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How would the be without no life after death belief?

  1. Sep 6, 2007 #1
    Would everyone be selfish? Would there be patriotism? What would happen? I believe right now athiest are nonselfish because they get love which was started by theistic so once the wheel gets rolling trust revolves around. However, from the beginning, if nobody believed in the concept of sin or Karma, how would the world be like?
     
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  3. Sep 6, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Imagine all the people Living for today...
    Imagine all the people Living life in peace...
    Imagine all the people Sharing all the world.......
     
  4. Sep 6, 2007 #3

    Are you saying that no life after death would result in world peace???? I don't think so. There's always something to war about.
     
  5. Sep 6, 2007 #4

    DaveC426913

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    That's a pretty shaky claim.
     
  6. Sep 6, 2007 #5

    Pythagorean

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    I personally find everyone to be selfish. In fact, I think if you supplicate too much, you become a spineless twit. (Of course, their's negativity involved in becoming too selfish, too)

    The whole reason the free market system is better than the mercantile system is because people are selfish. That's what Adam, Locke, and Hobbes all played on when they conceptualized the new system.

    That's what being fair is all about. You want something and so does whoever you're transacting with: whether it be company, validation, money, essentials, supplies, satisfaction, or entertainment.

    I tend to find honest, selfish people make the best company, since they lay out their expectations a lot better than dreamy altruistic types who are generally lying to themselves.
     
  7. Sep 6, 2007 #6
    Everyone already is selfish. They do what makes them feel good, some act for long term benefit, some think short term. Doing nice things for other people, or for society makes people feel important. We have evolved altruism because it benefits our family groups long term. There is no religious component necessary. I suggest you read Richard Dawkins book "The Selfish Gene".

    People who do heroic things, like risk their lives to save someone from drowning, or whatever, always say, they didn't think, they just did it. Its instinct, something we evolved because it benefits our family groups and if our family group benefits, then our genes survive, even if we don't. Because its an instinct however, its not a precision effect, so in larger groups... nationalism, religion, it gets applied to things that are effectively outside our family group. Same principle, same instinct, just over-applied.
     
  8. Sep 6, 2007 #7

    chroot

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    Human morals and standards of ethics can (and do) exist entirely independently of any religion. Any attempt to relate them is a strawman argument. There is no reason to suspect that people would necessarily act any differently towards one another if no one had ever come up with the idea of a deity.

    - Warren
     
  9. Sep 6, 2007 #8

    Gokul43201

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    The believer in life-after-death is being altruistic only to secure a favorable place in the afterlife. That, is as clear an example of selfishness as you'll find anywhere.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2007 #9

    mgb_phys

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    I am inclined to agree, those were John Lennon's words not mine - I thought that was the song the OP was refering to in his thread title.
     
  11. Sep 7, 2007 #10
    Religious morality is an oxymoron. Secular ethics informs religious morals, not vice versa. Being moral in order to suck up to deities, karma laws etc. is actually immoral.
     
  12. Sep 7, 2007 #11
    Isn't this argument a little biased here though, suspecting from everyone's tone, I feel like I am the only religious guy here.
     
  13. Sep 7, 2007 #12

    DaveC426913

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    It is not unusual to have a higher than average concentration of religious skeptics on a physics board, yes. I have noticed this as well.

    Though an atheist, I still like to engage in academic discussions. But sometimes it seems like many around here treat discussion of religious issues as an opportunity to grind an atheistic axe. To be fair, mostly they're being simply dispassionate - logical - about the subject, but it's a fine line. Plainly put, it's a topic that is very hot and generates strong opinions on both sides.

    You might want to test the thickness of your skin before opening that door...
     
  14. Sep 8, 2007 #13
    If your arguments stick to the topic, and are solid and logical, it shouldn't matter.
     
  15. Sep 8, 2007 #14

    Gokul43201

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    Oh! In that case, your "argument" (haven't seen one yet) is indeed a little biased.
     
  16. Sep 8, 2007 #15

    Astronuc

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    How is one defining religious? Even an atheist can be religious!

    Each has a unique perspective to offer in response to the OP question.

    For me, I don't worry about life after death - I will die soon enough. This life keeps me very busy and there is so much to do.

    The fact is - none of us 'knows' about 'life after death'. We can only 'speculate', because as far as we know, it's a one-way door.

    I think the term selfish is being used a bit loosely to include self-interest. Having a self-interest is not the same as being selfish. By convention, selfish implies "concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others". It is the 'disregard for others' that is the key condition, in addition to having an excessive self-interest, for being selfish.

    There are many people who are concerned about the welfare, well-being and rights of others.
     
  17. Sep 8, 2007 #16

    Pythagorean

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    good point. In my post, substitute selfish for self-interest.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2007 #17
    Well, ofcourse people have their own philosophy, but the similarity we find in philosophy, we classify them to be agnostic, athist, religious, etc.

    I am saying, looking statistically, normally, when two people are arguing, the one who wins is not always the one who is right, but the one is better at arguing.(sorry for not providing date here but hopefully most of you will agree)

    Basing on that, lets ASSUME, if I was the only religious guy, and was right, against the whole forum, probably, I would loose, even logically, b/c I havn't covered all the grounds of the topic...I have a life. Its really simple actually... 3 on 2 is called unfair and 3 on 3 is called fair.
     
  19. Sep 9, 2007 #18

    Gokul43201

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    If you make a correct, logical argument, it doesn't matter if there's a million people opposing.
     
  20. Sep 9, 2007 #19
    lol, I am not talking about that, I am saying, I may no a counter to one argument, but not to another, I may have incomplete information, but my buddies might not in a debate... get it?
     
  21. Sep 9, 2007 #20
    It's always possible to locate a forum where most participants already share your views on at least some topics. Debating those who disagree then becomes easier given abundant backup. But it's not necessarily eye opening since this lowers the odds of learning something new. Also, winning a debate while outnumbered is pretty exciting.
     
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