Originally Posted by carve
When they last published, they did not have a good success rate. There's a Penn & Teller about this- pretty good. I think the meetings and support are good, and teaching people they CAN'T control their own drinking without mystical forces is counterproductive. They tned to balance out.
Meds are science based. They aren't distributed until they're proven to do something, and people understand how they work. If someone needed placebos to function, then yes- that'd be a weakness. People have used the crutch of religion to better themselves. However, ultimately the work was their own. What if I decided to live a more moral life in order to provide better cover for myself, and to uphold the responsibilities of, my true identity as a real-life super hero. Maybe I'd actually become more moral, but is this really a healthy way to go about it? Would it not be healthier to confront reality and use rational reasons to behave moral?
I imagine there are people who'd be a menace without fear of God, so I guess that makes it a useful tool. I wouldn't truly consider those people moral though- just afraid.
I would not consider people moral who needed the fear of God or religion to be moral, but I think that most people know on their own that things like slavery, murder, rape, robbery, etc. are wrong. In the beginning of history though I do believe that religion provided, as you call it, a useful tool to keep people in line, and to encourage those who wouldn't have acted morally in the first place, to act morally. As we've advanced, and specifically as science and civilization have advanced, we've come up with other ways of helping those who just don't seem to understand how to act morally.
And as it applies to morals, I consider myself a moral relativist (another point that separates me from the hardcore religious). Morals do change over time (hence our change in position on items like slavery). The unfortunate thing with moral absolutists (if that's the correct term) is that they believe that morals are fixed, but ignore the history of the change of morals -- their goal is decidedly immoral I believe -- to get everyone to live as they do.
Again: to the extent it doesn't affect me, I don't really have an interest in what strangers believe, even if they want to believe they're superheros. I do find it interesting though.
I find it interesting as well =) My initial "outrage," if you will, over the comment that religion is for the weak has sparked some good debate. Now we just need some of the more religious people to join the thread!