Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Religion Bashing

A lot of decent progressives get really bent out of shape by aggressive atheism. So much that they tend to blurt out ridiculous things. For instance, I'm sure that some of them would have a knee-jerk reaction to this post, and wouldn't be able to resist smugly telling me that my obsessive hatred of religion said more about me than it did about the religious. I was obviously unwittingly playing the part of the fanatical atheist to a tee. For some reason, daily criticisms of capitalism, imperialism or any of my other usual targets wouldn't elicit such a response from them.

Look folks, religious myths were stories that we used to explain our lives before we knew any better. Nowadays, the way that we interpret reality is through science. Imbeciles imagine that they're being clever when the point to how our faith in science bears a [superficial] resemblance to faith in religion. They also gleefully point to the shortcomings of science and scientists as if this somehow, some way, in some bizarre, inexplicable fashion, validates incoherent religious myths.

We start off as infants incapable of comprehending the autonomous existence of other sentient beings. Then, at some point, we become aware of our parents and attribute to them almost god-like abilities and importance.  Let me point out that the errors of the latter view in no way mean that we should return to the former worldview.

I think that will do for the dismissal of glib defenses of religion for now. What about the good that religion supposedly does? It provides some comfort to believers to the extent that it gives them any sense of understanding and control over a confusing, very often painful existence. Of course, to the extent that it makes people fearful for their lives or their imaginary eternal souls at the hands of jealous, wrathful gods, it provides discomfort. To the extent that following the dictates of the imaginary enlightenment of religion fails to pay-out as promised, to that extent does it provide discomfort instead of comfort. To the extent  that it perpetuates belief in obviously idiotic, nonsensical things, to that extent is it a negative, rather than a positive.

I liked something I wrote in that infamous thread from EnMasse, wherein the clueless dolts who attempted to defend religion stammered all the nonsensical arguments I just trashed above. With regards to the way some religions have been able to incorporate obvious realities into their portrait of the world, I wrote:
4. Some people want to point out that religions have been quite adept at adapting to reality and permitting differences.

4a) This is because less and less people want to die for old myths.

4b) This is because religions are like some pathological liar who used to make grandiose claims about his knowledge and abilities but who has been forced, more and more, to admit that he's full of shit, often doesn't know what he's talking about and never could leap tall buildings in a single bound.
That's about it. The good it brings can be achieved in other ways and the evils it causes are insurmountable and inherent in the beast itself. It introduces an almost impenetrable belief in meaningless magic to one's opinions. It provides an armour behind which stupid beliefs can fester.

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