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Atheism as Religion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Maverick667, May 9, 2007.

  1. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    I didn't say these are atheist religions, I said these religions have atheist element. Or maybe I should clarify, they are religions not found on the existence of a god or gods. Therefore an atheist can be a confucianism follower (I personally have this tendency) at the same time, so the claim "atheism means no religion" by some posters here is not true IMHO.

    I know it's a bit OT, but let me make it brief. To be strict, the original form of Buddhism in fact intrinsically rejects the existence of an omnipotent sort of god (ie. a creator like in Christianity). In Buddhist teaching there are three "fundamental laws" to judge whether a teaching is genuinely Buddhist or just a Buddhist-pretender. The first law "Anicca" (I hope I remember correctly) or the law of impermanence states that all phenomena are subject to change, and it is not possible to have an ultimate, permanent creator who can escape this principle. The third law "Anatta" flat out states that there is no permanent essence, ego or soul. So those "monks" who tell you they have a way to get you immortal, or ask you to passionately follow the teaching of a particular god so that god will grant you happiness afterlife, based on these fundamental laws, are spreading pseudo-buddhist teaching. That's what I mean Buddhism has a strong atheism component.
     
  2. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    Atheism is "disbelief in G/god/s," not "lacking religion." Therefore a religion may be atheistic; to classify atheism itself as a religion is to disregard other religions which are fundamentally atheistic, akin to classifying "Spotted" as a dog breed.

    Recap for the new page. ;)
     
  3. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    I disagree with that statement. Atheism, analyzing it by its prefix alone, is the lack of theism, which is usually the belief in God/Gods but can also include any systematic doctrine of belief in the supernatural. Trying to define it is difficult, but it is quite clear what it isn't: a religion. If nobody has mentioned this famous quote yet (and I'm too tired to go back through the four pages of this thread to look for it): "calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color".
     
  4. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    I have issues with this as well. Science itself inherently addresses the natural, that which is knowable in the world and can be explained solely by natural phenomena. Religion by its very nature addresses the supernatural, souls and gods and such. It should be quite clear these are separate issues, but for most people (who may not have good education, say...) the lines get muddled between what they think is supernatural and natural (for example, the existence of life and how it developed/was created).

    I hope this also clarifies what I said above: atheism in a broad sense is the rejection of the supernatural, which is an inherent rejection of religion. It's difficult to define atheism because there are as many atheisms as atheists--it's not codified, and typically it is a personal definition that varies between atheists.
     
  5. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    Well, according to that unreliable place, the word "atheism" changed definition over history, but always related to G/god/s (never to the broader "systematic belief in the supernatural"). Theism there is also specifically linked to G/god/s, not the broader supernatural/superstition/etc thing. Of course, that is only if you want to get technical about it.

    Do not doubt Wikipedia for it is All-Knowing, All-Seeing, and All-Powerful.
    PS: This last bit is sarcasm and satire, just in case someone misinterprets me.
     
  6. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    It is very thin ice you are walking upon, my friend, when you so decidedly draw a straight line between "natural" and "supernatural".
    If we suppose there IS something like a soul - and that really is not such a big stretch of imagination - I myself am rather inclined to believe it - then "soul" suddenly becomes absolutely "natural". Lack of suitable equipment to study (or contact) it as of yet, does not make it "supernatural".

    Distinction of "natural" and "supernatural" from the aspect of creation of life is another funny issue. Modern scientists, desperately wishing to get away from "supernatural" creationism, have brought forward theory of evolution, stating that development of one specie from another (macroevolution) has happened entirely because of random gene mutations. Now, better men than me (and certainly not creationists) have calculated that odds of a beneficial mutation appearing and surviving (event never observed in reality) are actually so miniscule, that this could, in some sense, be compared to winning a lottery jackpot several dozen times in a row.
    If I was religious, I'd say that if all today's species have been consistently winning lottery jackpots all the time, then this is a clear sign of divine intervention:lol:
     
  7. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    Quite off-topic: The spiritual side of me says this is the proof of a Supreme Being. :p
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Really, really, don't turn this thread into a debate about creationism. There are definitely enough threads about that in OT, where I would not fear to tread.

    One problem with discussions like this is that people tend to be over-fixated on belief. So we hear that religion is "about" the supernatural, for example. But there is far more to religion than belief; indeed, with some religions, belief doesn't seem to enter into it much at all. A religion is a sociological phenomenon. A "religious" person is one who is a member of a "religious" group and who participates in "religious" ceremonies. Even when religious groups turn their attention to doctrine - such as when they issue creeds and doctrinal statements - they are (in part) not making declarative statements but seeking to define themselves as a group, as opposed to other groups with similar but distinct beliefs. The archetype of the non-religious believer is Kant, who argued for the existence of God, but who thought all religious activities were a waste of time (and always contrived to be "indisposed" whenever his position as rector of the university required him to attend them). The archetype of the religious sceptic might be Pascal, who was plagued by doubt but for whom religious activities were extremely meaningful. There is a whole range of possible positions between those two extremes.

    Returning to something vaguely on-topic, a religion is "official" when certain practices are obligatory, recommended, or forbidden. Thus at certain times in Roman history it was obligatory to make a sacrifice to Caesar's genius, or illegal to possess a copy of the Bible. What you believed was neither here nor there. If you want to model relations between the state and particular religions in Civ you need to think about that sort of thing rather than beliefs.
     
  9. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    Back on topic, then: Want an Atheistic state? Have Buddhism as the State Religion--gettingfat stated earlier that it is fundamental to Buddhism to be atheistic, so there.
     
  10. Maverick667

    Maverick667 Warlord

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    Ok started this thread but haven't really followed it, took me half an hour to get back on track ;)

    First thing I wanna say is Atheism isn't Free Religion... look at the USSR where Religion was forbidden, and people were forced into Atheism.

    We now look at that as terrible, but in all honesty the same thing happened when people were forced into christianity. Even today in the US, people cannot become president if they're not christian... And still they claim it to be a free country...

    Now talking about Civ, I don't believe any other religions give bonuses so why should Atheism do. Although from historic standpoint it should encourage sience, whereas religion would discourage science. For an example look at the Dark Ages, which are mainly the fault of religion, we could have been so much more advance without the Dark Age.
     
  11. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    @Flying Chicken: Back on topic, yes :) No, I don't believe in Atheist religion as an option. But I have thought up an Atheist civic:

    Once you convert, you lose all your Temples, Cathedrals, Monasteries and Shrines for one-time cash boost.
    You lose all religions in all cities, however you get +1 unhappiness for every former religion for set amount of turns. Religion does not spread any more.
    -1 exp and -25% cost for military units.
    Negative diplomacy modifier towards non-atheists.

    That should fit, because intended confiscation of church property has usually been driving force behind strongly "atheist" rulers.

    The cash boost has to be large, however, otherwise the civic will not pay off. The purpose of it should be getting additional funding for science, (at the expense of culture) and/or to instantly upgrade a large number of obsolete units.
     
  12. Maverick667

    Maverick667 Warlord

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    Why would changing to Atheism give you a boost on military units? :D

    I don't see what the two have in common...

    I science boost would be far better...
     
  13. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    The science boost is represented by your ability to run your slider at higher percentage because of your extra cash.
    As for military, I may have been a bit stuck in stereotypes (Chinese Cultural Revolution, early years of Communism in Russia etc). Basically, so radical a change in society is probably not peaceful, thus increased need for soldiers, thus increased quantity at the expense of quality. Something like that.
     
  14. Maverick667

    Maverick667 Warlord

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    Ok I understand what you say about Revolution and stuff needing military...

    but still why only with Atheism ;)

    USA is a christian nation but uses the most force to make sure it controls the world...
     
  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    The Dark Ages were not caused by religion, they were caused by the political, social, and economic collapse of Rome. The church was actually the most stable social institution during that time, and the only one that preserved the learning of antiquity. Without religion the Dark Ages would have been a lot worse.
     
  16. Swedishguy

    Swedishguy Deity

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    Negative relations with non-atheists? How would this work in MP?
     
  17. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    @Swedishguy
    Duh, the game will degenerate into flame wars and self-righteous preaching from either side.

    @Maverick667
    Officially, the US is not a Christian state. Rather its people want a Christian leader--mob rule is the foundation of democracy. Free Religion means that a person will not be persecuted for practicing his/her beliefs unless it breaks the secular law.
     
  18. Maverick667

    Maverick667 Warlord

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    Yes but the learning of antiquity is not a form of progresive science, only if one has forgotten which one should have not forgot.

    The real reason science didn't progress was because the church would condemn it as witchcraft. Look at Copernicus who was to afraid to express his scientific believes because of the church.

    Of course wars and political intriges were bad for science at that time, but there are wars going on today. The problem which the church has with science is that it may one day discover that the church is wrong, therefor science and religion do not mix.

    It's true the US is secular officially, but I do believe religion plays to big a part in it's politics but that's my opinion.
     
  19. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Maybe so, but the church still did not cause the Dark Ages, and it did not cause whatever loss of learning occurred during that period.

    It's pretty anachronistic and old-fashioned to call it the "Dark Ages" these days anyway.

    The church never condemned science as witchcraft. In fact, in the Middle Ages, the church officially denied that witchcraft even existed. "Science" as we know it didn't progress much in either antiquity or the Middle Ages. That wasn't because it was being suppressed but simply because the scientific method and the scientific mindset hadn't yet developed. Anyone who thinks that religion has always been opposed to science needs to ask why modern science was developed by highly religious people in an age when religion ruled.

    The fact that Copernicus was afraid to express his cosmological beliefs doesn't mean he would have got into trouble for doing only that. The church never had a problem with either him or Galileo suggesting heliocentrism; as I said before, Galileo was condemned not for raising the idea but for insisting that he could prove it was true.

    Not at all. The church's position has usually been that truths can never contradict each other, so if religion is true, science will not contradict it. That's the position of the Catholic Church today just as it was in the days of Thomas Aquinas. Of course religious people may disagree with certain scientific theories, but it would be inconsistent for anyone to believe a religious doctrine and at the same time fear that science could disprove it.
     
  20. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

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    The dark ages were of course a uniquely european phenomenon, at that time learning and science flourished in other places such as the middle east under Islam.

    Saying "The real reason SOME AREAS OF science didn't progress..." would be far more accurate, as has been discussed earlier in this thread most of human knowledge (I prefer this term because science as we know it today was a later development) in these times was preserved and advanced by religious scholars.
    In addition your implication that war could be bad for science is not borne out by the facts. War is a competition and competition spurs the competitors. Throughout history wars, and the development of better ways to wage them, have been the impetus for much research and the results of that research inevitably carry over into many non-military applications.

    This I agree with unreservedly. Under free religion not only should politics stay out of religion, but religion should also stay out of politics.
     

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