Obviously, religion is a hot-button topic for many people. Many discussions of religion, perhaps even most, revolve around the topic of whether or not organized religion is good for society. Left-wingers usually say no, right-wingers usually say yes, though there are exceptions to both of these rules. There are even some pro-religion atheists(!) like Stefan Molyneux and others who believe religion is a good thing for society even though it’s bullshit, because it “keeps the lower IQ people in line,” or something like that.

As regular readers know, I don’t give a shit about society, so the topic of whether or not religion is good for society is of zero interest to me. I know it drives right-wingers crazy when I say this, but it’s way too late for Western civilization by now, and it’s headed for collapse whether it embraces Christianity at this point or not. If this was 1974, then I agree that would be a valid discussion, but today, it’s way too late, as I’ve shown in great detail with facts and figures at my other blog.

However, the topic of whether or not religion is a good thing for you is indeed something we should talk about, as religion can have a direct affect on your Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle.

Before we get into that, I need to clarify two things.

First, I’m talking about organized religion here. I am not talking about spirituality. Spirituality is very important for your long-term happiness, particularly as you get over age 50 when most of your empire-building is done. I don’t think there is any debate about whether or not spirituality is good for you; it is, unless you spend way too much time on it when you should be addressing other important areas of your life.

I’m talking about religion here, which means you belong to a group of fellow believers and follow a set of religious dogma from an actual religion. I don’t care which religion. It could be Christianity (any of the types), Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. I’m not making the distinction of which religion today, just religion in general.

Second, I should make my own opinions and biases clear. As I’ve said before, I was raised Catholic as a child, but today I belong to no religion, by choice, as I think all religion is just another form of false Societal Programming designed by the elites to keep you docile and obedient.

However, I am also not an atheist, and I find that a decent percentage of atheists are as dogmatic, angry, and irrational as religionists, and treat their atheism as a secular religion (similar to some vegans, some socialists, and so on; anything can be a “religion”).

When I say I’m “not an atheist,” I mean that I truly believe in a power or powers far beyond what our five senses and current level of scientific advancement can detect or verify. I also lean at least 80% in the direction of intelligent design, as I talked about here. I also have very strong spiritual beliefs and practice spirituality when I can. So while I don’t belong to a religion, I am not anywhere near an atheist either. I usually self-identify as an agnostic (though even that term may not apply 100% to me).

Good vs. Rational

We need to separate the concept of “good” vs. “rational” before we get into whether or not religion is “good” for you.

If you truly believe that a guy named Jonah literally lived inside a whale’s stomach for three days, drinking no water, eating no food, and being immersed in stomach acids that whole time, and then just got vomited out on the beach three days later and was perfectly fine, then you are being irrational.

Wait! I didn’t say that was good or bad! At least not yet. I’m just saying you’re being irrational, because you are. You believe something that is the equivalent of a fairy tale with zero facts and/or zero solid evidence to back up your belief. That is pretty much the definition of irrationality. It’s the same if you think almighty God/Yahweh/Allah takes a break from monitoring the entire universe and gets upset when you say “God dammit!” (or something like that) and marks you down on some kind of clipboard because you used his name in vain. You’re perfectly welcome to believe fairy tale bullshit like this, but you can’t tell me you’re being rational. You’re not.

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. I’ve mentioned before that I have some irrationally subjective beliefs about reality myself. I believe that when I look out on a beautiful night cityscape, or crashing ocean waves, or a majestic mountain range, I believe that entire vista was designed for me. Not for you, not for humanity, not for nature, but for me, and just me, specifically. It’s a totally irrational belief and I admit that… but it’s not bad, because it A) makes me happy and B) doesn’t cause me to take any negative actions in my life.

If you hold an irrational belief that A) makes you less happy or B) causes you to take negative actions in your life, then that irrational belief is not only irrational, but bad as well.

This is why irrationality is usually bad. Almost always, in fact. It’s the great problem with our society right now; too many people being irrational. But there are some unusual, rare times where a little irrationality can be good, or at least neutral.

So Is Religion Good or Bad For You?

Sometimes I get emails from guys asking if Alpha Male 2.0s can be religious.

The answer is simple: religion is good for you, and thus acceptable, if it makes you happy. If it makes you less happy, then it is bad for you, and it is not acceptable.

As I describe in great detail in The Unchained Man, your highest life priority is long-term consistent happiness. If belonging to a religion increases your overall happiness in life, even if the things you believe are fundamentally irrational (which they are, if you’re part of a religion), then it’s okay. If being in the religion makes you angry, fearful, judgmental, or pissed off about culture or politics, then it’s not okay and you should abandon that religion as fast as humanly possible.

I know people who are very religious who are some of the nicest, kindest, happiest people I’ve ever met. For them, religion is a good thing. It makes them happier.

I also know religious people who are quite the opposite. They’re angry about all kinds of things, almost all the time. They watch the news, read stuff on the internet, or talk to their friends, and seethe with anger about how immoral everyone is being. It makes them less happy, thus, having a religion is a huge mistake for those people.

I have also known people, and I’m sure you have too, who were perfectly fine before joining a religion. But once they found Jesus or gave their life to Allah or whatever, they became frowning, argumentative dickheads, and their overall level of life happiness decreased. Not good. I’ve also had some crazy, angry psychos on my blogs screaming their heads off about Jesus or the Lord or whatever, screaming about immorality or the end of the world; these are clearly not happy people.

So the issue isn’t religion or even which religion, so much as it is how being in a religion will affect you.

This leads to the question, “Is being in a religion more or less likely to make me happy?”

That’s a very good question and I don’t have the answer. I can only relate to you what I’ve seen anecdotally in my own life of 46 years, knowing lots of people (more than the typical person). Take it with a grain of salt.

Based on what I’ve seen, having religion make you happier seems to be more likely if A) you’ve had that same religion most or all of your life and B) you don’t take it 100% seriously; perhaps 70-90% seriously. Under those two conditions, religion does seem to make most people (“most” as in more than 50% in this category) happier.

However, if you convert to a new religion or find a new religion later in life, like over the age of 25, then religion seems to make people less happy. The angry religious nutjobs tend to be in this category. Religion also seems to make people less happy when they take it 100% seriously, like those angry Christians who literally think you’re going to literally burn in hell for eternity if you have consensual, premarital sex, even one time.

You might make the argument that people who find religions like this were unhappy people to begin with; that’s why they were seeking a religion in the first place. That’s entirely possible.

So that’s the bottom line. If you are religious, and your religion makes you a happier person, that’s fine. But if you’re religious, and find yourself often lecturing people, arguing with people (in real life or the internet), and getting upset that society has “abandoned God” or whatever, then this is not a good thing, and you need to seriously re-think your membership in a dogmatic concept that damages your long-term happiness.

51 Comments on “Is Religion Good or Bad For You?

  1. I don’t think there is any debate about whether or not spirituality is good for you; it is

    Depends. If by spirituality you mean actual belief in supernatural stuff (even if nothing related to organized religion), then you’re absolutely wrong that “there is no debate” about it. There is such a thing as spirituality that involves no supernatural belief whatsoever, usually centered around meditation, introspection, etc (without any unproven belief in souls, karma, chakras, higher powers, or whatever). One example among many to read on the topic: Waking Up by Sam Harris. Also check out WaitButWhy’s post “religion for the nonreligious”.

    However, I am also not an atheist, and I find that a decent percentage of atheists are as dogmatic, angry, and irrational as religionists, and treat their atheism as a secular religion

    I’m not sure I understand this though you’ve said it a lot. Can you specify:

    -Do you think there can be a person (regardless of the others who are fanatical about it) who has EXACTLY ZERO supernatural beliefs but who is neither super vocal nor dickish/ fanatically certain/ massively proselytizing about it?

    -Do you call that person an atheist, even if they say they’re completely unsure (eg “Pyrrhonian”) and simply do not subscribe to any supernatural belief (and potentially find it stupid to do so)? Because when you say “I’m not an atheist, I do have some spiritual beliefs”, it sounds like non-spiritual agnostics don’t exist or something.

    -If a person admits they don’t “know” that God doesn’t exist or don’t even know he’s demonstrably unlikely, but claim that there is a strong rational case that God is an extremely low quality hypothesis for an inquiring mind trying to understand phenomena and ultimate causes – which makes them dislike the ‘neutrality’ of the word agnostic, then do you call that person an atheist?

    That aside, I tend to agree with the article. If everything is subordinated to happiness, then let’s choose whatever religion (or lack of it) one likes.
    Personally I give truth-seeking a very high priority in my life – not sure if it equals or exceeds happiness as a goal. Religion, or spirituality (other than in the very sober sense I alluded to above), are simply very, very, very poor truth-seeking algorithms, so to speak. One doesn’t have to be a hardcore eliminative materialist to realize that – which I’m not.

  2. the topic of weather or not religion is good for society is of zero interest to me.

    whether*

    you need to seriously re-think your membership in a dogmatic concept that damages your long-term happiness.

    I think the entire article could be summed up with this. I also think that’s why there is more violence than ever. Too much irrational dogma floating around and its starting to really hijack people’s brains. We separate other people in terms of race, religion, etc more than ever now and its pretty bad.

    I know that I abandoned Judaism when I began hearing from people on my dad’s side of the family (who were mostly hardcore Jews from Israel) saying that murdering Palestinians should be legal or something like that. I was gonna be like “um, NO, it shouldn’t be legal to murder anyone” but there was more strength in numbers.

    That’s the thing about religion that has always scared me: The collectivism mentalities behind it all. All the screaming, tribalism, and pointless activism we see now can all be traced back to religion. And I agree with you BD, Atheists have now become even more dogmatic than the religious, its insane. I’m just glad most atheists are chicks and betas. Cuz if some Alpha 1 atheists come along to “spread their message” through violence, it’s gonna get real bad real fast.

  3. Also, first line of second paragraph: ‘whether’, not ‘weather’.

    First line of ninth paragraph, there’s a dropped I, as in “I truly believe”

    Someone is just using spellcheck.

  4. I’m in the same camp in that I’m not religious but feel if it makes someone happy or gives them solace, then that’s fine.  Just don’t push it on me or try to use weird guilt trips about my life.

    The older I get, the more strange I find most religions anyway.  They all come across a bit cult-ish.   No matter how advanced we become as a civilization, we still cling to these very ancient and medieval ideas.  My only real beef with religions are they each claim to the the “right” one.  Best case scenario only one of you is right, most likely none of you are right.  Some might claim accepting Jesus is the only true way to heaven..so then the tribal kid born in sub-Saharan Africa who will never even hear about Jesus goes to hell???  Just because of where he was born?

  5. It’s the Authoritarian Bullshit the Church and the Government does that really fucks things up for Religion..

    – Telling Poor People that they better not get Abortions or use Condoms.. They better just have kids they can’t afford because the Church has Ulterior Motives.

    – When the Republican Party (Authoritarian Right) uses Religion as a Gathering Tool to get Votes.. Even if their agenda will directly conflict with the peoples agenda they’re getting the Votes from. Don’t be fooled into thinking they actually care about “Life”.. they don’t. The same for any Anti-LGBT agenda.. I can’t see the point in 9/10 things besides maybe the Bathroom thing Conservatives opposed. 

    – Then there are Other Bad Actors who use the Bible to make Money like those guys who have Mega Churches who demand donations. Great Hustle, but clearly a misuse of their their Authority (but in the end I’m not Anti Capitalism, so Fuck It) I just think it’s Immoral.

    Religion is Wonderful and Beautiful. However not everyone believes the way you may so you shouldn’t impose your Beliefs on anyone either by Preaching or Legally, it shouldn’t cost you money, and you shouldn’t use it as a Primary Reason to Vote for anyone.

  6. Typos fixed. Looks like the non-proofed version of the post was the one that got posted.

    If by spirituality you mean actual belief in supernatural stuff (even if nothing related to organized religion), then you’re absolutely wrong that “there is no debate” about it.

    You’re mixing up “wrong” with “bad.” Re-read the Good vs. Rational section in the article.

    Do you think there can be a person (regardless of the others who are fanatical about it) who has EXACTLY ZERO supernatural beliefs but who is neither super vocal nor dickish/ fanatically certain/ massively proselytizing about it?

    Of course. I know many such people.

    Do you call that person an atheist, even if they say they’re completely unsure (eg “Pyrrhonian”) and simply do not subscribe to any supernatural belief (and potentially find it stupid to do so)?

    No. The person who says, “I have no ideas if there is a god or not, but I guess they’re could be” I do not call an atheist. I would call him an agnostic.

    If a person admits they don’t “know” that God doesn’t exist or don’t even know he’s demonstrably unlikely, but claim that there is a strong rational case that God is an extremely low quality hypothesis for an inquiring mind trying to understand phenomena and ultimate causes – which makes them dislike the ‘neutrality’ of the word agnostic, then do you call that person an atheist?

    That paragraph makes no sense. You said that person that person doesn’t know if it’s demonstrably unlikely and then you go on to imply it’s unlikely. The existence of god is either unlikely or not. Pick one.

    Some might claim accepting Jesus is the only true way to heaven..so then the tribal kid born in sub-Saharan Africa who will never even hear about Jesus goes to hell???  Just because of where he was born?

    Yup. Religion is fundamentally irrational.

  7. Depends on the religion.  Some are too conservative to allow for a “honest” (key word) alpha 1 or 2 lifestyle.  Others have moved into the burbs and changed their names to something like “THE ROCK!!” and become a glorified social clubs with guitars and drums.  I’ve had alpha buddies attend those types without any conflict with their lifestyle.

  8. So the issue isn’t religion or even which religion, so much as it is how being in a religion will affect you.

    This is very good. To each his own. And the woke is always skeptical.

  9. I’m surprised at your stance on belief in a higher power, BD.

    This is very much in contrast with your stance on everything else in your life that you have explained up to now.

    You back everything you say with statistics, facts, and concrete evidence that is verifiable, yet when it comes to a, “higher power”, you slip into vague generalities and perhaps feelings that cannot be rationally explained.

    That’s fine and very much like most people, but it surprises me to hear you of all people say it.

  10. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. I’ve mentioned before that I have some irrationally subjective beliefs about reality myself. I believe that when I look out on a beautiful night cityscape, or crashing ocean waves, or a majestic mountain range, I believe that entire vista was designed for me.Not for you, not for humanity, not for nature, but for me, and just me, specifically. It’s a totally irrational belief and I admit that… but it’s not bad, because it A) makes me happy and B) doesn’t cause me to take any negative actions in my life.

    This would explain why you don’t care about society.  Look, BD, I have been reading you for a while, and have gotten a lot out of your writing.  You have a lot of practical solutions for the modern man.  But when I read stuff like this, it seems like you are missing some fundamental component of humanity.  You think that as long as you admit it is irrational, and go out of your way to point out that it causes no negative actions, that it is okay.

     

    I also notice in this post that you go out of your way to make a distinction between organized religion and spirituality, and that seems more tactical than sincere, because it means that if anyone has any criticism of your spiritual views, you can tell them they didn’t read closely enough and to go back and read the post again.

     

    There is no need to make that distinction unless you are looking for a loophole for yourself. Why does it matter whether or not someone has inner irrational views or externally validated ones.  The point should be is religion good or bad for you.

     

    Well, that is the point from your point of view. I notice again that you make an odd choice for an article, since the pressing question is “Is there a god or not,” not whether or not believing in one, irrational or not, is good for the individual or not.  This is a weird distinction to make because the obvious question, the one that has plagued philosophers and ordinary men, since time began, is whether or not God exists, not whether or not believing in something spiritual, rationally or irrationally, is good for you or not.

     

    You are removing from the equation the entire concept of the search for truth.  Even St. Paul said not to believe unless you found it to be true:

     

    1 Cor 15:32

    And what value was there in fighting wild beasts–those people of Ephesus–if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

     

    I think the core problem with your whole philosophy is the emphasis on personal happiness.  By what authority do you believe, or at least act like you do, that your personal happiness is the greatest possible good?

     

    I think that is your true religion, not  some funny feeling you get when you look at a sunset. Some how, some way, you have latched on to the idea that your own personal happiness is an assumed good, one that doesn’t need to be proven or justified.  It could be called, for you, an article of faith.

     

    You act on that assertion as if it were justified, you have faith in it, it is your highest ideal. Blackdragon’s Happiness is your god.

     

    That would have been a better blog post. Some sort of apologetic that exempts you from a search for truth or meaning or love, and allows you to put your own happiness above all the common virtues like loyalty to a community or a country. This blog post slices and dices and nitpicks until all interesting questions have been whittled down one simple one:

     

    Does joining a faith group have personal utility.

     

    That is so dry and dusty and solipsistic. Everyone wants to be happy, but I would rather know the truth and acknowledge it as such, if I had to make such a decision, than be happy.  I would also, if forced to choose, have a meaningful life than a happy one.  There are so many other options than personal happiness that aren’t even really addressed here, because you have reduced the whole rich investigation of spiritual faith down to a banal utilitarian question.

     

    But do what you want. I know you are trying to sell stuff.  There’s much more, both literally and of value to the human spirit, than Blackdragon getting his jollies.

     

    Thanks for allowing me to post here.

  11. If a person admits they don’t “know” that God doesn’t exist or don’t even know he’s demonstrably unlikely, but claim that there is a strong rational case that God is an extremely low quality hypothesis for an inquiring mind trying to understand phenomena and ultimate causes – which makes them dislike the ‘neutrality’ of the word agnostic, then do you call that person an atheist?

    That paragraph makes no sense. You said that person that person doesn’t know if it’s demonstrably unlikely and then you go on to imply it’s unlikely. The existence of god is either unlikely or not. Pick one.

    It does. Rationality isn’t just about determining what’s likely or not, it’s also about ranking hypotheses, because in many cases you can’t just calculate a probability. So the two distincts concepts are legitimate: whether you think God is “likely”, and whether you think it’s a good/useful hypothesis, epistemologically.
    Technically I’m agnostic about tooth fairies. It would be very hard to “prove” that tooth fairies are improbable (yeah I can picture some trying it, but it won’t work). But do I think they’re good explanatory mechanisms for weird phenomena, or even 50-50? No, they rank extremely low.
    Am I agnostic about whether a 10-mile meteor will hit tomorrow? No, I think it’s demonstrably very unlikely, because math says so. Hence the difference.

    Anyway, this wasn’t the main topic so I won’t push it further. Scientists or philosophers of science will confirm it though.

  12. yet when it comes to a, “higher power”, you slip into vague generalities and perhaps feelings that cannot be rationally explained.

    I have a pet theory about people in general, dunno if it applies to CJ.
    The human brain is capable of generating extremely intense and compelling experiences. These experiences have always been very good at nudging people into exteriorizing it one way or another. Some people build statues, some create religions, and some say “there has to be more to this than that”, so they invoke subtler stuff like “higher powers/realities”. When you listen to JBP roast SJWs, he seems pretty smart; when he brings up Jesus or how one “might be led to believe because of a deep mystical experience they lived”, he looks like his IQ has suddenly been almost halved (mind you, I think CJ’s more rational than JBP). We have millions of years of evolution behind us that crafted the most compelling intuitions and other mental states to near perfection.

    When I was freshly out of religion I was still extremely pissed at the nonreligious because they looked so smug. But the truth is that telling people that the awesomeness of our brain and of the experiences it allows us to live is rooted in biological evolution and that, even if consciousness itself turns out to be distinct from matter, it’s still caused by it, is going to look arrogant no matter what. You’re basically telling them “See that nudge you feel towards blurting that there’s something more awesome than chemistry going on? Actually it’s chemistry doing its job well”. Either this is true, or it’s false, but if it’s true there’s no changing it and someone is gonna get their hands dirty and risk looking smug. No one will accuse you of being arrogant if you do the reverse, ie tell scientists that this or that physical phenomenon is actually spiritual. Talk about fairness.

  13. You back everything you say with statistics, facts, and concrete evidence that is verifiable, yet when it comes to a, “higher power”, you slip into vague generalities and perhaps feelings that cannot be rationally explained.

    May I take the liberty to reformulate his words?

    “Don’t try to change your own religious identity, this is hopeless. If you feel religion is a big deal for you, don’t be ashamed of that, it’s OK. Just do whatever it takes, including finding solace in some other parts of that same religion if needed, to prevent it from infringing on your pursuit of happiness.”

    That’s as I understand it at least.

  14. I’m surprised at your stance on belief in a higher power, BD.

    This is very much in contrast with your stance on everything else in your life that you have explained up to now.

    It’s an educated guess on my part, not something I believe with certainly like a Christian or an atheist. I view it as probable, but that’s it. I could be completely wrong.

    I just combine A) there’s a MASSIVE amount of reality that our 2018 level of scientific advancement can’t explain at all, with B) I find the odds of the entire universe springing to life by accident or pure chance as unlikely. But again, the odds are good I’m totally wrong on this. I’m just guessing based on the very limited information sitting in front of me.

    You back everything you say with statistics, facts, and concrete evidence that is verifiable, yet when it comes to a, “higher power”, you slip into vague generalities and perhaps feelings that cannot be rationally explained.

    As usual with my writing, I do that on purpose. I’m not getting into any specifics of what I believe because doing so would derail the content, messaging, and branding of my blogs and books. And I could be wrong, so this is not something I care strongly enough about to lose money on.

  15. My strict Christian upbringing helped me make the choice to essentially throw away my youth because I believed if I had premarital sex I would go to hell. Choosing abstinence did not make me happy.

    Christian husbands are some of the most beta men I’ve ever known. Not hating on beta men, but the church teaches men to be this way. Unhappy men, for the most part.

    Christian wives are some of the most dominant women I’ve ever known. Not hating on dominant women, but again, the church teaches them to be this way. Unhappy women, for the most part. (and they cheat like crazy lol)

    Since I choose to not follow some of “God’s Word”, that causes judgment towards me from those within the Church, which lowers my happiness…no thanks. (outcome independent or not, being criticized every Sunday gets old fast)

    And, since I don’t like being around unhappy people, being around mostly unhappy Christians lowers my happiness tremendously…no thanks.

    Therefore religion is bad for me.

    The irrationality of religion doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Not sure where “rational” would even enter the picture when choosing to believe in something that cannot be proven. I just choose not to partake in any particular religion’s irrationality.

    Good post. I think half the battle of being 2.0 is realizing you can make these kinds of choices, in whichever way improves your own happiness.

  16. So….I think there’s religion “making you happy” and there is also religion “making you less sad.” I don’t see happy/sad being entirely on a single axis….when I dropped my VYW ex-girlfriend off at grad school, I was intensely happy for her and the time we had together, and quite sad that I no longer had a smokeshow half my age on my arm (I miss her still, but the oneitis is almost gone).

    Much more tragically, my father had a second son at 45, and that son is now 26 and seriously mentally ill. It’s hard to see a good outcome for the kid. Dad is 71 and going very strong….but he’s over 70. We rode horses through the mountains this morning. His attitude is absolutely wonderful, and he says straight up that if it wasn’t for his relationship with God, he couldn’t handle it. Yes, religion makes him happy, but it also makes him much less sad.

    I have become kinder about religion over the last few years, and it’s funny BD brought up Jonah…..on some level, part of the leap to the Alpha 2.0 lifestyle is overcoming the Jonah Complex, and rising up to the opportunities we are presented with rather than hiding like a beta bitch to keep oneself safe.

    That said, I am a very happy atheist. I am nearing the point of where I could be, for lack of a better term, an atheist minister. I’ve become all too good at burying loved ones, and I have consoled people who have no eternal consolation (most tragically, my unicorn, whose 19 y/o brother committed suicide…Orthodox Jewish family, but she (and he) were atheists, and she would hear nothing of religious consolation, only the forthright acceptance of the horrific tragedy of a promising life cut short).

    Atheism is, I can say it here and only be mostly misunderstood, a red pill. Once it’s fully ingested, however, life can be great. Yes, religion can make you happy, but it’s neither a necessary nor sufficient condition.

  17. A) there’s a MASSIVE amount of reality that our 2018 level of scientific advancement can’t explain at all

    Black hole information paradox? The unthinkably huge discrepancy between predicted and measured values of vacuum energy? Please elaborate.

    B) I find the odds of the entire universe springing to life by accident or pure chance as unlikely

    True, but isn’t every single proposed alternative even less likely? This comfy life-supporting non-self-contradicting universe might seem rare as far as universes go (using our best guesses as to what else a universe could look like), but deities capable of creating comfy life-supporting non-self-contradicting universes seem rarer still.

  18. One other thing….I think the “You” in the title of the piece refers to the existing or aspiring Alpha 2.0. Is religion good for my father, a well aged Alpha 1.0? You bet. Is religion good for a young Jewish Orthodox man looking for a wife? You have no idea, they have the pick of the litter. Is religion good for the young boy about to be buggered by a priest? Well, no, it’s life ruining.

    And none of those examples, frankly, matter…..and beyond that, the truth of religion hardly matters. My position is made clear above, this is a cold, uncaring (and unintelligent) universe, but believing it to be otherwise has virtually no bearing on that universe, but all kinds of bearing on my own life.

    In my experience, as a hardcore atheist, if you’re able to be politely and, indeed, engagingly conversant in Biblical stories, you can garner a surprising amount of respect from religious people, even if they know you are not. In less understanding times, religion might be needed for happiness, otherwise you would be ostracized and therefore not happy.

    In terms of a personal journey and personal happiness….if someone is so willing to work so hard to throw off SP and OBW, as far as they are able, which is a major requirement of an Alpha 2.0 lifestyle….well…throwing off religion and all of its consolations is child’s play. As much as I am coming to even enjoy the stories of religions, nothing in religious ethics and profundity compares to Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.

  19. Please elaborate.

    I’m not a scientist so I can’t. I know, based on my own research, that there are shitloads of things scientists can’t answer about the universe, by their own admission. Even doctors still can’t explain things about the human body.

    True, but isn’t every single proposed alternative even less likely?

    Not simulation theory, as just one example.

    This comfy life-supporting non-self-contradicting universe might seem rare as far as universes go (using our best guesses as to what else a universe could look like), but deities capable of creating comfy life-supporting non-self-contradicting universes seem rarer still.

    Certainly possible, but I never said I believe in “deities.”

    One other thing….I think the “You” in the title of the piece refers to the existing or aspiring Alpha 2.0.

    More or less, yes.

    Is religion good for my father, a well aged Alpha 1.0? You bet.

    “Good” in that sentence could mean many things, which is why I was more clear about that word in the article. “Good” can mean more happy (good for the Alpha 2.0) or it could mean more conducive to a higher-drama Alpha 1.0 lifestyle (terrible for the 2.0, but good for the 1.0).

    I probably should have titled this article “Does Religion Make You Happy?”

  20. I probably should have titled this article “Does Religion Make You Happy?”

    I think the hardest part about this discussion is already displayed above in the comments…it provokes, with frightening regularity, certain predictable lines of offense and defense.

    The practical consequences of your overall thesis are anathema to believer and atheist alike.

  21. I have used “religious game” over the years to get laid.

    So in this case religion is great, otherwise I don’t subscribe to any ideology as this would affect my level of happiness.

  22. I know, based on my own research, that there are shitloads of things scientists can’t answer about the universe, by their own admission. Even doctors still can’t explain things about the human body.

    That makes no sense. A bunch of naked apes on some planet, that have only started real science 350 years ago, have no answer to many things, therefore (insert vague statement about how there’s “something beyond this reality”)? The universe doesn’t owe us to be easy to have its functioning unveiled; even a 10-million-year old civilization may still be hitting brick walls, even if the whole thing is 100% naturalistic down to the last quark. This is textbook God of the Gaps, just with God replaced with something more subtle but functionally the same. Of course there may be such a thing, but deducing it from the above is bad logic.

    How exactly is a Simulation that exists for perfectly unknown reasons a better alternative than a Universe that exists for perfectly unknown reasons?

    Sim Theory is a perfect example of what I called “not demonstrably unlikely, but a low quality hypothesis”.

  23. The universe doesn’t owe us to be easy to have its functioning unveiled

    Guys who say “the universe doesn’t owe you an explanation”, while making a valid statement, don’t realize the reverse is also true: just because our science can’t figure it out right now or just because you happen to think concepts of god/intelligent design/whatever seem silly or fantastical doesn’t mean there isn’t anything out there.

    Sim Theory is a perfect example of what I called “not demonstrably unlikely, but a low quality hypothesis”.

    All of this stuff is very unlikely. The problem is that one of these explanations must be the truth.

    Moving on, the purpose of this thread is to discuss whether or not religion is good for you, not debate the existence of god or the origin of the universe. Therefore this will be my last response on that topic in this thread. I’m happy to discuss this topic over at my other blog, when appropriate.

  24. Guys who say “the universe doesn’t owe you an explanation”, while making a valid statement, don’t realize the reverse is also true: just because our science can’t figure it out right now or just because you happen to think concepts of god/intelligent design/whatever seem silly or fantastical doesn’t mean there isn’t anything out there.

    Correct. Except it wasn’t my point, as I explained in multiple comments. But fine, let’s move on.

  25. We can argue religion ad nauseam, but the reason I came to this post and the question I really want to know is:  Do women generally prefer religious men or does it matter?

  26. Do women generally prefer religious men or does it matter?

    Women are keepers of the faith. Of course they prefer religious men.

    Dude, I know an Orthodox Jew who is a virgin mother. No shit. The only guy who was religious enough for her was quadriplegic. They have had 4 kids via IVF.

    The women who prefer religious men are most likely in it for the ring, not the ding-a-ling.

    BD’s bottom line that if religion isn’t making you happy, you should reconsider it. This pretty much excludes leveraging religion to meet women….you are either massively lying and therefore begging for drama, or you’re looking for traditional monogamous marriage.

  27. Moving on, the purpose of this thread is to discuss whether or not religion is good for you […]

    Gurdjieff once said that when you have an aim (goal), whatever leads you to that goal is “good” and whatever leads you away from it, or blocks you from it, is “evil”.

    Pick a goal. Plug the religion in. Now you know if it’a good for you or not. Very simple.

  28. Do women generally prefer religious men or does it matter?

    I think it matters little enough that it’s not worth forcing oneself to become religious/spiritual (and in my case, that’d be almost literally impossible: I can’t just “talk” myself into an uproven certitude, and I wouldn’t wanna lie).
    With women who are, say, lapsed catholic, but relatively sex-positive, it’s probably better not to blurt out “I’m an atheist” or “I have no religious belief whatsoever” on a first date lol. But that’s already covered in BD’s article about “not suppressing yourself but just watering it down a little until lock-in”.

    Women who are strongly religious OTOH I would avoid in the first place. When you have a mind so good at juggling contradictory beliefs that you’re very religious AND readily have sex outside marriage (for the religions that ban it), you probably have other issues I don’t wanna deal with, even as a FB. Or, at the very least, I wouldn’t fuck her till I made it clear I don’t believe in any of her shit and there’s zero chance she’ll ever “fix” me, lmao. So many of them think that atheists “don’t really exist” and that most of them “just need some help”/still believe deep down etc.
    So from my POV, I guess that being nonreligious somewhat narrows my pool of prospects, in exchange for skipping a type of drama I really dislike. Fine by me.

    For happiness in general… It’s possible that the religious and the spiritual (other than the “unbelieveing spiritual” I defined earlier) have a higher potential ceiling for happiness than mine. But these days my happiness is so tightly linked with truth-seeking that it would significantly decrease if I knew I was on a path that sacrifices rationality to well-being (or aims to). So again I accept the tradeoff. I have no interest in being happier by willing myself into becoming less effective at seeking facts or at being skeptical of unbacked claims. “Active nonthinking” is a pathetic way to seek happiness. You wanna be happier than your lucidity about the world allows? Smoke weed occasionally, or train your mind to wash away negative mental states without forcing any gratuitous belief on it.

  29. Do women generally prefer religious men or does it matter?

    In the Western world, it doesn’t matter in the vast majority of cases. We live in a left-wing society where religion isn’t a priority anymore.

    I’ve never lost out on sex because I wasn’t religious. The vast majority of Western women just don’t give a fuck. Even provider hunters don’t care (amazingly).

    Gurdjieff once said that when you have an aim (goal), whatever leads you to that goal is “good” and whatever leads you away from it, or blocks you from it, is “evil”.

    I disagree since you can have the wrong goal. As a matter of fact, this is likely. That’s what false Societal Programming does.

    Pick a goal. Plug the religion in. Now you know if it’a good for you or not. Very simple.

    That I agree with.

  30. Gurdjieff once said that when you have an aim (goal), whatever leads you to that goal is “good” and whatever leads you away from it, or blocks you from it, is “evil”.

    I disagree since you can have the wrong goal. As a matter of fact, this is likely. That’s what false Societal Programming does.

    ———-

    Just to clarify for those unfamiliar with Gurdjieff. When Gurdjieff spoke of aim, he was speaking of the Aim in the Work (work on oneself that the follower of the Gurdjieff’s system performs) so it is not based on SP by definition.

    In fact, big part of the Work is to deprogram oneself from the SP.  Just google some of the Gurdjieff’s exercises, if you are interested.

  31. You think that as long as you admit it is irrational, and go out of your way to point out that it causes no negative actions, that it is okay.

    Correct, and if it doesn’t make me unhappy. Don’t forget that part.

    I also notice in this post that you go out of your way to make a distinction between organized religion and spirituality, and that seems more tactical than sincere, because it means that if anyone has any criticism of your spiritual views, you can tell them they didn’t read closely enough and to go back and read the post again.

    I haven’t said that once in this thread. I also don’t mind at all if someone criticizes my spiritual views. I’m outcome independent so I don’t give a shit. I also don’t belong to a religion, so my spiritual views don’t require other people to share them (unlike you).

    You are removing from the equation the entire concept of the search for truth.

    Yes, but only in this thread. As I already said above, I’m happy to discuss the topic at my other blog, when I discuss it there, and I have, and I certainly will again. It’s an interesting topic. Just not one relevant to my point in this particular article. I know that bothers you.

    By what authority do you believe, or at least act like you do, that your personal happiness is the greatest possible good?

    Research and philosophy from Aristotle all the way to Bertrand Russell, plus a shitload of scientific data (happier people live longer, have less health problems, make more money, donate more to charity, and so on).

    Blackdragon’s Happiness is your god.

    Correct.

    Your happiness should be your highest priority as well, provided it’s long-term happiness (which is healthy) and not short-term happiness (which is not).

    But do what you want.

    Oh, don’t worry. I will.

    I know you are trying to sell stuff.

    Trying and succeeding. Now please go buy some of my books.

    There’s much more, both literally and of value to the human spirit, than Blackdragon getting his jollies.

    Correct. That’s why in Chapter 7 of my book, I cover the Seven Life Areas, and discuss in great detail why money is important but can’t be the only priority in your life. Other priorities should be sex, family, spirituality, health, and so on.

    Thanks for allowing me to post here.

    You’re welcome. And you could have just said, “It makes me really mad that you’re not a Christian like me,” instead of writing out your huge, angry comment; you would have saved yourself a lot of time.

  32. Religion can be useful in certain conditions, but a price.

    If you are religious, it probably will offer a community, this is a band-aid for some people like: lonely people or for people with problems with alcoholism.

    This sense of community can make you “happier” or at least, less depressed, for example, an alcoholic person that joins a church, now have a whole community of probably sober people in which he can rely on.

    Another important aspect of religions, like Christianity, is that it actually promotes some behaviors that can promote some happiness, I once took this free online course about the science of happiness, and I could see that there was a lot of correlation that scientifically made you more happy with christianity teachings. Things like kindness, pardon, and praying (that could be some form of meditation) can improves happiness in certain conditions.

    The problems with religions are, like you said, that if you follow it 100% it will lead you to some unhappiness, because most cult are established form of social programming.

    Yes, if you are dealing with religion, read a bible or any “sacred book” of your choice and make your own judgments, be rational and don’t let any social programming interfere with your spirituality too.

  33. But these days my happiness is so tightly linked with truth-seeking

    Science, you mean?

    ou are removing from the equation the entire concept of the search for truth. Even St. Paul said not to believe unless you found it to be true:

    The idea of conducting scientific experiments to verify religion is there in the Old Testament (1 Kings 18). However, by the time of the New Testament, it becomes “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7).

  34. Ah, the religion question.

    Well first – I believe in religious freedom. You can “believe” whatever dumb shit you want. I believe in freedom of speech; OF COURSE I believe in freedom of “thought”. I will not advocate thought police. But religious freedom also means there cannot be state-mandated religion. Hence, separation of Church and State must be maintained.

    Now modern religion. BD, you try to extricate God from Religion. Which definitely can be done, in theory. In practice, most believers buy-in to the Religious rituals and hokum 100%.

    If you take the Founding Fathers, many Deists — and yourself — believing in some spiritual or metaphysical energy in the universe but not of the Bible — these ‘spritualists’ lets say have FAR  more in common with an atheist than a Fundie, evangelical, devout Catholic, etc. Because the implications are the same. This “energy” or lack thereof — both result in no entity asserting an opinion on condom usage, premarital sex, tithing, thetans, and all the other bullshit.

    But most religious are not Deists … they buy the full Jesus/ guilt/ praying/ holier than though/ Bible/ bullshit package.

    Most atheists are militant

    Not really. The ones that aren’t are invisible. And atheists only seem militant when talking about atheism online; the topic never comes up in day to day conversation by choice. 27% of all French people believe in God. 73% don’t. Are they all militant atheists? Doubtful. Europe is far more ‘atheist’ than the US. Australia too. 47% of Chinese identify as atheist, and 30% more as non-religious. The US is an anomaly here.

    You frequently talk about cultural programming and how it’s bullshit; well, religion is the oldest and strongest cultural programming bullshit in human history. It’s just far less subtle than some of the other programming you mention.

    Religion and its associated baggage is really quite simple to understand from an evolutionary standpoint. Or game theory, or sociology, whatever angle you want to take.

    People want to believe in God, an afterlife, and “cosmic justice” because it makes them feel better, emotionally. Broken down:

    1. Fear of death. Humans are one of the few animals aware of their own mortality. It’s inescapable — and can make you question the point of living entirely. KIDDING! There’s an afterlife buddy! It’s a paradise!

    2. Death of loved ones. They aren’t coming back. That sucks. In some ways it’s downright depressing to the core. KIDDING! They’re awaiting you in Magic Land. We now know it’s not in Earth’s sky, but … somewhere beyond the expanse of space, they are “looking down” and watching you from a metaphysical realm that stretches for eternity. Really if you consider eternity, even in a cosmic realm, that itself would turn into a nightmare well before 10 billion years, but don’t think about that too much.

    3. Justice. Some King or crafty asshole raped a dozen kids. Often in history, the bad guy doesn’t always get his just desserts. Sometimes the bad guy wins. In war. In life. Chris Columbus is a prime example. So if they escaped the hand of man’s justice — well …. well … fuck I feel bad … must …. feel …. better …. GOD will burn them in eternal hellfire! Yes!

    4. The nihilistic void. The sun will explode one day. My day job as either a Medieval farm-slave, anteBellum Cotton picker, or modern 9-5 cube-dwelling Spreadsheet calculator for Pepsi-Cola …. is trite and meaningless. Utterly meaningless. I will die one day and my legacy will blow away into eternity. Loved ones will soon forget me. What’s the point of anything? Maybe there is no point. Staring into the nihilistic abyss … aaaah!! Scary!!! I don’t feel good!!! JUST KIDDING!! Mysterious God has clear guidelines and goals for life. There is meaning. It may not be clear what that meaning is, but God knows and there definitely is one. Let God worry about that pesky thing. Aaaah.

    So religion (and God and the afterlife as well) fulfill great needs … they kill the pain of “knowledge”. Knowing too much. They are like marijuana. So there you go.

    The trouble happens when Charlatans and Crooks realize they can use religion (and false “rules”) for dominion and power and influence and social engineering. Popes used to be warmongers. Scientology uses slave labor, cheats people out of thousands, and pays no taxes. The “Evil” control the stupidified masses — with their 4 “needs” … and THAT’S when the average rational man gets fucked up the ass. When a legion of stupid led by Evil Fucker shows up at his door step and demands money + supplication + dominion.

  35. Now modern religion. BD, you try to extricate God from Religion.

    Incorrect. I have removed myself from religion completely.

    Spirituality is not religion. I am spiritual, but I don’t belong to a group of people who believe more or less what I do regarding god and morality, who believe in a dogmatic set of rules, and who think there is something wrong with people who don’t believe in what we believe. That’s religion, and I think that’s all bullshit.

    If you take the Founding Fathers, many Deists — and yourself — believing in some spiritual or metaphysical energy in the universe but not of the Bible — these ‘spritualists’ lets say have FAR  more in common with an atheist than a Fundie, evangelical, devout Catholic, etc.

    Correct. Any time there is a debate between an atheist and a hardcore Christian, I usually side with the atheist on at least 90% of the arguments made.

    Most atheists are militant

    I never said this and I don’t believe this. Please do not use the quote function of this blog to quote something I never said and don’t believe.

    You frequently talk about cultural programming and how it’s bullshit; well, religion is the oldest and strongest cultural programming bullshit in human history.

    Correct. That is obvious and I’ve said that many times.

  36. But these days my happiness is so tightly linked with truth-seeking

    Science, you mean?

    Slightly more complicated than that. I don’t only subscribe to stuff that enjoys scientific consensus or near consensus. eg when you zoom in on the scientific community, you’ll see some legit scientists at a given moment supporting theories that don’t have consensus yet (picture Einstein in 1915 just when he was submitting GenRel, or Wegener in the 20s, etc). I can allow myself to believe some minority views within science on the condition that I did the documentation and have informed arguments to back my view.

    The problem with the anti-science views is they naively essentialize science like it’s a one-block magical formula or represents “the establishment”. But it’s really just a process, with lots of local divergence on any given topic. If truth-seeking was only about believing today’s scientific consensus, then many scientists would not be truth seekers, obviously: they’d be unscientific rogues…except they’re not, and their dissension is what makes science progress. So by “truth-seeking” I mean doing my best to incrementally accumulate knowledge and informed opinions (+ correct previous ones) while, within possible, never gratuitously adding a claim for irrational reasons (“it feels good”, “it would be good for society if it was true”, ad hominem fallacy, god of the gaps, etc, etc).

    Too often, spiritual beliefs are about caving in to the pressure of our mental states (of awe, adoration, pleasure, etc) by trying to interpret something happening in our skull as something that’s out there in the world (eg “This orgasm/ this love/ this sunset is so wonderful = there must be a higher dimension rewarding me with such experience”). Of course there could be something out there, but adding it because of those mental states is not a method of knowledge acquisition, it is simply an emotional defeat. We don’t know the “last word” and might never know it, but the right way – if the goal is knowledge, not merely making peace with our state of perplexity – is to keep following the facts, not to view the frustrating slowness/rarity of the facts as a license to add whatever we like.

  37. Most atheists are militant

    Not really. The ones that aren’t are invisible.

    (I don’t know how to nest quotes)

    The problem here is that if one admits to being an atheist, there is a whole load of shit to unpack. No, we’re not all nihilists….I love life, the universe blows my mind, family is extremely important, etc; No, we’re not all moral relativists, and while the lines might not always be bright, developing vaccines is far superior morally than running death camps….on and on.

    It is just a major source of drama. FWIW, I have found being reasonably conversant in the Bible and keeping on topic when it comes to human nature & old stories while deflecting on the supernatural bullshit leads to much better conversations with religious people, and therefore more happiness.

    Most of us are long past the frustration and unhappiness generated by trying to explain to people that the Sumerians invented glue about 1,000 years before the so-called new earth creationists believe that universe was created (with fossils in the ground just to test their faith….smh).

  38. Part of being happy involves living your life the way you want to. If you want to live a “Alpha 2.0 type lifestyle” that involves meeting and having sexual relations with more than one woman for your happiness. Because the current major religions that promote traditional monogamous marriage to only one woman are against the “Alpha 2.0 type lifestyle” that you want to live for you to be happy, those religions are against your happiness and you cannot associate with those religions if you want to be happy. Also, those sexually repressive religions that often have an angry/anti-sex/asexual/non-masculine/beta priest/pastor (anger is not happy) frequently preach against sexual topics, and when guys obey them in church and sit/stand/be quiet/sing/kneel/sit like a good beta boy those religions are conditioning guys to be LESS “Alpha 2.0″/less masculine/less sexual/less freedom/more controlled/more stress/more anger/more beta/less happy. Those religions make you less Alpha 2.o and therefore those religions are bad for you. As a personal attack against you, your sexuality, and your happiness those religions are against how you want to live your life as an Alpha 2.0 man.

    That is also why it makes no sense over the last few years many PUA/Manosphere type guys have been strangely in various ways promoting extreme right wing religion (and also traditional marriage) that is fundamentally totally against Game, against pick-up, against unmarried sex, and totally against non-monogamy, so those guys are really “confused,” and it is beyond very odd. Many of those guys are promoting so-called Patriarchy as if it’s “Masculinity,” but it is not, as what they call Patriarchy is really BetaArchy or PROVIDERarchy. These Patriarchy guys, many are former Game/PUA types, are indoctrinating their followers into angry extremists for right wing religion instigated culture wars for the religious ideology of so-called Patriarchy that is against sexual freedom, anti-Game, anti-pickup, and against non-monogamy. Patriarchy guys want to return to the 1950’s mythological utopia era where the woman is traditionally married/wife/mommy/cook and clean for him and the kids, while he goes to work in a wage slave job and the Patriarchy “man with so-called masculinity” actually wants to get traditionally monogamously married/goes to church like a good boy/and is a husband, father, beta PROVIDER. Patriarchy guys actually want to be a beta Provider. Being a beta Patriarchy Provider is against many of the most basics of “Game,” so “Patriarchy” is anti-Game and it’s anti-Non-Monogamy. It appears that many “Alpha 1.0’s” are really inside still “Beta 2.0’s” and Patriarchy is their new religion oddly. Patriarchy is BetaArchy/ProviderArchy. They went the wrong direction. If it was GameArchy or Non-MonogamyArchy then that would have been more in the correct direction. It appears that most of those angry guys don’t want to be happy, what they want is more control over others to cover up their own insecurities, and similar to the major religions they want control and they take out their anger by inciting other guys and in promoting religion/Patriarchy/traditional monogamous marriage/and even monogamy that makes them feel in control, but in reality (where their minds are not completely present) those things are actually against their own self-interest and against their overall happiness.

    The false Social Programming in religion is very bad for you. There’s a lot that the current religions do not tell the masses so they can continue their around 2000 years of very successful Gaslighting/brainwashing/Social Programming to control many people. The around 200’s BC Greek Septuagint is where Iesous the Greek word for Yeshua (Joshua) Son of Nun was “translated.” Christ is the Greek word for anointed for the Hebrew word Messiah, possibly from Egyptian Mesa, as a title for Priest/King/ruler. The English word God is from the 350’s AD Gothic Bible word Guth, with the root gu meaning “to pour a libation,” and similarly to how the Norse OTHinn became English Odin, the TH sound in Guth became the letter D sound in English and by the 1500’s or so during the Great Vowel Shift the U sound became just the O sound in English, thus making the Gothic language word Guth the English language word God.

    It could be said that if the religion of the church was still in total control (burning books, etc) there would be no internet now, no antibiotics, no airplanes or modern vehicles, maybe no electricity, maybe no indoor plumbing, no “Game/Pick-Up/Non-Monogamy,” and there would still be religion forced traditional monogamous marriage, and that would be very bad for you. Leaving religion is very good for you, especially as a Alpha 2.0 male. After I left the religion of the church (it took a few years) because of their sexual repression/their being against unmarried sex/their false beliefs saying people “have to” be monogamously married to have sex; I started living more of a “Alpha 2.0 type lifestyle” and I became much more happy.

  39. If truth-seeking was only about believing today’s scientific consensus, then many scientists would not be truth seekers, obviously: they’d be unscientific rogues…except they’re not, and their dissension is what makes science progress.

    Science, which is the best method of truth seeking currently known, isn’t about “consensus”, “mainstream” etc. It’s about formulating hypotheses and trying to disprove them with experiment (because unlike mathematics, you can’t prove anything, that would require running all possible experiments, of which there are of course infinitely many) until only one stands. If the remaining hypothesis is simple enough and a large enough number of experiments has failed to refute it, then it becomes mainstream… until maybe something does disprove it.

    As a consequence, theories that can’t in principle be invalidated by experiment (like religion, which would say “that’s devil’s tempting our faith” in response to any contradictions) are worse than useless. If it can’t be proved (nothing can) but it can’t be disproved either, how can we even think of it in terms of true/false?

    That’s called falsifiability, or Popper’s criterion, and is a necessary trait of any scientific theory.

    And that’s basically all there is to science. You guess and then you experiment. Toddlers do science when they try to find out which it is, cute smiles or temper tantrums that causes their parents to give them what they want. Science doesn’t have to boil down to bearded men in lab coats speaking mumbo jumbo.

  40. when you zoom in on the scientific community, you’ll see some legit scientists at a given moment supporting theories that don’t have consensus yet (picture Einstein in 1915 just when he was submitting GenRel, or Wegener in the 20s, etc)

    General Relativity, by the way, has a great story.

    Let’s start with Newton’s theory of gravity though. At the time, motion of celestial bodies was rather well known through observation, and it was noticed that the bodies obey certain rules called Kepler’s laws. Given that, Newton set out to find what forces would predict movement that matched the observations, and came up with the Gm₁m₂/r² formula from which Kepler’s laws could indeed be derived. But then Jupiter’s moons failed to move according to this schedule, but this turned out to be due to light moving at a finite speed. But then Neptune’s orbit was slightly wrong, but if one assumed another planet existed at a certain location, then the law would predict exactly the same discrepancy, and lo and behold, when astronomers looked at that location, they found a new planet there, Uranus. But then Mercury’s orbit was a bit wrong, and this could not be explained.

    So Newton took observations and found out what formulas would match the observations. Einstein, however, didn’t start with observations and produce a better formula from those. He had a radically different approach.

    Einstein had an insight, and one way to state it is this: if everything in the universe, including you, were to fly 1 m to the left, would you notice? Einstein said no, and he reformulated laws of physics to be consistent with this. At no point did he incorporate observations of celestial bodies into the process—yet the resulting theory predicted the somewhat peculiar shape of Mercury’s orbit with great precision!

    As for consensus though, the scientific community approached the new theory in the only right way. They started testing it as soon as possible, the first major experiment was during the 1919 solar eclipse when the Sun was found to bend light in accordance to the theory. This was a big deal in the press at the time by the way.

  41. 1) Religion is fundamental necessity for human beings. I didn’t say which one. Humans are naturally searching for meaning and they need to form a belief system. In lack of purpose and meaning, they become unhappy, unfulfilled and depressed even they have all the material things and pleasure. atheism, deism, being agnostic etc may become a religion to follow with a certain belief system, values, and life style. please don’t claim you don’t have a religion; you have one if you think and give meaning to events and life.

    2) Religion is not a bullshit. There are so many benefits to society and person as someone already wrote few of them like meaning of death(to not to fear of it), losing loved ones(we will happily meet again soon), overcoming life challenges(believing this life is short and  temporary, and don’t make a huge deal if you are not doing well now, eventually  you will be happy in eternity), etc. as everything if some elite, govt, church, or another bad group of people use it badly and it becomes harmful that way it’s because of them usually. in essence in all major religions have good values in the core. People opinions and how it’s used may bring bullshit.

    3) If you free yourself from societal programming and traditional teaching and be able to go to source you will find happiness and fulfillment and no irrational anything.  anything exist you think irrational are coming from people, their  wrong interpretations  and their bad practise, not from God. Anything comes from God is pure truth, natural, rational and will always make you happy and fulfilled.

    4) There has been only one God’s religion throughout history. All other millions of religions are from people and false although they may contain some truth. God’s message and words to humanity came by prophets. Prophets have  always been challenged by elite, governments, and society. All of them had to leave their place. Most are killed, or tortured. Noah, Moses, Zakkaria, Jesus, Mohammed, and hundred others all suffered from their people,  and elite at their time. So, God’s religion has  never been born out of societal programming. but almost always people still changed it after prophets passed away and use it as a tool sometimes badly, and added their opinions into it making it a form of societal programming. but in its source it’s pure truth. it’s your job to find out what is people’s bullshit and what God exactly said. Reading Bible is great and you can certainly find truth in it but remember it’s not pure God’s words as Christians also agree ,and you have a better chance if you read Quran, which is most recent. by the way in Quran you can read in 2nd chapter whoever believes in one God and life after death will be in paradise, you don’t need to be a muslim to be saved or to be in heaven. So I’m not suggesting you here a specific version of religion. Follow whatever but believe in One Creator who created this beautiful life and universe and believe after this one collapsed, which science also says so; God will bring you to other one; then  you are saved. You will be happy here and later. all good people will be in heaven and have a good life in eternity. this belief is rational not a bullshit. I can write books on how it’s so rational. not to brag but I’m a rational person who has a PhD in math. I know what I’m talking about when I say something is rational or logical.

    5) God’s religion never imposed monogamy. Almost all prophets had many wives. by the way sugars are OK too. I can cite God’s own words to prove it but i don’t wanna make this so long. I follow this blog for few years. As you can see I disagree with some BD comments but I find his system and ideas on women and sex almost totally compatible with God’s religion. all the monogamy stuff and other irrational bullshit are not coming from religion. It’s very clear in Quran. but even in Bible and Jesus’s words you cannot find anything that impose monogamy. So all you Christians who say religion impose monogamy you don’t know your own religion. Pope says so is not an excuse sorry you didn’t read the Bible. so see how monogamy bullshit became part of so called religion and became law and practise. Heck you cannot even formally marry a second women not only in West and many muslim countries as well, you will end up in jail. such a strong soc prog. and bullshit but not a defect of religion as always it’s a defect of people. when i say marry a women i mean having consensual sex with another women, as God defined it.

    Here I didn’t endorse anything other than this life are created by One God, God’s religion is not byproduct of human thought or SP, in its origin is quite rational but people may make it irrational adding their own opinions into it and harmful as they can do so for anything. Nonmonogamy  and having sex with many women is perfectly OK for God. so you will be very happy always if you follow God’s religion but sad if you listen people’s bullshit and it’s your job to understand and distinguish.

    Thanks BD for sharing your valuable system and ideas.

  42. It’s about formulating hypotheses and trying to disprove them with experiment
    […]That’s called falsifiability, or Popper’s criterion, and is a necessary trait of any scientific theory.

    @Anon: I know this is a very popular view, but it’s quite incorrect, and a regrettable straw vision of science tbh. Falsifiability is in fact not widely accepted AT ALL by current mainstream science as a hard-and-fast rule. It’s much more complicated. I know how tempting it is to have a rule to make stuff like creationism (which I obviously dismiss), simulation theory, etc, etc easier to quickly refute, but yes, things are subtler than this, whether we like it or not. More accurate to say that being falsifiable is a strong plus for a theory, but I don’t wanna go into details here, so:
    Read this (fully)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability
    and for a deeper dive, this:
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1801.05016.pdf

  43. Muslim trash detected. Initiating red pill countermeasures now:

    1) Religion is fundamental necessity for human beings.

    Spirituality is a fundamental necessity for human beings. Religion is a fundamental necessity for tyrants!

    I didn’t say which one.

    You’re a Muslim. We all know it. You are not fooling anyone!

    Humans are naturally searching for meaning and they need to form a belief system.

    Yes, but Islam is an evil belief system which should be eradicated from this Earth.

    In lack of purpose and meaning, they become unhappy,

    Who said anything about not having purpose and meaning? A person can have plenty of purpose and meaning without making a fool of themselves by bowing down to invisible delusions!

    please don’t claim you don’t have a religion; you have one if you think and give meaning to events and life.

    Then my religion is individualism. Your religion is an anti-individualistic garbage death cult!

    2) Religion is not a bullshit. There are so many benefits to society and person as someone already wrote few of them like meaning of death(to not to fear of it),

    If you Muslims developed a healthy fear of death, maybe it would motivate you to stop blowing yourselves up! Also, if you abandoned your cult of virginity, those 72 virgins in heaven would not be appealing to you because you would prefer experienced women, thus making terrorism less likely if you’re no longer slaughtering children due to thinking with your dicks!

    in essence in all major religions have good values in the core.

    If you read the literal texts of all major religions, their values are the definition of evil, especially Islam.

    Anything comes from God is pure truth,

    There is no god; only tyrants who created the idea.

    natural, rational and will always make you happy and fulfilled.

    Really? How will stoning people to death for mowing the lawn on the Sabbath (what the bible commands) make me happy and fulfilled?

    4) There has been only one God’s religion throughout history.

    Hahaha!

    God’s message and words to humanity came by prophets.

    No, they came from monsters, like that sick pedophile whom you call “the last prophet” (may pig vomit be upon him).

    Prophets have  always been challenged by elite, governments, and society. All of them had to leave their place. Most are killed, or tortured.

    For raping a 9 year old girl alone, Mohammed (pig vomit be upon him) should have been killed and tortured.

    So, God’s religion has  never been born out of societal programming. but almost always people still changed it after prophets passed away and use it as a tool sometimes badly, and added their opinions into it making it a form of societal programming.

    I’m not talking about elite opinion. I’m talking about the literal text of the Quran – one of the most evil, sick, and disgusting books ever written – written by a child raping monster!

    but in its source it’s pure truth.

    Stoning women for being “whores” before marriage is pure truth? How?

    it’s your job

    You have no right or authority to dictate to me what my job is. I decide what my job is, not you.

    to find out what is people’s bullshit and what God exactly said.

    God didn’t say anything because god doesn’t exist! God can suck my dick!

    Reading Bible is great

    Yeah, really great! Stoning women to death for not being virgins on their wedding night. Is that great? No, that’s sick!

    and you can certainly find truth in it but remember it’s not pure God’s words as Christians also agree ,and you have a better chance if you read Quran,

    HAHAHAHA!!!!! But you’re not endorsing any specific religion. Do you think we’re retards? I did read the Quran. Then I used it as toilet paper, which clogged up my toilet, so I needed to call a plumber to perform a secular exorcism.

    by the way in Quran you can read in 2nd chapter whoever believes in one God and life after death will be in paradise,

    I do NOT believe in one god. Your garbage god needs to start believing in America, or we will send him to hell.

    you don’t need to be a muslim to be saved or to be in heaven.

    There is nothing to be saved from, and there is no heaven!

    So I’m not suggesting you here a specific version of religion.

    You think we’re fools when you write this. I’d have more respect for you if you were just honest and told us to all become Mohammed’s whores!

    Follow whatever

    I don’t follow anything. Only beta males are followers.

    but believe in One Creator

    No! I will not! Now what?

    who created this beautiful life and universe and believe after this one collapsed, which science also says so; God will bring you to other one; then  you are saved.

    No!

    You will be happy here and later.

    I’m already happy! It is you Muslims who aren’t happy, but are filled with hate and murder!

    all good people will be in heaven and have a good life in eternity.

    Pathetic! Your pedophile prophet and his garbage book has no business deciding what is or is not good. Mohammed was a monster who had zero authority on good!

    5) God’s religion never imposed monogamy.

    It did on women. That’s the problem.

    Almost all prophets had many wives.

    And all of those wives were required to be virgins until marriage and have sex with their one husband only! Your fictional god has declared war against female sexuality. For this reason alone, your fictional god should be killed.

     I can cite God’s own words to prove it but i don’t wanna make this so long.

    I can cite his words too about female sexuality, which he hates.

    I follow this blog for few years. As you can see I disagree with some BD comments but I find his system and ideas on women and sex almost totally compatible with God’s religion.

    What does your god say about women sleeping with multiple men???

    all the monogamy stuff and other irrational bullshit are not coming from religion. It’s very clear in Quran.

    What does your god say about monogamy and virginity in reference to women???

    but even in Bible and Jesus’s words you cannot find anything that impose monogamy.

    Yes I can – AGAINST WOMEN!!!!!!

    So all you Christians who say religion impose monogamy you don’t know your own religion.

    Monogamy is required from women, according to your garbage god! 

    see how monogamy bullshit became part of so called religion and became law and practise.

    The only alternative is setting up a double standard between men and women. What about us men who love female sexuality and love women sleeping with multiple men?

    Heck you cannot even formally marry a second women not only in West and many muslim countries as well, you will end up in jail.

    And according to your garbage religion, women must be virgins and then monogamous. To hell with that!

    when i say marry a women i mean having consensual sex with another women, as God defined it.

    What if your wife has consensual sex with another man? Will you stone her?

    Here I didn’t endorse anything

    You endorsed Islam. You are hiding it from no one!

    Nonmonogamy  and having sex with many women is perfectly OK for God.

    WHAT ABOUT NON-MONOGAMY AND HAVING SEX WITH MANY MEN IF YOU ARE A WOMAN??????????????

    so you will be very happy always if you follow God’s religion but sad if you listen people’s bullshit

    If I followed your child raping prophet, I would not be happy. I would have to deal with female virgins would refuse to have sex with me before marriage or on the first date. Such a religion would make me miserable and so would such sex hating women!

    I’m happy now. Islam would make me sad.

    and it’s your job to understand and distinguish.

    You have no authority to tell me what my job is. I TELL YOU!!!!

    DEATH TO ISLAM!!!!

    DEATH TO THE QURAN!!!!!

    ALLAH IS TRASH BENEATH MY FEET!!!!!

     

  44. Humans are naturally searching for meaning and they need to form a belief system. In lack of purpose and meaning, they become unhappy, unfulfilled and depressed

    That’s fine as long as the belief system as A) rational and/or B) creates more happiness than unhappiness in your life.

    please don’t claim you don’t have a religion; you have one if you think and give meaning to events and life.

    Completely incorrect. To repeat what I said above:

    I have removed myself from religion completely.

    Spirituality is not religion. I am spiritual, but I don’t belong to a group of people who believe more or less what I do regarding god and morality, who believe in a dogmatic set of rules, and who think there is something wrong with people who don’t believe in what we believe. That’s religion, and I think that’s all bullshit.

    Religion is not a bullshit.

    Yes it is. Jonah did not live inside a whale. Jesus did not raise people from the dead. And so on.

    There are so many benefits to society

    I’m not discussing that, as I clearly said in the article. I’m only talking about you.

    as someone already wrote few of them like meaning of death(to not to fear of it), losing loved ones(we will happily meet again soon), overcoming life challenges(believing this life is short and  temporary, and don’t make a huge deal if you are not doing well now, eventually  you will be happy in eternity)

    As I said in article, if believing in this irrational bullshit truly makes you happy and you don’t get upset when other people believe this and you admit you’re being irrational, then it’s fine. The problem is when all three of those things are not true at the same time, as what seems to be the case with you (thought I could be wrong).

  45. may pig vomit be upon him

    I love you, man.

    Falsifiability is in fact not widely accepted AT ALL by current mainstream science as a hard-and-fast rule. It’s much more complicated.

    Yep. If you want to supersede a theory, your theory has to explain everything the last one did and then some. This is a deep and interesting epistemic hole. I provisionally agree with everything you have said here.

    Jonah did not live inside a whale.

    Of course not, but I’m going to beat this horse just a bit more. Jonah ran away from responsibility over and over again. The point of the whale is that the whale delivered him to a place where he finally had to face up to his responsibility. The Jonah Complex is the fear of success which prevents the realization of one’s potential. This is probably my biggest obstacle in my conversion from rather pathetic Betahood to Alpha 2.0, and it’s described in the Old Testament. True, the context is radically different, as Jonah was ordered by God to do this and that, while I am compelled by a relationship model of loving women while remaining free.

    In these days of incels bitching about not even being seen by women, I recently had a woman interrupt me in my work, apologizing for doing so, and offer to buy me a beer. Lift like your life depends on it! But for fuck’s sake, Always Be Closing. I mean, was that an IOI? Stupid. I’m so scared of my own success…..just stupid,  she was a perfect FB/MLTR candidate….I’m 2 years into my journey and need to get serious.

    To close, I stated way up in this thread that religion is neither sufficient nor necessary for happiness….however, I had a wonderful conversation with Dad about Jonah. If I pointed out the absurdity of a man living in a “great fish” it would have just hardened both of our hearts. Instead, we had a wonderful conversation about the conditions needed to reach one’s potential.

     

  46. Falsifiability is in fact not widely accepted AT ALL by current mainstream science as a hard-and-fast rule.

    The paper seems to endorse Bayesian reasoning contrasting it to the idea of falsifiability, but the latter is still paramount: if a hypothesis is unfalsifiable, then you can’t revise its probability in face of new evidence, ever!

    As for the example given, regarding theories as to what’s outside observable universe and how we can’t falsify those because we can’t observe anything there (by definition!), isn’t the situation basically the same as with QFT? It’s likely we’ll never be able to observe the fundamental fields directly, yet we can make predictions and compare them with experiment.

    To do a bit of pop-sci, predictions made by QFT are unlike anything seen before. There’s for example this thing, called the anomalous magnetic dipole moment. Early quantum physics predicted that electrons would interact with magnetic fields in a particular way, and a constant denoting the strength of this interaction would in certain units equal exactly 2. However, it was measured to be slightly above 2. A later refinement of the theory predicted that the correct value was 2.002319304363286; and when measured, it turned out to be 2.00231930436146—correct to 9 significant figures! No other theory has ever made a prediction this precise.

    However, QFT’s prediction of vacuum energy density is wrong by a factor of about 10¹²⁰ (which is also unlike anything seen before), so there’s that.

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