Religious belief, piety, etc., has traditionally been regarded in society as commendable virtues and worthy of admiration. Governments have given privileged treatment to any religious organisation for no more justifiable reason than the organisation is faith based and therefore worthy of preferential treatment. They forget, to their chagrin, the dogmatic bigotry and ideological intransigence inherent in this piety they so esteem. This naiveté regarding the dangers of organised god belief has so far not been realised, and yet it’s there to see for anyone who bothers to look.
Any attempt at sorting out the chaos in the world today will have to begin with a clear and honest assertion that the cause of the mayhem is not religious extremism but religion itself. Religious leaders have a mental block regarding the culpability of religion in inspiring violence. They can’t grasp that their sacred scriptures, believed so devoutly to be the pinnacle of moral authority, could possibly have anything but a beneficial effect on society, and this goes for all religious leaders when considering all the different faiths; religion no matter what the cost, is a force for good in their eyes. Because of this mental blockage the religious communities will never be able to comprehend that they themselves are the cause of the extremism they denounce.
If religion and the religious in general, are left to themselves to sort out their differences, the bloodshed will never end. It’s probably true that there will never be peace on earth as long as there’s religion on earth. In fact if the enlightenment hadn’t happened it’s possible the whole planet would now be a warzone. Secularism, the satanic monster thwarting religious worldviews in the west, is the one and only reason the insanity has been held in check.
The idea that atheists are needed to show the religious how to behave wouldn’t be a welcome thought in religious circles of any description, yet that appears to be the case. Secularism, seems to be the only worldview with the objective insight and impartiality to lay down the law, one way or the other.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 13, 2016 at 12:54am

I like your statement,

"Any attempt at sorting out the chaos in the world today will have to begin with a clear and honest assertion that the cause of the mayhem is not religious extremism but religion itself."

Comment by Michael Penn on October 1, 2015 at 6:04pm

I agree with Gerald. In the end you find that gods only exist in the world of subjective reality. You say that American experience with slavery and the American Indian was not driven by religious zealotry. How so? People used the bible to justify slavery and prove also that the Indians were savages. These people were not human, the religious said. Today they call biblical slavery "indentured servitude." I guess that's why you couldn't beat a slave to death and also why you marked his ear with an awl. This type of mislabeling of real situations and calling them something they are not is called "cognitive disonance." That's where the zealot cannot admit that you told him the truth for fear his belief will collapse.

Then you want to get into the idea that secularism produced barbarity. In what way? Your arguement must be "that only Christians are good." I don't fall for any of it and I studied to be a preacher.

Comment by Gerald Payne on October 1, 2015 at 2:29pm

ll try and have a sensible discussion with you, although I'm not too optimistic.

Comment by Gerald Payne on October 1, 2015 at 1:23pm

I think your a little deluded yourself Ryan. There's no such thing as ''mainstream generic religion'', all we have is illusions pretending to have authority by dint of popular acceptance.

Stalinism, Nazi Germany and all these so called proofs of secular barbarity, shows your naivette in the face of the madness in front of your eyes. When you wake up I wi  

Comment by Ryan Nichols on September 30, 2015 at 8:51pm

I am not prepared to argue that "mainstream generic religion" is necessarily responsible for social chaos or insanity. 

As an example - consider the historical background that has led to many - but not all - instances of genocide.  Stalinism, NAZI Germany, Rwanda, Dafur Burma dealt with ethnicity and race.

The American experience with slavery and the American Indian was NOT driven by religious zealotry. 

Corporate banditry, greed , and malfeasance cannot be blamed on religion. 

Comment by Loren Miller on September 27, 2015 at 10:19am

If I hadn't done so already, all I would need to do to disabuse myself of the idea that certain members of Congress had exclusive command of any relative "wisdom" (not that I ascribe such to any of 'em as a matter of course!) would be to hear John Boehner complain about "videos" regarding Planned Parenthood on Face the Nation this morning.  Those videos have long since been debunked, yet he and his GOP colleagues hang onto them as though they're supposed to be some kind of magic bullet against an organization they rail against because of 3% of their business, while conveniently ignoring the other 97%.  Shall we also mention that Boehner is an avowed and supposedly devout catholic who broke down repeatedly in the presence of Frankie yesterday?

We as atheists know that faith is anathema to reason.  One of the late Christopher Hitchens' great hopes was that eventually, faith would be exposed and dethroned from its undeserved perch of respectability in society.  Of all the battles we have to fight in this venue, disqualifying faith as a means to reliable knowledge has to be among the most important and the most difficult to accomplish.

Yet accomplish it we must.

Comment by Michael Penn on September 27, 2015 at 7:08am

I agree that secularism seems to be the balancing force here. The problem is that politicians want the vote and continue to cater to religious nonsense. Not only do they use religion, but they seem to think they can control it. I view it all as a very dangerous game.

I can say this openly because I remember when I was a theist and how I thought then. My view was that only my little fundy group had "the truth." They all think this way when you stop and look at it. This is what makes religion so very dangerous in the first place.

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