Original claim was: "belief in the supernatural is necessary for our brains and society to function."
I will believe otherwise if you can show me a single godless society that functioned for any period longer then 200 years.
That is what I was answering. It's unfair, considering even today denying belief in the supernatural will get you murdered in most places across the globe and secularism is a relative newcomer in a modern world very different from the ancient theocracies but this can be answered.
While in modern history, the Taiping Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion, Communist Revolution, and the Cultural Revolution contributed significantly to the rise of irreligion and distrust of organized religion among the general populace; irreligion in its various forms, especially rationalism, secularism, and antitheism, has had a long history in China dating back millennia. The Zhou Dynasty Classic of Poetry contains several catechistic poems in the Decade of Dang questioning the authority or existence of Shangdi. Later philosophers such as Xun Zi, Fan Zhen, Han Fei, Zhang Zai, Wang Fuzhi also criticized the religious practices prevalent during their times. Buddhism flourished in China during the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period. It was during this period that Fan Zhen wrote Shen Mie Lun (Simplified Chinese 神灭论, Traditional Chinese 神滅論, "On the Annihilation of the Shen") in reaction to Buddhist concepts of body-soul dualism, samsara and karma. He wrote that the soul is merely an effect or function of the body, and that there is no soul without the body (i.e., after the destruction and death of the body). Further, he considered that cause-and-effect relationships claimed to be evidence of karma were merely the result of coincidence and bias. For this, he was exiled by the Emperor.
Confucianism as a state-instituted philosophy has flourished in China since the Han Dynasty, and the opportunities it offered was another fundamental origin of atheism in China. While there were periods in which Taoism and Buddhism may have been officially promoted, the status of Confucianism in Chinese society has rarely been challenged during imperial times. Extensive study of the Confucian Classics was required to pass the Imperial Civil Service Examinations, and this was the major (and often sole) means by which one may achieve prominence in society. Confucianism places particular emphasis on humanistic and this-worldly social relations, rather than on an otherworldly soteriology. This produced a cultural tendency that facilitated acceptance of modern forms of irreligion such as humanism, secularism, and atheism.
China is considered to be a nation with a long history of humanism, secularism, and this-worldly thought since the time of Confucius, who stressed shisu (世俗 "being in the world"). Hu Shih stated in the 1920s that "China is a country without religion and the Chinese are a people who are not bound by religious superstitions."
In the 19th century, after China's defeat in the First Opium War and in successive wars, the country succumbed to increasing domination by foreign imperialist powers. The Boxers (or the Yihetuan) considered Christian missionaries as promoting foreign influence in China and held deep anti-Christian views. Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant missionaries and church members were massacred.
TL;DR: The Gods have never meant a whole lot.
Historically, the official religion pre-Mejji restoration has been Buddhism. Specifically Zen Buddhism, which denies the supernatural exists.
Though pure land has made inroads in the last century, Zen still remains the chief school.
Also, you fail to detail that the Kami themselves are animistic rather than theistic; they're something the shrine visitor can touch like rocks or mirrors, they're not themselves perceived to be magical.
Theres also the cultural norm that doesn't see identifying with a religion as actually believing in it https://blog.gaijinpot.com/japan-religious-atheist-country/
I only was asked for two hundred years. Korean Shamanism was supplaced by Confucian-led lifestyles for most of Korean history which as highlighted in my above article does not have a place of respect for magic.
Post revolutionary france is not exactly a society where people didn't believe in god either. Even today the majority of french identify as christian rather than non religious (or muslim).
Do the French people since that time establish laws based on what supernatural agents tell them to do, or have the French republics enacted laws of explicit secularism?
Individual french people might hold supernatural beliefs, but their government and law since 1792 (with a very brief interlude of the Borbon restoration) has been and remains openly hostile to public expressions of supernatural belief. If you don't believe me, consider that religious clothing is banned in public in France today, and crucifixes, Stars of David etc have been barred from public erection for far longer.
Czech republic is less than 3 decades old in its current form.
I was asked about a society, the Czech people are older than three decades. The Czechia people, like the Roma, have a very long and colorful history of being oppressed and assailed by a range of organizations usually using a religious pretext for doing so. The Us vs Them mentality is very strong and deep, and the "Them" are usually explicitly defined by their supernatural beliefs.
You can trace their hostility to supernatural belief from the burning of John Huss, though I personally would start from 1620 (the year of the Battle of Bila Hora) which destroyed Czech Protestantism for good, but didn't replace it with anything else. (The Catholic Church attempted to convert the area, and failed miserably due to the centuries long bad blood owed from the Huss years).
Iceland had gods before it was christianized, but now the majority are christians.
Iceland wasn't Christianized until the 10th century, and even then there's regular writings from the Bishops of the time complaining the native people didn't really care for their beliefs.
Today, like in Japan, most Icelanders are actually "none" but retain nominal membership of the Church of Iceland because you have to opt out and it's more hassle than it's worth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Iceland
I tried and failed to find examples. Although there aren't *that* many societies with gods that had an unbroken functioning either. There aren't many experiments with godless societies either. After all, if your entire sample size has never considered trying it, you wouldn't know if that's the source of failure. For example, there has never been a society that vaccinated that functioned for a period longer than 200 years, but I don't think many would suggest that's a bad idea for society.
True, but this is where theism and the supernatural is uniquely dangerous. It might be hard to argue and reason with someone about political beliefs, but there is the potential for a reasoned discussion.
But when you're talking to someone who believes that their imaginary friend demands total submission to them or face hellfire? Yeah, it's the death of cohesion. We can't even say supernatural belief brings people together since even people within the same denomination call each other heretics or worse on a regular basis.
Godlessness is a relatively new idea and as such, the requirement of wanting a 200 years functioning society may be somewhat of a red herring.
It is, but the seeds are there. I'd like it if Mindlessobserver could show us a Theocracy/Religion led society today that was at least as advanced as Western Europe.
Post revolutionary France is your example of a successful godless society?
Please read my points above. I don't deny the Terror was brutal, but the French republics have been openly hostile to the encroachment of supernatural beliving factions since their inception and have laws explicitly ruling against them.
Bro. Japan? Do you not see any weeb shit? Japan is one of the most spiritual countries in the world.
Then you are aware that for most Japanese religion is a bit of quaint fun with dressing up (see above), and not something they actually believe is magic?
The Czech Republic? I mean, wut? Also it's only a few decades old.[/QUOTE]
The state itself is relatively young, but the people and the states that preceded it have themselves been highly irreligious. With how much shit the Catholics and Protestants threw at them for years who can blame them for thinking theists are assholes really?
I dont know shit about Iceland but it has a nordic cross on its flag so...
You mean the same way England has the cross of St George but half the country is "none" when it comes to religion?
I also love how you'll try to argue about something you admit yourself you "Don't know shit about".
Contrary to what you learned from the civilization games, confucianism was not a religion it was a political philosophy and served that role. Buddhism and traditional Chinese Faith's existed simultaneous to it.
Not being much of a gamer I had to google Civilization games, I had no idea what on earth you were talking about.
Again, see above.
Not what religion is. If you want to get psychological, it's the brains reality scaffold that anchors it in the now by orienting past and future. You should read some Jung and less fedora lords.
How many people obey speed limits on the highway? This is a strawman argument.