Why I am not religious

Weston Bortner
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Why I am not religious

I view religion as simply as a byproduct of culture. I think that it is an emotional and psychological crutch that people use to give reason to their lives, a reason to be good, and a reason to be relieved from the pointlessness of being mortal.

I view religion as being something that it useful for a number of people, but that it is unnecessary. I think that all of the feelings that you can experience in a religion, you can experience in an atheist way of life. I also think that the evidence of religious belief is not very strong, but that's not what I want to discuss here. What I want to discuss is the fact that there is nothing in religion that cannot be felt by an Atheist. There may be no objective reason to do anything, but that doesn't bother most of us. A subjective reason, is better than no reason. Here are some common positive things said about religion.

1. Religion gives purpose:

I personally believe that it is ultimately up to the person who asks "Why am I here" to answer his/her own question. Why are you here? To be a loving father? To cure cancer? To be a teacher? To do nothing? I ultimately cannot tell you the ultimate purpose, because I do not know the ultimate purpose. I think there isn't one. So we have to give our lives a purpose. It may be subjective and it may not be everlasting, but a purpose that is small is still a purpose.

2. Religion teaches you to cherish your neighbor.

Perhaps it does. But this was something that was being taught before Christianity. Buddhism was teaching it, I believe. So whether or not Buddhism (which I'm not entirely sure is a religion or not) influenced Christianity is not really relevant, as the idea that we should treat people with respect and virtue seems to be an idea that was floating around and found its way into spiritual beliefs.

3. Religion provides hope:

This is one of the things that religions hold over atheism.  If you're an atheist, what hope do you have? What can you hope for? I think this goes back to #1. I know that when I have children I will hope that they live healthy lives. When I make a donation to charity, I hope that it will feed some mouths. When I aid a person on the street, I hope that there lives are a little better because someone came to help. When I die, I hope that the human race will find a way to defeat hate, heal the sick and starved, fix the economy and environment, and make the most of our dear planet, who's time is finite.

4. Religion teaches morality:

I think religion, poets, and artists romanticized morality into it is necessary not only to not kill, but to, instead, cherist the person and love them. I think this would have happened without religion. I think that we would have those people, like poets, like artists, who would have taught the reason to love and be virtuous without the aid of religion. I do not know this as a fact, and perhaps you might call it faith, but it is faith in humanity, and not the supernatural.

To quote Christopher Hitchens:

"Is there anybody who would wish to challenge me?"

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.

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Why am I here?

 I live because I love to, and that's enough for me.

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Where do you get off saying

Where do you get off saying religion teaches morality?

It certainly teaches that it(insert label here) has a monopoly on morality, which it does not.

The reality is that labels are not inventors of morality and morality is a product of an ever changing evolution and all humans are capable of the same range of human actions both good and bad.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under Brian James Rational Poet, @Brianrrs37 on Twitter and my blog at www.brianjamesrationalpoet.blog

Weston Bortner
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Brian37 wrote:Where do you

Brian37 wrote:

Where do you get off saying religion teaches morality?

You misunderstand. I was refuting a claim that Christians make. I wasn't implying that they do.

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.

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It's clear to me (at least)

It's clear to me (at least) that religions evolved from the erroneous conclusions, and fear by primitive thinkers trying to make sense of the world.

The meme that has it's origins in prehistoric man was that of 'animating' into a form of 'life' that which was not idle.

To primitive man, beasts 'growled', and so did thunder. So, thunder must be 'alive'. To primitive man, the sky must have seemed 'alive' like a monster, and prone to anger and aggression when it turned black, or that some invisible monster was expressing itself by manipulating the skies.

Volcanoes , lightning storms, and tornados would be close to the ulimate 'monster' phenomena.

I think the originators of religion were clever opportunists who seized the opportunity to create legends from the hypothesis' of what might be behind these phenomena to convince people that these powerful monsters were angry because of what they were seeing.

It's not difficult to see how 'boogey man' legends would have been imagined plausible, and could cause people to be paralyzed in fear.




I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris

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A ruse

 Caring for others is a natural event. You don't have to be a homo sapien to care for another living being. I see it in animals. My wife loves to collect animals that have are on "death row" at animal shelters. I have lost count over the years. But I do get to see their behaviors and some of the cats and dogs become very close and affectionate with each other. They are all neutered. We had one cat who was quite sick. The other smaller cat would lay almost on top of him during this time. He did recover. We have had a few dogs become great pals. I am sure if you have had animals you have seen it.

 Another trait that I watched in having kids is they at first don't realize how  hitting someone else can hurt until corrected and especially when they get hit themselves. I believe that is how sympathy develops. There have been some studies of people who have no sympathy (criminals) and a part of the brain responsible for caring is undeveloped or underdeveloped. So my point is god is not required for love and care for others. Religion can and has justified killing your neighbor. The vile behaviors and instructions in the bible show its morality is murky at best. Its' worst moral instruction is the shedding of innocent blood is required to obtain forgiveness. That is entirely repugnant. I can see no scientific evidence to justify such a tradition. Hope? Hope in a fairy tale? So ignorance is bliss? This one I think is responsible for some pretty bad shit. The 9/11 terrorist had hope that in attacking the great satan they would get 72 virgins (raisins) in heaven. As Christopher Hitchens says as long as there is fear of the death, fear of the dark and fear of each other, religion will always exist. That is why it exists, the other reasons are a ruse.  


Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.


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i agree with you

i have similar views reguarding organized religion,  i find myself getting worked up when i hear some of the groups out there trying to do some crazy things but i think that religion does give hope to some and that some folks need religion cause if they didnt have it they would be criminals.. but there are plenty of criminals in religion..