'and then expect all of their followers to subscribe to them without question' False. Many religious systems are quite flexible when it comes to morality.
'With this sort of system, human beings never act based on what's 'right' because they want to, but because they fear punishment for otherwise' people tend to make excuses from thinking. They want an already written, preconstructed moral code, because it's easier than to think about what is right and what is wrong. You mixed up a reason and a result here. People don't forfeit thinking because religion tells them so, people turn to religion because they don't want to think for themselves, they are too lazy for it. So instead, they want someone to tell them what is right and what is wrong.
'Should the religious structure collapse for whatever reason and these morals or even simply the punishments were taken away, these people would not know what to do with themselves' Brought totally out of thin air. Opinion of religious people towards what is 'morally wrong' will remain the same. Only that some of them may not follow it so strictly. But it's not a matter of morality anymore.
'The Religious Right teaches the rest of society that without this or that religion, they would become immoral and punishment would be imminent, thus strengthening our dependency on organized religion for structure and preventing further advancement through scientific and social means. ' Only certain religions, like islam, tends to slow the societies down. Christianity used to do the same, but now it's one of the most modern religions. So you just narrowed everything down to one religion that still acts like an obstacle on the way of progress.
The 3 last lines of your OP is a great description of islamic states. Robbed of freedom of religion, dependence on religion, outdated society and lack of progress. However, there is one factor that you forgot about. It's distinction of religion and public life. In most of developed countries, religions don't play a leading role in creating public opinion, nor do they affect the legal system. You can check out France, Germany, United Kingdom or Japan.
I can't say I agree with many of the assumptions you made in your post. Some of them seem so far off base it hurts my head. X_x
Yeah the heavily religious have morals of their own. To be honest, I don't think I've ever met a single person whose moral system was solely derived from their religion. I do meet plenty who attribute their morality to God or their religion, but I generally do not find that to be the whole story.
Nonetheless, even when religion is a big influence on one's morality, I think most people who believe in God follow the moral system they do because they think it's objectively true, not because they fear punishment (young children are a notable exception to this generalization, though). Anyway, chances are, if they lost their belief in God, they'd still think the moral system was more-or-less true, though they may find themselves questioning parts of it since they no longer have a completely objective source behind it. There are often secular reasons to believe in certain morals or codes of ethical conduct, too, and people adapt.
In short, the generalizations in your post about how religious people will act if their beliefs change do not seem to be in line with how I've seen real people acting when their beliefs change. I don't think religious people are monsters who only hold back from doing things because they fear the consequences. Some might feel like they'd be able to let loose if there were no God, or karma, etc, but in reality they actually have other reasons that they hold back that they never make it far enough to acknowledge.
While I disagree with the way many popular religions promote their moral beliefs, I don't think they'd suddenly lose all of their morals. The collapse of a religion wouldn't be so easily noticeable, it would probably feel exactly like the day before it. While they may know that their religion is "gone" I doubt they'd feel it. Besides, ideas are immortal. Once an idea reaches a certain mass, you will never be rid of it.
Hmm. I just think it's a little sad how much you critize the beliefs of other people, when you have beliefs of your own that someone else can find completely absurd.
You know, I'd really like to see that Pagan and Wiccan type people are accepting and tolerant of other religions, but almost every time, it's the same old persecution complex they tend to have, always taunting others to come and argue with them just to prove how ignorant the other religious people are. It really makes them come off as arrogant and prideful. Not saying every last one of them is like that, but many that I've read about are like that.
Also, yes, many of the bigger religions have certain commandments or "rules" to follow. That doesn't mean the followers are just mindless sheep with no morals or thoughts of their own. This is going to sound cliche, but it does take faith and trust to understand things, sometimes things that have nothing to do with religious matters. Like when someone tells me I can get better at art, or I can achieve something that seems out of reach. Does it make me a "mindless zombie" if I try something someone says I should do, even if I don't think it will affect me?
Also, if the world got rid of religion entirely, there'd still be problems; suffering, starvation, greed, wars, murder, rape ect. Animals don't have religion, and they still kill and rape their own kind. If war isn't about religion, it's about someone invading someone's land, or stealing their resources, or some other thing like that.
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:Krzysztof is a
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Endorell-Taelos is very well known within the community for her selfless giving and gracious community spirit. Since joining DeviantART over seven years ago, Alicia has continued to make a positive impact on many deviants. Her helpful and thoughtful approach was one of her finest attributes when serving as a Community Volunteer, and this has continued throughout the many contests which Alicia provides on a regular basis. As we approach our Birthday celebrations, we can't... Read More