Is Religion Designed To Hold Us Back?

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posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 





Maybe I am wrong and the human race is still for the most part an ignorant superstitious race that can’t learn from its mistakes. Is it in our nature to hold ourselves back or is it religion that holds us back. I tend to think it is religion.


Isn't it obvious that the human race isn't capable of learning from it's mistakes?

Religion is the only thing that's kept us from killing ourselves off already.




posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 


Incorrect. Fear of not dying scares us more than dying. For instance, fear of living forever in flaming pits? Yeah. That's not religion, that's good ol' fashioned politics.
edit on 17-11-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





Fear of not dying scares us more than dying.


If that's the case, we would have killed ourselves off a long time ago, so you just proved my point.

edit on 17-11-2012 by Deetermined because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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In order to ask these kinds of questions it's important to go back to the roots of religion and see how and why they were so important in the past.

I believe that religions started as a way to ensure that the methods of plant harvest, community organization, mental well being and infrastructure stayed intact from generation to generation. In the distant past when most religions got their beginnings, these things had to be handed down by word of mouth. The people had to come together in a constant scheduled way to ensure that these methods were burned into the brains of the upcoming generations. Books were unreliable over time and the chances of the words being lost in translation were good. "The way" had to be part of every day life in order to benefit the future generations.

I am sure that so many of the pasts advances in technology and what not have been lost because of an inability to share them with the future. The people of the past were well aware of this and had to go to great lengths to hand them down in a way that left them totally intact.

Looking at it this way, one can see that modern man has forgotten the whole point of religion. Parents don't teach their children much at all about these kinds of things. Most of a child's education comes from outside sources and families don't even have close to the kind of control over the future generations that they used to have. Much of the harves techniques, cooking and storing practices, community and social practices, building techniques and medicinal knowledge have all been set aside as cherished family heirlooms. All of these things were lost around the same time that religion ceased to be the binding factor between generations.

My fear in all of this is that some of these practices will be lost forever. In this day in age, it would be smart for people to see how religion benefitted us in the past and come to the realization that all religions have the same roots. It is only the name of God that has defined the differences from one to the other. We need to realize that someones interpretation of God and Heaven are no reason to criticize. Religion needs to be known as what is was in the beginning, a way to translate good stewarding practices to the future generations without depending on physical tools to aid in the education and interpretation of these practices.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:13 AM
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religion attempts to answer the big questions like what happens when we die and how did we get here

then they made lots of rules

I don't think there is any nefarious design tho



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:20 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 



I think that if the world could discard religion we would be much better off without it. Is religion itself designed to hold us back? It’s just hard for me to except that people are so willfully deluded.


So, given the chance to take away someone's sense of meaning and purpose in life, undermine their hopes and dreams, and send them spiraling into a tangle of happenstance and odds, you would do it?

WHat if they became depressed? What if they killed themselves? Is that worth it to you?

Sometimes, you gotta wonder who's worse: the guy who believes in the Toothfairy, or the guy who's willing to ruin that guy's dreams just so he can be right. Is your ego more powerful than your compassion?



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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Hello, I was born into Catholicism , but like 20% of the population nowadays I think I don't go to church or really have religion in my life. I was an agnostic like you for a really long time leaving my mind open to the possibility instead of closing it. I listened to a lot of music that all I can say was had hatred for religion like they were trying to kill it or gather cult members. I am a spiritual person, not really belonging to any religions but believing in something.

Religion to me always seemed to preach love and understanding. I know some problems might have arisen because of it, but it looks like it tries to make people into a better person by installing moral s . Jesus , if you want to focus on that religion, said I will be your savior. Or in another words save you. I try to imagine what the world must've been like in the middle ages and before, and just because we are in the technological age now I think people still need religion.

Science as a religion doesn't answer all the questions. Evolution is probably often misunderstood as an absolute truth than more of a freak of nature. I asked a question awhile ago to some people what came first the chicken or the egg and some people said it was probably an evolution of something close to a chicken that layer the egg. My point was that some planets have no life and where did life originate from, a chicken or an egg what was first. With all the thousands of different kinds of life on this planet to think that DNA kept mutating in survival of the fittest in evolution doesn't make a lot of sense. And the big bang theory is just stupid.

Why are we here why is anything here when we could just have 2 Dimensional white paper for a universe or existence? All in a perfect equilibrium 24 hours in a day 365 days in a year , winter summer spring and fall. Walking around on this ball of dirt you can't help but feel blessed or chosen. And I was walking around in the mall and saw this guy in a wheelchair his head was turned and his body was conforming like he was trying to be in a really uncomfortable pose and drooling. You should stand back and look at all we have to be thankful for and great full for. We have a mind and perception and reason and we are not crippled with mental retardation or crippled in other ways.
I know from "the outside" looking at religion you could say we found out that the world was nt created in seven days through science. And try to find contradictions or problems with the text of religion. Nowadays we are further than we have ever been living in the future the other day someone said there was 2 billion people in 1920 and now we have 7 billion. Our technology is amazing, and if some people want to stick to old traditions maybe you should just let it be instead of going warlike with them on the Internet. For each his own. I don't think too many bad things will happen because of religion anymore and I don't think it is holding us back.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by 1NEO001
 


I can explain how I see my perspective in spiritual studies, but it sounds really similar to the stuff that Christians and Catholics keep saying - "Have faith" and all that. It's not like that. In Christianity and Catholicism, you learn to trust by default. You learn to automatically interpret mysteries as simply being "God's will". From my point of view, you're blind up to the point that you learn the science branches and various areas of research that give you all the different threads and needles for weaving together a physical representation of what religion is all about.

Essentially, you're blind until you learn how all of science fits together to support spirituality. Until then, it's either you have faith or you don't. I'm getting pretty close to the mark, but there's still a few things missing.

Not to mention that there's how something CAN be used, and how something IS used. There's a huge difference.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by Grimpachi
 

Dear Grimpachi,

I hope you'll allow me to explain my position as honestly and openly as I know how.

For me, it starts with the New Testament. What historians and scientists have told us is that, by their analysis, we can be pretty sure we have the words that were originally written. One way they do that is by checking the copies. If 100 people copy from the original writing, the parts that are the same in all the copies can be safely assumed to be in the original.

By an analysis of style, it has been concluded that four different people wrote the Gospels. Four people writing about events will give you a more complete picture than just one.

The idea that this was written as fiction has been pretty well ruled out. That kind of "realistic" fiction, including all the mundane details, hadn't been invented yet. It's nearly impossible that four people would invent it at the same time, then it would be unused as a writing style for centuries. Besides, fiction means inventing things, things that didn't happen or didn't exist. The people who saw these letters were in a perfect position to say "That's not what happened," and some writings were set aside as not legitimate. But not the ones we have today.

I could go on, but the final result for me is that the New Testament has more evidence for it's authenticity than not, and I want my thoughts and beliefs to line up with the truth. The New Testament is the basis for Christianity, so, here I am.



try and remember that 'christianity' really started with the roman catholics. The new testament is a roman edited version of the gospels (stories - and not even all of them) written by other people interpreting Christ's metaphors.

modern christianty is largely the result of an imperial (roman) manipulation of a set of stories about an amazing human who was just trying to show us an example of a way to God. The Romans made Jesus a God and then twisted his words such that we (later generations) would worship a human before God. Once we were worshiping a human it was easy to install still more humans as 'the voice of God' thru whom we could reach this fictitious concept of human made God.

completely missing the point: finding God.

*shaking head*

i could say so much more here, but won't. I'll leave u with this thought, tho: It is possible to make a very complicated data rich sentence false by changing just one word.




Tool to control the masses? To do what? Christianity teaches me to love my neighbor and my God. It has provided me with a book of inspiration and doesn't push conformity in my life. I won't attack anyone over their beliefs. True, some will, but you're talking about getting rid of religion, not getting rid of people who fail to live up to their religion. (Of course, for Christians, that's all of us.) If the religion was controlling me to kill unbelievers or infidels, then, yeah, I'd have the same problem you do. But it doesn't.



but it can be interpreted in such a way and further jealous humans fight and kill to be 'right'.

Crusades much?
Inquisition much?

just sayin'




Perhaps, it is just media reports, but I don't see Islam as "playing well with others." Nothing in my reading indicates that they would tolerate a community of a million average Americans or Jews or Atheists in their midst.



Most humans fear strangeness. Any majority community is likely to 'hate' the minority community. The reasons presented are merely excuses for a response seated in fear. No one likes to have doubts cast on their belief system.

you seem to be a nice person, Charles, and so you interpret the christian scriptures in that light. Others are not so nice and interpret the very same words differently and act accordingly.

ultimately, any recipe that has aged into dogma does not serve: it restricts.

yet God exists and change happens and humans 'grow' and thru it all mostly blindly express that change.

"forgive them, for they know not what they do"



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by Grimpachi
reply to post by charles1952
 


When I was responding to you what I took from your post is that you were under the assumption that I believed a person would need to lack intelligence to believe in religion.



intelligence and faith are frequently at odds. Particularly when we define intelligence as 'complicated thought' and faith as 'complicated feeling'.

remember Yoda's advice: "trust your feelings". this is basically faith because many feelings are simply "unknowable".

and there is a very big difference between believing in God and believing in Religion. The one is transcendental and the other copypasta. the one dynamic and ever changing, the other static and dogmatic.

i believe that this is why very intelligent people frequently dismiss religion and therefore God. Religion is so obviously false in so many ways: this cannot be ignored by the mindful. The intelegent must do their own research, investigate both history and personal experience and ask many questions: both of science and of metaphysics. They must find their own answers and make their own choices.

this is difficult, scary and usually painful.

so the intelligent fall back on science and the materially measurable, finding solace in equations and logical thought. They follow an existential path, believing only in the cold equation deterministicly carrying out it's algorithm. Finding further solace in the idea that 'meaning' is made up: a personal choice.

so cold.

Unforgettably, God is not yet measurable and the only 'evidence' lies in human experience, an ultimately subjective experience. Not so measurable, that is.

Humans believe in God because God exists.

Our *ideas* around what that actually is and the jealousy with which we defend those ideas is what fails.

fails hard.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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I remember a lyric of KMFDM " something something and man is god" . If we were made in his image. We are so far advanced to all the other forms of life on this planet, to think it might have been an accident. The OP says he is not an aetheist, but to all the other aetheists on this thread what exactly do you think happened....... I mean how did life start and why are we here. I used to read pages and pages of aetheists here bash religion in the name of science or something else and what exactly do you believe........... In nothing . Empty space above us and a universe with no other life?



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:58 AM
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Current science does not always provide satisfying causal answers for people, though it usually provides satisfying mechanical answers. Insofar as the creation of the universe is concerned, this is still the case. The Big Bang is a nice mechanical model explaining how things came to be from near the point of the Big Bang onward. It does not attempt to model or explain anything prior to the explosion, and admittedly (at least at the time of this post) still cannot explain the entire timeline all the way back to the singularity. We can get extremely close, but not all the way. While it is in a sense satisfying to know that once "the whole universe was in a hot, dense state," the theory offers next to nothing about why it is like that in the first place. God fills that causal gap for some people, and religion makes God approachable. It codifies the approach and presents a process by which people can interact with an entity so immense that it seems implausible something so small as one of us could interact with it. I am not religious, but I understand why people are, and I do not fault them for that.

What the religious take on faith is indeed speculation, but sometimes speculation is satisfying and can be healthy. It's also true that speculation can lead one down a path of obsession and unhealthy behavior. The Christians have a fun little phrase: "Ye shall know them by their fruits." It's true, and it applies to everyone, including them. While some have been warmongers and oppressors, others have been true to better angels of their faiths and have been exceedingly kind to man. It's not hard to differentiate between them -- by their actions they differentiate themselves for me. Religion in some cases offers kindness and warmth that science cannot offer, and people enjoy that comfort. I do not begrudge them of that either.

I don't think any of the classical, major religions started explicitly as hoodwinks (though I do think more modern religions such as Scientology did). This is just so say that the sweeping statement of religions being designed to hold us back is in my opinion incorrect, and the notion that we've somehow attained enough scientific understanding to resolve the questions that cause religion to arise in the first place seems naive. Early religions evolved more so than they were created -- like bdelloids, they picked up pieces of stray DNA along the way and turned into something all together different than they started out. It's clear that not all of those myriad pieces were positive additions. I think it's also worth noting that science has not been a total walk in the park for humanity either, does not always operate in the interests of humanity, and often lacks the heart to know when to stop. Did the Franciscan monks build a nuclear bomb? Did Mother Teresa create sarin gas? This is just to say that a little perspective is in order. There are pros and cons to everything and everyone. It's easy to judge people when we think solely of our strengths and their weaknesses -- harder when both sides are considered in totality. It's also easy to forget that despite the fact that we have many answers, we do not have all the answers, and that not all human brains will react to that emptiness in the same way. If science wants to end religion, then science will have to sufficiently answer more of the bigger questions than it currently answers. And while I sincerely hope we get there, we just aren't there yet.
edit on 20121117 by trope because: Removed stray word.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Charles thank you for your patience but I have an answer for you. There was something you said that was bothering me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it last night but it dawned on me today.

First you are holding one religion up above others to be true which I do not. To me they are all stories and nothing more some better than others but all are a work of fiction. When you said:




That kind of "realistic" fiction, including all the mundane details, hadn't been invented yet.


It threw me off. I have never heard anyone use this as reasoning for religion to be true. Am I to assume you also believe in the other Gods Poseidon, Mercury, Horus, or even the older ones? Most of the stories in the bible are versions of older stories that have been borrowed from. Jesus was not the first one written about that rose from the dead healed the sick or that was born to a virgin. I would have to disagree about mankind has not been capable of such fiction in that time I would say they have been very good at it. Storyteller in that time was a profession if I am not mistaken. Let me digress for a moment here.

Much of your post deals with Christianity and you hold that belief above others. I have been to countries where Christianity is demonized much like Islam is here the same arguments can be made against either side. Like how can Christianity allow for weapons and bomb factories or merchants of death all the way to capitalism itself. There are serious flaws in every religion I have encountered. Most religions claim to bring people together unless you question them then you are demonized.

I find that it is ridicules that people are dying and killing over stories in a book from all sides especially when we trace 90% of them back they originate from the same point. They divide humanity and are used to control us. Just look at the last election how many people didn’t like that one guy because they consider him as Muslim you need to follow the other guy he is a Christian never mind that his religion branches off in another direction. It is all madness to me.

Moving on to my original post about how religion is holding us back. How about this guy who said:


“God's word is true. I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.

cnsnews.com...
OR


James Inhofe Says the Bible Refutes Climate Change

www.rightwingwatch.org...
That was this year. How can anyone deny that religion is not holding us back? These guys are congressman and one sat on the science board. THE SCIENCE BOARD.

Keep in mind if climate change is real and as a human race it is ignored because of thousand year old stories then our destruction which is prophesied becomes self-fulfilling and it will have nothing to do with Gods will it will be mans.

All sides wish the other sides religion would disappear and no side is ready to give it up. All sides make about as much sense in which they do not make sense. Religion stopped serving a purpose as soon as it started holding us back which was a long time ago.



I understand people are afraid of what happens to them after they die but it’s not a bad thing to face that realization. I went through it myself. The saying about they’re no atheists on the battlefield is absolutely false. I equate it to how people want to have themselves embalmed and buried to me I just do not understand it. Why would I care what happens to my body after I am dead? Aside from respect is it really going to matter in a million years? There are many things that haven’t been explained in our time and religion does not explain them but it there are many in religions that do not want them explained.


edit on 17-11-2012 by Grimpachi because: add



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


I see that you completely ignored my post. You know, the one about depriving people of their hope, joy, and meaning in this life, just for the sake of being right?

Yeah. Maybe you should give it a look.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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Yeah , what about my two posts.


I don't think religion is holding us back, many who follow these religions are good people.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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Religion wasn't designed to hold us back,but was it mainpulated to hold us back? Yes.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by trope
I don't think any of the classical, major religions started explicitly as hoodwinks (though I do think more modern religions such as Scientology did). This is just so say that the sweeping statement of religions being designed to hold us back is in my opinion incorrect, and the notion that we've somehow attained enough scientific understanding to resolve the questions that cause religion to arise in the first place seems naive. Early religions evolved more so than they were created -- like bdelloids, they picked up pieces of stray DNA along the way and turned into something all together different than they started out. It's clear that not all of those myriad pieces were positive additions. I think it's also worth noting that science has not been a total walk in the park for humanity either, does not always operate in the interests of humanity, and often lacks the heart to know when to stop. Did the Franciscan monks build a nuclear bomb? Did Mother Teresa create sarin gas? This is just to say that a little perspective is in order. There are pros and cons to everything and everyone. It's easy to judge people when we think solely of our strengths and their weaknesses -- harder when both sides are considered in totality. It's also easy to forget that despite the fact that we have many answers, we do not have all the answers, and that not all human brains will react to that emptiness in the same way. If science wants to end religion, then science will have to sufficiently answer more of the bigger questions than it currently answers. And while I sincerely hope we get there, we just aren't there yet.
edit on 20121117 by trope because: Removed stray word.


very nicely said.

and while i do not disagree, i'd like to add a few thoughts:

In my opinion, not only does science not have all the answers, many of the accepted ones are incorrect and lead to misleading conclusions. These answers are based upon a few important assumptions. Some of these are false.

for example :

the universe is , on average, homogeneous. If this assumption were not true, then most of the math we use to describe said universe would be invalid.

The primary force acting on celestial objects is gravity. This assumption leads to the nessesary idea of dark matter and dark energy: both pretty obviously a stretch to accommodate a basic assumption that is incorrect.

energetic exchange is mediated by particles. this leads to the search for the "God" particle: the Higgs.


and some *very* important questions remaining to be answered (aside from the whole God thing):

what is mass and gravity? Our best definition is a precisely carved block. and being able to predict forces in a gravity field (thank you Newton et all) with math is not the same as knowing what give rise to that force. We do not understand Gravity: that's a big deal.

what is inertia? Why do objects wish to stay still when still and stay moving when moving: no clue.

whats with the dual particle/wave nature of energy? Why does it change? is it really changing? We believe that somehow our observation changes its nature: this is incorrect.

what is entropy?

Changes in our understanding of these fundamental forces will drive huge changes in science when they occur, leading to a brand new set of 'conclusions'.

but at least science changes.


Religion becomes quickly dogmatic and violently defended leading to all sorts of human suffering. Religion touches us deeper than anything and so the responses are so much more heated, so much more bloody. But for those who can find their God, their deep hearted meaning, life is transformed: made wonderous.

in my opinion, God is reasonable, and therefore, ideas describing God that are *not* reasonable must be discarded. Yet the experience of God is fundementaly unreasonable (as are all emotions and may desires) and can not be 'known' so when a 'thing' cannot be proven logically false then it must considered, even tho it may not also be proven logically true.

ultimatly, God can only be known by the heart and the logical mind must let go of it's need to *know* and trust those feelings. yet logic error checks and must not be ignored.

i wish i could go into more detail.....



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 

Honestly, it's not ourselves or religion holding us back.

It's the world; the universe. It's the physical and mental restrictions.

Ignorance would exist without religion or belief in the supernatural. It's the nature of this existence. We cannot know everything or have total power. This is true for us, at least.

Of course, these limits change as we gain knowledge and good/bad fortune presents itself. As a result, some of the oppressive weight is lifted. It has been happening for billions of years.

Every time the weight is lifted slightly, we live longer - on average - by a commensurate amount. One can see this simply by acknowledge how we've eliminated diseases and certain challenges.

Watch this:
Religion and/or spiritualism is in our genetics. 90% of people in America believe in God. I believe that it's instinctive to do this. I think that religion then actually helps us, or at least it did in the past. Some people say it relieves tension in the mind, others say it answers tricky questions. But I think what evolution has to say is the most credible. Evolution says "Belief in God works."

My intuition tells me that belief in a higher power is primordial or at least ancient in origins. So I am admitting that I think other lifeforms on earth probably exhibit the same habit.

Thus, to not believe in God or express a dogmatic form of faith, one is being revolutionary. It's like a fish coming out of the sea or a bird entering the edges of earth's atmosphere. It's unnatural, but not artificial. It requires extraordinary effort and stubborness and good fortune for these things.

For every fish that walks on land there're a billion thousand dead fish on the shore....

Being an agnostic or atheist may not be as extreme, but it's somewhat comparable. Realistically, fish didn't suddenly in droves decide to walk on land. It happened slowly over tens-thousands generations. They acquired traits piece by piece that add up to culminate in resting on the beach.
edit on 17-11-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I am not ignoring your post but wait your turn. I had a conversation going with Charles long before you posted. If you check that reply I had to edit it which should cover your question.

Let me ask you this since your post was in reference to the tooth fairy. Did it kill you to find out it wasn’t real how about Santa Clause? Are you ok with the fact people are killed each day in the name of religion or that our future may depend us moving past these fairytales and if we do not our very existence is threatened?

Edit to add


To answer your post about fundamentalism I have no idea how much it would hold me personally back but as a nation can you deny that it hasn’t held us back?
edit on 17-11-2012 by Grimpachi because: add



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 



Did it kill you to find out it wasn’t real how about Santa Clause?


Good question. I'm glad you asked.

I wasn't distraught over the revelation - because it wasn't a revelation. I was in bed and my mother says, "You know the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus aren't real, right?"

My response was, "Yep." Nothing more was said on the subject. They knew I wasn't an idiot. And really, I didn't care. Even if Santa Claus wasn't real, I was still getting presents. Who cares who it comes from?

And in relation to religion, even if they find out "God" isn't real, that doesn't mean there aren't cosmic powers to take care of us, should we learn how to use them. It just won't have the same name or face anymore.


Are you ok with the fact people are killed each day in the name of religion or that our future may depend us moving past these fairytales and if we do not our very existence is threatened?


That's why I advocate change in religion, not the abolishing of religion.


To answer your post about fundamentalism I have no idea how much it would hold me personally back but as a nation can you deny that it hasn’t held us back?


I don't deny that. However, should you scrap the entire car because the tires are going bald?
edit on 17-11-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)





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