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Atheism - The Final Frontier

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posted on Jul, 6 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by korathin
reply to post by confreak
 


Atheism isn't really anything new and is more likely the "last frontier" before a society self destructs. Time and time again atheist's are only able to poke their head out when a civilization is on the verge of death.


Funny how in general the best countries of the world (most developed, happiest people, best quality of life, more equal distribution of wealth, etc.) are also the most atheistic ones (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, etc.). It's the exact opposite with highly religious countries.. poverty, constant state of war, terrorism, society at the verge of collapsing (African continent, Middle East, USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.)
edit on 6-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 05:16 AM
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Originally posted by thetruthseeker789
You cannot completely live in a world without some sort of belief. You need something beyond explanation to prove that world isn't as simple as it looks


You don't have to automatically leap to 'oh there must be an invisible supernatural sky being that governs us from another world and decides whether we are good enough to go a utopia heaven' though.







It looks like you are projecting your own qualities on those who are opposing you


MegaByte, Randy does NOTHING but project. Its pretty funny really, after you get over the frustration. lol



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by daskakik
Could be because people realize how beliefs have been used to control them and when those in power loose this control they get taken down. That's a good thing if you ask me.


Yes, causing the bloodthirsty end of a civilization is certainly a good thing.


Originally posted by rhinoceros
Funny how in general the best countries of the world (most developed, happiest people, best quality of life, more equal distribution of wealth, etc.) are also the most atheistic ones (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, etc.). It's the exact opposite with highly religious countries.. poverty, constant state of war, terrorism, society at the verge of collapsing (African continent, Middle East, USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.)
edit on 6-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)


All the listed countries which you call "happy" are enjoying the benefit of a previously highly religious society. Atheism didn't bring forth the happiness and quality of life. Religiousity did, and atheism is merely squandering the ripe fruits of it. Again, as I said, Atheism is a consequence of a society of abundance. A consequence, not its cause. Anyone who has studied the process of rise and fall of civlizations and its known stages (Conquest, Commerce, Science, Reason) understands this.

Middle East was quite peaceful until Europeans (and now USA) started meddling there. Iraq had first-world levels of society until USA started to sanction everything from scientific materials to baby diapers. Afghanistan and Iran were also reasonably successful countries even by skewed western standards. They hate Israel, and Israel hates them but they don't really hate each other. They may dislike each other, but they don't hate each other. You misunderstand what terrorism is about. They don't "hate you for your freedoms" (I use 'you' because I am Brazilian and we happen to have good relations with them). That's political propaganda. They hate you because you don't leave them alone. Every single terrorist group came into existence as a response to a foreign invasion, including Al-Qaeda.

And the African continent was reasonably peaceful until Europeans started meddling there. That the Europeans decided to cut the African continent in pieces to share among them, and did such without taking into consideration ancient tribal rivalries and decided to force native tribes that have hated each other for millenia to live together in a "country" as if their decision could erase millenias of grudges instantaneously was not only stupid, but criminal.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn

Originally posted by daskakik
Could be because people realize how beliefs have been used to control them and when those in power loose this control they get taken down. That's a good thing if you ask me.


Yes, causing the bloodthirsty end of a civilization is certainly a good thing.


Or it could be the end of a blood thirsty civilization. In any case, obtaining freedom is usually a bloody affair. Would be nice if it could be done another way. Of course you could avoid the bloodshed and remain a slave.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
All the listed countries which you call "happy" are enjoying the benefit of a previously highly religious society. Atheism didn't bring forth the happiness and quality of life. Religiousity did, and atheism is merely squandering the ripe fruits of it. Again, as I said, Atheism is a consequence of a society of abundance. A consequence, not its cause. Anyone who has studied the process of rise and fall of civlizations and its known stages (Conquest,
Commerce, Science, Reason) understands this.

What was stated and to what I replied: "Atheism isn't really anything new and is more likely the "last frontier" before a society self destructs." My example shows atheism leaning states are the ones that are doing the best, while the religious countries are the ones suffering. So, it seems atheism is not "the last step" before self destruction. To the contrary for some reason better societies have high rates of atheism. Maybe it's because people have better education? I don't know. Either way collapse doesn't seem imminent.

Are you claiming reason leads to fall of society? Are you equating atheism with reason (if yes, well done)? I'm pretty sure most empires have fallen because of war, not reason. Maybe you'll show otherwise? Also your claim that religion leads to happiness and better quality of life. Care to back up this up? Also explain how come the religious Arab world is so much worse than the not so religious Europe. Why aren't they collecting the ripe fruits? After all they've been way more religious continuously for some 1000 years now..



edit on 7-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2011 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn

Originally posted by daskakik
Yes, causing the bloodthirsty end of a civilization is certainly a good thing.


Or it could be the end of a blood thirsty civilization. In any case, obtaining freedom is usually a bloody affair. Would be nice if it could be done another way. Of course you could avoid the bloodshed and remain a slave.


All civilizations are blood thirsty. The first path to forming a civilization is called Age of Conquest. The American Natives might want to have a word with you regarding the way your civilization started. There is no beginning of a civilization without first exterminating those that were there before. The questions are whether what you will obtain trully is freedom, and whether you will be satisfied after you are done. The historical answered are no, and no.


Originally posted by rhinoceros
What was stated and to what I replied: "Atheism isn't really anything new and is more likely the "last frontier" before a society self destructs." My example shows atheism leaning states are the ones that are doing the best, while the religious countries are the ones suffering. So, it seems atheism is not "the last step" before self destruction. To the contrary for some reason better societies have high rates of atheism. Maybe it's because people have better education? I don't know. Either way collapse doesn't seem imminent.


Your example is incorrect. On the UN list of best countries to live there are both theist and atheist countries. My argument is that atheist countries have only become atheists recently, which is true, and they were already very well off before becoming increasingly atheists, which is also true, which leads to the very easy conclusion that their atheism had nothing to do with it. Quite the opposite, they're living on the cred of a previously successful and very religious society.

All of the religious countries that are "suffering" are not suffering because of their religion. They're suffering because of wars brought up to them by other countries. Afghanistan has been invaded no less than five times in the last two centuries, and has been constantly invaded in the course of its history. Research about "The Great Game" and you will understand why the country is so bad. Iraq had standards of living higher than some European countries before USA started its sanction wars against it. To give you an idea, they had universal healthcare with first-world level medical facilities, and they had free education all the way to college for anyone who wanted. Anyone, including women. Do you call this doing bad? Suffering? Their suffering is not brought upon them by their religion. Their suffering is brought upon them by the Western Civilization.

Atheism is not the "last" step before the fall of the civlization. I never said it, another person said. I said that atheism is the result of a society of abundance, which is the opinion of people like Sir John Glubb, Will Durant and Arnold Toynbee. All of them historians specialized in the rise and fall of civlizations.



Are you claiming reason leads to fall of society? Are you equating atheism with reason (if yes, well done)? I'm pretty sure most empires have fallen because of war, not reason. Maybe you'll show otherwise? Also your claim that religion leads to happiness and better quality of life. Care to back up this up? Also explain how come the religious Arab world is so much worse than the not so religious Europe. Why aren't they collecting the ripe fruits? After all they've been way more religious continuously for some 1000 years now..


In order:

1. The reasons for the fall of society is a lack of an immediate threat to its survival, lack of future ideal for a society and abundance. The Age of Reason is considered to be the last age of any civilization because it needs the results of the previously three ages to be able to happen and produces no goal that ties the society together. You need the lands and natural resources obtained during age of conquest, the money and manufacturing power obtained during the age of commerce, and you need the advances that ease the lives of everyone obtained during the age of science. The result is a society that has an abundance of everything that they might need, and no immediate threat to spend such resources on. Only in such society people can afford to "reason", and is only in such society that atheism can flourish. However, the lack of a reason to remain a coese society means that it will slowly erode and eventually, end.

2. Atheism and reason are as equal as water and oil. Neither mix with the other.

3. All empires have fallen because of war, either internal or external because the first age of any civilization is the age of conquest. Such empires fell to give place to new empires, and the new empires started by conquering the old empire.

4. I never claimed that religion leads to happiness and better life. Religion is an important factor keeping the society coese during its first three stages by working as a moral compass, and I quoted Will Durant in that no society has so far managed to keep itself moral after abandoning the religion it was built upon.

5. The religious Arab world is much worse than the European world for a multitude of reasons. I suggest Gums, Germs and Steel as a good start to understand the importance that natural resources play on the success of a society, and why Europe was so far ahead than anyone. After that, you might want to consider researching about The Great Game, as well as about all the wars that the Western Civilization (mainly Russia, Great Britain and USA) has waged against those countries since the 19th century, destroying their infraestructure and preventing their development.

6. The "not so religious" Europe, as you say it, has not been "not so religious" for long enough. Again, atheism is riding on the richness provided by a previously religious civilization. It takes three to four generations before the effects of such a civilization change can be felt. A human generation is historically considered to be 20-25 years, so you will be seeing the effects of atheism only 20 to 50 years or so from now.
edit on 9/7/2011 by Leahn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
Your example is incorrect. On the UN list of best countries to live there are both theist and atheist countries. My argument is that atheist countries have only become atheists recently, which is true, and they were already very well off before becoming increasingly atheists, which is also true, which leads to the very easy conclusion that their atheism had nothing to do with it. Quite the opposite, they're living on the cred of a previously successful and very religious society.

Actually, that's not true. E.g. Finland was one of the poorest countries in Europe until the 1960s..



posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


According to official statistics, almost 80% of Finland is Lutheran. Also, Finland was not "poor" in the 60's. It was an agrarian country with low GDP, which is fine. We're discussing quality of life here, not GDP.

I, however, fail to see your point. Finland is hardly a secular country. How does that support your position?



posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
reply to post by rhinoceros
 


According to official statistics, almost 80% of Finland is Lutheran. Also, Finland was not "poor" in the 60's. It was an agrarian country with low GDP, which is fine. We're discussing quality of life here, not GDP.

I, however, fail to see your point. Finland is hardly a secular country. How does that support your position?


Almost 80% of Finns belong to the Lutheran church, but only 1/3 Finns believes into a God. Far fewer believe into a personal God as taught by Christianity. Not even the Lutheran priests (vast majority of them) believe into biblical creation, virgin birth, or any other Bible tale. Some priests happily bless gay couples, and we also got transgender priests and all that stuff. We do have a few redneck sects that e.g. deny evolution, but they make less than 1% of the population. So you see, belonging to a church here is in general a tradition, but not statement of faith. Finland is very much a secular country, even thou she has a state church.

Also, what do you know about Finland in the 1960's? As I said before, up until 1960's Finland was one of the poorest countries in Europe, and e.g. average life expectancy was less than 60 years. It was especially the young who died back then due to tuberculosis and other diseases, as vaccination programs did not yet exist. Finland became an industrialized country largely due to war debt that had to be paid for Soviet Union in all kinds of machinery, and it was this that transitioned Finland into a prosperous country. So no, it was not thanks to religion that Finland got where it's today.



posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
All civilizations are blood thirsty. The first path to forming a civilization is called Age of Conquest. The American Natives might want to have a word with you regarding the way your civilization started. There is no beginning of a civilization without first exterminating those that were there before. The questions are whether what you will obtain trully is freedom, and whether you will be satisfied after you are done. The historical answered are no, and no.


Taking them down doesn't have to include bloodshed but it usually does.

You have proven my point. The Native Americans did shed the blood of the invaders in defense of their freedom. They lost but if they had won they would have seen it as a good thing. I stand by my original post.



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros
Almost 80% of Finns belong to the Lutheran church, but only 1/3 Finns believes into a God.


Incorrect. Official statistics as of 2005 say that only 16% of the Finns do not believe in a god. If you have updated statistics, I'd like to see them.



Far fewer believe into a personal God as taught by Christianity.


Official statistics as of 2005 say that 41% believe there is a God as taught by Christianity.



Not even the Lutheran priests (vast majority of them) believe into biblical creation, virgin birth, or any other Bible tale. Some priests happily bless gay couples, and we also got transgender priests and all that stuff.


Which is obvious since most of those ideas as exclusive to Catholicism and they're Lutherans.

Also, you seem to keep insisting on flawed statistics to try to make a point. Finland isn't a highly secular country, no matter how you want to spin it. You have at most 16% of an atheist population, and the rest is at least a little religious. You're trying to make a point that, if a person is not a fervorous religious person that goes to church everyday, then he must be considered a secular person. This is preposterous.



Also, what do you know about Finland in the 1960's? As I said before, up until 1960's Finland was one of the poorest countries in Europe, and e.g. average life expectancy was less than 60 years.


I know what is written on Encyclopedias and history books. You keep confusing "poor" with "low quality of life". They're two different things measured in different ways. "Poor" is a matter of GDP. You can't say that a country is poor because the average life expectancy is less than 60 years.



So no, it was not thanks to religion that Finland got where it's today.


Neither was thanks to atheism as you seem to insist on implying. What you fail to understand is that religion provides the necessary coese society where such conditions can happen and flourish. And atheism is a consequence of such conditions happening, not the cause.



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 06:47 AM
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Originally posted by daskakik
Taking them down doesn't have to include bloodshed but it usually does.

You have proven my point. The Native Americans did shed the blood of the invaders in defense of their freedom. They lost but if they had won they would have seen it as a good thing. I stand by my original post.


And you're saying that based on... what exactly? Since 100% of the conquests that happened in history so far involved bloodshed, what exactly is your argument to say that "it doesn't have to include it?" Wishful thinking?

The Native Americans did not "defend their freedom." There was never an interest on the Europeans of making captives.



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
And you're saying that based on... what exactly? Since 100% of the conquests that happened in history so far involved bloodshed, what exactly is your argument to say that "it doesn't have to include it?" Wishful thinking?


Just because things have been done a certain way doesn't mean it can't be done another way. Nixon was forced out of office without bloodshed, Zelaya in Honduras would be another example. The egyption revolution only caused 384 deaths not without bloodshed but almost nothing compared to examples of the past.


The Native Americans did not "defend their freedom." There was never an interest on the Europeans of making captives.


Really? First of all Native Americans were taken captives outside of the US but, as far as the the US goes, being killed or forced unto a reservation isn't loosing your freedoms? What were Sitting Bull and Geronimo on about?


edit on 12-7-2011 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by Leahn
Also, you seem to keep insisting on flawed statistics to try to make a point. Finland isn't a highly secular country, no matter how you want to spin it. You have at most 16% of an atheist population, and the rest is at least a little religious. You're trying to make a point that, if a person is not a fervorous religious person that goes to church everyday, then he must be considered a secular person. This is preposterous.

I was looking at statistics from some free thinkers website, which granted is not the most trustworthy source for this info. According to a survey the church conducted in 2007 (probably not the most trustworthy source either), 37% believe in God as taught by (Finnish) Christianity (e.g. don't question factuality of the big bang or evolution or believe stories about global floods or something like that), 27% believe in something, 19% don't know (agnostic), 6% doubt (weak atheists), and 11% deny the existence of God. In contrast to your claim of 84% of Finns being at least a little religious, according to this survey that number is 64%. If you provide criteria for what makes a secular country, we can further discuss whether Finland is such, or not.



I know what is written on Encyclopedias and history books. You keep confusing "poor" with "low quality of life". They're two different things measured in different ways. "Poor" is a matter of GDP. You can't say that a country is poor because the average life expectancy is less than 60 years.

How about you provide the criteria by which we judge a country, as you've rejected the ones I've put forth: poverty, average life expectancy and child mortality.



Neither was thanks to atheism as you seem to insist on implying. What you fail to understand is that religion provides the necessary coese society where such conditions can happen and flourish. And atheism is a consequence of such conditions happening, not the cause.

I've done no such thing. Instead, I've questioned the claim that atheism is the final step before society collapses, as in general it seems that the more atheistic states are the ones where people are the happiest, and these countries seem to do much better than the more religious countries in basically everything (if the claim was valid these nations should be collapsing instead of kicking the rest of the world's ass). You on the other hand claimed that it's thanks to religion that these countries got where they are, but that's all you've done. Claimed.
edit on 12-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros
I was looking at statistics from some free thinkers website, (...) 37% believe in God (...) 27% believe in something, 19% don't know (agnostic), 6% doubt (weak atheists), and 11% deny the existence of God.


I see no reason to doubt the website, given that I am not prone to genetic fallacies and it is pretty much in line with the statistics I previously gave. I had statistics from 2005 pointing to 41% believing in God, and your website has statistics from 2007 pointing to 37%, and I had statistics pointing to 16% atheists and yours say 17%, which is pretty much in line with the present European trend of becoming increasingly secular. It is also telling that it completely debunked your previous claim that only a third believed in a god and even less believed in the Christian God.

Now, the point is basically what they mean by the 19% "I don't know". Since agnosticism precludes neither theism nor atheism, as agnosticism is about knowledge, not about belief, and theist agnosticism is already covered by the 27% "believe in something", but atheist agnosticism is already covered by the 6% "doubt", I don't really know what to make of these 19%. They're not atheists, and they don't appear to be theists either. It is quite possible that they are actually a mix of a members of both sides that confused knowledge with belief and answered accordingly. So, you have something between 64% to 83% of people that are at least a bit religious. Even in the worst scenario, it certainly doesn't look like a "highly secular" country, with only 17% of its population being secular.



How about you provide the criteria by which we judge a country, as you've rejected the ones I've put forth: poverty, average life expectancy and child mortality.


I didn't reject your criteria. I am fine with it. I am just pointing out that "poor" is a matter of GDP, not of average life expectancy.



I've done no such thing. Instead, I've questioned the claim that atheism is the final step before society collapses, as in general it seems that the more atheistic states are the ones where people are the happiest, and these countries seem to do much better than the more religious countries in basically everything (if the claim was valid these nations should be collapsing instead of kicking the rest of the world's ass).


According to you, and all the Encyclopedias, Finland had its burst of development in the 60's right? Now, do you have the statistics for religious belief during the 60's? For the 70's? And the statistics for when the country started to become secular? I really have to go now, but if you can't find those statistics, I will see if I can find them tomorrow.

If I am correct, the statistics should show a nearly total absence of atheism on Finland until at least one generation (20-25 years) after it ended its greatest development cycle and then a steady increase.

And I never claimed that "atheism is a final step before society colapses". Another person said it. I merely pointed out that atheism is a result of a society of abundance, which is a claim made by Sir John Glubb, Arnold Toynbee and other historians that specialized in the rise and fall of Civilizations.



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by daskakik
Just because things have been done a certain way doesn't mean it can't be done another way. Nixon was forced out of office without bloodshed, Zelaya in Honduras would be another example. The egyption revolution only caused 384 deaths not without bloodshed but almost nothing compared to examples of the past.


None of those examples were "the end of a civilization." It is a false analogy. Again, I ask for your evidence for claiming that it can be done in another way under the light of the evidence that 100% of the times it happened in the past, it was done with bloodshed. Your argument is wishful thinking.


Really? First of all Native Americans were taken captives outside of the US but, as far as the the US goes, being killed or forced unto a reservation isn't loosing your freedoms? What were Sitting Bull and Geronimo on about?


Being killed isn't "losing your freedom." You're dead. You're neither free nor a prisoner. Native Americans were fighting for survival, not for freedom.



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
None of those examples were "the end of a civilization." It is a false analogy. Again, I ask for your evidence for claiming that it can be done in another way under the light of the evidence that 100% of the times it happened in the past, it was done with bloodshed. Your argument is wishful thinking.


Who said anything about the end of civilization? I said taking down those in power. You're the one all over the place with conquests and massive bloodsheds.


Being killed isn't "losing your freedom." You're dead. You're neither free nor a prisoner. Native Americans were fighting for survival, not for freedom.


Being killed because you oppose being pushed off your land and forced into a reservation is a fight for your freedom. Freedom is much more than just not being chained or locked up.


edit on 12-7-2011 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:55 AM
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Originally posted by daskakik
Who said anything about the end of civilization? I said taking down those in power. You're the one all over the place with conquests and massive bloodsheds.


Err... everyone? My comment you replied to was "Yes, causing the bloodthirsty end of a civilization is certainly a good thing." The original comment by korathin you replied to was "Atheism isn't really anything new and is more likely the "last frontier" before a society self destructs. Time and time again atheist's are only able to poke their head out when a civilization is on the verge of death." What do you mean no one said anything about the end of civilization?



Being killed because you oppose being pushed off your land and forced into a reservation is a fight for your freedom. Freedom is much more than just not being chained or locked up.


I think the dictionary defines freedom pretty much as "not being chained or locked up." What else do you believe it to mean?



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


So, according to you, the civilization is bloodthirsty but it wasn't in the post I replied to and I didn't use it in my reply. I said taking down those in power is a good thing. It doesn't have to be bloody and the examples I posted show just that.

Freedom is more than just not being captive. Freedom


2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
9. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference



edit on 13-7-2011 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Leahn
atheism is the result of a society of abundance...


Conversely, religion is the result of a society filled with poverty, dispair, disease, malnutrition, lack of education, laws to enrich the wealthy, forced labour and so on...

The argument works both ways.



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