FreeThought Fort Wayne

        Be Reasonable

Evolution and Overview of Religion

Posted by Eye4Cards on June 13, 2008

Today I’ve decided to start a series detailing exactly what I think of religion. It is a general overview of much of what I have been studying for the last 10 years. I want as much feedback as possible so that I can correct errors, elaborate on subjects, add ideas and finally commit all of it to my permanent notes.

First I intend to start off with my biggest concerns involving religion. This is the preface to it all. Please add any important concerns I have left out. It is still incomplete and a work in progress. I’m thinking about starting a thread in the forum to elaborate on these points in greater detail.

Main Arguments:

1. Overall, religion is the biggest impediment to the survival and progress of humankind. Religion is a continual and purposeful impediment to scientific progress and knowledge in general because ignorance and superstition are necessary to maintain belief.

2. Religion is still attractive because most people do not understand life has meaning and value without the need of any god. It is still comforting to imagine existing forever in complete happiness with your family and friends, to see wrongs righted (hell), and to feel a sense of righteousness in moral, ethical, philosophical and spiritual belief.

3. Religion encourages our baser instincts. Religion is directly and indirectly responsible for the majority of the wars in recorded history. Religion creates and spreads ignorance, superstition, unreasonable fears, greed, bigotry and hatred.

4. “Good” people would still be good with or without religion. Religion is ammunition for immoral people. Religion tends to bring out the worst in humanity.

5. When religion was at its peak, it was called the Dark Ages. Our religions have become refined as our knowledge of the natural world has increased. Instead of The Inquisition, religion has in recent centuries (and in current American politics and Islamic nations) found its ability to illegally enforce scripture through politics.

6. You are allowed to believe whatever religious absurdities you desire, but those absurdities should and will be ridiculed. No other sphere of knowledge and public discourse is free from scrutiny and debate. Religion receives a free pass because of our freedom of religion and freedom from religion. If one persists to believe the earth is flat in light of overwhelming evidence, he or she would be seen as a lunatic or incompetent and promptly be corrected and ridiculed for his or her grievous error. This is not so in religion. Perhaps someone who prays to Zeus or thinks he is Jesus will be ridiculed, but that is because his beliefs are obviously ridiculous and/or insane. I maintain there is little difference in believing in Jehovah or Allah or Zeus except there are many more believers in Jehovah or Allah than there are in Zeus.

7. It is quite possible for intelligent people to be rational in every aspect of their lives and still believe in religious absurdities.

8. God was created in man’s image. The degree of kindness and hatred in the holy books of each god is a reflection of the civilization that created that god. Each religion has competing sects of that civilization that disagrees philosophically, geopolitically and socially.

9. The vast majority of people raised in a religion from childhood have extremely difficult times divorcing themselves from religion. Religion inculcates/brainwashes the mind during early childhood development. It is similar to learning how to read or learn a new language when you are an adult. It can still be done, but is much easier when learned as a child because the brain has not become rigid in development.

Religion retards social development because of the many taboos and/or sins that are prohibited. No one wants to show their children porn, drugs, violence, etc., but not allowing the kids to learn about negative issues in a truthful environment is severely handicapping their social and intellectual development.

Religion typically destroys creativity, imagination and curiosity. When all of the “answers” are laid out for you in a divinely inspired holy book there is no need to look elsewhere. It becomes necessary to deny any contradictory information if it does not chime with your religious perception of reality.

10. Ignorance/denial and fanaticism are deadly bedfellows. The most disturbing thing to me about religion is how it can transform simple-minded fools into zealots who are 100% committed to whatever religion they’ve chosen and think they are correct with absolute certainty because they are too dumb or unwilling or unable to learn about life, death and reality from other sources than just their church and congregation. If you have never seen insanity, stare into the glassy-eyed, quirky-smiled, blank expression of a believer who has swallowed their church’s dogma hook, line and sinker. They think they know they are right, you are wrong, and there is no room for compromise. They see the world in absolutes. I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m good, you’re evil. I am truth, you are deceit. These people are too far gone for hope of salvation through critical thinking. We can only hope to educate children who have not yet become entrenched in their respective religions. This is already difficult to do with a sub-standard, watered-down, underfunded public education that is under constant bombardment by the religious to Christianize what we teach and how we teach it.

Think outside the church

This should be enough for discussion for now. The next part in this series will give an overview of the origins of religion.

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2 Responses to “Evolution and Overview of Religion”

  1. […] Randy Toman wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptToday I’ve decided to start a series detailing exactly what I think of religion. It is a general overview of much of what I have been studying for the last 10 years. I want as much feedback as possible so that I can correct errors, … […]

  2. dystressed said

    Wow, great post! Your points were very good, and extremely engaging. I especially liked your point on Why we should not be afraid to scrutinize religions.

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