There are seven and a half billion humans on this planet and eighty-four percent of the world's population claim to be religious. Think on that. Although if you split up the world's religions into what God they are following we atheists are number three behind Christians and Muslims, we are still a microcosm relative to the world. We are the misfits.
There is a thought that religion is hardwired into us. Human minds demand order, especially moral order. We continually try to see patterns in a random event life. We desire justice, even if it only comes in an improbable afterlife. Apparently accepting chaos scares the shit out of us, there needs to be a plan. Someone or something must be in control of events. Religion has the plan. You were born because God wished you to be born. There is a plan for you that may include pain and suffering, but it is part of a plan that gives you an eternity of perfect life. We are children at best.
There are misfits that have been able to entrench themselves in countries that are secular, the LGBTQ community is a prime example. Still, if we open our eyes and listen with our ears, we are aware that the discrimination continues. Regardless if your friendly gay couple down the street seems to be excepted on the surface, they and we know that for the most part religion is working against them. Yes, you have liberal churches accepting everyone into the fold - like Universal Unitarians - but they continue to look at the moral authority of Jesus as real while denying his divinity and Jesus was not a moral dude. I know atheists who have attended and still attend that church hoping to find a community, but it doesn't seem to last. The search for spirituality doesn't seem to be attractive to nonbelievers. But again, community and acceptance are hard to resist when you are a misfit.
In the United States, a supposedly secular country, many still reject man's laws if they firmly believe that only God's laws are real. It is a constant struggle to keep religion from having the upper hand in all things that are life. Religion gives a home to racists and bigots, they are honored for obeying God's law. When you've got religion, you can terrorize the world with minimal consequence.
Religion takes away our responsibility to care for each other, to care for life. Religion resigns us to a life of hardship. Religion rejects justice in this world. Only religion allows us to accept the misery of fellow humans, it is God's will. If we accepted that events good and bad are random, that life doesn't follow a plan, that chaos reigns supreme, we would be able to really care about each other. If we could accept that a sickness, a death, a life event that is painful, is not because it was the will of God, but a random bad luck event, we could care for that person now.
Misfits know that nothing happens for a reason.
Us Atheists must never underestimate the great comfort religion gives its followers.
Its been a long time since I gave up on the comfortable feeling of believing in a loving god.
But I still miss the idea that Jesus wants me for a sun beam. lol
Good post Neal.
We're in a situation now where no amount of religion, praying, or church attendance would make a particle of difference, now, or then. Nature doesn't give a damn who, or what it burns up. Some of the evacuees were gathering prayer groups at the registration sites, & my husband left them to it. If they need that sort of comfort, fine, but nobody has to stay around for it. If all that crap worked, we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. I do think its far more important to look after each other & our safety, rather than some useless praying.
Of course if there was a all loving all knowing god the evacuees wouldn't need to leave their homes because he wouldn't have started the forest fires in the first place.
Then of course there is all the completely sinless wildlife.........
Exactly to both of you. =)
Or at the very least, keep it out of the populated areas where its ''loved'' children reside.
Great post Neal! I don't worry about death other than planning what i am doing until I die. Worrying about an afterlife is like worrying about what you were doing before you were born. I will say that for the ten years I spent taking my elderly mother to Church I did think about the afterlife as the subject was in my face every Sunday. I am trying to say that there is a positive feedback mechanism for worshippers = group thinking makes you worry about religion.
Personally, I don't think that religion is "hard-wired" into us. I think we have a natural tendency to look for agency, and that plus the fear of death and a penchant for pareidolia are what ultimately get us into trouble. The real problem happens when religion gets a foothold and proceeds to use generational indoctrination to secure its position. As regards this, I can't help but come back to:
Christianity alters your identity to insure the survival of ITSELF.
-- from Prplfox's video series - http://ning.it/R2isGS
It must be acknowledged that religion's ONLY genuine purpose at this point is its own self-perpetuation, mostly for the sake of those in its power structure. What we have to counter with is reason, skepticism, and a desire to know what IS and dismiss what is NOT.
I do think we look for order where there is none. We need a nicely
The resurrection of Christ is one of the oldest and most celebrated examples of fake news.