Religion Endangers Humanity And Its Future.
Religion has been a factor for humans to deal with throughout history. The oldest written records contain evidence of religious belief. Genetic studies have recently been done that even suggest that religion evolved with humanity. Through all this time, religion has had its uses. It has a binding factor that allows subjugated people to band together against their oppressors (or against the forces of nature), and can be useful in distributing help to those who need it most. However, it currently hinders humanity more than it helps. Governments have replaced religious charity with social welfare, and democracy has eliminated the majority of the need to band together against an oppressor or nature. What is left for religion to do? The answer is a sad one: interfere with the progress of humanity, to the point where it endangers the future of humanity. Throughout history, religion has been the leading cause of slavery, subjugation, prejudice, war, and a negatively impactful force against the progress of education. For humanity to continue to survive, religion must be mitigated to have no control over vast swaths of people who simply don’t know any better.
Religion is the leading cause of subjugation in human history. The further back in time that is looked upon, the more of an impact religion had on the day. Until the end of the 1800's and the beginning of the 1900's, it was generally illegal for women to participate in the running of nations and religions(1). The root cause of this is the Christian and Moslem religions(to name but two of the culprits over the last thousand years) depicting women as one of two things: vile creatures that must be controlled to avoid hellfire and brimstone(2); or simply lesser creatures that must be cared for by males(3). At its most extreme, in North America in the 1800's, women were burned at the stake for merely the suggestion that they were witches who cast magics on unsuspecting and upstanding members of the community. Even now, the big religions generally bar women from participating at a managerial level(4); though women have to some extent penetrated the political barrier(5,6); and some religious institutions and breakaways from the central church authority now accept female participation at higher levels(7).
There is also a propensity for religion to cause or encourage discriminatory behaviours. If there is one thing that every religion has in common at its core, it is the idea that it is the one true religion, and that all others are lies at best. At worst, other religions are the manipulations of a super being of incredible evil that wishes to consume the world and all humanity. The Christians believe that only the Christians have the right idea, and the Moslems believe that only the Moslems have the right idea. This also incorporates the Jews, the Wiccans, the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses, the Scientologists, and more(8). All of these religions share the idea that they are the one and only true religion (though some of these religions may have a few followers whom are less devoted to scripture and hold the belief that every God in every religion is the same God by a different name, those people are vastly outnumbered by those who follow their religion devoutly). The result of this is that religions constantly come into conflict with other religions. Wars have sprung up based upon who’s god is the real god. An excellent example is the Crusades: a multi-century war (1095-1272) between three of the largest religious groups on in history (the Christians, Jews, and Moslems). Wars like this have occurred throughout history, and happen even today: as exemplified by the conflict between the extremist group Al Qaeda and the extremist nation of The United States of America; a conflict which has grown to include a significant proportion of the rest of the world.
Worst of all for the human species, however, is that religion has been a very common perpetrator in excusing extraordinarily bad management of the Earth and our lack of knowledge of it. For one example, a significant number of religious institutions and persons don’t accept that climate change is occurring. There has even been a published article that suggests more than 17,000 scientists stand against the idea climate change can or is controlled by humans, never minding the fact that the vast majority of the so-called "scientists" are anything but(9). The idea that a super being can control the Earth and its inhabitants to the point where the inhabitants cannot control the Earth themselves propagates among religious institutions. And if that isn’t enough, think tanks supported by churches and mosques spread the idea that the science of evolution is in crisis. Despite the fact that without the proven reality of evolution, medical technology would be nowhere near what it is today(10). Centuries ago these institutions suggested that the dinosaurs were fabricated, since God would never let one of its species die, and that message continues to this day(11). Today the offspring of those institutions fights the proven concepts of evolution and do their best to ensure that the global debate on climate change is as muddy as it could possibly be. Some even go so far as to say that the Earth is flat, ignoring solid science gathered against the idea over the past twenty five hundred plus years(12). The inevitable result of these activities is a fundamentally flawed view of the Earth by a significant proportion of the population. Many people literally believe that humanity is incapable of altering the Earth, and so business should continue as usual; despite proven science to the contrary. Many more people disbelieve evolution to the extent that they try to have it removed from educational programs, denying current and future students a chance at true understanding of the Earth and its life forms. These groups and groups like them will likely continue falsifying information until the day the last human dies from pollution overdose. Which is not to mention the near infinite number of dangers provided by our solar system alone, against which only an education and a solid basis in reality can a defense be provided.
While religion can be said to accomplish good things such as charity, it is not religion itself that accomplishes these things. It is the individuals that make up that religion, and make choices themselves, that truly accomplishes good things. With that and everything else in mind, it is clear that religion today no longer has a beneficial aspect to our species, and should be mitigated as efficiently, morally, and quickly as possible so that future generations of humans can exist.
(7) http://www.hartfordinstitute.org/ency/Ordination.htm : Brief history on women attaining status within various denominations of the Catholic Church and its offspring.
( 8 ) See religious texts; aka: Bible, Koran/Quran, etc.
Once-Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.