a long list of phenomena which a neurologist/psychologist would explain via brain or mind (neurology/psychiatry/psychology). Your statement basically says nothing. The whole issue is how it is "embedded" in the brain and mind.
Spectrum wrote:With such a dangerous impending threat, humanity must therefore expedite the process to deal with theistic evils and violence rather than wait for snail pace natural improvements.
Exactly what are you proposing? Give me an example of what you think humanity could do to "expedite" dealing with theistic evils?
I have introduced Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs somewhere which show all human motives are activated from a hierarchy of various needs.
From various studies, [e.g. Paul Maclean's Triune Brain] our brain structure has evolved from the first single-cell living things and the reptillian brain is right at the bottom. The striving for existence is right from the beginning with the first single-cell living things and thus is situated at the bottom-most or deepest part of the brain.
Thus the ultimate root cause of theism is driven from the deepest part of the brain where it entangled with some other existential elements to generate a "zombie parasite" to compel the majority towards theism.
This "zombie parasite" when driven by evil prone theists inspired by evil laden verses from holy texts, culminated in theistic based evils, e.g. the killing of innocent non-believers, etc.

If you charts the whole process of how theistic based evils arise, one will note there are various control points. To expedite the reduction and elimination of theistic based evils we need to understand the mechanics and processes, thus the basis of increase the modulation of the various critical control points to inhibit those evil impulses.

Note the Eastern spiritualities are doing the above since thousands of years ago albeit crudely [black-box basis] but nevertheless has results.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Count Lucanor » November 15th, 2017, 9:04 am

Spectrum wrote: I understand it is difficult and no one has done a thorough exercise to assess the current state of the pros and cons of theism.
My point was that there can't be a fixed setting or current state of the pros and cons of theism. It's more than just trying to reach a convention.
Spectrum wrote: Thus to begin we have to lists "all" the pros claimed by theists and "all" the cons and evils of theism.
Note that the list of pros will most likely represent the views of some people, perhaps a majority, but who knows. And such assesment could come from both theists and non-theists, each one giving their own weight to each item and having a different overall balance. The same for any list of cons.
Spectrum wrote: The most common pro assigned to theism is a ground for morality.
It is my understanding that non-theism is also commonly viewed by its advocates as a ground for morality.
Spectrum wrote: The cons of theism is very obvious;
Here is one readily available stats re violence with deaths;
https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/
32,093 deadly attacks since 911.
The stats may be true, but that they are evil and a con of theism will be disputed by many theists, specially by those carrying on those attacks, as they will claim the deaths are for a good purpose, just the same that the victims of all other wars are justified as good or necessary for causes of self-defense, democracy, freedom, economical gain, etc.
Spectrum wrote: Others lesser evil acts from theists can be collected from News reports on a daily basis.
In addition I have speculated based on the inherent evils elements in the Quran, there is a potential threat to the extermination of the human species with a greater probability than from secular politics.

From Christianity, there is a hindrance to progress where Christian prefer to study creationism rather than evolutionary theories.

I believe when we put all these pros and cons onto 'paper' and keep reviewing it for improvement we can get somewhere and my "hunch" is the cons of theism are outweighing its pros at present and will be in the future.

This will be a basis for a serious consideration to replace theism [in the future and voluntarily] with non-theistic approaches that are benign to deal with the same inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
I think your intentions will gain more track if you start talking about "Spectrum's list of pros and cons". Maybe some of us will agree and start from there, instead of assuming it's a fixed convention.

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Spectrum » November 15th, 2017, 9:39 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
Spectrum wrote: I understand it is difficult and no one has done a thorough exercise to assess the current state of the pros and cons of theism.
My point was that there can't be a fixed setting or current state of the pros and cons of theism. It's more than just trying to reach a convention.
Spectrum wrote: Thus to begin we have to lists "all" the pros claimed by theists and "all" the cons and evils of theism.
Note that the list of pros will most likely represent the views of some people, perhaps a majority, but who knows. And such assessment could come from both theists and non-theists, each one giving their own weight to each item and having a different overall balance. The same for any list of cons.
Generally, one will note on deeper reflection, most people are very impulsive and they will judge based on very narrow and shallow perspectives based on what is on the surface of their mind.
A discussion of the pros and cons of theism will generate a more fuller, deeper and wider perspective of the issue.

Both theists and non-theists will give their views but it is essential that we broaden those views wider to at least eliminate whatever emotional driven views to establish a more intellectual and rational discussion and therefrom let the truths prevail.

It is my understanding that non-theism is also commonly viewed by its advocates as a ground for morality.
Morality is claimed as a pro by theists but that is definitely contentious. Morality [immutable moral laws] is a pro for theism but it is more relevant for the olden days. Secular morality systems being dynamic will be more efficient in the future. This point is a big philosophical issue to be debated seriously and extensively to prove why secular dynamic moral systems will prevail in the future.
The stats may be true, but that they are evil and a con of theism will be disputed by many theists, specially by those carrying on those attacks, as they will claim the deaths are for a good purpose, just the same that the victims of all other wars are justified as good or necessary for causes of self-defense, democracy, freedom, economical gain, etc.
Evil theists and even some moderate theists will support these evil acts [basic moral standard] which they believe it is their divine duty which is good and will please God [Allah].
This is another serious point which need to be debated and I am confident non-theistic and human values will prevail on this.
What is critical here is these supposedly divine inspired acts are grounded on an illusory God and thus baseless. Note my argument 'God is an Impossibility'. We need to direct humanity attention to the psychological basis of theism and that such evil acts as inspired by evil laden verses in the holy books are driven by a 'sickness' of the religion (in part] and their 'sick' believers [SOME].
I think your intentions will gain more track if you start talking about "Spectrum's list of pros and cons". Maybe some of us will agree and start from there, instead of assuming it's a fixed convention.
It should be humanity's [general] list of pros and cons of theism. I will contribute to it in whatever ways I can. Others [this is why I raise the OP to invite ideas] will have their own set of views to start with and the collective [when ideas are mixed to generate new ones] will continually improve on the listing for deliberation of what is the general outcome.

-- Updated Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:55 pm to add the following --

Noted there are lots of views from 'google';
Typical reasons for adherence to religion [theism] include the following:

"Experience or emotion": For many, the practice of a religion leads to religious experiences and pleasurable emotional highs. Such emotional highs can come from the singing of traditional hymns to the trance-like states found in the practices of the Whirling Dervishes and Yoga, among others. People continue to associate with those practices that give pleasure and, insofar as it is connected with religion, join in religious organizations that provide those practices. Also, some people simply feel that their faith is true, and may not be able to explain their feelings.

"Supernatural connection": Most religions postulate a reality which includes both the natural andthe supernatural. Most adherents of religion consider this to be of critical importance, since itpermits belief in unseen and otherwise potentially unknowable aspects of life, including hope of eternal life.

"Rational analysis": For some, adherence is based on intellectual evaluation that has led them to the conclusion that the teachings of that religion most closely describe reality. Among Christians this basis for belief is often given by those influenced by C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer .This reason is closely tied to fields of study like the Philosophy of religion.


"Best Working Model": For some (e.g. John Polkinghorne)religion makes the most sense of"the way the world is." Religion is not regarded as proven but as the best available reflection of things which are intractable to other analysis.

"Moderation": Many religions have approaches that produce practices that place limitations on thebehaviour of their adherents. This is seen by many as a positive influence, potentially protectingadherents from the destructive or even fatal excesses to which they might otherwise besusceptible"Authority": Most religions are authoritarian in nature, and thus provide their adherentswith spiritual and moral role models, who they believe can bring highly positive influences both toadherents and society in general.

"Moral framework": Belief in God, for example, is seen by some to be necessary for moral behavior . [5]


"Majesty and tradition": Many people consider religious practices to be serene, beautiful, and conducive to religious experiences, which in turn support religious beliefs.[6]

"Community and culture": Organized religions promote a sense of community among their followers, and the moral and cultural common ground of these communities makes them attractive to people with the same values.[7]
Indeed, while religious beliefs and practices are usuallyconnected, some individuals with substantially secular beliefs still participate in religious practicesfor cultural reasons.

"Fulfillment": Most traditional religions require sacrifice of their followers, but, in turn, the followers may gain much from their membership therein. Thus, they come away from experiences with these religions with the feeling that their needs have been filled. In fact, studies have shown that religious adherents tend to be happier and less prone to stress than non-religious people. . Many people from many faiths contend that their faith brings them fulfillment, peace, and joy, apart from worldly interests.

"Spiritual and psychological benefits": Each religion asserts that it is a means by which its adherents may come into closer contact with God, Truth, and Spiritual Power. They all promise to free adherents from spiritual bondage, and bring them into spiritual freedom. It naturally follows that a religion which frees its adherents from deception, sin, and spiritual death will have significant mental health benefits. Abraham Maslow's research after World War II showed that Holocaust survivors tended to be those who held strong religious beliefs (not necessarily temple attendance, etc.), suggesting it helped people cope in extreme circumstances. Humanistic psychology went on to investigate how religious or spiritual identity may have correlations with longer lifespan and better health. The study found that humans may particularly need religious ideas to serve various emotional needs such as the need to feel loved, the need to belong to homogeneous groups, the need for understandable explanations and the need for a guarantee of ultimate justice. Other factors may involve sense of purpose, sense of identity, sense of contact with the divine.

https://www.scribd.com/document/1014529 ... f-Religion
It is noted all the significant benefits that can be derived from theistic religions above can be cultivated from secular approaches.

Since theistic approaches has a very serious malignant cancer, i.e. the evil elements inspiring evil prone believers to commit terrible evils and violence to the potential of exterminating the human species, it would be wiser and optimal for humanity to steer toward non-theistic approaches to resolve the same existential crisis that theists are burdened with.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by LuckyR » November 16th, 2017, 12:55 am

Spectrum wrote:Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh its Cons or vice-versa AT PRESENT on in the future?

I believe we need to consider the above along with the following;
  • 1. Psychological
    2. Cultural
    3. Social
    4. Political
    5. Economical
    6. Moral & Ethics
    7. Education
    8. Others ? pls list.
In addition we have to assign weights to the above.

Personally I would assign a 75% weightage to the Psychological element.

Views?
In my experience the pros and cons of theism, from the perspective of the rest of society, pale in comparison to those of organized religion, especially the cons.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Eduk » November 23rd, 2017, 6:00 am

It is my understanding that non-theism is also commonly viewed by its advocates as a ground for morality.
Well perhaps some of the people you know would fall into that category. I can only speak for myself and what I believe to be a correct interpretation.

Theist claims that religion X is basis of morality.
Non-theist claims that religion X is not basis of morality.

Now the non-theist has made no claims about what the basis of morality is, only that it is not religion X. Much in the same way that an astronomer of the past would have said the celestial bodies don't move under Newton's laws but without being able to propose a law under which they do move.

-- Updated November 23rd, 2017, 6:04 am to add the following --

Let me put this another way. Let us say that a theist and non-theist agree that the Golden rule is ethically sound.
Now is the Golden rule best described as a theistic rule or as a non-theistic rule? For me neither definition is particularly useful, it is simply a moral rule.

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Spectrum » November 23rd, 2017, 10:19 pm

Eduk wrote:
It is my understanding that non-theism is also commonly viewed by its advocates as a ground for morality.
Well perhaps some of the people you know would fall into that category. I can only speak for myself and what I believe to be a correct interpretation.

Theist claims that religion X is basis of morality.
Non-theist claims that religion X is not basis of morality.

Now the non-theist has made no claims about what the basis of morality is, only that it is not religion X. Much in the same way that an astronomer of the past would have said the celestial bodies don't move under Newton's laws but without being able to propose a law under which they do move.

-- Updated November 23rd, 2017, 6:04 am to add the following --

Let me put this another way. Let us say that a theist and non-theist agree that the Golden rule is ethically sound.
Now is the Golden rule best described as a theistic rule or as a non-theistic rule? For me neither definition is particularly useful, it is simply a moral rule.
I believe 'Morality & Ethics' is inherent within all humans - DNA wise.

There are research [scientific based and others] going on in this area;
Morality is not just something that people learn, argues Yale psychologist Paul Bloom: It is something we are all born with. At birth, babies are endowed with compassion, with empathy, with the beginnings of a sense of fairness.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... of-babies/
Religions do promote Morality & Ethics, that is one pro but it is only a very limited one.
The problem is the Abrahamic religions froze whatever ideas of morality in immutable holy books from God and thus stop it from its natural development to cope with inevitable changes within humanity and reality.

Since there is an inherent drive for Morality & Ethics within humans, the non-religious are improving and making progress on Morality naturally to cope with change.
The drive for Morality & Ethics are represented by real neurons and its relevant neural circuits within the brain. There is no way immutable holy verses can stop its progress.

One example is slavery. The Abrahamic religion implicitly condone and promote slavery and this is based on immutable verses from God which cannot be changed eternally.
OTOH, the secular authorities has banned slavery all over the World with serious penalties for non-compliance. No doubt some people will still practice slavery illegally but at least humanity has something legal to work towards the elimination of slavery.
This is one pro [advancing] over religions.

While the cons of religion in terms of evil, terror and violence is getting worse, there are many other pros from the secular that is improving and progressing.
I believe in the near future, the cons of theism will outweigh its pros while the pros of non-theistic ideologies will continue to improve and progress with great potential.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Does the Pros of Theism Outweigh it Cons or vice-versa?

Post by Burning ghost » November 24th, 2017, 1:36 am

Spectrum -
Religions do promote Morality & Ethics, that is one pro but it is only a very limited one.
I cannot believe I am here to accuse you of being too kind toward religious attitudes! haha!!

Generally religion, and I am talking about the institution of "laws" embedded within, does very little for morality and ethics as you pointed out later regarding its rigidity. The problem here lies in the unquestioned faith. The ideologies of institutions are firmly based on immutable given laws of human behavior that require absolute obedience or eternal punishment.

It is inherently immoral to follow any cultural law or indoctrination simply because you are told you must do so. To further enforce such an immoral and unethical idea with a threat of torture is doubly bad ... the PLUS of this is that in defiance of such overwhelming odds and indoctrination the human species has managed to break free from these disturbingly immoral views and even pay with their very lives without any belief in an eternal reward, but simply because it is what the individual felt as the correct and moral thing to do.

TO ALL -

Who do you respect more, the person who dies fighting against religious doctrine and having no belief in an afterlife where they will be rewarded, or the religious person who dies fighting for their God and fully understands that their sacrifice will meet them personally with eternal rewards? The real moral and ethical act is plain as day to me. The reward of doing the right thing is the reward in and of itself. If we have to indoctrinate people into a sham of a sacrifice (which is no sacrifice at all if you are knowingly going to be rewarded by your God) then it is nothing more than one of the utmost disgusting aspects of humanity being propagated purely because people would rather slit the throats of their neighbours (literally or metaphorically speaking) than face up to true responsibility and the scary fact that we often suffer for no plausible reason, luck playing a major role in our existence.

To be clear I am talking about the INSTITUTION of religion here rather than "religiosity". There is something to be said for the power of belief, but even this has a limitation and is not exclusively a product of the "religious domain". We don't need to believe in a God to stand in awe of a night sky or be brought to tears by a piece of music. It is worth remembering that the stars in the sky, and the melodies that move us, are part of the exploration of the human condition and our sense of ethics and morality, they are not set rules or laws, merely a reflection of how intensely emotional and social we are.
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