People have fears, although sociopaths and such might not.
Fear of death might have more power to influence people than any other fear.
Religion tries to assuage that fear by promising eternal life but few believers lose that fear.
Religion could help people toss that fear but does not. It uses that fear to control people, to take their power, to mke them helpless.
Tossing religious beliefs isn't enough; people have to toss the fears religion built, and toss the helplessness.
Atheism confronts that fear; it says one life is all we get and we waste it or use it.
People who toss their fear and their helplessness will gain the power to use their lives. When their lives end they might go out satisfied and smiling.
(My story? During 12 years in Catholic schools, nuns and priests put a lot of effort into making/keeping me fearful. I didn't know they were teaching me to waste my life seeking the answers they wanted me to have. With the boost a bit of trauma gave me, I tossed the beliefs but not the fears. Months later, as I was about to pull my gun's trigger...poof, my life became mine. I guess the fear became determination to use my life the way I chose. Like an addict, I had to hit a bottom.)
Instead of trying to satisfy Catholicism's many demands, I've been satisfying mine...and haven't drawn the sheriff's attention.
I noticed that it was the first strong foothold in my life, to stand on the bottom and to know that from the bottom there's only one way out: climb!
I'm not afraid of death - for example eternal damnation.
I certianly don't want to die in pain, or with anxiety.
Life after death, or eternal damnation and fear may drive many religions.
Teaching children about hell and eternal damnation must be the worst kind of child abuse.
I don't think it's necessacary to raise religion, or atheism. I approach the idea as phylosophy.
I always thought arguing with xtians is like arguing with a dead fish.
I'm looking at doing whole body donation through UCSF
Witness signatures are needed for the program. Some of my neighbors are taken back by the idea, others are interested.
Have you considered a whole body donation?
Chris, I don't argue with xians. I also don't talk philosophy with them.
Expressing sympathy for their having been abused IS NOT philosophy.
I agree that it's not worth 'arguing' with people with strict dogma and their religious upbringing.
It isn't philosophy.
I'm curious about why people continue to believe in superstition after they are adults.
And they are slaves! Proud to think of themselves as sheep, never thinking about how they are fleeced and slaughtered.
I'm fortunate that religion wasn't pushed on me. My mom once told me that "Everyone Believes in God." I gave her a couple of books to read Including one by Ayann Hirsi Ali, and "The God Delussion." After reading these and other books my mom said that she thinks she's an atheist as well. That's a big step from thinking that everyone believes in god.
I miss her.
That was a big step your mom took, Chris. She had courage.
Xianity treats women so badly, yet so many women remain xians. Are they masochists?
Thanks for sharing your story, tom. I was lucky to escape that much trauma, raised in a non-religious Lutheran home and attending public school.