Religion -- Some Concerns Expressed
in no uncertain terms

(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 092307)

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Some poster wrote, in response to a poster
who was promoting the religion of Islam:

> To all organized religions in the universe
>
>                                _
>                               /'_/)
>                             ,/_  /
>                            /    /
>                      /'_'/'   '/'__'7,
>                   /'/    /    /    /" /_\
>                  ('(    ' Fuck     /'   ')
>                   \      You'          /
>                    '\'              _.7'
>                      \             (
>                        \            \

Imparts a disquiet with religion, in general,
and while that is understandable, you might
be well-advised to consider an opposition
to religion that includes a pro-human focus.

In opposing a failed philosophy (or, if one
prefers, a philosophy that has brought much
pain and misery to humankind in this one
and only certain life we know, along with
positives that have come with a heavy cost),
one should keep in mind what underlies the
seductive nature of religion -- things like
immortality seductions & threats (heaven &
hell), claims of magic being intervention,
claims of ultimate 'answers', claims of ulti-
mate 'good', calls for conformance and elim-
ination of doubt and disbelief, calling arbi-
trarily selected things or beliefs 'holy' no
matter their adverse impact on humankind,
etc.

Reminds me of a discussion in this news-
group earlier this year in which some
weak points of religion were juxtaposed
against its perceived positives:

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OT -- We'd be better off without religion
  http://tinyurl.com/26wye7
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A poster responded:

> I would like to point people to Christopher Hitchens'
> book "God Is Not Great"

> He has concerns about all religions but is particularly
> concerned about Islam as we should be; he and Sam
> Harris ("Letter to a Christian Nation") opine that Islam
> is a fourteenth century religion with the ability to destroy
> with twenty-first century weapons; it  would be equivalent
> to the Crusaders having nuclear weapons
>
> That said, I do respect people's right to their religion and
> beliefs but add that they have the right to their own beliefs
> but not their own facts and they certainly cannot demand
> that their beliefs, which are not based on any empirical
> fact, be taught as science in public schools

Understood, but I'd quibble a bit with the word 're-
spect', while acknowledging that you were referring
to 'respect'ing their 'right' to believe, not their belief
itself.

I would use the word 'understand', referring to the
manner in which humans have been seduced and
threatened into belief, understanding how that can
(and often does) happen to innocents, and under-
standing how that brainwash routine subjects chil-
dren to psychological blackmail before they've
had a chance to objectively assess religion. As
such, I would be very hesitant to use the word
'respect' towards such a morally dubious process,
offering nothing but disrespect towards both the
belief -and- towards the brainwash routine that
the belief depends on for its very survival.

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