Whatever you believe, you need to make your case against Bentham's statement. Invective is not argument.
Jonathan, you appear to define "true believer" as a person not motivated by expectation of a reward. It seems an idiosyncratic definition.
I see the words of the rest of your post but don't see a connection between what I wrote and your analogies.
That's the way it is defined by the religion itself as far as I understand. People who motivated by a reward instead of "God's love" (or righteousness, even if it is according to the ethics described by the Bible) cannot be true believers. It may seem idiosyncratic because you see religion as necessarily evil, not only in practical effect but in inherent purpose.
This leads us into my analogies. The only way religion makes its "believers" (or shall we say non-believers?) unhappy is the rules that it defines. These are rules not dissimilar to laws or other cultural, familial commitments.
If I've misunderstood you, please expand on why exactly you think religion must make people unhappy?
Pleasure depends what u mean pleasure ...tiddlywinks ..golf ..snap.. shooting defenceless animals for fun
Rubbish .. choice .. a way of life some with heaven in mind
those without belief much the same moral choices every day
Pleasure is a reasonable choice for life's purpose. Sexual pleasure is a reasonable choice of pleasure.
Augustine famously prayed for chastity, and more famously added, "but not yet."
Why were so many "fathers of Catholicism" sexually repressed?
I suggest post-traumatic stress.
The author of a book whose title I recall as "Achilles in Viet Nam" asserted that many of the ancient Greeks whose names we know had fought in the wars of their times and exhibited symptoms of what we know as PTSD. Their heightened alertness, the mildest symptom of PTSD, resulted in their turning to literature or philosophy as a means of self-therapy.
Wars and other kinds of trauma continued, and in later centuries PTSD sufferers turned to a kind of drug: fantasizing happiness in another life.
PTSD might have caused religion. It might also have caused sexual repression.
Repressed priests exploited women you are fixated with sex porn my son twists the mind
cold shower is needed or as they do with dogs... spayed man in your case
Anyone who would like to study the painting of the Auto da fé of St. Dominic I posted earlier can click here. Just click on the painting and it you can see it in amazing detail.
I find this picture shocking as well as remarkable. What’s especially striking (and sick) is the fat cleric directly below St. Dominic dosing off as if he were at a boring opera. It shows how routine these horrible murders were.
I still find it disturbing to think there’s a New World island country named after this guy. He must have been a 15th century Tom Dewey who gained national attention by prosecuting criminals. The only different is the Cathars weren’t mobsters but good people who didn’t want to pay homage to the pope.
Thank you Richard for the painting link - I was wondering about it. I appreciate you emailing me about the painting and your blog discussing the details and history.
How Does an Atheist Respond to the Question, What Is the Purpose of Life?
For a Christian, it is faith that gives their life purpose. In his best-selling book The Purpose Driven™ Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?, Rick Warren says, “You must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”
But as a non-believer, your purpose resides in yourself; it is yours alone to discover and develop. It’s about choosing to live your own life for your own reasons. No one can dictate your purpose. You decide.
This book will help you understand and appreciate why freely choosing to help and cooperate with others is the true path to finding purpose. Life does not need purpose: Purpose needs life. To punctuate this point, The Good Atheist includes inspiring biographies of humanity’s true heroes—men and women who did not waste their lives as slaves to a God, but rather found purpose in enhancing life on this Earth for all of us.
I bought this book and I am reading it - it's very helpful.
Rick Warren and others like him want power in other peoples' lives.
Born by and for a god's purposes? What nonsense!!!!
My parents had their purposes and I was a result.
I want to be a bad atheist, but not so bad that I go to jail.