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Wed Aug 28, 2013, 02:46 AM

Personal rantette on the usefulness of religion.

I've become more convinced today with Syria on our minds that religion is and always has been ultimately an instrument to give people a comfort that allows them to die in battle for their leader and church without worrying about death. To glamorize death, to have an eternally perfect unimaginable happy place to look forward to if they perform their services unto death for their leaders. Of course if they fail... well.... there's always HELL! And there's always that warm feeling you get when you know you have helped send your enemy to suffer eternal damnation. They are the bad ones you know.

It's still happening today even in the enlightened west. Sometimes more subtle... a different angle... but it's still the same.

Religion ruins an otherwise decent planet.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Personal rantette on the usefulness of religion. (Original post)
defacto7 Aug 2013 OP
dimbear Aug 2013 #1
DetlefK Aug 2013 #2
Lordquinton Aug 2013 #3
defacto7 Aug 2013 #7
defacto7 Aug 2013 #9
DetlefK Aug 2013 #11
defacto7 Aug 2013 #14
olddots Aug 2013 #13
rexcat Aug 2013 #10
defacto7 Aug 2013 #15
Curmudgeoness Aug 2013 #12
defacto7 Aug 2013 #16
Iggo Aug 2013 #18
Zoeisright Aug 2013 #19
AtheistCrusader Aug 2013 #20
2ndAmForComputers Sep 2013 #21
DetlefK Sep 2013 #22
2ndAmForComputers Sep 2013 #24
Major Nikon Sep 2013 #25
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #4
Rob H. Aug 2013 #5
RebelOne Aug 2013 #6
defacto7 Aug 2013 #8
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #17
DetlefK Sep 2013 #23

Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 05:21 AM

1. Flip on the news, it's a parade of country after country seriously screwed up by religion.

Night after night, bodies piled high. And yet, somehow, we the atheists are the bad guys.





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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 06:48 AM

2. Now THAT'S what I call self-righteous and pseudo-intellectual.

Has it ever occurred to you that people die for other reasons than war?

Has it ever occurred to you that religion was invented in a time when most people died of famine, sickness, wild animals and badly treated wounds?
If your sibling lay dying with an infected wound he got during a gazelle-hunt, would you mind if the shaman told you that you will meet him again one day?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 06:54 AM

3. That is why suicide is such a sin in religion

Because you beloved is dead and you can see them again in the next life, but don't kill yourself to see them sooner, then you'll go to a different place, so live and endure our torture.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 01:56 PM

7. I would say you are the self-righteous one.

As far as pseudo-intellectual, that is simply an insult for insult sake and not a very good one. You should try to stick to your argument instead of derailing.

A lot has occurred to me concerning the origin of religion through years of study and experience with religion. Once all the information has been hashed and rehashed, debated and theorized, you finally reach a point where it all comes back to simplistic terms and statements that are the end product of those years of exposure and study. The OP is one of those simple conclusions that cover all the bases where a thesis isn't necessary. It's a rant therefore a feeling of frustration at the worlds insistence on remaining infantile in their social evolution. and it is destroying and defeating everything humanity is ready to expand to.

"would you mind if the shaman told you that you will meet him again one day?"

I am not "then". I am now. Yes, I would mind if a priest or minister tried to console me with mythology as truth or simply lied. I have called their bluff on such under similar circumstances because the truth is much more consoling than foolish dreams. I tell my children when they ask about death... "when we die we go back into the earth where all living things on out planet came from.. and finally we become the stuff of the stars." We are star stuff as Carl Sagan put it. They love the phrase and are quite resolved with it. I think it far beats telling a lie about an afterlife. Truth (reality) is consolation and to quote from the bible, truth will set you free.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:08 PM

9. a short addendum on shaman...

What is a Shaman? A healer, pseudo-healer. a spiritual support, pseudo-spiritual support. They fill the gaps that the people can't fill. Sometimes they fill it with useful natural answers and sometimes when they have no answer they fill it with myths. It's a convenient position for the tribal heads to utilize for their own purposes and a shaman can be very creative. Tribal leaders can also be very creative in their own way.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 06:54 PM

11. Quote: "religion is and has always been..."

Your rant covers then AND now. Maybe you should add a disclaimer, that you any statement within this rant may or may not be or may or may not be meant to be factual...

"Truth is much more consoling."
Two things:

1.) "Your flesh will rot. Your successors will die. You and all of your works are meaningless. You will be gone and forgotten and nothing will remain of you." I dare you to say that at a funeral.

2.) Truth is relative. Humans are fallible, limited in mind, time and space. "Truth" is a matter of convention, convenience and culture. If someone offers you "truth", beware: That person will not react kindly to questions concerning the validity of said "truth" and defend it against any accusations of inaccuracy. If a person holds the "truth", why should it bother with any of your arguments contradicting it? Your point-of-view obviously isn't "true".

Facts are objective. Truth is subjective.

If a religious person claims to possess the undeniable truth, atheists regard him an ignorant asshole.
If an atheist claims to possess the undeniable truth, are we supposed to believe him right away, just because he's not religious?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 12:10 AM

14. I was looking for iambic pentameter

in your poem but just couldn't find it. I suppose your particular poetry style is over my head.

Your first sentence is nonsense so you can role it over in your own mind all you wish while I ignore it.

on your #1, Has nothing to do with the OP as I see it. If that's your idea of a funeral feel free but it's nonsense for the effect.

on your #2, A short discourse on the meaning of "truth"? Sort of Interesting. But why? You bring in the phrase "why should it (you) bother" I think you mean, "why do you bother with...." answer: Because I am here and I can think. Since you brought it up... at this point, truth to me is the process of reasoning and that is equal to reality. I didn't make that clear enough when I put it in parentheses after the word truth. Sorry. Finally, your opinion of my point of view is not interesting in this case but thanks for sharing.

Your last two lines are more interesting but they are not opinions I share. Your points use the personal view as in "this type of person claims...". In doing so you assume too much again and you are telling me what others say and think, not what you claim. That sounds really self-righteous to me. Commenting to your last point... as far as I know and certainly in my case, atheists usually don't claim to possess the undeniable truth about anything. That's the domain of philosophical views held by the extremely dogmatic. Those who do not believe in a god seek truth like most humans. We may see it from a tangible view rather than from faith, but I seek the subjective truth, I try to live the objective facts.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)


Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:56 PM

10. Do you realize this forum is...

a safe-haven and insults are inappropriate here. You can make your point w/o insulting. I think an apology is in order on your part to the person you insulted.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 12:13 AM

15. Thanks rexcat!

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 06:58 PM

12. As far as I am concerned

you are not welcome here. This is a safe haven, where atheists are free to start discussions or just rant about things like the dishonesty of religion. We don't always have to make intellectual posts. Sometimes, we just want to throw a thought out there...and the others here are here to listen to those thoughts. It doesn't have to be a thesis every time someone posts. Get over yourself.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 12:18 AM

16. Thanks Curmudgeoness!

I agree. If this person posts again I will ignore it just because it belongs in the religion forum not in this group. I think we can put the posters comments up to now into their deserved context.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 12:32 PM

18. Hey!

Uh-uh.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 12:45 PM

19. What a disgusting post.

Religion is the cause of most of the wars in this world. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a delusional idiot.

And fantasy is not comforting; it's denying reality, for fuck's sake.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 03:47 PM

20. Lies do not become us.

I am not comforted by untruths.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:37 PM

21. Why am I not yet seeing this sanctimonious holier-than-thou blowhard in the list of blocked users?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #21)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 07:23 AM

22. Maybe because DU isn't an echo-chamber...

...and because simply calling it a rant doesn't mean that one is free to quit thinking half-way through the argument.

His argument was that religion always was a tool of war-propaganda. I pointed out that this is obviously wrong because religion originated from a time when death-by-war was an exception to death-by-animal and death-by-sickness.
I called his post self-righteous because of his generalization on the role of religion in society from today's civilization to 50,000BC.
I called it pseudo-intellectual because he didn't bother to check his argument before posting it.

And for that I get attacked and seeked to be blocked.
Your blind aggression amuses me, young Skywalker.

I hereby apologize for appearing condescending and arrogant, two attributes that no atheist has ever exhibited when talking about religion.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 6, 2013, 07:58 PM

24. Thanks for making my question even more relevant.

I re-state it. Why?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 08:28 PM

25. Religion is really more of an evolution rather than an invention

If you consider the evolution of religion during the bronze age, there's little doubt it was used to motivate people to kill each other just as it is today. Organized religion serves all sorts of purposes nefarious and otherwise. War just happens to be one of the big ones. It's hard to get people to march to their death without the promise of something afterward which in this case conveniently can't be verified. If you were going to 'invent' something for that purpose, you'd be hard pressed to come up with something better.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:39 AM

4. In all of history

There exist no better tool than religion for getting people to ignore their own conscience.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:56 PM

5. It's one of the best tools ever invented for keeping people in line

and getting them to do things they otherwise wouldn't. Don't ask questions, just shut up and OBEY.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 01:22 PM

6. People cling to religion because they believe

that when they die they will be going to a better place and not just 6 feet under.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 02:12 PM

8. That true...

If a person thinks too much about an afterlife, they begin to get a false impression that there is anything to think about. People begin to think about the 6 feet under, the dirt, etc. as whether they will experience it or avoid it. When we die, we are over. There's no thinking about what it's like to die, there's no thinking period. In that sense, we never experience death at all. Some people see it coming because of illness and know they will not survive but that is thinking about the near future.... No one actually experiences death because no one ever sees the moment of death. To see the moment of death is to be able to remember it to understand it. That doesn't happen because we are not there.

Instead, people are taught all kinds of ways to think about something that can't be. We practice through ritual repetition and religion to see what cannot be seen and tag mythological stories to it. If we were not taught from birth to imagine stories about death, we could easily face the facts and be resolved about living life better. Religion is for the most part death worship.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 04:34 AM

17. Depends on the religion

Some religions don't really have an afterlife. IIRC for a long period of time Judaism itself did not have an afterlife. Then of course there are the religions that believe in reincarnation.

To Islamo-judeo-christianity it is a big deal, but I don't think it describes all religion.

Personally, when it comes to death I like this quote by Epicurus:

[div class="excerpt" style="margin-left:1em; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-radius:0.4615em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]“Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?”

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 02:01 PM

23. I hereby apologize for my tone.

While your post can be disagreed with on a factual basis, I failed to do so with the appropriate respect and manners. I would hereby like to apologize.

I forgot one of the basic rules for online-discussions: The lack of mimic and gesture leads to an unnecessarily aggressive tone in conversations (witnessed elsewhere over and over again).
I will be more attentive from now on.

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