Compiling a list of reasons to make the world more secular. help please! *Updated*

ok, this is something that CONSTANTLY comes up in my debates, so I'd like to ask you all to help me compile a list of reasons why religion is bad and the world should be more secular.


here are a few of the ideas that I currently use:

-Religion promotes groupthink, which is a chain on the ankle of progress and doesn't accurately or effectively solve problems, but rather stifles critical thinking and new hypotheses. The Church wants you to be who they want you to be and what their book wants you to be. Rationalism provides you with the personal environment to discover who you are and what you can do. (**the book, "The Ghost Map," that tells the story of cholera epidemic in Europe and how, for the first time, the illness was tracked to a specific well. This is when we first discovered what a GERM was and that it caused illness. All the people of that time believed that illness was divine retribution--if you got sick you must be bad and so deserve it.This was only 150 years ago! Again, science debunked religion but no one changed their beliefs in accordance.
)(The historical rejection of the heliocentric and round earth theories in favor of the geocentric and flat earth theories **history articles/citations anyone??**)

-Religion is backwards because it seeks to aggressively make old knowledge fit with new knowledge rather than letting new knowledge shape and edit old knowledge

-Religion spreads lies to promote it's ideals (the Pope and Condoms *citation here*)

-Religion envokes conflicts that can not be solved with religion because all are following unprovable positions that rely in faith rather than evidence. (ex:Southern Poverty Law Center monitors the 926 Christian hate groups in US. No atheist hate groups.)

-Prayer simply doesn't work. People essentially cause all these problems for the placebo effect (**Sir Francis Galton's debunking of prayer. Medical community will not support efficacy of prayer. Christians get sick and die at same rate as non-believers. Missionary ships suffered same bad fates as godless slave traders.)


-People can pick and choose what best suits their ideas from their holy book and use it as proof rather than critically evaluating their position. religion can be used to 'exempt' any behavior they want to exempt. "killing is okay if it is in "their" gods name" as is war, preying on the poor, mind control over matter. (any good examples??)


-there's a concept referred to as "crocodile mentality;" this is when a person prefers to lay around and soak up the sun, so to speak. religion is easy; it requires one to simply bask in what is told to them...a freethinker, on the other hand, prefers to take a swim in an invigorating environment; thereby encountering what others are too lazy to explore. our world would truly thrive if there was an affinity for exploring rather than settling.


-The popular churches use guilt in addition to fear as a structure. Other religions have come and gone that didn't use guilt. This is a powerful tool to the church. People keep coming back torelinquish their guilt. Telling you that you are a bad person, born with sin and only a life with
God can keep you clean. Church doesnt teach proper ways to live. It teaches you subconciensly that you can pretty muchdo anything as long as you apologize and ask for forgiveness afterward. It doesnt teach love foryourself which is very important for a loving society. It teaches that we are bad a "wretch" as the song Amazing Grace says. We are not all bad people, it should be teaching how to loveourselves, that we are good people, that we should respect other people because we are not born with evil in our hearts. Just as Alcoholics Anonimous has a very low success rate for telling them that they are alcoholics. They always will be. These people accept it as fact, it is burned into their brain. How can they ever get better and overcome their "bad" ways if this very powerful organization whom many people believe in tells them that they are forever bad? They are NOT forever bad, they can overcome their bad ways, they can be a good addition to society if this organization would only tell them that they are not bad people and not that the only way to be forgiven is to come to our organization.




I know that there must be more. Could everybody pitch in and give me new reasons and also perhaps give me good articles/xamples to back up what I already have or what you will propose? I'll update it as suggestions come in and bold them.

Thanks! I'm sure that this pooling of info can help everyone if they bookmark it and keep adding to it.

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Comment by Johnny on December 12, 2009 at 8:22am
um... well, I don't think your attack is very water-tight, Vicki.... but let's run with it/revise it.

I'd tweak it to say: name one war before the Secularizing Enlightenment that wasn't religiously motivated. That is SO much harder.
Comment by Johnny on December 11, 2009 at 5:53pm
DANG, you got some good stuff there, Vicki! I should have known that you would have been the authority on this kinda thing!

=)

I have some... problems with one of your statements though:

"Ask them to name wars that were not religiously motivated."

I can already think of a few. WW1 (Worldwide Alliances), American Civil (Based on government representation of South), French Revo (based on American Revo), American Revo (Secular Locke)... basically most of the more recent ones.

WW2 you can argue was influenced by Nazi ideology which is like religion. Pretty much all before the American Revo was religiously inspired since before the fall of the Roman empire.

I can name quite a few modern ones that aren't religiously inspired though. Care to explain the examples I've chosen?
Comment by Johnny on December 11, 2009 at 5:46pm
ah yes, the feared "bible tells you to do this" tactic. Excellent choices, Courtney. You have some of my favorite verses in there. The thing is, I use this information i'm looking for after I've already seriously upsetted the theist and make him/her blurt out "WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH ANYWAY? WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE US ALONE?"

boom... reasons why religion is harmful.
Comment by Courtney King on December 11, 2009 at 10:08am
The best way to counteract the Christian arguements is to use their own bible against them. These verses are the best to use:
Murder in the Bible
Deuteronomy 13:13-19
Deuteronomy 22:20-21
Deuteronomy 13:7-12
Exodus 31:12-15
2 Kings 2:23-24 (God sends bears to murder children)
2 Samuel 6:3-7 (This is the silliest reason of all)
Ezekiel 9:5-7
Isaiah 13:15-18

Rape In The Bible
Judges 21:10-24
Numbers 31:7-18
Deuteronomy 20:10-14
Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Deuteronomy 22:23-24

I used these verses on my dad and stopped him cold. He still has no retaliation.
Comment by Johnny on December 11, 2009 at 7:07am
all great suggestions so far. it would also be great is anyone knew any articles/citations to back up any of these ideas.

suggestions have been added and bolded
Comment by Loren Miller on December 11, 2009 at 6:59am
The Church wants you to be who they want you to be.

Rationalism provides you with the personal environment to discover who you are and what you can do.
Comment by Rayray on December 11, 2009 at 6:39am
The popular churches use guilt in addition to fear as a structure. Other religions have come and
gone that didnt use guilt. This is a powerful tool to the church. People keep coming back to
relinquish their guilt. Telling you that you are a bad person, born with sin and only a life with
God can keep you clean.

Church doesnt teach proper ways to live. It teaches you subconciensly that you can pretty much
do anything as long as you apologize and ask for forgiveness afterward. It doesnt teach love for
yourself which is very important for a loving society. It teaches that we are bad a "wretch" as
the song Amazing Grace says. We are not all bad people, it should be teaching how to love
ourselves, that we are good people, that we should respect other people because we are not born
with evil in our hearts. But in any case we can always be forgiven for being such wreched beings,
and have the need for the church to give us that forgiveness. But it doesnt help make us as a society
a better people. Just as Alcoholics Anonimous has a very low success rate for telling them that they
are alcoholics. They always will be. These people accept it as fact, it is burned into their brain.
How can they ever get better and overcome their "bad" ways if this very powerful organization
whom many people believe in tells them that they are forever bad? They are NOT forever bad,
they can overcome their bad ways, they can be a good addition to society if this organization would
only tell them that they are not bad people and not that the only way to be forgiven is to come to
our organization. Not very effective, but it sells by way of guilt. Think of how you measure the
church and A.A.'s success. By the number of participants and people who believe in it. NOT by
the effect it makes on society.
Comment by Sky Ironplow on December 11, 2009 at 6:15am
Religion uses fear, ignorance, and it fills a persons need to "fit," "belong," be part of", individuality is frowned upon, differences are frowned upon. If all the sheep stay in their rightful place in the field, the "leader" has better control. It should be inconceivable that a sheep may stray over to find grass does grow elsewhere. And religion can be used to 'exempt' any behavior they want to exempt. "killing is okay if it is in "their" gods name" as is war, prying on the poor, mindcontrol over matter." And what a bonus, no church taxes, people give the leader all of their money, often their children, always their ability to think and rationalize on their own.
Comment by ryan cameron on December 10, 2009 at 9:30pm
Religion is based on fear which leads to violence, mistrust, and ultimately self destruction. The only reason we did not previously destroy ourselves is because it was physically impossible due to the distances involved. Now that we are a global village thanks to technology, abstinence from religion, and the further migration of religion from authority to myth becomes critical for our continued existence.

Religions cannot tolerate each other, they cannot mix. One cannot claim to know "god" and accept that someone else has the same ability with a completely different set of steps. Conversely, reason is falsifiable, it is debatable, and compromise can always be reached through logic, so it can evolve.

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