Originally posted by sonhouse
So I am a god. I decide to start a religion, even though, being a god, I already know the entire outcome. So I figure one is not enough. I start others giving them the right to kill the people in the last one. Then I start another giving religion #3 the right, indeed the mandate, to kill those of #2 and #1 AND those of # 3 that stray from that religion. Am ...[text shortened]... knows I am typing this diatribe and just lets me go in with it but...mm. ,m.,mfsdaa......aQ/.//
Sounds good. You can make the claims of your religion as outlandish as you like. Just make sure that everything in your religion cannot be proven or refuted. And indoctrinate religion into children when they are very young. Make sure to weave religion into the fabric of society. But there must be incentive to believe in this religion, such as eternal life. And you need to make religion applicable during one’s lifetime. It should send some good messages regarding love, peace, forgiveness, initiative or anything else. Additionally the consequences of not believing should be eternal damnation. Then you can get away whatever else into your religion, even things outright contradictory to the principles already proposed.
This religion could use some tangible figure that people can relate to; of course, a personal deity will be fine. Some unverifiable historical religious events would help.
And you certainly don’t want people to understand what it means not to exist. In fact, you want to instill principles of your religion so thoroughly into people so that people will not be able to understand what it would mean to live without your religion.
Intellectuals will claim correctly that your religion is false. But why does it matter that your religion is not sound? It cannot be proven that it is unsound. What does it matter what one thinks or believes, if the belief is for your benefit and for the benefit common good? Sure, conflict arises with fundamentalism, but as long as it doesn’t destroy what you have built, the truth may be of trivial consequence. Hey, religion isn’t fully bad; some people need something to believe in. Religion is simple; it merely requires belief to thrive. People are more easily assessed and manipulated when grounded in dogmatic principles. Yet, of course people do not have to believe in religion and could believe in something else, until oblivion. I should note that I value truth; many people are drawn to reason, but people find things that I consider absurd quite reasonable.
I disagree with the premise that free will= no god. People are constrained by laws of nature, shortcomings of mind, and personal experience. So people have freedom of choice within certain parameters. I was always going to choose to make this post given my circumstances, genetics and personal experience. So technically we don’t have free will; of course, we are still accountable for our actions and we still have choice. The science behind understanding free will, understanding that there is no afterlife and that there may not be a personal God goes much deeper than anything that I have alluded to. Yet almost anybody has the capability to understand why we really don’t wholly have free will; there are limits of our control over our own minds. Also one does not ultimately cause one’s actions; something causes somebody to do something and that cause transcends that person. Yes, this is generally a case of semantics or a case of defining free will; nevertheless the existence of God has no relevance to the existance of free will. Or why there isn’t an afterlife; when people die, they lose consciousness and their ability to be aware. And I do not know of a personal God; there is order in the universe, but what does that mean?
Granted, I have not brought up good science, which I strongly advocate, but sometimes one can pretty much logically reason their way through things and come up with an accurate conclusion. And there is still much to learn about all this.
I know the premise of the thread may not have been written in utmost seriousness and meant to provoke proponents of various religions. It’s senseless to try to prove or disprove the claims of a religion. Sonhouse brings up a few interesting points about religion, but I'm not going to go there. It’s conceivable that some type of supernatural entity exists, but I doubt in the existence a personal God. There is some type of order in the universe, but I cannot draw conclusions about the existence or qualities of the supernatural from science or from anything in the natural world. Generally people cannot disprove the claims of religion, but religion definitely has very much to substantiate to be wholly viable.