Metaphor: Religion is like smoking

Wonderist
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Metaphor: Religion is like smoking

There's a lame-ass critique of so-called 'new atheism' by some right-wing blogger (link: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/10/preaching_to_the_choir.php).

It is not the article itself, but the thoughtful comments below it that I found interesting. I highly recommend reading them (reading the article itself is optional, if only for the context it provides). Check them out.

Here's one comment in particular that sparked my imagination:

Quote:

My view of religion is like my view of smoking: if you must do it, do it in the privacy of your own home and not in public places, keep it out of my face, don’t do it in front of my kids and don’t try to get the government to further your habit or buy your cigarettes. (Now if we could only get the balls up to tax churches like cigarettes, what a happy day that will be.)

I don’t see why any theist can be rightly unhappy with that solution.

What struck me is that only 20 years ago, smoking was very common and pretty much everyone had to put up with it in silence, whether they were smokers or not.

Slowly, surely, the tide changed. People started to become aware of the risks of smoking. They made smoking sections in restaurants. Put up no smoking signs everywhere.

Over time, it became less socially acceptable to smoke. Now, in many locales, smoking is banned in restaurants, even bars, etc.

What's more, there's a social stigma against second hand smoking. This is what sparked my imagination and inspired this post.

Not only is smoking bad for YOU, it's also bad for the people you expose to it. It's bad for mothers to smoke around young children, even. Looked down upon. Shameful.

This is a good metaphor to explain how we find religion harmful. Not only is it harmful to YOU, whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it. "Okay, enough of that preaching. I don't like your second-hand religion. It's harmful to my mental health. If you need religion, do it in the privacy of your own home or church."

We should have No Religion signs with a cross through a Cross (it can even have rosary beads attached, making it look like a cigarette with smoke coming out of it), etc.

We can make Surgeon General's stickers to put on holy books. "WARNING: Reading the Bible can cause serious long-term delusions and be harmful to your mental health!" "WARNING: Second-hand religion is harmful to children!"

What do you all think?

(Again, I highly recommend reading the comments to the article I linked to. They contains some pretty good condensations of why so-called 'new atheism' is important, and I think these comments represent a shift in consciousness. More people are speaking out against religion. Thanks Bill Maher!)

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The Cosmos at War .... what

The Cosmos at War .... what an idiotic idea ....


Cpt_pineapple
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Will you stop assuming it's

Will you stop assuming it's because of fear?

 

1) I don't really know why, but the more I learn, the more I want to believe. I guess you could call it an argument from incredibility but whatever.

 

2) I'm the center of the universe.

 

 

 

 


Hambydammit
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Quote:Will you stop assuming

Quote:
Will you stop assuming it's because of fear?

hambydammit wrote:
1. What is so scary about a universe without any god(s)?  Addendum:  If it's not fear, then what is it that makes it so difficult for you to contemplate?

Will you stop assuming I'm assuming anything?

Quote:
1) I don't really know why, but the more I learn, the more I want to believe. I guess you could call it an argument from incredibility but whatever.

That has contributed zero to the conversation, but thanks for trying.  The thing is, you've just successfully explained that it's very emotional because it's very emotional.

Quote:
2) I'm the center of the universe.

Honetsly, you might be onto something here, but I'm not betting on you getting past the defensive sarcasm to ever know if it's true or not.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:Will

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Will you stop assuming it's because of fear?

hambydammit wrote:
1. What is so scary about a universe without any god(s)?  Addendum:  If it's not fear, then what is it that makes it so difficult for you to contemplate?

Will you stop assuming I'm assuming anything?

 

 

 

 

The reason I'm in snarky bitch mode is that you ask why the universe is 'scary'.

 

You may open to the possibility it isn't fear in this little addendum, but the original question was that I thought the universe was 'scary' without a God and ergo I was 'desperate to believe in one.' Which was the initial assumption that it's because of fear.

 

Quote:

Quote:
1) I don't really know why, but the more I learn, the more I want to believe. I guess you could call it an argument from incredibility but whatever.

That has contributed zero to the conversation, but thanks for trying.  The thing is, you've just successfully explained that it's very emotional because it's very emotional.

Quote:
2) I'm the center of the universe.

Honetsly, you might be onto something here, but I'm not betting on you getting past the defensive sarcasm to ever know if it's true or not.

 

 

Or maybe my contemplating a universe without God just leaves me just wondering. I don't like not knowing things, not being able to figure stuff out.

 

So I don't know, maybe I just want to believe to get answers. I highly doubt that if I were atheist, anything would really change, except I would just be wondering.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:So I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
So I don't know, maybe I just want to believe to get answers. I highly doubt that if I were atheist, anything would really change, except I would just be wondering.

Wouldn't it infinitely more amazing and inspiring to search for the real answers, whatever they may be?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I have zero doubt, that I AM

I have zero doubt, that I AM GOD ... and who doubts they are not god too?


Cpt_pineapple
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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
So I don't know, maybe I just want to believe to get answers. I highly doubt that if I were atheist, anything would really change, except I would just be wondering.

Wouldn't it infinitely more amazing and inspiring to search for the real answers, whatever they may be?

 

Nope, would rather disregard all rational thought in favour of my teddy bear like God.


Hambydammit
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Quote:Nope, would rather

Quote:
Nope, would rather disregard all rational thought in favour of my teddy bear like God.

You sure do like all or nothings, don't you?  In all honesty, I humbly beg your forgiveness for the phrasing of my earlier question in which I insinuated that fear must be your motivator.  Pardon me for not correcting the error faster than my very next post.  (Hmm... that was sarcasm... sorry...)

So Pineapple, what's your decision?  Is the notion of a god just a convoluting teddy bear that makes it easier for your brain to stop wondering (Why you would want to stop wondering is a mystery to me.  It's what makes my life interesting.)  or is it a theory on par with string theory?

(Sorry for thread hopping, but you're pretty much saying the same thing in both threads.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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