General Question

charis23's avatar

“If humans lived eternally, therefore without the most fundamental fear (and of course, without evolution), do you think that faith/belief/religion would still exist?”?

Asked by charis23 (27points) April 30th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

TjHare's avatar

….................If humans were immortal we would constantly be starving to death from having eaten everything. LOL. OR are the animals immortal too? I think human’s would be so self-absorbed that they would worship themselves like they already do anyways.

oratio's avatar

I think faith and beliefs are in our nature and that it doesn’t rely on our fear of death. I think immortality would be irrelevant to that. We would simply believe something else.

cwilbur's avatar

No matter whether were immortal or not, we would still ask ourselves why things happen.

Harp's avatar

If humans lived eternally, then people wouldn’t need to make up stories to explain our origins, because we would still have the first people to tell us the truth. There wouldn’t be any doubt about whether such-and-such an event actually happened, because the eyewitnesses to those events would still be alive. Mythology would be replaced by history. Fabrication and revisionism would be far more difficult.

Faith and belief are required when empirical evidence is lacking, so there would be little call for them.

oratio's avatar

@Harp I don’t know. I agree to that god is in the gaps, but there are always people dismissing empirical evidence in favor for their beliefs. Look at the issue of evolution.

ubersiren's avatar

Very good question… Some people would probably wonder why we are here and where we came from. But I think a lot of religion is fear. Ex: If you don’t want to end up in the lake of fire, you better get your ass to church and worship your Lord. Without the fear of a hellish afterlife or being punished by the gods, we wouldn’t have much to have faith in. I don’t think people would worship an entity without the fear that their very lives could be taken from them by that entity.

fireside's avatar

My faith doesn’t manifest itself out of fear. It comes from an internal recognition of the connectedness of all things. If humans lived forever, there would still be the question of if all things are one or not and if all people have higher and lower natures that they should express.

Harp's avatar

@fireside Yes, that question would persist. Religion has served several functions: a political function (method of exerting control over thoughts and behaviors of others), an explanatory function (explaining the origins of the material world and attempting to give meaning to apparent chaos), and a moral function (a scheme for understanding the causes of suffering and how to minimize it).

In this hypothetical “eternal life” scenario, some aspects of these functions would disappear, others would be subsumed by other institutions, but a few would persist. We would still have great psychic issues in coming to grips with chaos and suffering. While death is a huge cause of suffering, it isn’t the only one. The question of separateness/oneness is central to those problems and would likely continue to be addressed by religion.

mattbrowne's avatar

Faith is not just about death and the afterlife.

@Harp – Modern non-dogmatic religions are about social guidance and not about social control. The moral part cannot be restricted to the issue of suffering.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Religion would probably still exist but it would be different assuredly.
There wouldn’t be any focus on afterlife.
Reproductive issues would be gone because if everyone was immortal, there wouldn’t be any procreation.
Without the fear of death and retribution for our sins in the afterlife religion would become a more philosophical pursuit.

As such a lot less people would be religious.

fireside's avatar

Why assume that there would be no procreation just because people lived eternally?
Are we assuming that people don’t age at all?
If so, then where did we come from?

Would there only be one generation and no others or would there be many generations using up the planet’s resources more quickly?

It’s tough to answer hypotheticals, but I would assume that there would be more need for religion or philosophy if we had an eternal lifespan.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@fireside If no one ever died, why would we need to procreate?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I believe there will be religion as long as people search to identify what causes the feeling of interconnectivity to other living things. Some believe there is something other than human responsible for this feeling.

Harp's avatar

@mattbrowne Agreed that there are religions that are not about control, but many still are. I do think that morality can legitimately be defined in terms of minimizing suffering. We call those actions “good” that lead to a decrease in suffering in the world. “Bad” actions produce a net increase in suffering.

This isn’t a matter of pain vs. pleasure of course. The opposite of suffering in the moral sense is not necessarily pleasure, nor is suffering necessarily synonymous with discomfort. I’m speaking of suffering in its broadest sense of “unsatisfactoriness” in all its varied manifestations, mild or overwhelming.

fireside's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – I don’t think procreation is simply a matter of need. If that was the case, there wouldn’t be abortions or unwanted pregnancies now. People have sex, sex creates babies. The longer people live, the more sex they are likely to have.

But, again, its tough to answer hypothetical questions.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Harp – Yes, some forms of religions are about control, but so are some ideologies. The most perverse forms of ideologies include Nazism and Stalinism (both of which are not rooted in religion) and they mean total and absolute control.

While dogmatic Islam or dogmatic Catholicism are about control, it still means that most Catholics escape it and use condoms and other forms birth control (motto: let the senile celibate Popes ramble). Many Muslims see moderate alcohol consumption as a form of medicine. People often find ways to escape control. But not always. Some of the terrible examples include Saudi-Arabia, Iran or a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. This comes very close to ideologies like Nazism and Stalinism.

Zaku's avatar

Asked from a Judeo-Christian slant, it seems to me, but sure, there would still be such things – they’d just want to be invented differently to match the resulting situation, whatever that was.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

I don’t think people would be religious at all if this were the case, people seem to have such respect and trust in god because of what they think it will get them in the afterlife, If we were to live eternally I’m sure people would assume no need for it, There wouldn’t be any fear, and the majority of people look to god as a person they can trust and someone they believe can help them in any situation, I think people would be a lot more depressed then they are now. I’m sure I’ve said I wish I could live forever but really thinking about it; it probably wouldn’t be so great…

Crusader's avatar

Immortality is synonymous with Angelic Ascension,
Humans are Entities separated from God for the sake of Love,
Our immortality is achieved, in part through our predecessors
and our progeny, and is complete through acknowledgement of
Jesus as Lord, and embracing principles of Accountability,
Honesty, and Love, as well as living a biblical life as best
as possible.

The Universe is Vast, limitless for all intents and purposes,
plenty of room for physical and spiritual alike, the Chosen
righteous will inhabit this realm, and illuminate the
heavens with their continuous light.

The Saints will be brought into the Being of God and the
Son, and the Spirit, The One. Complete comprehension of the
All with be bestowed as well as complete Love.
psychic manifestations, perpetuating perpetually.

Urban's avatar

Unfortunately, religion is seeded too deeply in the current world and beyond what happens after death, people use it to attempt to understand the origins of humans. Speaking in terms of traditional beliefs and religions since the belief and faith in other things would always be around.

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