Why do humans need religion?

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Note: I'm not trying to be a troll here and please be considerate to other viewpoints.

Now that is out of the way, Why do you need religion? you could be the most religious person in the world yet nothing good happens until you die. So what is the point of it. Was it made by evil governments of old times to control to populace. I mean look at some of the first civilizations they all had gods or some other type of religion. Is it people are scared to think that when you die that is it and you rot in the ground. So they conjure up a god so they can have an afterlife. Or do we as humans crave for a higher power, someone to give us moral guide lines to live by.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/index/528-Religion-and-Politics

I'm anything but a good person to talk to on the matter. I'd say it's a set of morals and guidelines with good intentions to live your life, and these morals and guidelines come from an influence of a deity of some sort.

It's fun! Sure, I believe in gods for reasons beside, but it also happens to be really cool. I'm Pagan, though, and you'll probably get a few better answers then that.

Humans don't need religion. It's a choice made by people who find comfort in it, or moral guides, or uplifting accounts of people who truly did put others above themselves, among many other reasons.

Or if you're like me, the complete refusal to believe that if I can't get anyons to self-assemble into a quantum gate then there's no way in hell all this was a fluke.

I suppose one mans logic against anothers. While logic may dictate to one that life simply goes to death and there is nothing, another may logically conclude from facts and information (through history) that an afterlife (or perhaps an evolution of existance) is there.

Personally, I believe (though not the most religious person), and while believing I understand what I believe (thus I don't push it on others...as the faith says not to). Its like philosophy, everyone sees it differently, yet to quote Socrates "I know that I know nothing noble and good," I lack the capacity to understand concepts which we establish beyond our own plane of existance. Perhaps "After-life" is the wrong word and "evolution to the next level of existance" is proper, but who knows!

Religion, from probably the near beginning of man, has served to create a sense of community among peoples which helped them unite against the threats of the outside world. With a unified religion and general practice the peoples were able to stick together and live longer. It has since then been used to provide meaning for people and maintain the basic structure of society. Or something like that according to my psychology class.

Fear of death, the comfort of thinking something benevolent is watching over them, the comfort of thinking everything happens for a reason - just off the top of my head.

Religion was needed long ago to help people gather and support each other, what's more a way for the rich people to stay rich and in power. Religion on a group scale is no longer needed, though if a person wants to believe whatever they are free to, and in fact using mind over matter they are able to be stronger people. Though it's when you try to convert others, or see someone else as wrong just because they believe something else, you are doing the world harm.

Though I partially agree with the last part of the statement the worst use of religion is not necessarily conversion but when it is used to justify political ideologies or pre-existing prejudices.

I would think that the large amount of atheists here would have shown you that we don't need religion.

People don't need religion, but they choose it.

Some like to believe there's something more after death, as they're afraid of their own mortality. Others just want to believe that there's a reason for events in their lives unfolding as they do, rather than leaving it up to being random chance. Some people just want to know that their time on earth was leading to some goal other than simply dying.

On the one hand it gives some people hope in an otherwise depressing world. It's a code of conduct that attempts to teach those that follow it the correct way to live (i.e. honor your parents, don't kill people, don't steal stuff, be thankful for what you have, etc), whether or not they actually follow it is totally subjective as many people infer what they believe their holy books to be saying (kind of like the U.S. Constitution; nobody can ever make a solid decision on what the hell is and is not constitutional).

On the other hand it is constantly used to sway people in matters that should not have anything to do with religious beliefs (apparently a president who believes in God is somehow going to be better than the one who does not). It has been the cause of countless wars and deaths and even to this day stifles scientific and tehnological advancement.

All in all, I don't care one way or another what someone believes in so long as they don't have one of those holier-than-thou attitudes.

Justification to be dicks to each other?

...
Ohhh and because people like explanations for things and also they like thinking they'll still exist after they die. I wouldn't really say anyone needs religion; all of the religious people I know were indoctrinated into it as they were growing up and just kinda got used to it. Can't say I've ever met anyone who decided to become religious.

Soz for sounding trollish here but that's my 2p.

Elfgore:
Note: I'm not trying to be a troll here and please be considerate to other viewpoints.

Now that is out of the way, Why do you need religion? you could be the most religious person in the world yet nothing good happens until you die. So what is the point of it. Was it made by evil governments of old times to control to populace. I mean look at some of the first civilizations they all had gods or some other type of religion. Is it people are scared to think that when you die that is it and you rot in the ground. So they conjure up a god so they can have an afterlife. Or do we as humans crave for a higher power, someone to give us moral guide lines to live by.

I would suggest trying to get this moved to the correct section of the forums, please don't post religious based topic in off topic, it can only cause choas XD
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Religion in the olden days, was used... I would think out of the idea of unknowing.
In olden times I would think due to the lack of understanding and the lack of logical thinking people, they could come up with any excuse of why something happens, in the same way dragon, goblins, orc and trolls are all written down as people believing in them.

People in those times did not have an education to the degree that would encourage logical thought about such topics.

Today? well that's a different story and a sad one for me at least.
Religion at least one that follows a deity and encourages ritual, I would suspect them of either being stupid or brainwashed. Stupid in the sense that they are incapable of seeing basic every day knowledge and jump to massive conclusions of a supreme being, or brainwashed by growing up with it in the family.

Elfgore:
Note: I'm not trying to be a troll here and please be considerate to other viewpoints.

Now that is out of the way, Why do you need religion? you could be the most religious person in the world yet nothing good happens until you die. So what is the point of it. Was it made by evil governments of old times to control to populace. I mean look at some of the first civilizations they all had gods or some other type of religion. Is it people are scared to think that when you die that is it and you rot in the ground. So they conjure up a god so they can have an afterlife. Or do we as humans crave for a higher power, someone to give us moral guide lines to live by.

I won't go into the history of religion, which has its roots in several places and would require a bit of effort to put together in a coherent fashion. Likewise I'm not very educated in the subject and would likely blunder it to no end. However I will state that the origins of religions can typically be tied to three things

1) Explanation- Whether explaining why lighting strikes, where everything came from or what the meaning of life is
2) Order - As you stated religion was likely a foundation for early societies to build upon
3) "Fulfillment" - I put "" around this because the word is the best I can come up with. Religions have also developed as a pathway for people to lead a fulfilling life.

Clearly 1) and 2) are no longer needed as we have both science and sound philosophical arguments to address these issues. We also have well established law systems for 2). However 3) is a problem that is still relevant to many if not all people today.

Religion is a more complicated thing than most people give it credit for. Various forms of it state something about the afterlife and have some sort of deity, but at the core a religion just a guideline to live your life by for some reason. In most religions this is indeed to earn some sort of reward in the afterlife, but it isn't inherently so.

I must point out by guidlines I don't just mean "Arbitrary rules to please your God" although many religions intertwine that in their teachings. Many religions lay ground work and structure for leading a happy and fulfilling life. These concepts often go beyond common sense rules like "Don't kill people and steal" and can guide people to a more fulfilling life. However these values and concepts that religions have also aren't dependent on the myths a religion teaches either. At least the valuable ones I've found are not.

Personally I don't think religion is needed as most people see it; that is a belief in the afterlife and a deity. I also believe that in its current state it does more harm for human society than good. I'm unsure whether or not it has done more harm than good throughout the span of civilization but it did play an important role. Believing in an omnipotent deity is flawed in many respects, and even if they did exist worshiping them has a number of flaws as well. However to think that one can't learn anything of value from thousands of years of teachings that are designed for people to lead a fulfilling life is a bit arrogant for my tastes.

Hmm. The need for life after death is a good one. People fear what they don't understand, and this gives them an easy answer to work with.

Some people need to justify being a good person, and a reward in the previously mentioned afterlife is usually a pretty good one.

Others simply enjoy the comfort of having the universe explained, with no unknowns. Religion gives them the explanations they are looking for, answering all the deep questions we ask ourselves for them.

And others simply don't know any better, as they have been brought up that way.

Me? I prefer to find the answers out for myself, and the unknowns in the universe may be scary, but I'd rather find the truth myself, rather than rely on an invisible man in the sky. A truth based on observable fact and experiences, not baseless faith. But that's just me.

Arguing that "evil governments" or people created religion to "control" the population doesn't make much sense.

Because: People were less networked and connected and yet almost every civilization created or believed in some type of pantheon.

Now adays when governments are more powerful and need better ways of "controlling" people, why is religion on the down-turn?

My theory is while an organized religion like catholicism may make people "predictable" in the sense that they have traditions which mandate every new convert will almost always purchase a crucifix. It's unpredictable in that, one day, the church (or a church) may decide porn is evil or eating pizza is making you fat, and so a large group of people just stops looking at porn or eating pizza regardless of what the government and companies are telling you. That unpredictable consumer attitude can destroy companies.

Just imagine what would happen if all Catholics, Jews, and conservative Protestants "joined forces" and decided buying from Apple is bad. Apple would not be happy.

Uh.er.. back to topic: ..no, religion in the sense you are viewing it is not usually created by government. Although I hear that North Korean children were taught that Kim Jong Il didn't poop. That may fall under religious belief; or stupidity, not sure which.

Religion is so much more than just fear of death. It is not really needed like you can have any practical use of being religious, except for the fact that it actually directs your thinking and indoctrinates you. For instance I think a big part of the western world's success worked perfectly hand in hand with christianity.

On the behalf of religious people, I dont mind people being religious, but it's total mumbojumbo for me. And I've never actually confronted people who really excessively tries to make me into one of them. What a person choose to bleieve and why he does it is none of my business. And I think atheists are very insensitive towards religious people and act like primates against them. Creationists may be crazy, uneducated or stupid or whatever it is, but it's not like they bother me, and if they would bother me I would feel threatened by them. Trying to paint a picture of religious people as insane, wether he's a muslim or a christian (really, the rest are not that relevant for atheists) is also idiocy. There are crazy religious people, but most of them function in society.

Because people feel the need to be part of a group, religion fills this need.

Humans really don't need religion, if you look back, there are periods of history where religion kind of disappears besides very small pockets. It ends up being the nature of the times that people either flock to religion for one reason or another or they reject it.
You have to understand that religion hasn't been a constant thing throughout human history.

A lot of it was to explain the world. Back when society was too dumb to know the earth was round they had to explain how everything got there and how everything worked, and what better a method than an all-powerful diety who always was and always is?

I need it because I believe Jesus died on the cross and that there is a God that is with us.

Now that I got some "psshaa"'s, the way this question seems to be asked is in a way to say "Religion is fake, why do people need it", which seems to be quite the general view taken around here.

Now, if your asking "Your religious, why do you need religion", its because of what my first sentence said. When you believe in something like religion, you accept the truth of it, and a secondary effect of it is that it helps you in life in many hard situations.

So there you go. I need religion because I believe the Bible, and the secondary effects just happen to make life easier through knowing there is a God there to help us.

We need it because if no one was religious, how would I know who I'm better than?

Most of the time, when things happen, there are causes for it. People used religion to explain causes beyond our comprehension. It is also comforting to live knowing that a higher power cares about you, and religion has the capability to bring communities together in a shared belief. It's a big universe, and religion was made to give us an explanation of why everything happens the way it does. It's a way to remove the unknown.

So, as we do, we take this and endlessly argue about which of our religions is "right" (rather than, you know, actually trying to examine the universe and discover evidence that any of them are even correct in the first place whilst some people I.E terrorists decide to blow everyone up, which through their utterly insane logic will convince the others to believe, and generally break the entire human race away from any sense of self-creativity, unity or friendship whilst inexplicably trying to stop the people who might actually be able to bring an end to the whole twisted debate (read: scientists) by saying that their research goes against the morality of their chosen god/gods.

Why yes, i am an atheist. How could you tell?

yoshiru:
Arguing that "evil governments" or people created religion to "control" the population doesn't make much sense.

Because: People were less networked and connected and yet almost every civilization created or believed in some type of pantheon.

Now adays when governments are more powerful and need better ways of "controlling" people, why is religion on the down-turn?

My theory is while an organized religion like catholicism may make people "predictable" in the sense that they have traditions which mandate every new convert will almost always purchase a crucifix. It's unpredictable in that, one day, the church (or a church) may decide porn is evil or eating pizza is making you fat, and so a large group of people just stops looking at porn or eating pizza regardless of what the government and companies are telling you. That unpredictable consumer attitude can destroy companies.

Just imagine what would happen if all Catholics, Jews, and conservative Protestants "joined forces" and decided buying from Apple is bad. Apple would not be happy.

Uh.er.. back to topic: ..no, religion in the sense you are viewing it is not usually created by government. Although I hear that North Korean children were taught that Kim Jong Il didn't poop. That may fall under religious belief; or stupidity, not sure which.

Religion as a form of control does make sense, just not the way you're interpreting it. Back in the day, the monarchs held absolute power, but couldn't control people any more than modern governments can. Along comes religion that says "This is the way to live your life, you can choose not to, if you don't mind burning in a fiery pit for all eternity even after you die" So not only do people behave a certain way out of fear of an omnipresent deity, but even monarchs start to do so. Don't kid yourself, there was a time when the church held more power than the king. They weren't created by the government, they WERE the government.

And as we know, religions of old were different the than modern ones that encourage peace and understanding. If the church wanted to murder an entire culture for looking at them the wrong way, it was God's will and even the king couldn't say no. That is what is meant by religious control.

I think the TC's question has been answered in previous posts. Personally I won't believe anything until it can be proven. Not creationism, not the big bang, not anything. The universe is pretty big, and there are infinite possibilities. I think it is beyond arrogant to claim one has all the answers when they have no experience beyond their own perspective. However, we are not likely to find the truth in our lifetime, and for most people, any answer is better than none. So I can understand having faith and won't fault anyone for it. As long as they don't push their beliefs on others. I will even go so far as to say they COULD be 100% right. (Though i rather doubt it)

We don't. Not really. I'm of the opinion that religion largely formed due to man's need to understand that which, at the time, we could barely contextualize.

Yes, I understand there are those who still feel they need religion, but I don't think its as necessary as it used to be.

I hope this will answer your question.

We need religion because we need faith, plain and simple. And while the two concepts of faith and religion may not be mutually exclusive I believe that faith is much stronger if it is invested in an organized religion be it Christianity, Buddhism, Bahia (spelling?), paganism or Jedi-ism.

To put it simply, they dont.

Elfgore:
Note: I'm not trying to be a troll here and please be considerate to other viewpoints.

Now that is out of the way, Why do you need religion? you could be the most religious person in the world yet nothing good happens until you die. So what is the point of it. Was it made by evil governments of old times to control to populace. I mean look at some of the first civilizations they all had gods or some other type of religion. Is it people are scared to think that when you die that is it and you rot in the ground. So they conjure up a god so they can have an afterlife. Or do we as humans crave for a higher power, someone to give us moral guide lines to live by.

This is an interesting question, one that has been studied for many years. There is no simple answer. It is most likely a combination of many factors.

Lets consider one possibility that you have likely rejected out of hand. That there is a God (or Gods or other supreme being or force or whatever it is people may believe in) and that we were created by him/her/they/it. It is conceivable that the human "need for religion" as you have put it was part of the design in the first place. That may be one of the many factors that contribute to the human need of religion.

Though I would call it a desire for religion, not a need. Many people do not participate in religion. If it is an inherent trait it can be suppressed or eliminated, and if it is an acquired trait then it is not shared by every person.

Also, I think you misunderstand an important concept of many religions. There is a benefit before death in most religions. The Roman pantheon were believed to have been in direct control of the elements, so to speak. If you were to please Zeus you could expect plenty of rainfall for your crops. Similar concepts exist in most current day religions as well. Many Christians believe that God will assist the righteous though inspiration and subtle miracles. And you are forgetting the tangible benefits of a strong community that are naturally formed by those united in a common belief.

Religion played a huge role in our early development. In order for humans to spread information and trade, there was a necessity to make sure that the tribe across the hill/lake/ocean had at least similar customs and ethics. It was also important that everyone in your immediate tribe shares similar beliefs and have a standardized code of conduct.

I don't personally think we need it right now, all it seems to do nowadays is stifle progress. If that's the case holy wars and suicide bombings will selectively breed those tendencies out of us in a few hundred years. If it's not as bad as it all seems right now, it's here to stay and newly liberated atheists need to live with it.

In short, we don't need religion. I and every other atheist out there proves that.

Now on to the claim that faith is necessary. This too is quite false. How can I trust science? Because I have repeatedly seen it work. How do I know those equations are correct? Because I am personally capable of proving them to be valid. But what of your axioms? I see how one goes from those axioms and constructs a system to produce statements that are empirically true. The construction is very nearly composed of iff statements (not if statements), and the few if statements that there are require a very high level of proof to convince me otherwise because of their empirical resiliency.

Why do we need the Internet?
Why do we need science?
Why do we need entertainment?
Why do we need society or government?
Why do we need anything?
Why do we need?

Infernaldiscount:
In short, we don't need religion. I and every other atheist out there proves that.

Now on to the claim that faith is necessary. This too is quite false. How can I trust science? Because I have repeatedly seen it work. How do I know those equations are correct? Because I am personally capable of proving them to be valid. But what of your axioms? I see how one goes from those axioms and constructs a system to produce statements that are empirically true. The construction is very nearly composed of iff statements (not if statements), and the few if statements that there are require a very high level of proof to convince me otherwise because of their empirical resiliency.

Now prove that you've seen what you saw and not something else.
Prove the existence of proof.
Prove that true is not false.
Prove that you exist.
Prove definition.
Prove logic.

The whole "God exists" argument aside, humans have religion because most of us are open-minded enough to accept that the universe isn't limited to what we can measure.

Elfgore:
Note: I'm not trying to be a troll here and please be considerate to other viewpoints.

Now that is out of the way, Why do you need religion? you could be the most religious person in the world yet nothing good happens until you die. So what is the point of it. Was it made by evil governments of old times to control to populace. I mean look at some of the first civilizations they all had gods or some other type of religion. Is it people are scared to think that when you die that is it and you rot in the ground. So they conjure up a god so they can have an afterlife. Or do we as humans crave for a higher power, someone to give us moral guide lines to live by.

Take a look at history and you get the gist of what religion is. It is there to explain the unexplainable. Bad things happening has been changed from this or that god being angry or testing us to a single god testing/pissed. Or the Greek/Roman Gods/Goddesses explaining EVERYTHING that is happening in the world. Now with advances in Science we don't need to have all those things explained to us so we have stripped down teh Gods/Goddesses of old.

At risk of sounding quite cheesy, religions can foster good will among men and help establish efficient and stable governments. Obviously this is not always the case, but there are countless instances in history that support this stance. The Russians and their adoption of the Orthodox church is a fine example.

Plus, people want to believe that there is more to existence than the shitty-ass material plane. I know I do.

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