My World View – Religion Poisons Everything

I was thinking that perhaps it’s time for me to write about my world view. There are so many ‘famous’ atheists out there who profess a world view that is secularist, humanist etc. and go on to tell us why all atheists should be like them or think like them. I disagree. I am me. I speak for no other and no other atheist speaks for me.

Continuing this series, the topic today is how “Religion Poisons Everything” – a title borrowed from Christopher Hitchens.  Plagiarism is not a kind thing but I’m going to use it because I love the way that Hitchens approached it and explained his thought.

I can remember the first time I was told to not question the world around me. I was quite young. Perhaps five or six years old. My father was an evangelical pentecostal preacher and the story of the garden of Eden had been told in Sunday School. I asked why YHWH had let the devil into the garden in the guise of a talking snake. Note that I did not ask how snakes could talk. I thought if it were the devil in disguise that would make sense. What I could not understand is why YHWH was such a bad parent. Some time later I also asked why YHWH needed to make little friends. Of course I was given answers that were intended to stifle my questioning because there are no answers to those questions, certainly none that come from the Bible nor that would promote further indoctrination.

Those questions stuck with me all my life. Every time that a new question came up I put it in a bucket in the back of my mind that I had labelled ‘bad parenting’ to keep them all together in case I needed them later or perhaps found answers for them. Six year old kids do that kind of thing. A bucket made sense of it some how.

So it was that I found myself at the tender age of 6 unwittingly pushing the boundaries of the questions that the church was willing to answer. Perhaps they didn’t think a small boy needed to have serious answers, I thought. So I waited. I figured I would pull a question out of the bucket when I got an answer to it. It wasn’t long before I needed another bucket, and then another. I had begun to classify them by the time I got to high school. Each bucket had a different class of questions in it. It wasn’t until I was able to say to myself “god does not exist, its a lie” that I found answers to the questions in those buckets. I held on to them long after I’d given up hope on religion and began looking for truth and spirituality.

Religion has no answers to actual important questions whether you are 6 or 60. It is indoctrination and nothing more. I learned to ask why it is that someone would want to indoctrinate people. My world history class eventually gave me the answer – control. Mind you I managed to get that answer before leaning about philosophy and all those who opined that religion is the opiate of the masses or similar opinions that lead us in short order to know that rulers used it to control the masses. It was later that I learned that those masses actually want to believe, want to be controlled, and some even seem to need the control. It’s about how the human mind works but that is for another topic and another day.

Religions brought us war, genocide, crusades, jihad, inquisitions, loss of the Cathars, death by missionaries with diseases, witch hunts, and so much more grotesquely human wrong doing that it would take more time than I have to blog it.

Today we have many long standing poisons from religions of the world working against the progress and peace of humanity. Not many people will say it quite like Hitchens does

It seems that almost every day in the USA we have religious believers proving that their religion poisons everything. For example:

Pastor Harris who recommend that you beat your son if he seems a bit gay

Some nice church ladies that make threats using Christ The Assassin

The list goes on. There is nothing good in religion. Nothing. Anything that can be pointed to and called good in religion can be found elsewhere and without the cost of your rationality and self esteem to acquire it.

Christianity says that we are born broken, will always be broken, but if we believe hard enough in blood sacrifice and scape goat atonement we can still be acceptable to the god that supposedly created us broken. This creed does nothing but destroy self esteem. The very core of monotheistic beliefs (Abrahamic faiths) is designed to destroy the character of the adherent. This is a cult. Nothing good can come from such as has this core purpose.

Religion poisons everything.

My buckets are mostly empty these days. Occasionally I will find a question and stick it in a bucket till I find the answer. I explore how that bucket gets emptied here on this blog.

So, what about you, dear reader? Do  you keep buckets in your head? Did religion every answer any of those questions and help empty the bucket?

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  1. I wish I’d thought as critically as you as a child. I swallowed everything whole. I believed it all, passionately; I was certain.

    If you’d asked me as little as two years ago, I would have agreed with you that religion poisons everything. Logically, I still agree – religion is completely unnecessary; I don’t think it offers anything that can’t be found elsewhere with less attached bullshit.

    Despite that, attacks on all religion have started to make me very uncomfortable. I’m not sure if I’m being weak here, or just trying to keep liberal Christians on side so I get more blog hits, or if I have a genuine concern. I need to think more.

    I guess I’d say this: Clearly, there are intelligent, largely rational, good people who find space for religion in their lives. I’m talking about people who don’t inflict those views on others, and still think critically about life. It seems wrong to me to judge them.

    • Well, as long as you are thinking critically now, it’s all good.

      If I were you I’d not worry too much about the attacks on religions and religious belief. The very worst thing that they need to worry about is not atheists, it’s theists. Just check the headlines and why would any young person want to join to think it easy to believe? Read the news and you will know what it will sound like when religion dies.

      No matter how many moderate or ‘nice’ theists that there are, their beliefs are still not true. I’m almost willing to bet that many of those ‘nice’ theists are actually having trouble believing but don’t want to rock the boat with their spouse or family or are closeted for some other reason.

      Besides, I find that theists of moderate dogma are more than willing to exchange ideas with me. As long as I’m not being a dick about it. So don’t worry. Truth will be what is left when the arguing is done.

  2. Your story is just like me but with different endings. My dad was a Evangelical evangelist and my Sunday school failed me, my church failed and when I asked why God would put a tree in the center and not at the corner, or why not stop, or why put the tree there in the first place.

    That story, and Noah’s ark, Abrahim and Isaac, And Israel killing non-Israel made me start walking out of Church in my teenhood. Discovering my manhood and doing what boys do in bathrooms added a moral guilt that I could not bare.

    When I was a kid a thought like a kid but I grew up meet a wonderful girl( my wife) who asked me to stop looking at Christians and look at Christianity. I began my journey to prove her that Jesus resurrection is a myth, but I ended a believer doing my historical studies.

    Now I do Theology and Philosophy at University that I may answer some questions, my parents and Sunday school teachers failed. Evangelical anti- intellectualism destroyed the faith seeking understand ground of Christianity. The rationale and the faith that build earlier Christianity.

    Thank you for a wonderful article and sharing your story.

    Prayson

    • Apollodorosh
    • May 5th, 2012

    May I point out to you that what you seem to mean is that abrahamic monotheist exclusivism poisons everything. And despite their great numbers, Abrahamic monotheism comprises just three out of the myriads of religious systems out there, and that they are in so many ways the exception rather than the rule.

    Before Abrahamic monotheism there were no religious wars, and non-Abrahamic monotheist peoples didn’t fight religious wars or anything like that, unless later to protect themselves against the onslaught of mainly Christian and Muslim proselytism (an onslaught still very much alive in India for example).

    And not all religions have strict dogma that must remain unquestioned. Most religious encourage exploring the world, learning more about it’s workings, nature, and workings. The ancient Hellenes are the prime exaple of this from a Western point of view. Critical thought, employing reason to unveil the mysteries of the world, (proto-)scientific research, and so on, all started with them from the Western perspective, and they always remained a deeply religious people. Until off cours ethe onslaught of Christianity got them.

    • You are correct. I try to be careful to always mention that I am talking about Abrahamic monotheism. I generally don’t have much of a problem with most other religions. In fact other than monotheism being ridiculous I wouldn’t have much problem with that except they want to control the world with their stupid ideas… and that is what I cannot allow.

      I don’t both worrying about people who believe in fairies, or ‘energy’ or such other things because they are not concerned with telling our children that science does not work and all was made by a god. It might be said that I will oppose those who are anti-science. If a group is not anti-science I probably won’t find much worth worrying about in them.

      And having said all that I have spoken with several pantheists, deists, and others who I simply have been unable to feel offence or discomfort by their beliefs. I perhaps don’t agree with them, but the disagreement has never been enough to make me not like them. And so it is… I will have to another “My World View….” post on religions that are not Abrahamic monotheistic. It’s important that it be said this is part of my world view.

      Thanks

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