Australian TV show "The Gruen Transfer" gets advertising agencies to come up with advertisements for controversial topics.
Here's 2 adverts promoting the idea that religion should be banned.
I enjoy that show, it kills a few sacred cows. I dunno why it got snipped though. Maybe the link only works in Australia?
This may seem odd coming from the agnostic, but I believe that religion plays an important role in society. Philosophy mainly stems from what one believes and regardless of our beliefs or non-beliefs, and without some kind way to sort out our beliefs, we cannot answer questions regarding ethics, morality, and the like.
Those people who can think at higher levels than us mere mortals can grasp higher concepts and see the threads through all the conflicting maze of stuff - then it has to be put into more simple form for the rest of us. This means that all the research and theory about the beginning of our Universe is called the colourful "big bang theory" and we can understand the idea well enough at a low level. Religion tries to stand in between the thinkers and the rest of us and charges us to tell us what they think it all means. When the religious types were usually in an in-between thinking ability, higher than us and lower than them, they simply gave out the information and used it for their own ends, now those who claim to be in-betweeners are of a lower order of thinking ability than the average Joe, and quite frequently at such a low level they border on moron.
Sounds kind of like you're channelling Ayn Rand there. I personally do not think that it's always the case: Dr. Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and other great leaders had some religious values.
That said, there is even something 'Spiritual' in the writings of Bertrand Russel too, who was a leading atheist philosopher. Still, No philosopher would be able to answer these questions, regardless of religious values or lack thereof, if religion did not pose these questions in the first place.
Religion did not pose the questions, it tried to answer them along with philosophy. The job of giving answers or translating the philosophy into layman's terms belonged to the Sage until science split from philosophy and began to explain the mysteries of our universe. Religion would appear to have been the province of the crazy shamans and story tellers until it organised itself around trade, the silk route by the Buddhists and the bloodthirsty colonialistions of the Christians.
Religion is more to do with trade and cross border movement than anything else.
The same thought can be applied to everything else:
Should Obamacare be banned?
Should war be banned?
Should a free market society be banned?
Should taxes be banned?
Should abortion be banned?
Should church collections be banned?
The question is mute in all instances. Pros and cons are found on both sides of the argument.
What makes you think intruding on someone's freedom to choose and practice a belief will make the world a better place? Disallowing religion won't make it go away, because you can't get into people's minds and banish their conviction. Not to mention that missionaries and religious fanatics will convert even more fiercely.
Instead, let's not fear religion. If you apply common sense to everyday decisions it doesn't matter if you believe in a god or not.
Can't recall any wars been started by atheists ..
We could make it illegal to brainwash your children with nonsense and lies.
Would that be OK with you?
I fear people who believe things like you believe. Afterlife better than real life? Death penalty for apostasy? Please keep away from me. How do you apply common sense to every day decisions when invoking majik is your norm for problem solving?
Our Eric is likely to get more than just his You-tube snipped by HP staff
Really? Why would that happen?
Is it now a banning offence to post something that does not totally support organised religions and practices?
And it seems that the URL was accidentally snipped.
For your convenience, here it is again.
And just in case the URL gets accidentally snipped again, you may want to go to You Tube and search for the following:
The Gruen Transfer - The Pitch: Banning All Religion
I strongly favour the Chinese model in this case. There is in theory no restriction on practicing any religion, however it is illegal to proselytise.
This keeps religion where it should be,out of politics and commercial activities.
There are some extreme religious activities that are banned such as those who promise people with no legs etc that praying to a god will grow them new legs etc., but the flat earthers are still allowed to persuade the simple and uneducated people that their god made everything a few thousand years ago and they all come from Adam and Eve, this is the one issue where I disagree with the Chinese theoretical model, I would ban those morons also.
Or as John Lennon said "... nothing to kill or die for and no religon to"
Yep. That sounds sensible.
Hmmm. I better make a fault report to Dranopages management telling them that there's a problem with You Tube URL's
I've just had 2 of them disappear!
Religion will never be banned successfully. It's as old as mankind, and many people need it. Like me!
There is no evidence that religion is as old as mankind - but - you may need it and I would defend your right to have whatever you want, however, I don't believe you should be allowed to infect vulnerable people with it.
There's a sucker born every half a second. If you're a sucker, you'll get infected with something. There are certainly worse things than well balanced religion.
It is not the suckers that worry me, they will always be a target for indoctrination by some @sswipe, it is the genuinely vulnerable that are talked into making themselves stupid that I feel it is necessary to protect. I am all for education of everyone - religion is the opposite and should be controlled by a caring society.
There's a wide chasm between controlled and banned. I'd be in favor of some type of regulation. Within very, very loose bounds. Freedom of thought is too precious to tinker with.
I agree to a point, just banning proselytising would be ok by me. If people want a religion they can go and find it if they need it, it is not hard to find most of them - they have big houses with high pointy roofs or a round ball on a tower.
Studying a culture's religion can be educational in itself. It reveals much about a people's set of values, their customs, and their motivations. I'm sure you've read the Epic of Beowulf, for example.
Religion could have many advantages, cultural understanding as you point out, except that the cultural understanding always seems to lead to one side bombing the other !
And as I said earlier, I fully support protecting anyone's beliefs - but am against infecting, or proselytising, vulnerable people, especially children who are generally indoctrinated by the main religions before they can reason.
I don't "infect vulnerable people with it." I'm not a Bible thumper, and I don't try to force my beliefs on others.
Okay, "as old as mankind" was a bit of a stretch. The oldest literature known, however, talked about gods and heaven.
Religion will not need to be banned. Some of it's excesses such as murdering people for leaving the faith and forcing women to stay married against their will and owning slaves etc - will (or have already been) be banned, but - eventually we will have an educated population that does not feel the need for religion.
All the benefits that can be derived from religious practices are available without a belief.
I only made my post considering Habee said she "needed" it. That's the part people have deluded themselves about. There's actually no need for it.
Aside from that, it actually diminishes one's own life in the here and now. Plus, damages their surroundings when they speak about the deluded notion of needing it.
Cags, I'm a very happy person, and part of that is due to my belief in Jesus and God. You've never seen me try to force my belif on others, nor have you ever seen me on these forums judging or condemning those who don't believe. I don't do that here or anywhere else. I strongly believe each person has to make that choice for himself. For that reason, I believe that banning religion would be as bad as forcing one to follow a certain religion.
But, that doesn't actually answer why it's a need?
And, I didn't say you did.
Banning religion would be unenforceable anyways. Simply because "religion" is based on an "idea" and it's not tangible.
It's a need for me. I didn't say that everyone feels that need. Each to his own! And I agree with your last sentence. How could one be stopped from praying, for example?
Evolution guy>>> I kind of agree. I would much rather it just die out then be outright banned. An outright ban would lead to unmitigated disaster.
Well, I guess if you want to tromp all over the Constitution of the United States, sure. Then we can run around and find everything that offends everyone and ban that too. Not sure what would be left, but as long as we first appeased the delicate little sensibilities of the radical atheists, we could consider it well done.
Or, we could follow the more liberal scenario and live and let live. Raise our kids to be open minded and accepting of other ideas, and thus build a better world.
I am, of course, a minority opinion. But since I do still count myself among the free, I'll follow that route.
How parochial. I think you are one of only 2 Americans on this thread. LOL
I favor educating people - then religion will vanish without the need to ban it. The UK is well educated now and religion is disappearing fast.
Education is teh answer. And preventing indoctrination and killing for apostacy.
How typically condescending. I do realize I am in the minority on the thread at this moment. I also have been on this site long enough to know that people scattered throughout the world are many times posting their opinions on what Americans should do.
I say, get a life. Your back porches are cluttered and might benefit from attention that I don't feel compelled to give them.
More parochial nonsense. Nothing about this thread has anything to do with "what amerikans should do." It is a general worldwide question and started with an Australian video. What makes it about Amerika?
You're in the fifty first state, so I thought perhaps an inglushmon would understand. Alas, I have given you more credit than I should have.
I have just watched this programme on the Richard Dawkins site. I don't think the suggestion to ban religion was a serious one. This show tries to make arguments for the most controversial of topics, which are not meant to be taken seriously. For instance it once made the argument that Australia should invade New Zealand.
As far as banning religion is concerned, as much as I dislike a lot of what religion stands for, it would be undemocratic to ban it and an abuse of human rights. However, there should be a lot more being done around the world to control religious extremists, who are one of the biggest threats to democracy and ideas of equality. There does seem to be a fear from the world of politics to face up to such problems, believing it would be offensive to confront extremists. There should however, be some things which Western democracy should make clear are not open for discussion, such as freedon of expression, and the equality of the sexes. I believe religion should be an entirely private thing, and regulation should keep it out of public life.
Whilst this sounds reasonable and balanced there are a few glaring issues - first you want to make a case for banning and then not banning religion and then go on to suggest that certain issues that you think are 'human rights' should be 'not open for discussion'.
Most things in society ore neither right nor wrong and are only what we perceive to be important at this particular time. Most of the world's population does not practice in any form equality of the sexes, and it MAY BE important to some people but not to others. There are very good arguments that sexual equality is not a good thing in general and is just another manufactured division created by our owners to keep us infighting while they get on with ruling the world.
There are many more human rights that should be considered worthy of 'protection' such as the right for everyone to get enough to eat would be a good one, and far more humane than worrying about whether a few women should enjoy some vaporous freedoms. Another would be the right NOT to be bombed and shot at for the nefarious trade purposes of a few thugs and cut-throats such as our Presidents and Prime Ministers - against which the right a few dimwits to pontificate in public seems a little pathetic.
I have not made a case for banning religion, in fact, quite the opposite. As I said, it would be undemocratic to do so and an abuse of human rights. However, I do not believe, as an atheist that anyone of religion has a right to demand others believe as they do, just as I do not have a right to demand that the religious should adopt my atheism.
And even though there are many parts of the world, where there is not equality of the sexes, it is for people in those societies to decide how best to run themselves, based on the relgion or other belief systems of those countries.
However, as I was referring to Western societies, I really do think there are issues, which most people would agree with, and equality of the sexes is one. Equality for women was a long time in coming, and took a lot of fighting for. The fight of the suffragettes was a hard-won one, and whilst there may be some misogynists who would love women to be kept in the home and whose duty it would be to obey their husbands, I doubt this will be a popular view, and would be something which Western women, quite rightly would consider non-negotiable.
And, as an atheist, I do have a morality, which helps me to decide that some things are right and some things are wrong. For example, murder, rape, racism, terrorism etc, I consider to be fundamentally morally wrong. Yes there will be some who disagree with me, but this does not change my own position on these matters. And I doubt there are many people who would consider any of these things to be morally just. I personally would not wish to live in a society where murder, rape, or racism etc are considered to be acceptable.
You said that extremist religions should be 'controlled' - so your 'banning' is one of degree, not full-on democratic freedom. My own opinion of extreme is any advertising or accosting people on the street or public religious events - just a degree of difference.
Equality of the sexes is not such a cut and dry issue as you might like to think. And my opposition to the current state of affairs does not make me a misogynist or mean that I think women should be chained to the kitchen sink. For the record I think there should be a different negotiation of the situation because men and women cannot ever be 'equal', or even treated 'equally', any more than a grizzly bear and a polar bear are equal. In America you talk big about sexual equality but use it as a weapon in the workplace, and women assume their 'traditional' position in the home - according to my experience and the bulk of posts on this site. It is the business of other countries to make their own negotiation, not a 'human right'.
I can agree to some extent about the elements of your moral position, although it must sit a little uncomfortably knowing that all these things are being done in your name by your government every day. How is that a moral position ?
I must point out that I am not American, but British, and have never even visited the USA.
LOL I kind of assumed maybe LOL however, so am I British and our record is no better just the timing was different, until the great betrayal of the British people by Blair to the religions of Rothschild and the Vatican which entailed him getting inside the anus of the USA over Iraq and the destruction of the middle east.
When I lived in the city, there was an obnoxious street preacher, who kept talking about how God hated everyone, and you have to repent, and God will wipe out Canada because they legalised same sex marriages. He also used a speaker system which could be heard for a six block radius.
Unforunately, the courts kept saying he has the right to preach a gospel and (In the words of the preacher) "be a nuisance" because of of his religious convictions. That said, I still have my right to freedom of speech and to tell him where to go and how to get there. With a megaphone.
Resulted in a lot of great laughs actually. Pride comes before a fall and he didn't seem to like being ridiculed in public.
Well done with the counter revolution LOL
In the UK a street preacher has the same kinds of rights, unless they are Muslim of course, and then they get arrested and 'deported' anywhere that they can be held without good reason for as long as possible.
Should religion be banned? I think it serves a purpose, so not banned. But, removed from government and politics, yes.
Religion must not be banned but politicizing of religion must halt. The government has no business with religion and the believers must not participate in politics. Islamic terrorism seen in different parts of the world is because some people have assimilated Islam with politics.
I agree that religion and politics should be kept separate. However, this doesn't always work. In the USA for instance there is a separation of church and state, yet this is one of the most religious countries in the world, where religion plays a very important part in politics. The UK, on-the-other-hand has an established church, the head of which is the Queen, yet the UK is not a very religious society, and not many take the Church of England seriously. Yet, still, the bishops of the C of E sit in the House of Lords and therefore have a direct say in the political running of the country.
To say nothing of a monarchy, why does a modern country need to have an official church? It seems like an odd anachronism.
Britons without a Church of England or Protestant background might feel a bit better knowing that their government is not endorsing a specific church.
I think it is obvious, that once Her Majesty has passed away, that the Church of England will no longer be the official church. Prince Charles has for many years said that once he is king, he will not take on the title of "Defender of the Faith." However, the Church of England is very important to the Queen, so any changes will have to wait until she is no longer here.
The majority of British people now have no connection with the Church of England. In terms of numbers, the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest UK Christian denomination because of mass immigration from Poland. And Islam is a large and fast-growing minority. The fourth largest religion is now Jedi Knight, so I think this is an indication of British attitudes to religion.
It's odd that such a basic question won't be able to be addressed until a woman who inherited her throne has passed away, because "it's important to her." I suppose you have to be raised under a monarchy to understand such things. (Naturally, there are some things here that non-Americans have trouble understanding, too)
I wonder if I could get Haruhiism recognized in Canada. Sure, Like Jedi Knight, it's a fictional religion, but it worked for Scientology!
Well, the recent case of the Austrian bus driver, who had his religious belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster recognised, and who has been allowed to wear his spaghetti strainer, on his head in his driving licence, shows that anything is possible. For me, all religion is fictional, so one is as good as another.
"Religon is a private matter. Poltics a public one. They should be divorced as firmly as possible."
I love Chomsky.
Religion is NOT a private matter. It's a backbone of many Eastern societies, and it is still profitable in western societies, and as such is not going to be banned soon. Same as selling alcohol and tobacco. So many people "need" that too. And so many are rich doing that!
I think religion starts confrontation. If religion was simple and people believed when they die they'd go to heaven and that'd be the end of it - that would be great! But the fact is they'll bug you till the day you die about everything, from homosexuality being wrong to not going to the church every Sunday. I hate how religion blocks normal people out of society and calls them "sinners" and brands them as misunderstood - when clearly it's their mind and whether society has moved them to this conclusion or they were born with it, they should be accepted.
The other major bummer in religion is they cannot face the everyday understanding of Space, Environment and Geography, such as: how Natural Disasters happen. I read a Question today that asks "Is God burning Texas" and in the description it says due to Texas being conservative, God has seen fit to burn it. I mean come on? Is that how far people will go to try and make God seem real, they'll say a state in the United States with a huge population of Christians is being burned to the ground whilst terrorist groups are still working together in Afghanistan with no natural disasters.
I think it's just terminal bullshit, but that's my view - I respect other religions like Buddhism who teach peace and respect. Not the one's that will brand you and outcast because of your beliefs, personality, love or even gender!
Eric, how about banning the freedom to choose? How about forcing you to join a specific religion under the penalty of death? How about they pass a law that requires you to stand on your head for 20 hours a day and shove jellybeans up your nose? See what I mean. You sound like an idiot suggesting this. Now, notice: did you feel anything when you read the "i" word? That's ego.
But what is ridiculous and troubling are the inaccurate generalizations that people make about something they don't like or don't understand.
Like @Indigital's remark that "religion starts confrontation." Does it really?
Isn't it instead people's egos that cause confrontation?
The problem with opinions like those of E.G. and Earnest is that they hit the wrong target. That's like you have a bad day at the office, so you go kick your dog. Duh! Wrong target. That doesn't solve anything. (Poor dog!)
Religion is not the problem. Ego is. It always has been. All selfishness comes from this -- all envy, greed, lust, rage and the like.
I would chafe under the yoke of a fundamentalist church. That's why I left 52 years ago, at the tender age of 9. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister, but my father was a student of comparative religion, especially Eastern mysticism.
I can understand @Indigital's discomfort with the religious few bugging him till the day he dies. But it's not the religion doing it. It's the ego's of the believers. If they really knew their religion, they'd know to deliver the message once and then move on. No bugging allowed.
Eric, your suggestion is just as crazy as the ideas the fundamentalists have about science. They're living in delusion. How can I say that? Science has a pretty high batting average on its study of reality -- approaching perfection (I'd say better than 90%). For fundamentalists diss science with their "creation science" hokum is to ignore reality. And delusion is no more than an ignoring of reality?
So, don't ignore reality. Religion isn't the problem. A lack of humility (ego) is.
It is unusual to see so much sanctimonious condescension in one post.
I guess you benefit from the religion business in some way. It would also appear that you are used to talking to 'your' people in such a childish and condescending way because they are all morons, ?
I'm sorry, but if it's said in religion to categorise people into a certain type of Outcast, how is that ego's? In Islam, women are forced to where veils - those that don't are punished or outcast from the main orthodox Islamic group. In Christianity, homosexuals are branded as sinners. I could go on, but I'd rather not bring up the dullness of religions and how beliefs become personalities.
I'm from Loud and Clear in Melbourne, one of the agencies who took part in the pitch this past week (we produced the first ad). I thought I'd take a moment to add our thoughts.
We knew the topic would attract some controversy, however first and foremost our ad (and the entire segment) is intended to be insightful and entertaining. It's a segment about selling the unsellable, and is a chance for agencies to demonstrate some of the techniques we use every day -- the insight comes from the application of those common advertising techniques to scenarios that are obviously absurd. In our case, we used a style that you often see used for things like health insurance or home loans. It wasn't meant to be funny, although there is of course a latent humour in seeing such a ludicrous idea advertised with such conviction.
We've read lots of posts about the ad -- both from the people who want to pay to put it on air for real, and from people who feel the need rebut it. To us, the ad is simply a piece of nonsense, in which a very long bow is drawn in 35 seconds, complete with the Titanic sailing backwards into an iceberg. It's not a difficult ad for theists to denounce, both factually and ethically. But what's interesting is how making such an absurd topic look visually wonderful, adding bouncy music and a non-threatening voiceover somehow makes it all more meaningful, more real, and worthy of engaging with. And that, I guess, is the point of advertising, and of course, precisely why The Pitch is so interesting each week.
Thanks for your posts, we're really enjoying the discussion.
The Loud and Clear team
Your ad was very well done Ben. I like your attitude and enjoyed the segment.
Advertising with a bit of a twist in this case.
Religion should not be banned. The problem is that people take advantage of it and turn it into an institution in order to make money and control the masses. Another problem is that individuals will use it to wage a campaign of moral superiority wherein they condemn anyone who doesn't believe what they believe. Yet a third problem is that the deluded, foolish, and weak-minded will allow religious leaders to lead them into poverty, illness, revolution, or a ticking vest with the promise that they'll go to heaven after the bang.
Religion is not the problem and should not be banned. The common denominator in all this is people. People should be banned.
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