Sunday, 10 June 2007

Negligent Beliefs

In the course of thinking about my views as an atheist, I realised that I needed to actually quantify and qualify the reasons for my beliefs; in particular, why I believe that religion is ultimately a bad thing for humanity.

All the reasons I could think of relate to how a person makes decisions. Given that a decision made now affects the future, it is essential to have a sound premise from which to base the decision; to do otherwise is total folly.

  1. Religion prevents adherents from seeing the world as it really is, by presenting a palatable fiction for those who are incapable of dealing with reality. In addition, religious leaders make extensive use of scare tactics and perceived threats—both veiled and overt—in order to obtain compliance.

  2. It is immoral to present the views commonly espoused in religion as the 'truth' with which people are to make critical judgements and decisions that have real-world consequences, especially because the 'truth' in the claims has not been—indeed, cannot be—firmly established.

  3. Religion discourages critical thinking. This blind acceptance, or faith, is a matter of course in indoctrinating adherents.

  4. Religions are inconsistent with each other: there are many religious belief systems which present radically different viewpoints and histories. Claims by each group of exclusive knowledge of the 'truth' can only be divisive.

  5. Religion is inflexible: when a view which contradicts religious belief is found to be correct, adherents feel personally threatened, and this leads to denial, retreat and self-deception.

  6. Religious leaders are free to arbitrarily change their dogmas. Take for example the Catholic Church's abolition of the concept of limbo. Science is not free to make such arbitrary reversals.

Now, when the world is facing many crises (such as climate change, deforestation, depletion of fish stocks, disease, and general poverty), our discourse must be rational and logical decisions must be made. Religion leads us away from these things by inducing delusions of safety. We must use reason if we are to truly advance humanitarian, social and environmental causes.


Blogger BEAST said...

Well. The Vatican Church just has to "think about it", so to speak, and presto! Thy will be done.

Its the same thing with the "Mary shoots up to the sky" dogma. It wasn't even written in the bible, but it got into the official dogma list just the same.

(P.s: Any news regarding the wacky church group??)

9 July 2007 at 8:28 pm  
Blogger E. N. Heath said...

Unfortunately, not yet: I've been incredibly busy lately. Hopefully I'll get a chance soon.

12 July 2007 at 2:17 pm  

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