Freethought NOW!

No world peace while religion exists

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An old photo of planes dropping bombs, over the photo in cursive font is the title "no world peace while religion exists"
It is very unlikely that there will ever be real peace in the world as long as religion exists.

Religion by its very nature is confrontational and contentious, dividing the “ins” from the “outs,” the “we” from the “they,” and the “saved” from the “damned” in arbitrary ways that require an unquestioning faith. And there are several other qualities of religion that make it inimical to peace.

For one thing, major religions today insist that divinity is male. No supreme mother symbol, no hint of female sexuality is allowed. The absurdity of this belief is emphasized by the simultaneous notion that this manlike God has no physical body, which means “he” is without any of the kind of genitalia or hormones that define maleness. “His” (nonphysical) form is also seen as exclusively human, a dead giveaway of the fact that God is strictly man-created, a glorification of man’s self-image and egotistical dreams of constant praise, power and authority.

For another thing, religion tends to divide the world into warring factions: the in-group versus everyone else, the saved versus the damned. It caters to the human desire for special significance in a universe that is quite obviously indifferent to what humans think of it, one way or another. It condemns the nonbeliever to that concept of ultimate sadism, hell, and likewise to earthly horrors typified by crusades, holocausts, pogroms, inquisitions, holy wars, shunnings, witch hunts, condemnations, physical and social punishments, and intolerance of every conceivable kind. Religion says, basically, “If you don’t believe what I believe, then you are devilishly deluded, and my God declares you evil and worthless; he orders your persecution.” This is the basic attitude of fundamentalists everywhere.

Throughout history, religion has enabled men to put down women and subject them to truly horrendous forms of abuse. It has enabled “civilized” conquerors to wipe out whole populations of “pagan” tribes throughout the world. It has attacked and robbed and enslaved, rather than enlightened. Indeed, knowledge is religion’s traditional enemy. Knowing the truth behind natural or social phenomena almost always contradicts the tenets of faith. Even in a scientifically enlightened age, religion still insists on belief in the patently unbelievable.

Religious leaders forbid their congregants to engage in discussions with nonbelievers, on pain of invoking God’s nastiest forms of displeasure. There is a quite justifiable fear that such discussions might lead to rational doubts and serious questioning of creedal improbabilities. Religions can’t abide research; that’s why they insist on being taken “on faith” and never investigated.

For these and many related reasons, it seems clear that the world will never be mentally or emotionally free — or at peace — until religion has disappeared and been replaced by real knowledge, genuine sympathies, and true heartfelt humanity that respects all of our fellow creatures.

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4 Responses

  1. “Religious leaders forbid their congregants to engage in discussions with nonbelievers, on pain of invoking God’s nastiest forms of displeasure. There is a quite justifiable fear that such discussions might lead to rational doubts and serious questioning of creedal improbabilities. Religions can’t abide research; that’s why they insist on being taken “on faith” and never investigated.” I wish Ms Walker had started this by saying many or most. Unitarians actively encourage discussions and search for truth, and do not invoke a supreme being’s displeasure. Since Unitarians anre not dogmatic, they are also frequently dismissed as not being a “real” religion. I do agree that great harm is done in the name of religion, and am a proud supporter of the FFRF.

  2. RE: “. . . it seems clear that the world will never be mentally or emotionally free — or at peace — until religion has disappeared and been replaced by real knowledge . . .”
    👍👍I totally agree, but tribal humankind seems incapable of EVER accomplishing that.

  3. Apologies to anyone who thinks my prior post is frivolous. But the whole idea of assigning gender to a single omnipotent “supreme being” is so utterly ridiculous that I can’t help poking fun at it. At least the Greeks, among others, had multiple gods and goddesses, real cut-ups, the lot of them.

  4. The insistence of religion on assigning sex to their god or gods has always been laughable, especially in the context of the Judeo-Christian tradition. While there have been plenty of goddesses proclaimed throughout history, Ms. Walker is obviously right that on balance religion is heavily patriarchal, and it’s almost always “He” or “Him” that is in charge.

    We are to understand that humans are made in “His” image, which means that “He” therefore resembles a male human, so where does that lead us? Well, one thing I’ve always wondered is, what use does Jehovah have for a penis? I mean, surely “He” doesn’t need to use it for its primary daily purpose, that of facilitating urination. As for procreation, apparently “He” didn’t need to “deflower” the Virgin Mary in order to get her with Jesus, so apparently genitalia not needed for that purpose either… OK, I give up. Can someone enlighten me (pun intended)? Surely the so-very-holy Catholic Church has issued some clarification on this point? No?

    Perhaps “He” doesn’t actually have a penis after all. Has anyone ever asked god what “His” pronouns are? I think it may be overdue.

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