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Question No. 1
#1

Question No. 1
Would the world be a more or less dangerous place without gods?

You have to be careful with the answer here because there's belief gods exist even if they don't actually exist, and the belief alone imposes many hazards that wouldn't exist if not just gods themselves but sheer belief in them were absent.  Religious conflicts wouldn't exist, so many (many many many) lives saved immediately.  On the other hand, missing a crucial business meeting because there was no god to find your misplaced car keys in time could have financial reverberations beyond imagining, depending on the nature of the meeting.

Natural disasters might occur less often since none that occur would be punishment for moral infractions - or they might occur more often because divine interventions couldn't plug a volcano, still an earthquake, or stop rain from causing a flood.  What, for example, is the actual baseline for disaster occurrence, against which more or fewer compared to that baseline could actually be measured?

Whole forests might be preserved as the demand for paper to print tracts and posters and bibles wouldn't exist.

Traffic safety might improve because drivers who habitually count on godly protection would have to drive with greater caution, and more responsibly.  Likewise overall health might improve since no one would believe a god is staving off the repercussions of unhealthy habits.

But here again baselines would need to be known.  Perhaps without divine assistance human lifespan would top out at 35, all of us dead of compound maladies.  Without a god's constant protection any journey of more than 50 miles at more than 80MPH would always be fatal.

So it's not a simple question.
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#2

Question No. 1
A lot of humans seem to need to worship something, especially when it addresses fear of death. No gods may be worse than gods.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#3

Question No. 1
If there were a god of lost car keys that would be convenient - for better and for worse. Depending on whose keys said god found and what date they needed to make....

I think it would be far better if there were no gods real or imagined as that would be one fewer thing at least some of us had to contend with for our very survival. They're tigers at best.
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#4

Question No. 1
It might have been a less dangerous place for me. My father firmly believed in the biblical mandates about thrashing disobedient children and he beat me and my younger brother without mercy for petty infractions of his rules.  Sad
“I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne De Grellet)
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#5

Question No. 1
(05-07-2024, 02:24 PM)Gwaithmir Wrote: It might have been a less dangerous place for me. My father firmly believed in the biblical mandates about thrashing disobedient children and he beat me and my younger brother without mercy for petty infractions of his rules.  Sad

Did mom ever get involved?

[Image: a010690d278cea341e2e618aec0e64f8.jpg]
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#6

Question No. 1
(05-06-2024, 10:23 AM)airportkid Wrote: Would the world be a more or less dangerous place without gods?
I don't think it's an answerable question.

You seem to be asking it almost assuming there ARE gods.

But that aside, you'd have to somehow separate people from their beliefs about gods to know if the world is less dangerous because they believe, or more dangerous. One can mount a convincing argument both ways:

1) If a person avoids "sinning" only from fear of god, then in the absence of (belief about) god they would go hog wild because of zero consequences. Murder, rape, whatever.

2) If a person wishes to harm others who don't believe as they do, and considers other beliefs or no belief to be an existential threat and feel that god expects them to wipe out all infidels, then in the absence of (belief about) god they would not persecute people because what those other people believe or don't believe truly would not matter.

What it boils down to is that (beliefs about) god(s) are both carrot and stick; they are a restraint on behavior that's (claimed to be) bad, some of it erroneously, and they are an incentive on various objectively bad behaviors up to and in including genocide.
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#7

Question No. 1
The question "Would the world be a more or less
dangerous place without gods?" is really a non sequitur.
It presupposes that gods could, or do, exist.

It should be rewritten as "Would the world be a more
or less dangerous place without the belief in gods?"
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#8

Question No. 1
I wonder what the people who didn't make it on the Ark would say?

[Image: kaptorga-terminator.gif]
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#9

Question No. 1
(05-06-2024, 10:23 AM)airportkid Wrote: Would the world be a more or less dangerous place without gods?

You have to be careful with the answer here because there's belief gods exist even if they don't actually exist, and the belief alone imposes many hazards that wouldn't exist if not just gods themselves but sheer belief in them were absent.  Religious conflicts wouldn't exist, so many (many many many) lives saved immediately.  On the other hand, missing a crucial business meeting because there was no god to find your misplaced car keys in time could have financial reverberations beyond imagining, depending on the nature of the meeting.

Natural disasters might occur less often since none that occur would be punishment for moral infractions - or they might occur more often because divine interventions couldn't plug a volcano, still an earthquake, or stop rain from causing a flood.  What, for example, is the actual baseline for disaster occurrence, against which more or fewer compared to that baseline could actually be measured?

Whole forests might be preserved as the demand for paper to print tracts and posters and bibles wouldn't exist.

Traffic safety might improve because drivers who habitually count on godly protection would have to drive with greater caution, and more responsibly.  Likewise overall health might improve since no one would believe a god is staving off the repercussions of unhealthy habits.

But here again baselines would need to be known.  Perhaps without divine assistance human lifespan would top out at 35, all of us dead of compound maladies.  Without a god's constant protection any journey of more than 50 miles at more than 80MPH would always be fatal.

So it's not a simple question.

A universe with a deity could be random and unpredictable. That would be bad. A universe with a deity could be vindictive of small offenses. But a universe with a deity might bring advancement and kindness. So far as I can tell, we have been mostly responsible for our longer lifetimes. It could go either way.

But history suggests that no deity has ever been particularly kind or helping us advance. So, aside from whether there is one, I rather there wasn't any. It feels a bit safer that way.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#10

Question No. 1
It's just a question of how many wild animals we're willing to put up with in the gated community.
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#11

Question No. 1
People would just find something else to be irrational about. Politics has proved a fertile dimension. As has woo.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#12

Question No. 1
(05-07-2024, 04:45 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(05-07-2024, 02:24 PM)Gwaithmir Wrote: It might have been a less dangerous place for me. My father firmly believed in the biblical mandates about thrashing disobedient children and he beat me and my younger brother without mercy for petty infractions of his rules.  Sad

Did mom ever get involved?

[Image: a010690d278cea341e2e618aec0e64f8.jpg]

Only once, when my father beat me with a stick. She only voiced her disapproval after the fact and did nothing to stop him. To this day, I often wonder if Dad physically abused Mom when us kids weren't around.  Sad
“I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne De Grellet)
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#13

Question No. 1
(05-09-2024, 11:56 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:
(05-07-2024, 04:45 PM)brewerb Wrote: Did mom ever get involved?

[Image: a010690d278cea341e2e618aec0e64f8.jpg]

Only once, when my father beat me with a stick. She only voiced her disapproval after the fact and did nothing to stop him. To this day, I often wonder if Dad physically abused Mom when us kids weren't around.  Sad

I had a grandfather that beat his wife and kids. The kids got grandma away from him once they were able. To my knowledge not religious views were involved, he was just a huge control freak.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#14

Question No. 1
There are no gods so the question is meaningless.

What exists is an apparently primitive human need to believe in such odious characters and that belief has proven to be exceedingly dangerous.




[Image: those-who-can-make-you-believe-voltaire-...662ff4ae8f]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#15

Question No. 1
Long time no speak.

I would say that a world without belief in gods would have fewer reasons for humans to cause harm to others. Whether that would lead to less harm being caused is a different question I can't answer.
Factio Republicanus delenda est!
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#16

Question No. 1
(05-12-2024, 08:56 PM)Brian Shanahan Wrote: Long time no speak.

I would say that a world without belief in gods would have fewer reasons for humans to cause harm to others.  Whether that would lead to less harm being caused is a different question I can't answer.

I think the battle over land and resources wouldn’t change much but removing the idea that god is on your side might make some solutions more peaceful or longer lasting.
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#17

Question No. 1
Without gods, people would be more humble about their beliefs. There would not be an army of people possessing undue certainty about themselves and the world.

Transcendentals are corrupting. They persuade people that they can't be wrong. And even if they could, they wouldn't be the ones who are wrong.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#18

Question No. 1
T-shirt sales would decline.

[Image: A13usaonutL._CLa%7C2140%2C2000%7C614R4-%...Y1000_.png]
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#19

Question No. 1
(05-12-2024, 10:12 PM)pattylt Wrote:
(05-12-2024, 08:56 PM)Brian Shanahan Wrote: Long time no speak.

I would say that a world without belief in gods would have fewer reasons for humans to cause harm to others.  Whether that would lead to less harm being caused is a different question I can't answer.

I think the battle over land and resources wouldn’t change much but removing the idea that god is on your side might make some solutions more peaceful or longer lasting.

That's why I don't think a lack of god belief would change the violent nature of history.  We are historically a violent species (though less violent with each passing generation from what we can know).
Factio Republicanus delenda est!
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#20

Question No. 1
Quote:We are historically a violent species (though less violent with each passing generation from what we can know).


Really?  I think we are getting worse...certainly the technology improves.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#21

Question No. 1
(05-14-2024, 09:42 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:We are historically a violent species (though less violent with each passing generation from what we can know).


Really?  I think we are getting worse...certainly the technology improves.

I think we have become more creative with the technology at our fingertips to enable us to kill a larger group in less time.  Haven’t most wars gotten shorter even if more deadly?  On one hand, I agree that we can be every bit as cruel and bloodthirsty as our ancestors but, we do it from a distance now.  How would humanity react if we suddenly had to go back to blades and pole axes? Have we lost the stomach for that (overall, not some specific people) or would we just quickly adapt again?

It’s an interesting thought.  I know that the book Better Angels of our Nature discusses how humanity has improved but it seems we also have a capacity to switch back in a moment.
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#22

Question No. 1
It's tricky to predict, but removing the belief in gods could definitely reduce religious conflicts and save lives. On the flip side, people might lose some comfort and guidance they get from their faith. Natural disasters and everyday challenges would still happen, but we'd need to rely more on human ingenuity and caution.
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#23

Question No. 1
You know what technology has done?  It has taken the horror out of war....unless you are on the receiving end.

The first battle in Europe in which gunpowder played a significant role was during the Hussite wars in Germany in the 1420's.  But even here most of the troops were armed with bladed or mace type weapons.  For the most part you still had to get within a few feet and stab or bludgeon someone to death while they were trying to do the same to you.  Of course, if you just wanted to kill civilians then you had to chase them down but there was still some deeply personal involvement....like when their blood splatters all over you.  Advances in musketry and artillery in the mid 18th century put some distance between the two sides but you still got to see the immediate impact of the wounds inflicted and the bayonet was still a significant part of armament even if it was becoming more and more decorative.

Now?  A lot of that is taken out of it.  A pilot can fire a missile from 20,000 feet at a target 20 miles away.  He doesn't get to see the result.  A tank crew can blow up another tank a couple of miles away and they see the tank explode....and know intellectually that the crew of 3-5 inside of it is royally fucked...but they are in the tank.  And of course in all wars since 1914 it was the artillery which played the primary goal in inflicting casualties....and at long distance.

So now we can kill and never really comprehend or have to endure the horror of it.  I suppose that constitutes human "progress?"
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#24

Question No. 1
The horror of it was never far from the doing of it, in my experience.
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#25

Question No. 1
Again, intellectually the soldier knows what he is doing..... but he is not wiping his victim's blood off his hands anymore.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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