I was talking to a religious person the other day. They spoke with 100% confidence. Then I thought about how atheists, myself included, tiptoe around religious people. We don't want to offend them. It's the same feeling you get when talking about Santa Claus around kids.
I'm done with that. Religion is ridiculous. There is no god. I'm not even capitalizing the word anymore. There is no heaven.
The ONLY reason that anyone believes in these fictions is because of tradition and information being passed down through generations.
Think about this. If the history of religion was wiped from the face of this earth, and our current population had to figure out why we're here and what's going on, how much of it would we logically deduce down to the sorts of fables religion thrusts upon us?
We look back on the funny things in history, like the Greeks attributing everything to their specialized gods, and wonder how they could be so naive. Then we turn on the TV and see Obama and McCain talking about their FAITH. In this day and age, religion is a major factor in who runs our country.
Insanity. Sometimes I think about the fact that a HUGE chunk of our population actually believes that there's a man in the sky who is listening to their prayers and decides whether or not to grant these prayers based on a number of factors, including how often they pray for it.
This isn't an attack on religious people, by the way. Some of the smartest people I know are religious. Not all of them, not most of them, but some of them. The best way I can reconcile this is by saying that smart people can believe dumb things. No one thinks that anything they believe is dumb, but we can all think of things we USED to believe were dumb.
Everyone has incorrect beliefs, and always will. For some people it's the belief in religion. On one hand the whole thing is totally preposterous, but on the other hand there are certain families or communities where NOTHING is pushed as hard and confidently on a child as religion. Logic isn't always the number one determinant of belief, even if it should be.
I also wouldn't actually wish for religion to be erased from the Earth. I know that some people get a ton out of it. Some people need external moral compasses. Church can be a really good community, especially in a day and age where traditional communities are virtually non-existent.
I don't want to convince anyone to not be religious, either. Let people believe what they want.
All I'm saying is this: religious is ridiculous, but it's even more ridiculous to be quiet when Christians bring up their beliefs. Amen.
You sir, or correct. It seems like more and more people are finally noticing how stupid religion is.
Hopefully we can keep making progress in that direction.
I have to say this one a great blog. I agree with it in all areas except one. I don't believe that religion should exist at all. I think that it started off as nothing more than a way for human beings to attempt to find and comprehend the answers to questions that we may never know the answers to. Examples: Where did we come from?, Why are we here?, etc.
But some people have used it and manipulated and twisted it up so damn much that it serves to do nothing but control people and put power in the hands of a select few. Churches take in billions of dollars every year, pay no taxes, and always need a little more. As George Carlin said, when it comes to big major league bullshit you have to stand in awe of the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. Religion is nothing more than willful slavery. It supports blind submission to authority, it detaches humans from their natural world and each other, it reduces human responsibility to the effect that god controls everything and in turn awful crimes and senseless acts can be justified in the name of divine pursuit.
If religion is going to exist then i think that it should exist privately and most certainly be kept out of schools, and never force fed down peoples' throats like the way it is here.
Unfortunately i live in Georgia right in the middle of the god damned bible belt. So of course religion is everywhere, children are raised on it, and the way it works down here is like this. Either you go to church and believe in god and jesus and are accepted or you are seen as a horrible person and shunned by society. It doesn't matter how kind, friendly, and good you are to others. You will NOT be accepted.
However no one will ever say anything to your face. Only behind your back. And no one will ever acknowledge the fact that they are turning their backs on you. They won't invite you to things, they will find excuses to not hang out with you, all the while "praying" for you.
Just another perfect example of how religion detaches people from their own humanity.
It fucking disgusts me. I think that it should be a strictly personal subject, never brought up in school, and most of all it shouldn't be a factor that causes you to judge someone. For example, thats just as fucking stupid as not wanting to hang out with someone because they're black. End of story.
Honestly Tynan, I loved this post. I don't think it was alienating or anything like that. If your readers are truly interested in what you have to say then they will read ALL you have to say, not just pick and choose what they want to hear. At least that's how I feel about it.
I agree, religion is ridiculous. I grew up being southern Baptist and I've gone to church pretty much all my life up until I graduated high school. I didn't go to church when I moved away because I was slowly realizing how political it was, especially the church I went to.
Yes, church provides a place for communities to come together but it is also a huge place for people to show off and engage in status war. My old church was a hot bed for this status crap. It wasn't about religion or god or any of that. It was about who had what and who had this new house and how much are we overpaying the pastor this year. I hated it. I think the best thing that happened to that church was that it burned down (was is just an old electrical fire or did the Pastor commit arson?) But the church disolved after it burned down which was proof of how these people weren't here for god. They were only there for their own selfish purposes.
This is one of the main reasons why I'm in limbo with regards to religion now. Also because I took a Rise of Christianity class at UT this last semester which really opened my eyes to a lot of things. It really negated the Bible as a holy book for me. Revelation, for instance, isn't about the end of the world and Armageddon and all that crap. It was about the 1st revolt against Rome. All the 7 horsemen and 7 trumpets sounding and all that have concrete, real life, connections to Isreal's first revolt against Rome. Read the book "From Jesus to Christianity" by Michael White if you wanna know more. It was a very interesting class.
I commend you Tynan for writing this post. I'm sure it got a lot of people to think about their views. You may have lost some readers, but I think they were prolly just fair weather fans anyways.
P.S. Fix the archive page! There are some old posts I've got to read again!
hey, i love your post.
but i just have to ask, you honestly believe we came from rocks and gas colliding in space which then became monkeys and are now us. If there is no point to life, why live at all. And if we came from animals, how do we know what is right and what is wrong and where do we get our conscience from?
I just have to say, if i believe in god, and heaven, and a judgement day but there is none, i lose nothing, i just live a pure life, but if you believe there is no god, no heaven no judgement day, and there is, you lose everything.
There is a big flaw in your thinking here. Every people group in the history of the world has had a huge line of thinking that revolved around magic, supernatural events, religion, etc. You're assuming that most of the world is stupid and crazy. If you don't come up with a good explanation for all of these events (and psychosis is not a good explanation due to the vastness of the experience) than you're just being a bad scientist.
I believe in a higher power because I've had a myriad of experiences in my life that can't be chalked up to any conceivable simple and natural explanation. Why not all people have experiences like this I don't understand, but you're basically saying that about a fifth of the population are nuts. Not so.
However, the main problem with casting such simple minded explanation on complex realities like you do here is that people (and I mean no-one) don't understand how the vast majority of energy, power, and matter operates in the universe. For example, of the energy that is in our immediate environment for perception, that we know exists, between our 5 senses we only directly perceive less than 1% of what's there.
In addition to having vastly limited perceptual capabilities, of the information that we take in through the senses, we distort the information through the frame of our beliefs, attitudes, and predispositions. To say that it is not possible for a god to exist is to deny our fundamental misunderstanding of reality and to assume that our internal representations match what is actually there, which is, of course - a psychological misnomer.
You should know that if you are really a good pickup artist. I imagine you've studied NLP.
"the map is not the territory"
Anyways, the same goes for any religious group trying to say they have 'proof' that they have some sort of corner on truth. I just personally get tired of people assuming they're scientists and teaching truth when they understand as much about the nature of the universe as a cat understands about baking a cake.
p.s. a clarification, my view of the world isn't better or more true than yours, either, just to say that yours is superior to anyone's is a leap of logic that comes from unbridled ignorance.
Excellent post Tynan.
I agree 100%.
If you have a solid understanding of evolution and science, you cannot possibly believe that there is a Christian god or any sort of traditional god figure.
And if you don't understand evolution these days...yes, you are dumb.
Geez what a crappy post. They seem to be popping up more frequently than they used to.
Im not religious, but my parents are, and they certainly aint "dumb". Just because people believe in things you dont they are wrong. They may have incorrect believes they may not - who is anyone to decide?
One thing i have noticed is how happy it makes them and how there lives have become better for believing in God. and i know they arent the only ones, many peoples lives are changed for the better when they start believing in a religion, people start to find a meaning in there lifes and live there life better, more awesomly. which is only a positive thing to this world.
As vincent mentioned, stay away from topics like this and writing crappy posts about diddly squat. Tell us some interesting things and more stories etc.
Tynan, religion exists for a reason. If you wish to live a "godless" and vegetarian life, good for you. Let me know how that works out for you, doing things you were not designed to do.
On one side you say that u don't care and you want to clearly state that religion is bullshit but on the other side you state that you are fine with people believing in bullshit even if they affect your reality like politics. Imho you are too polite, you have the right to reject religion and i have no idea why religion is under such protection from criticism in these days,
Once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, there existed a species called homo sapiens. They had an enormous amount of processing power, an excellent ability to match patterns, and a level of consciousness and self awareness that had never existed before.
They understood many of the things they saw in the world, but others were mysteries. It wasn't that they couldn't process what was around them, but rather that they hadn't developed the context for it. Seeing giant bolts of lightning strike down from the sky must have been terrifying. Nothing in their experience could begin to explain such a thing.
If we can simplify a bit and say that scientists' jobs are to figure out all of the causes and effects, it could be said that we've always been scientists, albeit bad ones. Cave men started noticing correlations and assigned meaning to them. Maybe they saw a white bird, and the next day it rained. How could they know that the white bird didn't cause that rain?
Some phenomena didn't seem to have direct causes, or maybe sometimes the correlations spotted didn't line up anymore. It rained, but no one in the tribe saw a white bird. Searching for meaning, our ancestors imagined supernatural beings, and nonsense was born.
Hello Mr. Marshall!
I have been a reader of your blog for quite a while now, and I decided it's time to try to connect with you. I am very impressed by the quality of your blog posts and I enjoy reading them daily. And I am aware that you don't have much time for reading emails lately (which is good, people reach out to you and they should reach out. It is great that you offer yourself like this!), so I'll try to keep my first email brief.
I am starting to grow an interest in existentialism, religious and spiritual philosophy. Since I'm just starting this field I would like to start off with the right material, so I was wondering if you could recommend me some books or other material on these subjects?
Of course I completely understand if you don't have time for it, or if this email flies right into the trash folder - some things are not meant to be.
In any case, I wish you kind regards. S