From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Munro)
Subject: Re: Atheism as a religion
Reply-To: jmunro@wyse.UUCP (Jim Munro)
In article <email@example.com> tookey@puff.WISC.EDU (Keith Tookey) writes:
>How about if I restate my beliefs this way:
>When a new religion appears in the world, it is a force for progress.
>As it grows, it becomes instiutionalized and corrupted,
>and starts to support whatever status quo it didn't change
>in the impetuousness of its youth.
>Religion has inspired most of the art and literature created in history.
>Religions founded the schools that made what literacy there was possible
>throughout most of history.(Public schools are recent)
>When the Crusaders returned to Europe, they brought back with them
>strange new ideas like hospitals that they had seen in the Muslim countries.
>Most civil law traces back to religious origins, such as the ever popular
>I think it was religious movements that were in the forefront of
>movements to abolish slavery.
>(Anybody have a quote: does Islam allow or forbid slavery?)
>Certainly religious individuals have had a major effect even in recent times.
>Yes, Martin Luthor King Junior was a Reverend.
>I see why you scorn much of organized religion.
>But please try to see the benefits religion has brought too.
Yes, I must concede, there are many examples in history where 'religious'
people, and indeed religious organizations have brought benefits.
But these are generally secondary effects of religion. Most religions,
especially western ones, are founded on the belief that there is a higher
power to which we are somehow indebted. We are told to live our lives
a particular way, with 'salvation' being the reward.
So such religions are primarily concerned with souls and only secondarily
concerned with life on earth.
We may agree on a variety of points of detail but I feel I should state my
underlying position more clearly:
Religion does not come from God, as God does not exist except in our own minds.
Religion is a product of our own psyches and stems from deep-rooted
aspects of the human mind which started millions of years ago with fear of
the dark and has developed ever since into superstitions, and religions.
Man also has an extremely strong 'herd' instinct, and has historically
been more willing to kill others and sacrifice himself for an 'idea' or
'religion' than anything else.
For these and other reasons, I feel that religion binds and shackles us
and makes us ultimately slaves.
Only by throwing off religion can we be truly free.
I don't expect you to agree with the above, but I hope you see the point.