Religion in legislation is tyranny, and an enemy of democracy Religion claims moral authority not from some rational measure of its good, but by the coercive authority it believes is held in the powers of its deity. In essence, religion tells us: "My god is all-powerful, so you're lucky that whatever he makes you do is also in your best interests, and if you disagree then you're ignorant, sick or evil."
That's moral paternalism, which neither needs democracy nor, in the end, will it tolerate it. In fact, moral paternalism is only a short legislative step from tyranny.
If you want to keep democracy then you can't have religion making laws. The moment religion legislates on your behalf, it will legislate its belief in moral authority into law, and you'll see heresy become a felony, dissent become immorality, diversity become a sin, clergy set above the people, and you'll be living under the Taliban.
It's debatable how much benefit religion has in a modern society, but if has a social benefit then it's to inspire and not coerce, and that's why it must be kept separate from government.
If 'handle' includes PTSD, insanity, anguish and death then God is kind! Apparently a compassionate god can't cause you undue anguish, so any suffering must be your due!
Although superficially encouraging, this platitude denies anyone acknowledgement that their suffering is unjust. So rape, torture, murder, child abuse, negligent workplace injuries, contamination with industrial waste, deliberate infection with a life-threatening disease or a six year holiday at Abu Ghrab: you might be shocked to know that even if you haven't slept in six weeks and want to put your face in a blender, you can really handle it all! Bordering on fatalism, this argument seems to be the Christian version of 'suck it up, buttercup'.
My vote: STUPID.
Science debunks dogma; religion corrupts science To claim any authority at all, religion must make predictions and explanations about history, physics, geology, geography, biology, medicine, psychology, economics, and/or sociology -- all of which are now scientific domains.
The claims it makes tend to either be vague and therefore useless, or specific and subsequently debunked. Thus as science advances, religious authority retreats.
However, religion is jealous of its authority, so it tirelessly strives to perturb, corrupt, appropriate and undermine scientific discovery. Perhaps the most pernicious of these attempts is to insist it has a monopoly on morality -- while at the same time being so ignorant of cause and consequence it fumbles its moral pronouncements.
Religion and science aren't equals or even collaborators. Rather, religion is an archaic competitor striving to maintain relevance. Religion has produced scientists and still does, but nowadays less than 7% of the membership of the US Academy of Science are religious.
Why is that?
Religion needs ignorance to maintain its authority, while science needs knowledge to progress. History shows that moral development needs science, but not religion. So religion erodes while science grows, and this happens earliest among scientists.
Employer says 'no thanks' .
Employing staff -- even on a trial basis -- is expensive and risky. In many sites, being forced to employ every shortlisted candidate would be impractical because:
1. On-costs (security and reference checks, training, equipment, induction, administration) would be multiplied;
2. It may be impractical to divide the work among multiple candidates;
3. Some candidates may need to relocate -- all for a job they may not keep;
4. It is unfair for candidates to invest hours on a worksite that may not want them;
5. Poor probity: difficulty of keeping each candidate's identity anonymous;
6. Higher risks to reputation, customers and other employees from disgruntled or unsuitable staff; and
7. Long-term fit cannot always be ascertained through short-term workplace performance.
I'm also concerned about the potential stress and inequity in forcing multiple candidates to compete in the workplace for the one job. It sounds like the sort of hostile cruelty one sees on a reality TV show.
An interesting idea, but a strong 'no thanks' from this employer. :)
Anything you can do with religion, you can do without -- except live in bombastic metaphysical arrogance, or cringing superstitious fear.
There is no charitable human good religion can offer that cannot be offered through a secular institution. Religion has produced no beauty that cannot first be found in nature, human psychology, engineering or relationships. Religion offers no comfort beyond the comfort of self-delusion or the compassion of fellow man.
But religion has given humanity two distinctive gifts: an absolute and incontestible metaphysical excuse for intolerance, persecution, violence, mutilation, torture, murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide; and a cringing fear of intelligent and open-minded inquiry.
So, no need to embrace religion, and every reason to tone religion down.
Creation myths are cheap, ignorant and useless ...There are hundreds of creation myths in the world, each postulated by people who didn't understand biology, geology or genetics. The problem isn't just that creation myths are ignorant, inconsistent with facts (though they are) and lack evidence (though they do); they're also useless: they don't explain anything about human biology, diet, language, psychology or behaviour.
The benefit of an evolutionary model isn't just that it's the only model supported by a huge weight of evidence; it also predicts things about humans and primates that have been proven true. So it's not just a robust, well-supported explanation for human development; it's also the only useful one in a slew of useless, whimsical and factually unsupported stories.
Kids invent magic. In every culture, children invent fantasies to entertain themselves and explain things they don't understand. We note from study that the fantasies are typically fabricated from other things they know, and are full of fallacies.
Adult mythology is also composed of familiar ideas, and history and science show these to be full of fallacies too. All that changes is that while kids get over their fantasies, some adults take them seriously for the rest of their lives.
Religion is the pursuit of privilege via metaphysical claims The problem isn't debating metaphysics or morality; it's getting the religious to abandon their claims of privilege in the first place: privileged knowledge, privileged history, privileged morality, privileged metaphysical status.
Religious people who can honestly say "I have no special justification for my beliefs" have no difficulty at all in talking to atheists -- because atheism is simply the position that the religious have no special justification for their beliefs. :)
But it's hard for the religious to do that. Abandoning claims of privilege forsakes much of the motivation for faith. :p
In theocratically-influenced countries, atheism is sedition Historically and contemporaneously, atheism has been a crime whenever religious dissent is seen as an attack on political elites and/or the rule of law.
In pre-modern times, Atheism was often viewed as a heresy, and atheists were frequently persecuted or killed. Among those so persecuted were the philosophers Socrates and Anaxagors of ancient Greece, for example. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Etienne Dolet and Guilio Cesare Vanini were both strangled and killed under charges of atheism.
A 2009 survey showed that atheists are the most hated demographic in Brazil; atheists are under-represented in US Congress (and very few feel free to admit their beliefs), and there are laws in seven US states (including Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi and North Carolina) preventing atheists from holding public office.
In many Muslim countries, atheists who were former Muslims are guilty of apostasy and can be subject to life imprisonment or death. This is true in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia, UAE, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In some countries, atheism is not recognised as a legal status, and atheists must declare the religion they 'belong' to.
So yes, atheism is and has been at times, a crime. Whether it should be is of course another matter.
Satire and parody are critical in opposing hypocrisy and false claims of authority Religion is not just a belief system. It's also a claim of intellectual and moral authority over what others should believe, how they should act, how they should be treated, what laws should be in place, and how they should be enforced. So religious doctrine and religious lobbying can persecute, oppress, and create and perpetrate injustice.
Mockery of religion is critical for the same reason mockery of politics is: being forced to respect the arrogant, tyrannous, malignant and fatuous gives it power.