Is belief in God personally disadvantageous?

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Is belief in God personally disadvantageous?

Postby spblat » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:36 am

Can it be argued that believing a bunch of stuff that isn't true (say, Biblical inerrancy and throw in the Nicene Creed for good measure) brings measurable quality-of-life disadvantages? Or is--as I suspect to be the case--ignorance truly bliss?
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Postby Mythman » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:12 am

Depends on what you believe. For starters, there's the whole tithing thing, but what if you believe that you'll burn forever in a lake of fire for getting an abortion? Then you end up keeping a child you can't take care of and dig yourself into a financial shithole. Also praying instead of seeking actual help for things.
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Postby donnyton » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Don't forget complete moral bankruptcy. It's often missed when talking about disadvantages about religion.
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Postby Cephus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:37 pm

Without question, although it's impact is a matter of degrees. If you're just your run-of-the-mill believer who gives money to the church but doesn't take the religion any more seriously than that, all you've lost is your money and your time sitting in a pew. As you get more serious about it, you start to lose your moral and intellectual integrity, your credibility as well as your financial and time investment. The more irrational woo you allow into your head, the more likely the floodgates are to swing open to allow even more unsubstantiated nonsense in. After a while, your brain is so polluted with theological bullshit that dealing with the world rationally becomes virtually impossible.
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Postby 7od » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:46 pm

how about global warming? true, one ignorant christian who believes that god wouldn't let the earth become unsustainable wouldn't be disastrous, but when you have millions of people who believe their imaginary buddy is going to take care of us, they're going to end up wiping out our species. the power of the accumulative affect of so many people with their head in the clouds makes it dangerous for all of us.

ignorance is bliss until reality punches you in the face.
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Postby spblat » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:16 pm

That's kind of my point 7od. Sure, widespread delusion threatens the species. But is there a self-interest argument that can sway some of the moderate believers?

(Nice post Cephus.)
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Postby 7od » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:20 pm

spblat wrote:That's kind of my point 7od. Sure, widespread delusion threatens the species. But is there a self-interest argument that can sway some of the moderate believers?


from the stand point of trying to sway believers, i doubt it. i would think most christians would be adverse to abandoning their beliefs for "self-interested" reasons. any reason that you give them which "betters their lives" at the expense of their "personal relationship with jesus" would come off as unseemly to them. like saving a few bucks by not paying child support.

but i return to my global warming example. i do think it can be effective to say "your beliefs DO have an impact on the world YOU live in. and you and your children are going to have deal with the consequences of the way we treat our environment" If you believe gods going to clean your bedroom, no sense in cleaning up, no sense in making your bed. this is the way many christians think about the environment.

if there is no god, it is OUR responsibility to make sure future generations are able to live on this planet.
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Postby cdo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:40 am

well is hard to say because the benefits of belonging to a church are not really benefits i am interested in. as far as im concerned, the community life of a church group is pretty much the same bullshit as high school. i have no interest what so ever in measuring my life by someone elses' yardstick. But many people crave that type of social interaction. i would say that really is the only real-life benefit of religion.

i see it as highly disadvantageous for my day-to-day life. religion creates unnecessary divisions socially: between different religious groups, between theists and non believers, between the religious group and those whose lifestyle isn't approved of by the church, etc. And those divisions can be between family members.

it also limits choices in a multitude of ways, abortion and stem cell research to name just a couple biggies. but the smaller issues like "Harry Potter" books. freind or foe?...stuff like that is just a pain in the ass.

religion is tremendously slow to adapt to our ever changing world. no wonder believers have such a tough time with their teenage children.

so yeah, i think there are loads of practical reasons to ditch religion.
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Postby donnyton » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:43 am

Also, for many people you can't simply compare "with religion" life with "no religion" life.

Since most people grow up with religion an active part of their daily lives, to predict what their life would be without religion would be very difficult. For someone deeply involved with church social life, it may be actually harmful for them to leave the religion. This includes children in religious homes who would be disowned for disbelieving.

Of course, we know that in the long run, it's better for people and a society to be nonreligious, but that doesn't mean that destruction of religion is immediately beneficial. It may take a long time before society could handle widespread atheism. That's why most rationalists favor a slow solution to religion in the form of education rather than revolution or legislation.
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