Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Religion is a “Beautiful Thing”

The following statement is from an online message group:

“…I hear a lot of Atheists who believe that religions are all wrong and must be killed off and what not [even though I’m an atheist] I think a religion can be a beautiful thing, in the hands of the right people. ...”
Here is my reply, revised and extended:

Please, give me some examples of how religion is a "beautiful thing in the hands of the right people."

When you do that, please be sure to help me understand how the "beautiful thing" religion is could not be realized without the delusion of supernaturalism; the intolerance for others’ non-belief or differing beliefs; the fiction of afterlife; the threat of eternal damnation & suffering; the cult-like worship of pain and death; the rejection of scientific proofs and evidence; the enslavement of young minds to superstition and lies instead of reality, reason and knowledge; all of which are part and parcel to the theistic mindset.

Are you saying that the beauty of religion lies in the charitable works of churches? If so, does that infer that charity is the sole provenance of religion? That good acts wouldn’t exist without religion’s promulgation of delusion and supernaturalism? That people of religion are driven to do altruistic things not because it is simply the humane thing to do, but because religion pressures, inspires, motivates them, and to the exclusion of non-believers’ altruistic instincts and actions? Or because religious charity is a way to proselytize to those desperately in need of material aid in an effort to gain converts? Is that the “beauty of religion?”

Or maybe the beauty lays in the fear it instills to gain recruits and ensure compliance; the subservience to shaman like authority; the false hope of life after death; the rejection of science and downplaying of secular knowledge?

And who are these “right people?” Mother Theresa? The pope? Fred Phelps? Rev. Al Sharpton? Bakker, Falwel, Robertson,Wright, Hinn, Graham, Huckabee, et al? The faith healers? The multi-millionaire televangelists? The terminally ill person who prays for pain relief or cure which never comes? The crippled and blind who flock to Lourdes in the hope of restoration that never happens?
The proselytizing door to door hucksters? The ministers/priests who molest and are protected by their church? The apologists who twist and turn scripture to make it suit a kinder gentler religion? The fundamentalist evolution deniers who want schools to teach myth as though it were science? The "Christian Nation" radicals who know nothing of our nation’s roots, distort history, and seek to tear down the “wall of separation” between church and state?

Were the Inquisitors the "right people"? The Crusaders? The witch burners? The anti-Semites and religious leaders like Martin Luther who enflamed it? The suicide bombers? The book burners? The Christian Zionists who want to see no peace in the Middle East, lest it impede the End Times prophesy fulfillment? The abortion doctor killers? Those Christians who used the bible to justify slavery, discrimination, and oppose inter-racial marriage?

How about those faithful who pray over a sick child and watch them die when medical science could have restored them to health? Those who use scripture to justify subjugation of gays’ rights, or the control of women's reproductive rights, or the military invasion of non-threatening nations? Those who conduct exorcisms on the weak or the mentally ill? The religionists who falsely claim condoms spread AIDS and thus condemn millions of third world peoples to their death through unprotected sex? Those who justify killing for land ownership based on biblical precedence and divine will? Those who sacrifice their own lives to kill innocent “infidels” to get their reward in paradise? Who indoctrinate their children to view non-followers as “the other?” Who oppose women’s rights because their scripture tells them women are less than men? Which of these are “the right people?” If none of them, then who?

Religion is a mind virus. That it has some connection with charitable works; or because the false promise of life after death in Candy Land is soothing to those afflicted by religious fable; that its music, art and architecture is often iconic, its rituals hypnotic in their pomp and spectacle; is hardly a validation of, or justification for, its deception, false promises, rejection of reality, exclusionism and intolerance.

Its “beauty” doesn’t override the dependency, threats, fear, ignorance, hate, and misery it spreads through the brainwashing of the young, undereducated, desperate and gullible. I see no beauty in deception. Show it to me.

Yes, religion should be killed off. Fortunately the scientific age and man's acceptance of reality is causing religion to self-destruct throughout the civilized world. None too soon, and long over due.

Yours in Reason,


Anonymous said...

What? You want to live in a world where women can just walk around, and I'm not even joking here, WEARING PANTS????? Without religion, women can just go around making their own decisions about their wardrobes. I don't know how you "new atheists" can live with yourselves...

Dromedary Hump said...

Yeah...can you imagine!! Those sluts!!! A good flogging should teach them to keep their modesty before GOD!!

Forty lashes... it's a beautiful thing"


NewEnglandBob said...

I can't wait to see who answers for the alleged "beauty" of religion.

The problem is, Hump, that you asked so many questions. The Liars for Jesus™ have short attention spans and probably will not get through your list.

Dromedary Hump said...


and if they did get through it, they wouldn't get it we will soon, no doubt, witness.

Prepare for genuine Xtian gibberish... my tolerance for which is minimal these days.


Tidalgrrrl said...

Excellent post!! That is all.

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks! and welcome.

Rachelle said...

Ditto what Tidalgrrrl said. LOL! If I ever ran for public office, I'd want Hump as my spokesperson. LOL!

Dromedary Hump said...

You're too kind.

Anonymous said...

I think I may have identified something important, but perhaps not, so I submit it for your review, Mr. Hump.

The major source of all these evils isn't belief in God(s), but in fact might be belief in the afterlife.

Now, for some religions the two are inseparable, but others not so much. Let's take Pol Pot for instance, he was a Theresbesda Buddhist (or however you spell it). They're mainly Athiest (no belief in God), but they do believe in the afterlife. The atrocities that Pol Pot committed were under the assumption that he was going to get into heaven for doing them.

Of course, I'm going to test this theory with an honest scientific approach; try to disprove it rather than try to prove it.

So the hypothesis would then be; if there are any religious organizations which believe in God, not the Afterlife, and have a history of past or current violence, then belief in the Afterlife isn't the cause of religious violence.

Your thoughts?

- ThatMr.RogersDude

NewEnglandBob said...


Judaism does not believe in an afterlife.

Jewish sacred texts and literature have little to say about what happens after death.

The Torah and Talmud alike focus on the purpose of earthly life, which is to fulfill one's duties to God and one's fellow man. Succeeding at this brings reward, failing at it brings punishment. Whether rewards and punishments continue after death, or whether anything at all happens after death, is not as important.

So there goes your hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it appears as if the Hypothesis was correct. Thank you for your assistance in testing it.

- ThatMr.RogersDude

eatsnails said...

Well, I do not believe in god,but I do believe that religion can be a beautifull thing.
Anything can be used for bad puposses.
The Bible, the Coran and most of religious books, were written to offer peace and hope to people.
If you lived in a country in conflict and thad lost everything around you, your family, your home, your wife... wouldn't it be conforting to know there is something out there, that you are not alone and that your loved onesare gone somewhere beautifull?
Religion might just be lies to you and but fuck it, if it can make people happy why not.
Every good thing in the world can be used to arm. But no religion was created with this purpose.

Dromedary Hump said...

thanks for your in put.

You said: "Religion might just be lies to you and but fuck it, if it can make people happy why not."

So, any lie that makes people feel good, as long as they never find out the truth of its falsehood, is a good thing? Sorry, I reject that.

Lying to the poor that god will deliver them from their plight stiffles self reliance. Lying to people that this life is but a tribulation in preparatiuon for a better one after death kills incentive to better ones self.

Thanks...but if I'm ever in need of up lifting, telling me a lie is the last thing I'd want. Is it what you'd want? or is it what you wouldn't want but figure that "lesser" people deserve/ should have?

You said: "But no religion was created with [harm as it's ] purpose."

Really? You don't think the ancient Hebrew's religious doctrine as deliniated in the Hebrew Bible, wasn't meant to justify war, genocide and conquering of lands? Did you ever read it? God demanded the deaths of entire cities, entire peoples, sparing neither children nor animals.

Why was that codified in their holy book if not as a justification for these hideous acts by their "God"?

Oh sure, religion was created as a way to bind people of a common culture to a commonality of laws and rites. Which one would think is a good thing. Until it establishes a "them Vs US" intolerance...which EVERY RELIGION RESULTS IN.

Finally, Did you ever hear of the Hindu cult of the Thuggee? Tell me what good that sect was created for?

You need to do more research on the genesis of religions, and reflect more on the value of truth vs endorsing lies.

Anonymous said...

The beauty of religion can be seen in light of its literary and philosophical aspects. I feel like we have a lot to learn from different religions through studying pieces of religious literature and religious thought, and I think that is a beautiful thing. I as a Christian am quite intrigued by Daoist/Taoist philosophy and that of other Eastern religions, and I feel that they could bring a lot of good to other religions. If we as people were more open to other peoples' religions, we could learn a great deal about ourselves and each other. That's not to say that we don't have flaws here and there, and that people can't and don't distort these words and ideas for evil purposes, but aside from religious exploitation if you want to call it that, I think learning from each other could instill a sense of community and brotherhood amongst people.

Of course, there are a lot of religious nut jobs in the world, and my thoughts for this sense of coming together to learn and become enlightened from others' religions, and even those who don't claim a religion, may just be a mere "what if" scenario. But I personally enjoy learning about religion. Forgive me if I kind of went off on a tangent there, but I think you are very intelligent and present a lot of good opinions and arguments, but I feel as though you're still falling short of seeing the beauty or at least the good that religion CAN bring to the table IF individuals employ it in a way that it can exemplify that beauty properly. I say can and if, again because a lot of the time religion is used for the worst unfortunately. >.>

Brindle Hester said...

I hope i can speak from my heart without being attacked. Let me start by saying i dont attack ur beliefs at all. I found this site because my brother is an athiest so i am educating my self on his belief he is my brother first.. And from your perspective you quote only what you believe. Thats fine but since you want to say what I believe should be eliminated I get to speak from my perspective because its important to me just as urs is to u id never make a statement saying that. My story, at 12 yrs old id spent most of my days sick, not because i had to be but because doctors gave me so many antibiotics from birth by 12 i had nearly no immune system. Doctors destroyed my body, i was told at 12 id probably die soon because even a cold could kill me. This was long before doctors admitted their errors in antibiotics. I got an ear infection that turned into gain green before I could blink. So the specialist gave me pain meds and more antibiotics and sent me home saying this "this is it, sorry i can only help make you comfortable at home or admit you. The antibiotic will slow it down to give you time but we dont know because its so close to your brain how long you have." So i went home laid in my bed in the darkness feeling pain the medication wouldnt help. A week went by i got mad, i yelled for my dad, take me to church! He asked me not to move but doing nothing was horrible. He took me cradled in his arms we sat in the back, i said nope take me there!! Pointing at the alter, he looked afraid but how do u tell ur daughter no this maybe it the good bye. So he did the pastors wife said "missy I am not praying i think you have words of your own." I said, "If you want me to come home its ok i believe you know what your doing, but this seems meaningless so if u dont want me dead I command this to stop Now!" As soon as i did a shot gun sound rang out no pain no pressure. The next morning my mom took me to the specialist expecting maybe it ruptured with out secreating relieved pressure. My doctor found NOTHING! no pressure no rupture no scaring nothing a perfectly healthy lil girl. With perfect ears, he was speechless said ur fine totally fine angry he slammed dwn chart and left the room. An even longer story short I OD'd when i was 17 I took 50 tabs if lythium, i could hear the doctor telling my mom shes gone, i could hear ppl talking but from where they were not where i was. He was explaining how the machines were keeping me alive but if some how I made it thru Id have mush for brains. I heard loudest boom and felt a hand on my chest heard a voice as clear as my own. "Not meaningless" i sat strait up singing ! The doctor walked out of the room. There is no reason Iam here, but I believe in what I know you dont have to believe but what kind of human wants to remove this from anyone? If i had trusted science id be dead or worse, id have died a horrible death in a dark room. So taking that from any one is not beautiful giving a painfilled child life is, taking that away would have meant there was nothing for me but a beautiful belief says dovthe undoable survive what others cant. Ill leave urs alone but ill never understand why u want to take from me.

Brindle Hester said...

Also, who is anyone to take from others. Who gave u as flawed human beings the right to take face away from humans. You lump these beliefs as if the belief is a tangible thing. You feel so angry or frustrated by what you dont personally understand. So you decide to go tell women men children to wipe their brains because you say so. Religion isnt a thing its part of a person sure evils been done in the name of every religion but your doing evil by your own religion by trying to steal from others. Your no better then any other religion. You can say Christians do This or budest do that. But I am a christian, ive never harmed any one with my faith so Not christians some christians, a muslium family gave me food and diapers so not all do that. Human beings with hearts minds faces hold tight and place high value in their beliefs who is anyone to take it from them.

Dromedary Hump said...

Normally I wouldn't publish a comment as disjointed and poorly written as these, if only to save the person from embarrassment.

But I make an exception for Brindle since she spent so much time on them, and since they condemn her with her own inarticulate rambling, poor grammar, childlike punctuation,and mindless ramblings born of religious affliction and an obvious lack of respect for education.

Thank you Brindle. Your comment says more about the idiocy inherent in religiosity than anything I could say.

That said: emersion into religious delusion is not a necessary prerequisite for sharing or helping ones fellow man. And as long as a religionist doesn't force their idiocy on our government, on gays' lives, on public schools, on women's reproductive rights, or on scientific advancement, then I don't care if you worship a dead Jew, a dead Mennonite, or a flying spaghetti monster...or credit a boogieman with surviving a drug overdose.

NewEnglandBob said...

Wow, Brindle is one piece if work - incoherent. It either must suck to be her living her pitiful life or, more likely, she is too stupid AND too ignorant to realize what a loser she really is.

lee woo said...
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