Debate:State atheism is the only way to get rid of religion

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State atheism is better than secularism because secuarism allows unscientific blind beliefs to flourish. Religion is never going to get eradicated with secularism. A rational and scientific human mind among the entire population can be achieved only through state atheism. If exposure of religion to children is prohibited, then through scientific education, we can eradicate religion within two or three generations. --LobPo (talk) 11:47, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

For someone who despises Russia so much you sure sound a lot like Uncle Jo. Prohibiting exposing children to religion - sure, that will work. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 13:27, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
From someone that said: A state which does not protect the rights of its citizens loses its sovereignty. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:11, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Superstitious belief is not right. --LobPo (talk) 17:32, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Nice equivocation of right & rights. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:23, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Nice, particularly in how it avoids what's actually problematic about this idiotic suggestion. Yes, superstitious beliefs are not right, that's essentially a tautology, but they are absolutely a right. The right to one's own thoughts is central and essential to modern post enlightenment society and discourse. Having a government which actively seeks to limit the thoughts of its citizens, whether its in the name of saving their souls or preventing them from believing things that some high school kid has decided are silly after reading the first couple pages of a Dawkins book, is the antithesis of what I value. Marlow (talk) 18:58, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
No harm, no foul. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:33, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
No harm, and doesn't block my driveway, people can think whatever they want. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:00, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Atheism is a worldview. In that regard, it's not special compared to any religion. The only thing that makes it special is the fact that it's the correct worldview (atheism or agnosticism, not sure which one). Now, the problem is that giving the state the right to decide what the correct worldview is and to suppress all other worldviews can only backfire. I sure wouldn't want to live in a world where any inquiry about whether vaccines cause autism are prohibited, or where teaching a child about what I perceive to be the way the world works could get me into prison. Doesn't matter that I find both creationists and anti-vaccers stupid. --Norman (talk) 12:42, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

State atheism could not successfully eradicate religion[edit]

I base my support for this position on two main lines. The first is that state suppression of anything will not be totally effective. See, for example, the War on Drugs, which are material things and so are much more straightforward to suppress than ideas. It hasn't worked out too well, because people find various controlled substances desirable enough to go to lengths great enough to evade the law. There are plenty of religious people who would be equally well motivated by sheer conviction as to their rightness, and so would find ways to circumvent the law. The second is some combination of appeal to infinite monkey and appeal to history. We pulled 'em out of our butt before, we could do it again: basically, somebody could plausibly come up with some religious belief even if none remained. Education is (A. Schaffly) not always sufficient to prevent people from maintaining or developing religious beliefs. PacWalker (talk) 11:59, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Not only that[edit]

But there's no reason to believe that eradicating religion is particularly helpful, even discounting those who would be quite angry at that elimination. Even if you buy into the notion that widespread common buy-in to religions is harmful to society, eradication is bad. Wrong ideas are amazingly helpful for improving understanding. Science is built on this notion. Seeing how you're wrong about things points you to ways to improve your understanding. To say certain ideas simply aren't allowed is to cut yourself off from examining their flaws.

To view religious beliefs as archaic ideas belonging to the past and not the future is okay. I do. But to see them as things to be quashed is to deny the quest for the truth due to how much you value the truth. there's an essay I've been meaning to write about this subject ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


A belief in god is a form of mental illness too potentially dangerous to be tolerated in modern society. We need to make every attempt possible to socially engineer it out of civilization as we know it. Miriam Webster defines social engineering as “the practice of making laws or using other methods to influence public opinion and solve social problems or improve social conditions.” Based on what we know scientifically about the universe, any attempt to validate the concept of god using the scientific method, and it’s failure to hold up within the system of basic logical levels, it is irrational to believe in a god. Anyone who truly believes in, and bases his or her life upon that which is irrational suffers from a mental illness. When this mental illness is as inherently dangerous it cannot be tolerated in society. Since primitive man created the concept of god, and brainwashed his fellow man into believing in such nonsense, it has been used as the justification, if not direct reason for, much of the violence and suffering in the world, the oppression of whole nations through the circumvention of democracy, and has stifled all forms of academic knowledge from the sciences to the humanities. If human beings ever hope for our society to advance to any form of a utopia, or even if we simply wish to survive forever, all of civilization must rid itself of any form of religion, or belief in god. In order to do this we must socially engineer a belief of god out of our society.

If we socially engineer a belief in god out of society, we will have a more peaceful society. The scientist and social commentator Richard Dawkins once wrote, “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.” He was referring of course to the lengthy list of examples of violent acts committed in the name of a belief in god. Religious violence takes many forms one is terrorism, committed in the name of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and so on. Another form of religious violence is state sponsored violence be it holy wars, times of immense religious persecution such as the Catholic church sponsored Holocaust in Germany, or the intentional bombing of women and children in Palestine by the state of Israel, after being informed of their presence in the buildings bombed by the United Nations. The Salem Witch trials, the Spanish Inquisition, or even the incarceration of women who received abortions before Roe V Wade are all acts of religious violence. The list goes is almost never ending and things are not improving. We are currently in a six-year high for acts of religious violence according to a Pew Research Center report. The reason why there is so much violence committed in the name of religion is that all religions are inherently violent. This is because a belief in god is a mental illness and is contradictory to reality and has throughout history required violence to defend its grip on society. If we socially engineer this mental illness out of our society then we will suffer less of the violence caused by it, and have a more peaceful society.

Another benefit of socially engineering a belief in god out of civilization is that we will finally be free of the leeches who operate the last legal con job in the world, the place of worship. Religion is a con. It is a faith based “rain maker” style con job. It is a basic part of every religion that in order for you to show your loyalty, discipline, or “faith” you must sacrifice for your religion. There is some variation as to how much though. The bible says ten percent, a more modern religion, created with in a more modern age of higher cost of living like Scientology asks for a lot more. Regardless, people have been “sacrificing” their income to these hucksters since the first primitive man convinced his neighbor the he knew more than he did about the metaphysical realm. Much more than this, religion is an industry that is guilty of tax dodging, and milking subsides. A Washington post article by Dylan Matthews entitled “You Give Religions More Than 82.5 Billion Dollars A Year,” estimates that, using a “low ball” figure, churches get 71 billion dollars a year in subsidies, in America alone. The article goes on to say “Their (Ryan T. Cragun, a sociologist at the University of Tampa, and two of his students, Stephanie Yeager and Desmond Vega) estimate that religious groups own $600 billion in property is also probably low, since it leaves out property besides actual churches, mosques, etc.” Imagine all of the money we could put back into our society if we socially engineered a belief in god out of it. If nothing else we could shut down the legal fraud being committed on people everywhere, and they could spend their money back into the economies of the world.

Yet another benefit of socially engineering a belief in god out of our society is the positive effect it will have on the field of science. From the before the age of enlightenment to modern times science has had to fight religion. From The Catholic Church putting Galileo on trial for saying the sun, not the earth, was the center of our solar system, to the battle over stem cells science has had the un-evolved monkey of religion on its back keeping it from achieving as much as it possibly can. The parts of the world where religion reigns supreme, such as The Middle East, are also the parts where science falls behind the rest of the world. Mankind has learned more, and grown more intellectually as we pull away from religion, and as we include it less, and less as a part of our daily lives. It only makes sense that if we removed religion, and a belief of god from our society entirely that we would advance even further, and at a faster rate.

Now, there are going to be those people who say that it is not possible to socially engineer a belief in god out of our society. To those people I would pose this question; “how many orgy houses did you pass on your way to work?” Our history is littered with the corpses of concepts, and social norms we have socially engineered out, and are currently socially engineering out of our civilization. We socially engineer behaviors adverse to a peaceful and inclusive modern society all the time. Forty years ago it was commonplace to hear racial, and homophobic slurs in public without the slightest hint of disapproval. At one time in America, it was legal to beat your wife. Now these behaviors are so taboo that committing these acts receives fierce social condemnation. Communism is another example of something we are socially engineering out of civilization. How many truly communist countries are left in the world? How many new ones have emerged as the old ones have failed? On the other hand democracy is thriving, and new democracies are still being created today. We are in the process of socially engineering these things out of society, and while that process isn’t complete it has made such progress that one could imagine, given enough time, they will no longer exist in society. Society has suffered long enough under the dead weight of those who believe in god. They have killed, oppressed, leeched off, and overall burdened the people of this world struggling to be free for far too long. A belief in god has grown from a dangerous mental illness into a cancer of society through the advent of organized religion, and in a modern age we can no longer afford to enable those weak minded enough to spread this cancer further. As neuroscientist, and philosopher Dr Sam Harris once said, “Words like “God” and “Allah” must go the way of “Apollo” and “Baal” or they will unmake our world.” If we want our society to function peacefully, fairly, or even to simply have any hope of surviving forever we must rid the world of a belief in god.  no plus ones

How to get rid of religion[edit]

According to this article, religiosity is correlated with a feeling of helplessness. So a country with high HDI is supposed to be less religious. But this thesis fails to explain why UK, which ranks lower than US in the HDI scale, is more irreligious than the US. --LobPo (talk) 14:21, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

And this article is interesting. It shows modern China with a rising standard of living is becoming more religious that Mao's China when standard of living was very poor. --LobPo (talk) 14:25, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm tempted to label this a claim of causalation, but let me instead ask you whether you believe this correlation holds over historical timescales. PacWalker (talk) 14:37, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I like my religion. I chose it freely and fully informed when I was many decades past the age of majority. It makes my life easier, makes me happier, and, as far as I can tell, my adherence to it causes no ill effect on anyone else. I would prefer you do not marshall the power of the state to take it away from me. Thanks. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 14:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
This whole discussion starts from the premise that getting rid of religion is a desirable outcome. I do not agree. State atheism, like state religion, stinks of government overreach and thought policing.
In my secondary schooling, I was subject to compulsory chapel three times a week (some years six times a week) along with the rest of the student body, including the Jewish kids. Roman Catholics went to mass elsewhere on Sundays, but had to sit through Protestant vespers or matins during the week. To all outward appearances we were a mostly obedient flock, but we had fun mixing parody lyrics into the hymnic din, and harmonious "aw, shucks" (or equivalent) instead of "amen" before closing the hymnals and sitting down again. The experience was rich and complex, shall we say. It was not the intent of the school's administration to plant the seeds of my budding ignosticism/apatheism, but that's how it worked.
When I had kids of my own, we made a regular weekly practice of gathering with a congregation which might feel like home to Aging Hippie. They did not protest. They flippin well protested other things, but not that. Long story short, no government has any business trying to direct the inner life of any citizen. Such efforts belong on the dust-heap of history. Alec Sanderson (talk) 15:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
The discussion also assumes that getting rid of religion is possible. The states that adopted state atheism as policy ended up with personality cults, public processions carrying images of culture heroes, incorrupt bodiesWikipedia's W.svg in shrines, and some of the worst inquisition-style institutions of repression yet known. If you can't free yourself from that stuff just by getting rid of God, what's the point? As Michael Crichton observed:
I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
You'll still have all the problems that religions create without God. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:55, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
While I'm hesitant to accept that the premise of the above quotation holds down to an individual level, as an observation of occurrence of religious ideas in a society considered collectively, I think it spot on. PacWalker 12:58, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Getting God out of the American Government through legislation. By Jeffery Charles Nighswander.

           The American government needs to make a federal law stating that no local, state, or federal politician can ever evoke religion as a reason, motivation, or justification for any legislation they propose in office.  Throughout American history, theists have attempted to circumvent democracy by creating laws that inhibit the liberty, and rights of others based on religious beliefs. This goes against The Establishment Clause in The Constitution of the United States of America. According to The National Paralegal College, as stated on their website, “The "Establishment Clause" was intended to prevent any governmental endorsement or support of religion.” However, constantly we see legislation being passed or proposed by politicians, who openly admit it is their particular religious beliefs that compel them to do so. This is not them simply exercising their right to practice their religion freely, as they are acting in an official capacity as a public servant. In America we have a constant struggle to maintain abortion rights, to ensure that homosexuals can receive the same rights granted to heterosexual people, and to be able to pursue scientific research in controversial areas such as stem cell research. The American government needs to create a federal law that draws a line between freely practicing one’s personal religious belief, which is protected by the constitution, and using their public office to create laws that enforce those religious beliefs. 
           One benefit of creating a federal law prohibiting the use of religion as a justification for creating legislation is that we will once again be able to continue with controversial forms of scientific research such as stem cell research. Dov Fox an associate professor of law from the University of San Diego wrote in his Huffington Post article entitled “The GOP Case Against Stem Cell Research” that “The case for fetal tissue research is straightforward: it improves health and saves lives. In fact, it’s led to some of the most profound medical breakthroughs of the modern era.” However , politicians arguing against the use of said fetal tissue being used do so as a “pro-life,” and unabashedly religious objection. Although some stem cell research is allowed currently, it is extremely limited and is constantly under threat. This has put America behind the rest of the world in this area of medical research. If we were able to create a federal law making it illegal for lawmakers to use religion as a justification for the creation of legislation we would be able to prevent any further restrictions on this, or any other scientific advancements in the future

Another benefit of creating a federal law which prohibited the lawmakers from using religion, as a justification, reason, or a motivation for creating legislation, would be the end to discriminatory laws which are used to target the LGBT community such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. This allows states to discriminate against the LGBT community in a variety of ways, most importantly it helped justify state bans against gay marriage until they were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court ruling on the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. in 2015. These religious freedom laws are still being proposed, and passed to this day, and create a climate of state sponsored bigotry in the name of a particular religion, which goes against the Establishment Clause according to a reasonable legal interpretation of the clause. A federal law making it illegal to use religion as a reason for legislation would be a much needed safe guard for whole groups of Americans against politicians who would deem their way of life contradictory to that politician’s particular religious belief.

Yet another possible benefit creating a federal law stating that no local, state, or federal politician can ever evoke religion as a reason, motivation, or justification for any legislation is that it would be the end of the constant battle over abortion rights. Although women still maintain the right to an abortion in America, this right is constantly under threat. According to Life News.Com a pro-life website from 1991 to 2015 %81 of abortion clinics have shut down in America. Women’s access to abortion is under threat by politicians who are cutting funding, and enacting legislation which makes it harder, and harder for women to get abortions. Amber Philips of The Washington Post writes in her article “14 states have passed laws this year making it harder to get an abortion,” that “This year, antiabortion advocates passed some 30 laws in 14 states to make it harder for people to get abortion.” The message is simple, abortion goes against some politicians religious beliefs, and the rights of women are to be sacrificed in order for those religious beliefs to be fulfilled. If we enact a federal law prohibiting religion from being the justification for any legislation they propose while in office then we will go a long way to protecting a women’s right to abortion.

	There are those people who will say that if we make a federal law that prohibits a politician’s right to use their religious belief as reason for the legislation they propose that we will be stripping them of their right to freely practice their religious belief, and that this will strip away morality from public office.  This however is a fallacy that suggests either that there can be no morality without it being based on religious belief, or that religious people when not allowed to justify their actions with said religious belief would lose all morality. This denies the basic level of morality that exists within us all, and the true nature of public service, which is to serve the greater good of our democracy, and to protect the freedoms for which this country stands for. There is a theme of morality within religious belief, and there is no denying that, but it is not the only source of morality in the world. In a democracy, we need a secular theme of morality, which compels us to strive to be the best citizens that we can be. If this does not exist in a politician then they are not fit for public service. 

If we hope to maintain the belief in liberty that makes our country so great, in an ever-changing social climate such as the modern world we live in, then we cannot allow our legislation to be based on something as rigid, and unchanging as religion. We must maintain an individual’s right to practice their religious beliefs freely in the sanctity of their home, and personal life. However, our government must take measures to protect itself from theocratic tendencies which threaten to stifle much needed medical breakthroughs, strip women of the right to have final say over their own bodies, or which attempt to oppress those whose lifestyles, although not harmful to others, happen to exist outside of religious law. It is for these reasons that we must make a federal law prohibiting any politician from using religion as a justification, motivation, or reason for the creation of legislation.

Just fund welfare[edit]

My Grandmother used to work for the Mafia. One of the more famous members too. No, not as a hitwoman or anything, she just babysat some of their kids. She has some, how shall I say, enlightening views of the Mob. The Mafia was good to her and her community, during the Great Depression when people were eating their dogs. Welfare was basically a joke. So the mob steps in and fills the gap, providing the services that the government simply wasn't, paid for via extortion of the "wealthy" businesses. People didn't not snitch on the mob because of fear of retaliation, they didn't snitch on the mob because of fear of life without the mob. If you were on a jury, if you convict Easy Eddy that meant your cousin was going to go hungry, and be forced to move in with you. Do you want that to happen? Of course, Mafia extortion keeps the local society poor and starves the government of revenue which causes welfare to be cut further, so it becomes a vicious cycle.

Religion often does the same thing, providing food and such to the poor, and all the recipients have to do in return is join in group prayers. Ever wonder why religious people tend to oppose government welfare? It's a devil's deal; cut welfare and replace it with charity, which creates an endless stream of people who depend on the religious institutions for survival. What better way to increase the number of desperate people who depend on the religion than to ban abortions, prevent women from being educated, or prevent people from acquiring any sort of skills or connections that would let them survive outside of the religion?

Classic abusive scenario; you are the sole breadwinner in your family, so staying with you may seem like the better option. And if you prevent your partner from acquiring friends and connections that would help them escape, that's even fewer options. So if you were to offer a social safety net, that would eliminate the whole "stay or starve" situation that many religions have. CorruptUser (talk) 15:09, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Counterpoint: there is a hefty religious component to the economic left. Liberation theology as an example. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:23, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Couterpoint, redux: What CU describes is a pretty fucking narrow understanding of what religion does. Also, the claim "religious people tend to oppose government welfare"? Christian conservatives, sure, but that is as much, if not more, a political PoV as a religious one. I'd like to see if that claim holds true fro Jews, liberal Christians, Muslims, Unitarians, etc. etc. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 15:44, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
It might be narrow, but from the televangelists and conservative Christians in the US government it seems to be what Christianity has become. When public figures chuckle at a good Christian radio host contemplating pistol whipping a bus full of nuns because they dare speak out about a new budget slashing help for the poor, in opposition to what Jesus taught, what are people supposed to view the faith as anymore? I don't see how this perception is the problem of the people who don't believe and are not a part of the faith. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:38, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
" When public figures chuckle at a good Christian radio host contemplating pistol whipping a bus full of nuns because they dare speak out about a new budget slashing help for the poor, in opposition to what Jesus taught, what are people supposed to view the faith as anymore?" Well, I guess they could listen to the fuckin' nuns who were 1. deeply invovled with the faith and 2. using it as a grounding for a critique of unjust social policies. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:39, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Whose perception? The view from inside any particular faith community differs from the views promoted by those who make a noisy public show of religiosity, which differ again from well-researched survey data on "what Christianity has become," if any such studies exist. Alec Sanderson (talk) 16:56, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Most people are trying to be good people, or at least just trying to live their lives without harming their neighbors. Religions are made up of people. Any good or bad they do is the result of the actions of the people involved. The religions "guide" the people as to what the definition of "good" is. The religions grow or shrink based on how effective the ideology is in growing the religion, just like biology, whether or not the people adhering to the religious ideology conciously know what they are doing.
I know it sounds like the crazy conspiracy nonsense we denounce, but I can't help but notice all the cities with Christian-run homeless shelters (and no city one) that mandate group prayers and require everyone to be in by 7 PM. I'm not personally advocating the elimination of all religions, but I just want a society where no one is ever forced by their circumstances to join a religion, in much the same why I don't want people to be forced to stay in abusive relationships. And having some form of social safety net outside of the relationship is the best way to accomplish this. CorruptUser (talk) 17:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I smell a false dilemma here. We can have both religion and a proper social safety net. Ask the Swedes. 2/3 of them belong to the Church of Sweden. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:42, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Never claimed we couldn't. Not all religions are about forcing people into the religions. However, the Jehova's Witnesses, the FLDS, the Amish, Quiverfulls, Scientology and probably a huge number of others operate in this manner; prevent members from accessing any social services, prevent them from acquiring skills and/or connections to the outside, and you can force them to stay in. CorruptUser (talk) 17:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
No doubt. But there's a big gap between that and your original claim that most religious people want to see welfare disappear. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:49, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
"Tend" is probably the wrong word, I admit. Probably need the qualifier "some" before "religious people". CorruptUser (talk) 17:57, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
If you want a nice public study look at the last 2 US presidential elections. 2008 had a loud, boastful, ignorant, fatalist religious fanatic as a vice presidential candidate...while 2012 had 2 religious right candidates looking to gut help for the poor and give tax breaks to wealthy while endorsed by the religious leaders to the point of thumbing their nose at US law. As well as the popularity of televangelists fleecing the faithful, and popular media personalities. It doesn't mean everyone is of the same ideal...but these are the people with millions of followers that openly condemn other popular religious leaders that seem to be trying to be more in the spirit of Jesus. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:56, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
You know those folks lost those elections, right? And that their presence had as much to do with a strategic decision on the part of the Republican party to use religious discourse as a way to provide a particular justification for a particular ideological position -- in other words, the people who stood to benefit from the gutting of social policies were more interested in using religion as a way to achieve a polical project that would put more money in their pockets than they were in crafting policy that was tru to a particular reading of scripture. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:02, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, on the losing and using it for political gain. One can't just ignore tens of millions of people, thousands of churches, and tens of thousands of hours of media time as " not true representatives of Christians" because you judged the quality of their faith to be unworthy. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
From Wikipedia:Church attendance vs welfare spending in Christian Societies. So does low welfare spending increase church attendance, low church attendance cause welfare, or is it just a causalation? CorruptUser (talk) 20:12, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
You're conflating religiosity(proxied here by attendance, a close correlate) with religious belief. Unfortunately, study has revealed they're not the same thing. There's even reason to believe that religiosity is mostly genetic(adoption studies). ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:20, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
It's also a re-enforcement of the study that many people consider themselves Christian but don't really know much about it. Probably why so many people can be manipulated by saying something is true to their faith when it is the exact opposite. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:04, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Is eradication of religion really something we should be aiming for?[edit]

Sure, there's a lot of bad stuff associated with religion, but should it really be completely banned? If extremism and opposition to science are the problem, (also) aiming for moderate religions seems misdirected. Most moderates just go along with the ruling science but just add the caviat that God/the gods is/are behind it all (and some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism don't even require that caviat). Seems like a proper education and prevention of social or economic exclusion of people from a different culture or religion would be way more effective at getting rid of anti-science sentiment and extremism than making religion illegal (which would just make it more extreme btw). (talk) 16:18, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

The answer is an obvious "no" to virtually everyone here, and we're mostly atheists. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

State atheism is not necessarily violent suppression[edit]

An atheist state will not necessarily violently suppress religion. A liberal atheist state will 1. actively propagate scientific understanding of religion and God, 2. prohibit construction of new religious buildings, but will not demolish existing religious buildings, 3. will heavily tax religious organizations and this extra tax-money will be used to fund atheist education. 4. will heavily tax religious items. Tax on religious books may be over 1000% of the book's original cost. --LobPo (talk) 17:45, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Quick question: are you a troll, an idiot, or one of these teenage geniuses who thinks he has all the answers because he's that much smarter than everyone else in the class and nobody understands him? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:48, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Why? --LobPo (talk) 17:49, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Because if you fall into any of those three categories I'm going to take this page of my watchlist and ignore anything you post from here on out. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
This debate proposes that state atheism can eliminate religion. Taxation shows a frustrating inability to drive products all the way off the market (see, for example tobacco). There is some point at which demand is just not terribly respondent to price. I should remember the actual economic term for this, but I don't. As to point 2 above, have antique/grandfathered ivory products disappeared? PacWalker (talk) 21:12, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I was wondering about that. People can check out religious books from the library, or have their own (physical or electronic), or make their own religious items. Can't tax those things and can't get rid of them if people say no. Without understanding of those faiths you also can't understand history so history books would need to be removed, including books about science/philosophy/fiction that mention faith to prevent exposure entirely. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:19, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Elasticity is the term for importance of price shifts in supply or demand. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:23, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah yes. Duh. Thank you. PacWalker (talk) 21:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

That's totalitarian crap[edit]

The state shouldn't neither establish nor suppress religion. That'd be totalitarian. If I don't harm anyone else, it's my stinkin business, whether I believe in the god of the so-called Abrahamitic religions, Shiva, Buddha, Madoka or don't in any gods at all. And it won't work anyway, just look at the Soviet Union, Red China, Old Japan and many others--Arisboch (talk) 19:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Bullshit, Madoka is the One True God, who with her Prophet Homura she will lead us to the path of truth and not let us fall into the claws of Kyubey. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY HAIR? 20:11, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
AMEN!!!--Arisboch (talk) 11:40, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Efficacy of state atheism[edit]

Lob, are there any examples of 100% irreligion resulting from state atheism?

If not, how does state atheism compare with liberal democracy? αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 21:04, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Inability of a single state/group of states to effectively prevent international transfer of ideas[edit]

I do not believe a single state (or even a fair-sized group of states) could effectively prevent religious ideas (or other ideas) from spreading to their populace from abroad. Either people will find ways to slip through the cracks (see, for example, missionaries to PRC-held territory, or workarounds for various internet censorship mechanisms) or other states will find a way to exploit/create openings to convey ideas (see, as a primarily secular example, Radio Free Europe). While this objection does not necessarily hold if the whole world were to adopt such policies, I do not believe such a scenario to be the subject of this debate. PacWalker (talk) 21:07, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Why is US more religious?[edit]

Why is US more religious than Europe? --LobPo (talk) 05:34, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Describe how just asking this question furthers the debate. To my knowledge no present-day European state has a policy such as that proposed here. My knowledge is somewhat prone to error, however, so if I am mistaken let me know. PacWalker 05:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
My vague understanding is that most European countries have state churches, or had them for a long time in the past. Having a state church seems to enable the assumption that your soul's salvation has been taken care of by your citizenship and taxes, so personal involvement is very optional. Where the church is also historically a focus of political resistance, like in Ireland or Poland, they seem to thrive better. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 12:25, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
So if I couple that information with the assertion (which I do not contest) that Europe is less religious than America, I seem to be led to the conclusion that increasing secularization of the state actually increases religiosity... which actually makes more sense by far than I was about to say it did. PacWalker 12:52, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
It's complicated. There's lots of relevant historical elements, my advice is to start with reading about the second great awakening, which was probably the most important turning point for American religiosity. But it's also not possible to ignore the rise of the religious right in the 70s and 80s, and how they made religious identity a crucial part of every stupid fucking discussion. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:49, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
To me, there are four crucial things: First, America had no established church. Established churches in Europe tended to cut down on revivalism and born-again-type religious believers, which were often the strongest believers. Second, America has and has had a much, much higher immigrant population than Europe. Immigrants often seek to preserve their identity in their new host culture, which often means preserving the faith. Third, religion has been tied to cultural identity. Slaves were forced to be religious, and modern black identity still carries a religious component. Rural folk are supposed to be religious, in the same way that Europeans are supposed to be nonreligious. Being a white southerner has been tied to "tradition", especially a conservative Christian tradition. Fourth, World War II. Not only did WWII kill millions of Europeans and make the world and god seem unjust, but in both wars nationalism was tied to religion (think Onward Christian Soldiers and Gott mit Uns), and nationalism failed and led to death, thus making religion seem bad. FuzzyCatPotato™ (talk/stalk) 15:35, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I feel we should remember that "Europe" is not a country and that religious belief varies widely amongst the countries which comprise Europe.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:45, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Indeed. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 12:37, 2 July 2015 (UTC)