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Why Does Religion Exist?
Do people have a sense of why science and philosophy have not been able to abolish religion? Is it a question of pedagogy (we haven't taught people well enough) or is there a systemic issue according to which science could never abolish religion? Just wondering.
It all depends if god wants us to abolish it or not. If god wants it shall be done, otherwise of course it won’t be done.

But then, perhaps you meant a more philosophical, or scientific, answer. Well, that’s much harder to come up with, which I guess is already a partial answer to your question.

Now, let’s suppose I will come up with some answer, can I really convince you of it using philosophy or science? Telling you that you will burn in hell if you are wrong is a much bigger threat than what? What threat is there for philosophy. That you’ll be wrong, oh no. While with religion the stakes are much higher – you definitely don’t want to be in the wrong. Not to mention, to make a good argument here will be long and confused for philosophy while oh so elegant, pretty, and simple for religion. (Aesthetics is definitely on the side of religion.)

Moreover, while religion has never been wrong, can you say the same for science, or philosophy? Certainly science can not “prove” anything. It has proven and was found wrong, many times. And how many times did you see someone come out from a philosophical argument convinced? It is much a matter of opinion, of habit, of how they grew, and very, very, hard to change.

Why then, you could be asking, have so many people been converted to science and philosophy rather than religion. An impressive feat given what I had said so far. Well, because Philosophy and Science were smart enough to turn themselves into a sort of religion where whoever doesn’t agree with the ruling majority is banished from the community as a hedon. Or rather, perhaps as a “goy” someone who doesn’t believe, is out of your circle, and who you don’t even try to convert (a difference of attitude between for instance Christianity-Islam, and Judaism). Their power of persuasion is also, to some “well taught” people stronger than the more ephemeral argument of god, certainly for people raised in a certain way.

How many people do you know who are not faithful to one of these religions? Secularism, or what I would define as having a freedom to decide for yourself, is not very popular even among academics.

Is it a problem of education? Perhaps, but people do not like to be free, and as Rousseau says, though they could be free they prefer to be shackled. They are quite ingenious in finding new ways to shackle themselves.

 But of course, I’m being very short handed here, saying things without developing enough, so, I can’t really see anybody being convinced by anything. That’s true that I could develop much more, but the more I develop the less people would have the energy to read this, so I’ll finish here.

I must admit though that I am not sure your question is well intended. When discussing serious life questions, discussions could obviously simply turn to silly arguments where people simply say things to annoy other people. I never really got why people like it so much. I’m all for the thrill of the argument like a good swordfight but when it’s not a swordfight, and actually the other person cannot harm you as you are simply there to needle him/her and don’t feel their sword, I find very little interest in it, and hope we can keep this sort of arguments out of here. Rather, to have discussions where on the one hand people feel free to say anything, but on the other hand, keep it utilitarian and not futile.

In any case, I think your question is very good and interesting to think about and discuss, only though it is very well written, I would obviously have stated it differently.

In response to Hugh Dupin
Hugh wrote:It all depends if god wants us to abolish it or not. If god wants it shall be done, otherwise of course it won’t be done.

And we all know how well the alleged wants, wishes and dictates of God are followed, Not at all. Human nature seizes upon a strategy for furtherance of their ends: building of empire, control of wives, subjugation of the earth, their children and other lesser beings. What a God wants is not on our agenda, anywhere, anytime. We delude ourselves with such notions.
Religion exists in the moment of a mind's meandering. The exception might be a theocratic jihadist state or a Bible Camp; but the lights go down and so do the campers. Religion is only a tradition of convenient denial of culpability among the seriously denial based lives of the guilty.
 For what it's worth, I pray, I am grateful for my life and health and companions. The urge to sell this in any form, much less  as religion, has been lost in the dust of my years.
 God wants what God gets. We however are flawed and can't learn this simple path to peace and contentment, sans "religion".

In response to william allred
 God does not exist. We ignostics find that as He has no referents as Primary Cause,etc. and His attribtutes are incoherent and contradictory, He cannot exist! Google the ignostic-Ockham and ignosticism -igtheism.
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Latest Post: March 2, 2011 at 8:55 AM
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