I think that religion didn't cause anything good but only start wars, create gilt , hold science back , repressing women's rights, repress sexual subjects , promotes violence racism sectrianism backwardness discrimination ignorance , violates human rights , opression of homosexuals , bigotry , hatred , extremism , terrorism . But sometimes it helps people cope with their problems. I want to hear your opinions and arguments. Plus excuse my English since it's a second language.
PS : I meant abolish not by forcing but using logic and reason.
I don't care enough about whether people do illogical things in their own brains to care about abolishing religion whether it's with logic and reason or not. (Isn't this like "should we turn everyone Christian, by showing our love and compassion?")
It's a danger (and particular pitfall of atheism) to believe that oneself is a particular messenger of logic and reason. I've often seen logic and reason and rationality used to promote a person's opinion, which at best is an opinion, no more or less logical than any other. It's sort of the atheist equivalent to "God is on my side."
An earlier poster mentioned things that become quasi religions, in the sense that they are belief systems that are strictly adhered to. He mentioned things like communism, although I would put libertarianism into the same category. These and other belief systems take away the grey areas, and unlike religion, they make people feel like intellectuals when really they're usually just regurgitating propoganda!
People will still do shitty things to each other, behave irrationally, and even come up with quasi-religions if there is no religion. I'm not sure it's possible to abolish religion with logic and reason.
I think any belief in an imagined deity causes only ill. However, repressing it only increases its influence. Look at what happened in Stalinist Russia. When religion was no longer banned, attendance at Orthodox churches went crazy.
If you do away with religion -superstition will grow like weeds. Its why religion was invented. It was a way for those with more cognitive abilities to usurp less cognitive one. This was the great loop hole. People aren't religious they are inheranty or subliminally superstitious. The Irish believed in fairies before Roman Catholicism and still do. Especially after a few pints......
Yes, on principal, religion should be abolished as it is factually incorrect and therefore constitutes a tremendous waste of time and effort for those pursue these frivolous things. Imagine if chemical reactions were looked upon with the same awe and reverence as the spells in those damned silly books.
On practicality, the religous masses are rather volatile. Increased effort to directly affect religion on our part may lead to our persecution. They are the majority, whether that fact happens to be pleasent or not.
I think that one day religion will solve itself with out any active effort on our part meaning it could go out of style. There seems to be a strong correlation between poverty ignorance and religion. And the worlds living standards are constantly improving so i wouldn't say that it's far off.
As a goal, I think it would be great to abolish religion. However, in order for that to even be feasible, we need to first fix the causes of religion. We need to abolish poverty, educate everyone, and foster a society which favors logic and reason over appeals to emotion. These are not only goals worth going after in their own right, but the fall of religion will be the natural result of attaining these goals. Religion feeds off of human suffering and ignorance. Eliminate the food source and religion will quietly starve to death.
Poverty is going up, middle income is declining, education levels are dropping, and most appeals in this country are based on emotion. I think we (speaking for the USA) are headed in the wrong direction - based on your goals anyway.
Much of what you just said is simply not true. It just seems that way because sensational news sells and spreads. We are currently living in the most peaceful time in human history. In fact, every year we experience the most peaceful year that humans have ever experienced... and that includes all the wars we're currently waging. Things are getting better, not worse, in that regard. At the same time, our minds, accustomed to peace, are becoming more sensitive to violence. That is, our baseline has shifted from the previous generation. What the previous generation might have shrugged off as a necessary, we might see as a necessary evil while the next generation might see as a preventable evil. Collectively, we are moving towards peace, and that includes the very religious among us. Sure there are exceptions, but the whole of humanity is moving towards peace while a few extremists are becoming increasingly violent which is basically the death throws of their dogma. They are on the decline, so they must become increasingly extreme which pushes them further to the fringe where they will slowly die out.
Now, as far as income inequality goes, that is getting worse in the US. It's pretty much a problem worldwide. However, overall health, wealth and well being worldwide is going up. Even in specific areas like the US. Yes, there is a widening gap between the rich and the poor, but the poor still are getting great educations and incomes by comparison to some of the rest of the world's poor and by comparison to the poor of the past. At the very least, the internet has been a big boon in this sense. We have access to so much information, and yes, the theists are using it too, but the facts are on our side and at this point it's a battle of attrition. We will win this one.
There are constant attacks on education, but these are not new. We have made huge strides in getting religious garbage out of our educational system. Science education is not where we want it to be, but it is still much better than it has been. The mere fact that we're hearing about threats to science education in the news is evidence that we are winning. Fifty years ago, this would not have been news, it would have simply gone in favor of the theist and that would be that.
Basically, what I'm saying is that no, we're not heading in the wrong direction. But we should still stay vigilant against those who would have us move backwards.
Nathaniel - you say the whole of humanity is moving toward peace. I wish I were more positive on the prospects of peace in the world. While it is true that there is peace in Europe, the Middle East is a tinder box, and extremism is spreading across Africa. Pakistan is in an unstable state, and they already have nuclear weapons. Egypt's future and it's relationship with Israel is precarious. China is flexing it's muscles, and Japan feels threatened. Can you imagine a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. North Korea is not much of a direct military threat (right now) but is shipping technology to other regimes. One dirty bomb in a US city will be a catastrophe. We may look back on these days as the "good old days". It has little to do with religion really, and more about economic power. As we pull back, others will seek to fill the leadership void. I truly hope cooler heads prevail, however I think we are in for a very rough patch ahead.
Nathaniel, I agree; the world is more peaceful.
My reason for agreeing? For the first time in all of human history, the few who profit from war will be destroyed in a nuclear exchange.
Emotion (in this case fear of death, fear of nothingness, etc) compels humans to use reason.
The "move backwards" is also a result of fear. The ideologues who would take us backwards appear to be moved by their fear of uncertainty. Their ideology gives them a certainty that doesn't exist.
You cannot outlaw religion and have freedom. Each human being regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof should have the right to be treated as an end in and of themselves and not as a means to an end or a cog is some utopian scheme.
Religion is nonsense. With mass media, social networks and more and better methods of comunication the ideas encapsulated in the various religions will lose in a market place of ideas. Not you me or anyone else has any right to force a person to think or believe or not beleive anything.
We should however hold fast to the right to ridicule, disrespect and criticse religion. It is after all just an idea and ideas deserve no respect other than that they gain through critical analysis..
I like this approach.
"I don't respect your religion and I don't care if that offends you, but you as as person I respect as you deserve that respect by virtue of being human"
If we here agree that religion is a fraud, how difficult are:
1) respect for the victim, and
2) disrespect for the fraud?
Okay, I like prose minimalism.
Agree with the "dumbing down" of politics. Exhibit A: George W. Bush. Being a moron (or a C student, as Dubya himself put it) doesn't disqualify you from being President.