Originally posted by Perfect Fifth
The fact that people in many different organized religions throughout history have done bad things is not proof that organized religion is flawed,
it's proof that people are flawed.
Or it could indicate that organised religion is man made;man has never worshipped anything but himself and that:
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" (Blaise Pascal)
There always seems to be a minority of people, like you mention, who make for dramatic stories and headlines because they abuse organized
religion and/or do things exactly opposed to their beliefs.
I think the original post was more about whether organised religion just exists as a mechanism to control the masses and if it has always been
diametericaly opposed to rational freethinking and liberty.
Heres what some presidents of the United States have had to say about it:
“In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return
for protection to his own.”
"Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption,all of which facilitate the execution of mischeivious projects"
"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause." George
“Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if
there were no religion in it.’”
Those beliefs created codes of morals and behavior that keep human kind from plunging into total barbary.
This is a popular misconception espoused through religious propaganda.
Moral integrity is a human attribute and in no way a religious one.
Are you honestly saying that before organised religion came along no-one was compassionate,benevolent,empathic and kind ?
Its utter nonsense to suggest this as it is tanatamount to saying anyone from the civilsations of ancient China and Sumeria never heard of or
displayed these positive (human) values.
If anything life under the rule of organised religion has the most lacking in these virtues:
"When the churches literally ruled society, the human drama encompassed: (a) slavery;(b) the cruel subjection of women;[c] the most savage forms
of legal punishment; (d) the absurd belief that kings ruled by divine right; (e) the daily imposition of physical abuse; (f) cold heartlessness for
the sufferings of the poor; as well as (g) assorted pogroms ('ethnic cleansing' wars) between rival religions, capital punishment for literally
hundreds of offenses, and countless other daily imposed moral outrages. . . . It was the free-thinking, challenging work by people of conscience, who
almost invariably had to defy the religious and political status quo of their times, that brought us out of such darkness." Steve Allen
Religion is not the problem. Some certain people are the problem.
I think religion is the problem as ,along with nationalism and political ideoogy, it acts as a major catalyst for most of the
feuding,bickering,squabbling,bigotry,prejudice,violence,bloodshed and warfare that occurs in the world today.
Perhaps its precisely because organised religion inherently promotes delusions of grandeur in its acolytes (via cult logic) that it has such a
divisive effect on society.
Conditioning and indoctrinating members of a specific religious sect/cult with the beleif that they are somehow more
special/saved/holy/chosen/superior to other human beings seems very irresponsible to me and has direct corellations with other deluded supremacist
Here are some other refreshingly honest quotes by prominent free-thinkers about organised religion being adverse to liberty and cruely sociopathic in
its treatment of 'inferior non beleivers' but ,perhaps the most telling is the last one:
"There is in every village a torch-the teacher:and an extinguisher-the clergyman"
"You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward
the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has
been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as
organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world."
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. -Anais Nin
“All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and
enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise....During almost fifteen centuries has the legal
establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and
servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the
H. L. Mencken
[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]