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I certianly stumbled into something here. I was actually looking up ojectivity and bias in relation to Accounting. But anyway...

I tend to agree with most of you in that I find it difficult to believe in something I have no proof of. Now, I am not even attempting to say I am an expert in either religion or athiesim, or much of what was discussed here. However, I will relate what I once said in a discussion with someone else.

We fell on the discussion of religion in the abstract. I tend to feel that much of what goes on in the world, i.e. wars, strife, conflict etc. is merely a reflection of our animal tendencies. At the risk of stepping on some toes here, in truth, we are nothing more than evolved mammals. We go to war, or beat up the neighbor for looking at, or sleeping with, our spouse, seek out money and power, because that is in the nature of almost every creature alive on earth today. By that, I mean we go to war or put up fences to "stake out our territory", much as a dog pees on a bush to warn another dog away. Simplified, yes, but you get my meaning. We seek power, because most social animals have a heirarchy of leadership, i.e., leader of the pack. And so on and so forth. The pack would fall apart without social laws and acceptence of the leader. And the pack is necessary to hunt and survive. It all comes back to survival...our evolved sense of ourselves is what leads us to attempt to create or build or discover...and cats are just as curious as we are. This is because learning about our world helps us to survive. We seek medicines to combat deseases, because this ensures the survival of our species. We look for better weapons, better ways to make money, defend ourselves etc., because this also leads back to survival.

The argument I was presented with was fairly simple. It is not all about survival, because if that were the case, it would be too depressing. Huh... So, there must be a purpose to all that we do because we want there to be one? There must be life after death, because otherwise there would be no meaning to all that we do, and that is just too depressing to consider? I might hate that I will face a great deal of debt once I graduate school, but wishing it otherwise does not mean I will be debt free. Wanting meaning in our lives, or a divine purpose to what we do, does not make it true. Once we die, we're dead, and we won't much care about what we did on earth anyway...unless of course you believe in heaven and hell. And I find that theory to be more like the story of the boogey man, told to frighten children into obeying their parents. "You will be eaten by the boogey man if you do not do what I say", is a form of control much on the lines with: "you will go to hell if you do not believe what I say"...and religion is the ultimate form of control. Up to the point when the children or the congregation says "I don't believe you."

In any case, as I said, I am hardly qualified to enter into a deeper debate. I understand that the purpose of this post is to reduce bias. Many religions offer many useful concepts, both in the context of morality and ethics...but morality and ethics also differ from culture to culture and country to country. As do religions....

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to voice my opinion. I fully expect to be disagreed with.