As everyone here knows, one of the arguments made for religious belief is that it is comforting in the face of life's difficulties. It turns out that science may be comforting as well to people under duress.
This suggests that the comfort is the result of the belief that things are under control rather than any specific content of the belief.
That's an interesting observation.
One of the reasons people turn to alternative medicine is that they are alienated from mainstream medicine in some way. They seem to need something to put their faith in, so they then turn to alternative medicine and become believers in it.
I find science so much more comforting than religion.
1. In religion, by most standards of dogma, females are subordinate to males, which makes no sense to me. What good is a male without a female, or visa versa? There are different attributes of maleness and femaleness and they are not superior and inferior, just different. The differences matter and both are needed to make a civil society function in healthy ways. Domination by one or the other makes the relationship of man and woman out of balance.
2. In religion, by most standards, the value of men's work is superior and pays better than the value of women's work and pay. In a culture there are tasks to be performed. Those with wide shoulders, strong upper body characteristics and an aggressive personality, male or female, can perform some jobs better than can those who have a slighter frame, a more empathic and compassionate nature. There is no superiority of muscle over tenderness, they are only different and both are needed in a society.
3. In religion, some claim that their religion is the one and only religion that will lead to god. I see no evidence of any religion having such consequences. I see only difference of dogma on the part of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, not to mention the Major branches within Christianity. I have observed no reason to believe there is a god, of any name, and that the Big Bang theory may explain what happened in scientific terms. It may be discovered to be an error, but it certainly makes better sense than Genesis of the Bible, written by goat herders riding donkeys and camels trying to explain to their children and themselves how all their world came into being and to define purpose. Now we have evidence of more universes. We cannot forget that before Abarham, when god was a woman, that women were valued because they bled and did not die, they gave birth to the next generation and provided milk for the newborn. No man could do any of that except by ceremonial circumcision of males, and then placing male superior to female by construct. At some point, men and women are going to have to realize that we are not in control of Earth, yet we can damage the planet beyond our control. We have to work together as participants in maintaining and perpetuating life for all life.
4. In religion, common sense is replaced by dogma. Who said god was a male? Who believes that males have dominion over females and over all that swims, crawls and flies? Critical thinking is not a male characteristic, it may be different ways of knowing, and different value systems, and different goals, but the factor that is important on this point is the human body is created to think, even as thinking is impacted by the effects of hormones. Thinking is part of what makes us human. Humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor 5-7 million years ago (Mya). The difference between the two genomes is 4%, comprising 35 million single nucleotide differences and 90 Mb of insertions and deletions. Humans are apes who have differences from chimps. Comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes: Searching for needles i...
5. In religion, man is placed on the Earth to dominate all of the Earth, and all of its constructs. Looking at the sky and claiming dominion over all the universe is of the highest order of hubris. Excessive arrogance, big-headedness, cockiness, conceit, egotism, haughtiness, hauteur, pomposity, pride, self-importance, superciliousness, and superiority in Greek tragedy toward or defiance of the gods, leads to nemesis, or downfall. Well, the Greek gods were no more enduring than 21st century gods. Man, male, and now to include women who hold such beliefs, need to learn more humility and humbleness if we are going to get through the challenges facing us.