Society is basic in human evolution we have developed special brain for society.
Normal human have a very sophisticated social brain, every human watch unconsciously every responses from his surrounding and respond in way that his behavior makes no conflict with his society or he will face the rejection which was fatal threat in the past because in our evolution every one rejected died alone or killed by beasts and don't passed his genes and every one feel the pain from rejection reformed and join the society, survived and passed his gene.
Human feel real pain from rejection and no normal human want to be rejected, this pain act as natural reformatory, it produced by chemicals in our brain.
So why people commit crimes that make them rejected by their society.
The religion explanation for this is the evil and the satan.
But there is no such things called evil.
So why a human bring pain to himself, Unless he feel no pain and his social brain is disabled, or he is not aware of what he is doing is distractive. Or what we call mental disorder.
So if there is serial killer who enjoy torture his victims, This is not because of evil it's because of malfunction of his brain or mental disorder.
"A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a mental or behavioral pattern or anomaly that causes either suffering or an impaired ability to function in ordinary life (disability), and which is not developmentally or socially normative. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or rest of the nervous system, often in a social context."

But not every criminal have mental disorder, Crimes can be committed by normal people if they consider what they are doing are not crimes, and that because their society approved these crimes.

if there is a crime that means two possible ways either the the one who committed this crime have mental disorder or the society which he get his value from it do not criticized this crime or even praised the crime - like one who born in a mafia family.
Religion praised many criminal act because it was made by ignorant and people who have mental disorders.
So these people who have mental disorder insert their ill behaviors into the societies using religion to fool our original social system.
religion distort society by these codes and everyone come after will not recognize these distortion, just like the the cell which copy virus RNA in its original DNA without knowing it will destroy the body.
We always setup our behavior and tune it to our surrounding to avoid rejection. So if these societies are infected by religion all our behavior will automatically adjusted to the religion, and our social brain follow these instructions.
People do not follow religion directly they follow the society and if society infected people blindly follow the infection codes.
If you born in Christian family you probably became Christian and if you born in Muslim family you became Muslim, it's just like biological DNA copied from parents.

Religion like HIV virus impossible to be cured, and once it copy itself in a society it will use the members of these society to copy itself to the descendants and spread around and there is no way to to remove it.
The only way -like HIV - is to make it less harmful, by deactivate the dangerous codes.

The conclusion is that religious people do not have mental disorder but they follow codes of people who have mental disorders, luckily not every religious take these codes seriously and most codes are inactive but in special circumstances all the codes could be activated and you can see live example in ISIS.
ISIS is like bringing a dinosaur alive instead of being in fossils.
If we investigate the holy books we will find it written by people who we consider now have serious kinds of mental disorders which are embedded in stories and in every line the writers are trying to justify their ill behaviors.

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Replies to This Discussion

I dunno.  I'm still waiting for him to address anything that I typed.  I can't guess which angle he's approaching it from, when he won't engage in the slightest.  He has to explain why he thinks my points aren't valid.

I can't say that I was ever actually a theist, but I had 18 years of the brainwashing, even if it was ineffective.  Plus, I've done a huge amount of research since breaking away.

Yea, I've been reading what you've been typing. It looks as though you and I have each expressed ourselves clearly. It's no surprise that people have differences of opinion. The important thing is that we can all get along despite our different viewpoints, right?

You haven't expressed anything beyond the vaguest of nay-saying, though.  Your basic statement seems like a complete dismissal of the idea that any group should be allowed to criticize any other group, and I would like to see you justify it.  I already explained why your comparisons to fundies bashing gays and Muslims bashing Jews aren't apt.

"I guess he thinks that once you become an atheist you magically forget what it was like to be a theist."

Attributing bizarre thoughts to people who disagree with you isn't very charitable. I see theists do that sort of stuff all the time, and it doesn't reflect well on them. It seems like typical "in-group" behavior. I would like atheists to be better than that, but atheists are human, too, so I don't really expect it. 

That's not what we're doing, though.  We're criticizing the bizarre doctrines that they actually follow.  We're pulling from their own freaking material, not bashing centuries-old stereotypes, as people do with the Jews.

I had one of my religious coworkers actually pull out the "If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys," line on me.  People actually believe this shit.

You know what else I see theists do?  Act like they are in an echo chamber and just repeat the same things without addressing what is said to them.  In other words, answer Joseph.  And not by just mindlessly repeating the same thing.  I  mean have an actual conversation with hin  

Susan asks me to answer Joseph, and that's fair. Internet debates are notoriously ineffective at changing anyone's mind or even enabling fruitful discussions, but if I'm going to come in here and rain on people's parade by questioning the fun people are having by mocking religion--well if I'm going to cause trouble like that, then I should be accommodating. So Susan, this is for you.

It makes sense to me that atheist criticism should be superior to believer criticism because we have facts on logic on our side. Of course, when a bunch of atheists get together and agree that it just seems right that we're superior in some way, I try not to give a lot of weight to those sorts of judgments. It's subjective, self-serving, and without empirical evidence. I still think it's right, but I'm too skeptical to take that feeling very seriously. It's human nature to caricature one's opponents, and we're human. Maybe when we think we're being fair, we're not being as fair as we think we are. 

But let's agree that our subjective, self-serving viewpoint is actually right after all. Maybe it is! Even so, I would reverse Joseph's formulation. He said that we are "more fair." That implies that the believers are fair and we are even more fair. I'd reverse it. The believers are unfair (obviously), and we are "less unfair."

I still return to my original question. How does it look when we mock religion? Do other people say, "Wow, those atheists are less unfair than believers. They must be onto something"? Or do they see us being unfair and use that against us.

Joseph characterized my view as saying that no one should criticize anyone else's views. Maybe what I'm saying is that, as human beings prone to in-group biases, we should be extremely careful about how we criticize religion. I'm a partisan, I'm pro-atheist, and I want us to be better than the believers. Maybe we're already better than they are, but I'd like us to go further. Caricaturing outsiders is ancient, tribal, lowest-common-denominator human behavior. Am I crazy to expect better from us? 

If generalizing about all criticism of religion is too vague, here's another way I look at it. Naturally, some of our criticism of religion is less fair and some more fair (possibly even totally fair, in some instances). If some of our criticisms are more unfair than others, then we should have the insight to notice that and to call out the least fair criticisms. Let's have higher standards.

Caricaturing outsiders is ancient, tribal, lowest-common-denominator human behavior. Am I crazy to expect better from us?

You make many good points. 

I don't particularly remember unfair criticism of religion on A/N.  However, the opinions are heavily biased towards the downside of religion.

I've often thought there should be a "Good side of religion" group on A/N.  It would have to be moderated though, otherwise it would be swamped by postings on the bad side of religion. 

I've often thought there should be a "Good side of religion" group on A/N.

The problem is that that group could also be named "The Benefits of Social Groups," and the discussions would be identical.  The only things that people think are benefits of religion are side effects of what religion has evolved into.

The problem is that a group [The Good Side of Religion] could also be named "The Benefits of Social Groups," and the discussions would be identical. 

That's your opinion, but a great many people, both religious and nonreligious, would disagree. 

I'm going to come in here and rain on people's parade by questioning the fun people are having by mocking religion

Hey, it serves a useful purpose!  A lot of the relative peace and rationality on A/N is because there's an outside target to dump on. 

That's your opinion, but a great many people, both religious and nonreligious, would disagree.

And yet, I never hear them give an example that isn't just a product of the social aspect of religion, which can be duplicated by any other sufficiently-large social-group ... say humanist groups or governmental agencies that fulfill those functions.


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