Getting Religion

Nontheists understand that religion is wrong. We discuss religions, rant about them, and fight them. Do we understand them? The goal of here is to learn about religions, how they developed, what they beleive, what makes them tick.

Location: Global
Members: 52
Latest Activity: Jan 18

"Getting Religion" means understanding religions.


File:Stonehenge Closeup.jpg

The impact of religion is pervasive.  Religion flavors all aspects of human life.  Religion has influenced human evolution for thousands of years.


Just as we learn about chemistry, biology, and psychology, learning about religion helps us understand ourselves as a species, and how we came to be who we are.  That understanding may also help us understand how to function in a world where the majority of humans continue to be religious.



Intro to "Getting Religion" - what the group is about.

Paleolithic origins of religion.

Religion in the Neolithic Age.




Here is a link that summarizes the 43 biggest religious or religious belief systems, in the world today.  This is the "Big Religion Chart".


To me, religions are like science fiction.  I like the worlds of Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek, and X-Files, and I like reading about Zoroastrianism, Aztec cosmology, and Catholic papal  intrigues.

-Sentient Biped 5/29/2013


Discussion Forum

Where, and what, is Hell?

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Michael Penn Dec 10, 2014. 42 Replies

The Americas before 1491.

Started by Daniel W Dec 25, 2013. 0 Replies

Religion in the Neolithic Age.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W May 28, 2013. 1 Reply

Intro to "Getting Religion"

Started by Daniel W May 23, 2013. 0 Replies

Origins of Religion in the Paleolithic Age

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W May 21, 2013. 26 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Getting Religion to add comments!

Comment by Daniel W on December 25, 2011 at 12:00pm

For anyone interested, this thread here is now embarking on a world tour of hell.  Exploring the versions of hell as seen in various religions.  

Have fun.  The weather forecast in most hells is for scorching heat, bring a big cold thermos with lots of ice tea.

Comment by Steph S. on September 13, 2011 at 5:54am
Scientology would be an interesting one to learn about.
Comment by Daniel W on September 12, 2011 at 10:58pm


This group has languished, even though I would love to see more discussion to understand religion.  Is there a religion that you would like to learn more about?

Comment by Steph S. on September 11, 2011 at 1:16pm
Greetings everyone!
Comment by Vangelis Stamatopoulos on October 24, 2010 at 12:55am
Atheism and religion is an interesting comparison which I explore in my blog post from the point of view of a Buddhist. I am particularly concerned that the atheist agenda has been hijacked in Australia to be specifically anti-religious rather than a-theist. You can read more here.
Comment by Daniel W on September 13, 2010 at 10:12pm
Diana, thank you for linking to your blog post. I would not mind at all if you double posted that to here as well. Blog posts usually tend to get buried and forgotten, while discussion group posts and forum posts seem to last longer.

Jo, that's a great description for a type of bias. I bet there's a latin name for it but I don't know it. For us to be true skeptics, we always have to watch for our sources of bias, which it sound like you are doing very well.
Comment by Jo Jerome on September 12, 2010 at 5:46pm
Daniel - Also, the hotter, bigger, more emotional the topic (like religion), the harder it is for any of us to be bias. I see a FB post about the latest stupid thing Sarah Palin said and I too am instantly inclined to believe it. But, I try and force myself to follow the story, source it, verify it through a couple of independent sources, and if I can't, I won't repeat it and will treat it with skepticism.

Similarly, the view on religion that a book is promoting, even if it's the most conventional wisdom out there; I look not just to the message but how that message is being delivered. If someone is using bullying tactics, appeal to authority, and other red flags often used by snake oil salesmen, I don't care if you're trying to convince me that a baseball is spherical; your tactics alone are an alarm that something might not be right here.

Plus, as a budding anthropologist, I am a huge fan of scientific theories with open doors and an even bigger fan of peeking behind the lesser-used doors to see if we haven't missed something.
Comment by Diana Agorio on September 12, 2010 at 2:32pm
My recent blog post is perfect for this group; but, I didn't see an easy way to link it. It describes Noah's flood as a star story:
Comment by Daniel W on September 11, 2010 at 7:23pm
Jo Jerome,
You make sense. That bias that comes from "This agrees with my preconceptions" or even "this supports and extends my preconceptions" is not helpful for anyone. We claim to be skeptics, we should be. Of course, we are only human. To use a nonreligious (mostly) example, if I see a story about how incredibly stupid Sarah Palin is, I'm much more likely to beleive and even celebrate that story. If I see a story that details her incredible skill as a politician and evil genius, Macchiavelian manipulation of the masses and media to her own financial and political gain, I'm more likely to disagree. That's even if the objective evidence is the same. But one of those storys is correct, the other is not, and if we go down the wrong path, de to our bias, then we are only hurting ourselves. (Or is she a stupid vacuous evil genius? life is complicated)
Comment by Jo Jerome on September 11, 2010 at 12:25pm
Let us know what you think of the book Daniel! I'm becoming increasingly interested not just in historicity/origins of Christianity, but the methodologies used to do that research.

On the one side is the Jesus apologetics who depend on biblical inerrancy, presumably because it makes their jobs easier? Then those on the other end of the extreme who come up with the very plausible stories of plagiarism from other religions, but like the Jesus apologetics, I hear a lot about how "This is our truth" without a whole lot of background about how one arrived at that truth.

Other than the implication that it's the easiest hypothesis to work with and/or fits with one's personal preference.

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