Science verifies intuitions about practices

I know a few who have been saying this. This isn’t the first set of studies like this. It’s about time religious leaders starting acknowledging this. The title should be, studies show religion should stop shoving lies in our face.

It seems to me we could appreciate religion much better if we recognized that the source of religion lies within ourselves and developed out of our evolutionary past - we’d be way ahead of the game.

Science and religion have often been at odds. But if we remove the theology—views about the nature of God, the creation of the universe, and the like—from the day-to-day practice of religious faith, the animosity in the debate evaporates.

What we’re left with is a series of rituals, customs, and sentiments that are themselves the results of experiments of sorts.

Over thousands of years, these experiments, carried out in the messy thick of life as opposed to sterile labs, have led to the design of what we might call spiritual technologies—tools and processes meant to sooth, move, convince, or otherwise tweak the mind.

And studying these technologies has revealed that certain parts of religious practices, even when removed from a spiritual context, are able to influence people’s minds in the measurable ways psychologists often seek.

Unfortunately religion is also too good at brainwashing and mind control - so religions are too often taken over run by manipulative individuals with their own self-serving (and ultimate destructive) agendas.

In my waning years of belief, what I kept hearing was a pattern of “community, love, compassion, doing good” followed by “because Jesus”. It got increasingly harder to see Jesus as the cause, then he vanished. After that, the “because Jesus” part became really annoying and I could see more clearly how it overshadowed the love and compassion parts.

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The “benefits” of religion don’t work without religion. It’s like a rock band with no instruments.

Or at least the religious motif.
And who’s to say Rock’n Roll isn’t a valid religion for many?

Religion is the product of good salesmanship, add the community, add some rituals and call it good. Or what you want.

Not unlike you to completely dismiss the scientific evidence. This has been tested in the real world for centuries. Tell me, how is it that belief in a certain mythological character leads to more moral behavior?

Granted, the studies are testing things like compassion and caring, and those are not the only results of religion. If you want to say that getting people whipped up so they will go kill some “others” who believe in a different mythological characters, then, yeah, you need the whole religion package for that.

Religion- mass brainwashing, mass delusion, mass radicalization, mass everything- none of it good. There is no ethical benefit to religion and in some, if not many, cases, it is highly unethical. It can also suppress intellect and education, even lead to medical neglect of children.

That may be true but substitutes for religion like Secular Humanism have failed provide those things.

So you want a god, rituals, and community? Community, I get, but what is the need for rituals and a god?

You don’t see it much, but I don’t think that’s a fair way to assess the failure. Religions have the advantage of large populations, so people can move, find a church, and keep it going. That creates a pool of large donors who believe their success is due to the church. Secularism has not built that up yet.

Good community can be found. Check out the CFI group in Grand Rapids MI for instance. Or the Austin Community of Atheists (not just a YouTube show).

Rituals turn off secularists because it looks too much like church, and they are rightly suspicious of that. That’s something groups will need to deal with.

Salesmanship is equally suspicious, which is a real Catch-22 since you need to do outreach to grow. That’s easier to deal with, just be honest about what you are offering.

It so easy to say something so vague - but what the heck do you mean?

I’m curious if you can define what those “failure’s” are?

I mean religion may just be a kind of “showbiz” but the religious are actually able to connect with others. Secular Humanists struggle with this because they’re mostly nerds and therefore socially inept.

Once more, you affirm things without any proof. you may have feelings, that’s does not make them truth.

Do you think that a priest who rapes a child has any empathy for him ?

In France, a study sponsored by the catholic church has computed that during the last 70 years at least 330 000 children had been molested during church activities, 2/ 3 of them by priests.

In the French society, after the family, the church is the main place where children are molested.

[Commission indépendante sur les abus sexuels dans l'Église — Wikipédia]

You know, oneguy is right. Whenever I’m thinking about going out for a drink, or going to watch some football, the first thing that comes to mind is, hey, I’ll call my Catholic buddies, they’re fun, maybe a couple Menonites