The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) The Da Vinci Code discussion


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Would you rather live in a world without religion…or a world without science?

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Will Once Now that's spooky. There's an identically titled thread in the Angels and Demons discussion area.


Linda Kelly Without religion, every time.


Donna My opinion, they go hand in hand in a strange way. I prefer not to live without either but keep both in my life.


Anthony Watkins Wow! When I first saw this question I thought, "what a stupid and obvious question!" then I thought about it a moment and realized there are some people who value their faith over an actual quest for knowledge, so I apologize to Kenny for my initial thought.

As someone who used to be deeply religious, but has always been very strong in the sciences, and am now non religious. I would be fine with no religion. and even though science often gets it wrong and is very short on actual answers, it is, by nature looking for the answers and updating the knowledge base as more is learned


Anthony Watkins would I rather live without dan brown or have to give up a real author? that wouldn't be that hard either


Raptori Anthony wrote: "Wow! When I first saw this question I thought, "what a stupid and obvious question!" then I thought about it a moment and realized there are some people who value their faith over an actual quest for knowledge, so I apologize to Kenny for my initial thought."

I had the exact same reaction - I almost posted something along the lines of "how can this even be a question?" but then realised that actually a lot of people would feel completely differently to me. The reason I feel that way is that "evils caused by science" are never caused by science - they're caused by people misusing scientific discoveries - while "evils caused by religion" are actually a direct result of religion.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

A world without religion sounds good.


Rick Stert it's the same thing.


Gerd So, would I rather be ruled by superstition or the quest for knowledge?

It's long time to get rid of religions and their harmful influence on (female) society, no question there.


Donna religion is superstition? And Religion had a harmful influence on me? Are you kidding me? Perhaps if you're without religion, you may have had your influence harmed. Perhaps you should research in person before you answer, Gerd, as in stepping foot in a church. You may learn something. Religion is a belief, not a superstition. If it weren't for the belief in God, perhaps the scientists would be sitting, picking their noses instead of using the gift God gave them.


Linda Kelly And here we go.....sigh.


Anthony Watkins Linda wrote: "And here we go.....sigh."

"like" :)


message 13: by Gerd (last edited May 05, 2014 01:10AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Donna wrote: "Religion is a belief, not a superstition..."

Well, my dictionary begs to differ there:

su·per·sti·tion
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.



Donna wrote: "And Religion had a harmful influence on me?"

It may not have had on you personally, but is like arguing that nuclear power isn't harmful because it did never did no harm to one personally.

Yet, religions are still a number one excuse by men to justify hate crimes against women world wide.


Lauren On one hand, it would be an extreme relief to many if religion was discounted from the 'world's story' as many feel that they can follow rules which were written over 1500 years ago, not practical for today. Others though, have such a strong outlook on faith and religion that to take it away from them could be both demeaning and heart-breaking, as much of their time has been spent 'worshiping' their chosen God. Personally, I believe a world without religion is better as, to think about it practically, many cures would be lost without science and therefore the population would be decreasing due to new illnesses etc. I think science in this case is far more important, not taking sides, but for the developing world it is impossible to live without. Those of you on your laptops or phones..... science... CREATED technology :o


message 15: by Lorna (new) - rated it 1 star

Lorna For me it's religion no question about it. I don't want to start a debate or anything but in my opinion the world would be better without religion. How many wars have been fought in the name of various gods? How much conflict has there been between people who have different beliefs?
Not to mention that religion was used to provide answers to questions that we had no way of finding the answers to, until science developed enough to be able to give explanations for things. Religion and mythology in my opinion both developed for this purpose.
I totally understand the need to believe in a higher power, ancient civilisations had their own gods and beliefs until that society died out and their deities went with them, maybe the religions now in existence will go the same way in time but science will continue to develop and provide answers for that burning curiosity that is human nature.


Donna Gerd wrote: "Donna wrote: "Religion is a belief, not a superstition..."

Well, my dictionary begs to differ there:

su·per·sti·tion
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous ..."


We could be discussing this until the cows come home a week from Wednesday. Religion is the number one excuse for hate crimes? Is that so? Did you ever take a look into the personal life of the person committing the crime? There are most times mental health issues if you haven't noticed. Again, that's neither here nor there, for who, in their right minds, harms or kills any living creatures? Certainly not a normal person.

If you believe in a godless world, fine. I'm sure you'll meet many in hell. I won't be criticized for the God I believe in. "DaVinci Code" was a work of fiction, not based on any true stories (names changed to protect the innocent, etc). May I suggest before you criticize further that you experience the other side before judging.

And I agree with the others: here we go again.


Lesley Arrowsmith Back to the question: a world without science would be a world without technology, and a world where no-one understood how natural processes worked, so we'd be back to "this root looks a bit like a heart, so it must be good for heart diseases".
A world with science but without religion would look a lot like the world we live in now. I think I'd rather have medical science and clean water and so on, and do without God, if it has to be an "either/or".


Saidah Gilbert I doubt that a world without religion is possible. Without belief in the unknown, why would we bother to solve mysteries? Science and religion developed side by side.


Selena A world without religion (I won't go into it any more than that) as others have already done so. Speaking of which, I was wondering if there are any good books about an...atheistic society. I haven't been able to find any.

Though (and I apologize for digressing here) I did find an as-yet-unfinished series called the Lion's Blood series where Islamic Africa is the center of the world and Europe is much less technological advanced. It's quite fascinating.

Back to the question. On the other hand, if they could somehow co-exist (a bit better?) I'd be ok with that too.


Lucia I would definitely rather live in a world without religion.

Sam wrote: "I doubt that a world without religion is possible. Without belief in the unknown, why would we bother to solve mysteries? Science and religion developed side by side."

Although I do agree that in some respects science and religion can go hand-in-hand, I respectfully disagree with your point that it's not possible to live in a world without religion. You can still have beliefs without religion. Religion is a system of beliefs, which is different from having a belief. Religion and science are two very different ways in which to explain occurrences. Darwin vs. Adam & Eve, you can choose to believe in science or choose to believe in divine beings.


Saidah Gilbert Religion is not the only organisation of exclusive beliefs. To exclude religion is to exclude all other such organisations which would include science.


Stephanie Sam wrote: "Religion is not the only organisation of exclusive beliefs. To exclude religion is to exclude all other such organisations which would include science."

I love this answer. We used to believe in different gods just to explain the sunrise/weather/etc. As we grow to understand, our faith changes to match what science has now explained.


Lucia Sam wrote: "Religion is not the only organisation of exclusive beliefs. To exclude religion is to exclude all other such organisations which would include science."

Sam, your argument goes to my point. Belief in the unknown =/= religion. You can still believe in the unknown without having a religion. Furthermore, your point that religion is not the only organization of beliefs is true, which is why I made the point that you can still have belief without religion.

I guess I should have clarified my definition of religion as going beyond a mere "system of beliefs," because it is more than just that - which is what separates the two...

The definition of religion is:

1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
2. a particular system of faith and worship.
3. a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.

The definition of belief is:

1. an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
2. trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

Thus, you can have faith and belief in something without having a religion. Therefore, not having a religion doesn't exclude you from believing in other ideas, such as science.

For example, I am not an atheist but I do not have a religion. I am spiritual but I don't subscribe to organized religion and I do not identify with any religious sects. I have beliefs but I don't have a religion.


Lucia I am not attacking religion (I want to make that clear) because I do have beliefs and faith in certain ideas but I do believe that you can live in a world without religion.

I am throwing this out there, not as a question to answer but as a question to ponder...

Do you believe in your bible? Do you believe in every word written in your bible? Do you believe that other bibles are wrong? Why? Who wrote your bible?

Everyone in this forum reads..when an author sits down to write a book, he chooses to include some information and chooses to exclude some information. We, as readers, should remain objective to what we are reading, the sources, the information...Bibles have been written over the course of centuries, how do we know that there are not parts of our bibles that should/should not be included?

So, can we live in a world where people are not devout to these words?


message 25: by Scott (last edited May 05, 2014 05:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Scott Gerd wrote: "So, would I rather be ruled by superstition or the quest for knowledge?

It's long time to get rid of religions and their harmful influence on society, no question there."


This.

Without science, we'd all still be sitting in a cave, waiting for lightning to strike.


message 26: by CD (new) - rated it 2 stars

CD Gerd wrote: "Donna wrote: "Religion is a belief, not a superstition..."

Well, my dictionary begs to differ there:

su·per·sti·tion
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous ..."


I think you need a slightly more precise dictionary, one that explicitly brings forward the part of superstition being an irrational system rooted in unfounded and illogical fear.

Modern western religions at least, those of the 'Book' namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam got rid of the fear portion and are surprisingly enough very rational and logical. Yes, there is a 'however' to this statement.

Judaism evolved to that point, Christianity removed fear as part of its doctrine, and Islam provided a unification that had great initial social implication over previous primitive and arbitrary beliefs. They all use logic and rational thought to get to their doctrine and system of belief. Ah, there's the word, belief that cause the problem.

Logic and rationality in these cases don't mean correct, it means that later systems decided on a different set of first principles or 'beliefs'.

The word that really should be applied instead of superstition is supernatural. That is where a comparison to 20th/21st century scientific breaks down for those opposed to at least, western, religious thought. It is this problems with having to parse language to such a degree that is further exemplary of the failure of some systems. They create a private syntax and set of definition that is designed to hide the facts and truth (or lack thereof) from the others.

Another major quibble with this discussion in general is that science isn't a body of knowledge and or facts . It is a method for examining the physical world. It matters only what is discovered or 'proven' (loaded word but that's for another discussion) not what is desired or believed to be true, factual, ergo - repeatedly demonstrable.

If we are going to challenge or dismiss one group or another, let us at least get the basics right.


MrEkitten I could live in a world without religion. I could not live in a world without science.

I would prefer to live in a world without religion if given the choice.


message 28: by CD (new) - rated it 2 stars

CD MrEkitten wrote: "I could live in a world without religion. I could not live in a world without science.

I would prefer to live in a world without religion if given the choice."


That's my general premise. I'd really not like if some group could just repeal gravity on a whim. Wouldn't work to well for me.


message 29: by Gerd (last edited May 06, 2014 12:57AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Donna wrote: "If you believe in a godless world, fine. I'm sure you'll meet many in hell."

You know, I'm actually bound to like that idea.
'Cause if there is any kind of god, and if there is a hell in afterlife (or an afterlife at all) I can nurtur the hope that those "serving" their chosen god in, let's call it morally questionable ways, may much to their surprise find out that it really is an just god they served.
And they will get to spend the rest of eternity in hell... me among them, sure, but that way, at least one of us will then enjoy his deserved stay. :)


CD wrote: "I think you need a slightly more precise dictionary, one that explicitly brings forward the part of superstition being an irrational system rooted in unfounded and illogical fear."

You wouldn't call the idea of a "hell" (at least one that exist beyond the mortal plane) an illogical fear?


Scott Superstitions don't have to involve fear. What about all the ones that are supposed to bring you good luck?

Fear is still very much a part of all those religious doctrines, anyway. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be all the talk of hell (as Gerd pointed out), punishment, God-fearing...and on and on.


Saidah Gilbert Fear as in awe. Back in the old days, fear was synonymous with awe.In the R.C. Church, that old meaning is retained.


Anthony Watkins Oh god. So to speak....


Scott Sam wrote: "Fear as in awe. Back in the old days, fear was synonymous with awe.In the R.C. Church, that old meaning is retained."

That's sad; I don't equate awe with fear at all.


Saidah Gilbert You don't. We may use fear to refer to alarm or anxiety and awe to wonder but look at the meanings from Merriam-Webster.
awe: a strong feeling of fear or respect and also wonder

fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger : a feeling of being afraid


Sheila Scott wrote:

That's sad; I don't equate awe with fear at all."


Funny. Looking at my handy-dandy built in dictionary for the word "awe", it tells me this:

Origin: Old English ege; terror, dread, awe; replaced in Middle English by forms related to Old Norse agi.


Scott Many words no longer bear a resemblance to their origins.


message 37: by Sheila (last edited May 06, 2014 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila This question is so complicated to me. Everyone tossing off "oh, yeah, religion should go, definitely".... I'm just not so sure.

My first question would be, are we supposed to assume that religion = any belief in a higher entity? Because to me, those are two entirely different things. Religion does not equal spirituality, it's just a group-think system that tries to translate between God and the individual.

I think organized religion has a history of twisting that belief, that faith, in the same way that, for example, nuclear power has had in twisting "science".

We're asked to believe that each has a handle on a higher concept, often with devastating physical results when we try to actually USE them for our own purpose.

I also wonder if religion-as-spirituality (belief in a higher Godlike entity) may have been the earliest origin of whatever passes for human morality; thus I'm not willing to toss it so easily. In a world without religion at all, only science, can morality or pity for others exist? Or would we all be "survival of the fittest" at every occasion? You know -- Evolution. Darwinism. Because science has mandated it.

I also believe that religion-as-spirituality has produced some of the most beautiful art that man has created, inspired by something beyond the artists' visions of the here-and-now or themselves...


message 38: by Rick (last edited May 06, 2014 01:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rick Stert if the science contingent are correct then the gods are just a projection of the human psyche. it would seem to follow that a world without religion would be a world without us :)


message 39: by Ken (new) - rated it 1 star

Ken I'd rather live in a world without Dan Brown, James Patterson, and John Grisham. You can have most of the other top 40 gals and guys too. Evanovich, yes, you.


Gavin Without religion, obviously.


MrEkitten Sheila wrote: ".... In a world without religion at all, only science, can morality or pity for others exist?..."

Yes. It is absolutely possible to have morality and pity without religion. I, for one without religion, pities anyone who thinks otherwise.

To think that all people without religion are amoral, in my opinion, is ignorant. (No offense).


MrEkitten Rick wrote: "if the science contingent are correct then the gods are just a projection of the human psyche. it would seem to follow that a world without religion would be a world without us :)"

So anyone who is without religion doesn't exist? This doesn't make any sense to me.


message 43: by Rick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rick Stert MrEkitten wrote: "Rick wrote: "if the science contingent are correct then the gods are just a projection of the human psyche. it would seem to follow that a world without religion would be a world without us :)"

So..."


yes. religion is the projection of core archetypes of the human psyche onto the world. if you lack those core archetypes you are not a human. if you possess them you project them. the machinery and consequences of projection are the same regardless of whether the projection is called religion or science. consequently, on a functional level, religion is science and science is religion. two names for the same machine. there are other names. but if you lack that machine you are not human and so do not exist (as human).


message 44: by Sheila (last edited May 07, 2014 05:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila MrEkitten wrote:

To think that all people without religion are amoral, in my opinion, is ignorant. (No offense).


Just curious. Is this what you think I believe?

I was asking a hypothetical question and commenting on my personal belief on the link between the ORIGINS of human morality and the concept of spirituality. Since you exist in a world where religion of one sort or another has been in place for thousands of years and so deeply entrenched in society, you're never going to know whether your own morality was formed in a vacuum, without the influence of it.

Why don't you just give reasons for your belief why that question's not valid, rather than accuse me of ignorance?

And you attempt to answer it without defining your own parameters for what religion is to you. Wanna go a little further in your reply?


message 45: by MrEkitten (last edited May 07, 2014 09:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MrEkitten Sheila wrote:

...Wanna go a little further in your reply? "


I do not think morality is a result of religion. I think the exact opposite. I think religion is a result of "X" people wanting "Y" people to follow "X" people's morals. (I'm not the best at conversing in threads, so I apologize if this is unclear.)

I also think that as time went on, religion became more corrupt. But that is outside the question posed in this thread.

I do not mean to use the word "ignorant" to offend. I had a feeling it might be seen that way and I apologize. I meant "ignorant" strictly as lacking the knowledge/understanding in reference to the rest of the sentence only.

I do not think that lacking that understanding in one thing makes anyone stupid. I am ignorant in many things. I accept that.

I think that morals, without the side effect of religion, is perfectly acceptable, and in fact preferable.

If you do not believe it, then I misread what you were saying because I think that is exactly what you were saying. That religion has formed our morals and that we couldn't have morals without religion there to form them.

I do not mean to say that people who are religious have lesser morals, or greater ones. I just think it is possible to be moral without the influence of religion.

I hope this clarifies my opinion. I also hope you accept my apology as I didn't mean to accuse you of ignorance if I misunderstood what you meant. My statement would still stand, but you would not be included. ;)


message 46: by Gerd (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gerd Yeah, I would say the development of morals, either good or bad, is a natural part of a society's evolution occurring independent of religion.

As for the development of “good morality”, as they say, eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
I.e. a culture that didn't develop some sort of agreed upon rules for themselves couldn't survive. It is the old SF axiom at work that any higher evolved species must be ruled by a higher evolved morality, too, making it a more peaceful one than ours, because else they couldn't have survived the potential for self-destruction scientific advance inevitably brings with it.


Saidah Gilbert So this higher evolved morality is not religion?


message 48: by Sheila (last edited May 08, 2014 06:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila Yeah, I would say the development of morals, either good or bad, is a natural part of a society's evolution occurring independent of religion.


When, and in what part of the world, has morality developed, but not religion or spirituality?


MrEkitten Sheila wrote: "When, and in what part of the world, has morality de..."

Jokingly, in the world created by the question of this whole thread. Didn't you read the question?

Honestly: Animals. We may disagree, but I think there are many cases where an animal went against instinct to do something it felt was "right". I won't go into this further since it will derail the topic.

I'll ask you outright since you hinted you aren't saying what you are saying. Do "you" believe it is possible to be moral without religion?"

If you are going to keep bringing up the chicken v egg scenario, then just ask the same question but reverse "religion" with "morality" and see where that gets you.


Venkatasubramanian A world without religion of course.. Religions,especially from India,have tonnes of science in them as default.. They have been consistently conveying lots & lots of science from centuries ago..


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