Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Community » Serious Discussion and Debate

A World With One Religion

Post a reply
User avatar
56 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 1650
Reviews: 56
Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:56 pm
Napier says...



Would it work? Would it be better?
Would it be an improvement if we were all Christian, all Muslim, all Atheist or all Agnostic?

This isn't a "Well, I'm (insert religion here) and it's the best religion, so it would be better if you were all like me" discussion because I know that would be a sensitive debate with a good chance of a fight coming out of it.

I just want to hear your views on the logistics of the idea.

If none of us believed in God, would it be better because we'd learn to listen to Science more, advancing our progress as a race?

Or if we all agreed there might be a God, would it be better because we'd never have to defy anyone of their believes, or argue our case and reasoning?

Or if we were all part of the Christian faith, or Islam, or Buddhist, would it be better because we would all follow the same rules and agree on morals and laws?

Thoughts please.
“It is the tale, not he who tells it.”
― Stephen King

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King

Formerly BadlyDrawnLightning




User avatar
187 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 712
Reviews: 187
Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:03 pm
Blues says...



No it wouldn't work.

Take Iraq for example, the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims are now attacking each other constantly after the war. They're both in the same religion. There are other examples too.

That's what I think :)




User avatar
312 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Male
Points: 128
Reviews: 312
Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:05 pm
View Likes
Lumi says...



In all honesty, the thought of a completely-unified anything brings me to the setting of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. If you're unfamiliar with the novel, the world has one religion that, while not forcibly practiced, is unified all the same. The God's name is Ford, and the ceremonies are eerily well-thought-out for a society religion. The same goes for every other aspect of society: the sciences have taken full throttle into the future, leaving arts and fleeting desires behind. But the underlying haunt of the unified ideal is that there has to be some method of monitoring defection.

I mean, if a revolutionary man comes along in 2012 and defines a new world religion, what's to say it won't happen further down the road once again? And even once again even further.

The problem with talking about unified religion is that religion is a very squishy thing. It's not something that comforts logical thinking; it's a tool to fill in the blank spaces that science hasn't cemented yet. A crutch, safety blanket, lucky pen, etc. But it's something that has been conditioned into mankind's mind so poetically that it takes on a form of logic.

SO. In order to unify religion, there must first be unified logic. And that means that science has to be completely right no matter what. But if that happens, what's the point of religion?

Basically, it ends up in a cycle of missing links. Which doesn't work at all.
You will always fall in love, and it will always be like having your throat cut, just that fast.
Catherynne Valente




User avatar
56 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 1650
Reviews: 56
Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:15 pm
View Likes
Napier says...



I agree with you there; a revolution would inspire more revolutions down the line- if it can happen once it can happen again. Eventually humanity would begin to fall into a mishap of confused morals and grow tired of religion as a whole.

What if there was no revolution, but humanity had simply grown and evolved following the same things, agreeing with everything. I know it wouldn't happen, there's too much that would go wrong, but if we had always agreed, would that be any different?
“It is the tale, not he who tells it.”
― Stephen King

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King

Formerly BadlyDrawnLightning




User avatar
372 Reviews



Gender: Other
Points: 14712
Reviews: 372
Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:23 pm
View Likes
Isha says...



I agree with Lumi on most points; a world with one single religion would defeat the purpose of religion altogether. The world revolves around differing beliefs and cultures, and taking away those beliefs and cultures wouldn't leave much room for knowledge to expand- how can you learn about a religion that isn't there? It would destroy Tolerance, ruin our love for variety, and eventually, someone's going to lead a revolution. Not all humans can be forced to believe the same thing.

Would it end war? Absolutely not. One man's view of a religion can vary from another's, even if they're discussing the same religion. Take Christianity, for example. We have so many different denominations, and none of them believe the exact same thing. Some use the Bible as a textbook, some assume it's all a metaphor for something else, some think that only the New Testament is true, others pick and choose whatever pieces make the church happy. In other words, one 'religion,' or not, we'll have thousands of little sub-religions to work with, because human beings were made to think. We were made to expand and discover, and the more we do that, the less unified our views will be. And then there's a matter of what happens to these revolutionists. Depending on the religion, the religion will either destroy them, or it will become warped and so far from the original thing.

Society can't function with one religion. It doesn't work, because humans both seek and are afraid of that big thing we call change. It's in our nature to rebel, or try to seek out more than what the government tells us is there. War won't stop because of it, it won't bring us peace or end world hunger. Nah- I think a healthy variety of varying religions is good for us.
Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurl.

Kiss me, just once, for luck; these are desperate measures, now
~Marianas Trench




User avatar
185 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 1096
Reviews: 185
Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:47 pm
View Likes
inkwell says...



It's never happened, and I don't think it will. (You COULD argue that the "world" of the Europeans was completely Christian. That wasn't much fun.) If it did I don't see ourselves better off. Divide and conquer...
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." — Einstein




User avatar
1071 Reviews



Gender: Other
Points: 77125
Reviews: 1071
Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:05 am
View Likes
Kyllorac says...



Evolutionarily, and biologically, a lack of variety leads to stagnation, which in turn leads to extinction due to a severe limitation in adaptability. See: the Great Famine of Ireland. Basically, all potatoes were clones of a single plant. Along came a blight, and due to the lack of genetic diversity among potatoes, the entire crop was completely wiped out.

Another way to think of this is incest. We have a naturally strong aversion to incest, and there are many reasons for this that can be observed by breeding animals. Purebred dogs, for instance, often suffer severe, hereditary health issues due to the inbreeding required to keep the lines "pure". The less variety in the gene pool, the more problems crop up with each generation, until it comes to a point where it's no longer possible for the majority of offspring to survive. In the past, animals were put down because they were too congenitally diseased to be of use, though in recent years, and thanks to our better understanding of genetics, diseases are being slowly bred out of the gene pool.

Long story short, variety is good, and having a monotheistic society would be a very bad thing, if we're talking in an evolutionary sense, simply because sameness breeds inflexible stagnation.
Screwing with gender since 1995.


There are no chickens in Hyrule.




User avatar
28 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 664
Reviews: 28
Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:04 pm
Confictura says...



There are many many MANY problems with this.
Religion isn't a very solid thing, It's not logical, it's based on belief and faith.

You also have to decide, is the religion forced? Is it practiced blindly in faith that it's the only thing that matters? Would it bring scientific advances to a halt?

All of these are things you need to take into consideration, and I don't think the answer is a unified religion, but a unified understanding.

We don't need one religion, we need everyone to understand their differences and accept them.
Help, help! I'm being repressed!




User avatar
3676 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 32
Reviews: 3676
Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:25 pm
View Likes
Snoink says...



I don't understand, Kyllorac. Since when have matters of faith been equivalent to breeding potatoes? :? Your logic doesn't quite make sense to me.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D




User avatar
401 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 17238
Reviews: 401
Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:52 pm
View Likes
Nate says...



Lumi wrote:The problem with talking about unified religion is that religion is a very squishy thing. It's not something that comforts logical thinking; it's a tool to fill in the blank spaces that science hasn't cemented yet. A crutch, safety blanket, lucky pen, etc.


This is itself quite illogical. From your perspective, perhaps my faith is simply a crutch for me; a way for me to feel all safe and secure about those scary places science hasn't filled in yet. But I would tend to disagree.

You are right on one point though. Religion is a squishy thing. Some indeed do use it as a crutch, just as there are many who use atheism or any number of anti-religion philosophies as a crutch.



In any case, some points.

If none of us believed in God, would it be better because we'd learn to listen to Science more, advancing our progress as a race?

Or if we all agreed there might be a God, would it be better because we'd never have to defy anyone of their believes, or argue our case and reasoning?


Both of these are common fallacies. The first question treats science as a religion onto itself (you even capitalized science). The second assumes that religion is the source of all man's troubles.

Of course, both are wrong. Science is not something that you can "listen to." It does not provide guidance or tell you how you should conduct your life. In fact, science is heartless, and necessarily so. A full embrace of science means using the same rigors of experimentation and the testing of hypotheses on the general public with a view toward the general public as nothing more than mere laboratory rats. A lot of evil has been done by those who believed only in listening to science (see eugenics).

Science is best when it is used only as an explanation and not as a reason. Religion is best when it used only as a reason and not as an explanation. That is, science can tell us how we live while religion can tell us why we live. Far from being incompatible, the two balance one another.

Now if we were to somehow agree on one religious explanation for everything, including the explanation that there is no God, that would hardly solve matters. Whether we reject or accept religion, it is of no consequence. Even homogenous cultures have civil wars after all.
Owner, Founder, Site Administrator

YWS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youngwriterssociety
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yws_gazette
Tumblr: http://ywsgazette.tumblr.com/

Got YWS?




User avatar
185 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 1096
Reviews: 185
Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:20 am
View Likes
inkwell says...



I agree that science has nothing to say on what people ought to do. It simply describes nature: what happens, and why these things happen. It is an important part of informing moral judgements.

Religion, the big G... they're not prerequisites for moral judgements. Immanuel Kant was a Christian, if I'm not mistaken. He tried to make his ethical philosophy emulate science, though. And I believe that, if there is any normative moral truth, the only way to find it is the way Kant did, with logic and reasoning.

EDIT: If this is off-topic, then ignore it. :wink:
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." — Einstein




User avatar
163 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 4747
Reviews: 163
Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:47 pm
View Likes
Kit says...



Religion is the justification rather than the root, don't you think? We would find even more arbitrary reasons to kill each other, I'm sure. Much of the religious conflict is rooted in race/culture at the heart of it, and there would be far less sexiness in this world if we were one race. Not to mension power, economic factors, which in turn relate to resources, climate, and infrastructure, so, you'd have to even out all them. Much of the time these days when people get genocidal, it's to draw attention away from corruption elsewhere.

Myself, I think most of our perceptions are alive, dialectic. No one believes a set of absolutes, you constantly learn, adapt, absorb. Correct me if I'm wrong, Snoink/Kyllorac but I think the potato thing was that homogeneousness in anything is destructive, stagnating the progress and potential of the species. Not to mension we were just not wired that way, if you have a group witnessing the same event, accounts vary widely between them. We seem to be physically incapable of retaining, analysing and interpreting things in the same way.

And while the Shiites and the Sunnis both follow the same text, that also never stopped the Protestants and Catholics from killing one another for hundreds of years either.
Princess of Parataxis, Mistress of Manichean McGuffins




User avatar
1071 Reviews



Gender: Other
Points: 77125
Reviews: 1071
Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:47 am
View Likes
Kyllorac says...



Correct me if I'm wrong, Snoink/Kyllorac but I think the potato thing was that homogeneousness in anything is destructive, stagnating the progress and potential of the species.

No need for correction. You're spot-on.
Screwing with gender since 1995.


There are no chickens in Hyrule.




User avatar
3676 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 32
Reviews: 3676
Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:40 am
Snoink says...



The thing that makes me hesitate, however, is that usually one believes that their religion is Truth. I can't speak for all religions, however with science, we generally conduct our experiments trying to get to something which might be consider Truth, although we recognize that science cannot fully get there. For Christianity, Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). Again, I am not certain about the other religions, but I speak for myself when I say that I don't believe because it is merely convenient -- I believe because I believe it is the Truth. I may be wrong, of course, but that doesn't change my motive.

So, it seems weird to me why it would be a good thing that diversity in religions is a good thing. I mean... okay, people might practice things differently from their neighbor. It happens. But, doesn't diversity in religion actually harm its ultimate message? If we accept religious diversity as something which should be embraced, aren't we stating that Truth is objective and, in the end, doesn't matter?

Again, I come from a Christian/Catholic perspective, so maybe I am not seeing something here. Maybe other religions don't really care about this sort of thing. But it still seems funny to me.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D




User avatar
163 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 4747
Reviews: 163
Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:07 am
View Likes
Kit says...



What if, rather than perceiving truth as an absolute, you perceive as something alive, a person. We grow, we change, we learn, we adapt. What was true for me as a child is not necessarily true for me as an adult. Neither truth is compromised, just fit into a larger one. I don't think something is meaningless or irrelevant just because it is more complex. If you believe God made us all in their own image, and yet each with a unique perception of people, the universe, God, each second they see something new, doesn't that reflect God too?

Science is the pursuit of truth, but it is also based on the idea that knowledge is rarely a fixed point. So many times we have come up with working theory, which allowed further discoveries, only to find a more apt model through that research, like the many models of the atom, or Newton's laws evolving into Einstein's theory of relativity.

I couldn't imagine converting anyone, to assume my tiny knowledge of God is worth more than anyone else's. I struggle with the idea that to have faith is to have no questions. I would love to think that, like us, God is curious and able to be surprised.

My partner is an atheist, it's one of my favourite things about him, he spends his whole life being good to people, going far out of his way to make their lives better, not because he should or expects rewards, because it makes him happy. He doesn't need religion, and that's kind of special. It is a beautiful part of who he is. I can't imagine Rumi and Khayyam as anything but Sufi. I couldn't imagine Sappho writing to Mary instead of Aphrodite. Isaac Bashevis Singer would not have been such a stunning writer were he not, first and foremost, a Jewish man. Miriam Toews, or Matt Groening for that matter, would considerably different tales to tell had they not been Mennonites. JS Bach would have been very different if he hadn't been Lutheran who could still glorify God in song after losing half his children. What voices we would lose if we all thought the same, rather than feeling the same as we do!
Princess of Parataxis, Mistress of Manichean McGuffins