Since my living arrangements have changed over the last 2 months, for those of you that do not know I have moved back in with my parents due to my ma's cancer coming back to help take care of them.  Out of respect to my ma I take her to church because that seems to help her.  As I sit and listen to the sermon...well some of it when I am sitting there I usually get up go out in the lobby because I get tired of the lies that the preacher preaches.  But as I sat there today I was wondering is religion natural or unnatural?  Now the religious people would say of course it is because everyone craves spirituality.  They may ask didn't you crave it when you were a kid but I would reply with yeah but I was brainwashed into thinking there was a god, jesus, resurrection and so on and so on.  I see religion as not being natural because you have to teach children to be christians whereas to be a atheist does not have to be taught.  It makes sense to me....what do you fellow atheists think?

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I support your view that religion is unnatural,  especially when one considers that the major predictor of religion is geography.  It is learned from your social 'tribe'.  As to "everyone craves spirituality" argument I would disagree; everyone does not, look at the headlines.  If everyone craved spirituality, we would probably all be buddhists (certainly not christians or muslims!).  Besides, when you were a kid, you weren't craving spirituality, you were craving acceptance and approval, especially of loved ones.  You accepted what your authority figures told you was true.  Interestingly, a large number of atheists came to a nonbelief in the supernatural through thinking for themselves and rejecting what they were taught, because there was a total lack of evidence.  If they had not been 'brainwashed' as kids, but taught instead to be critical thinkers, very, very few would have become christians and how much more smoothly would the transition into independent adulthood have been.

Nelson

I read somewhere years ago that RELIGION and PATRIOTISM are part parcel of this same survival mechanism.

Maybe there is hope we can evolve beyond these destructive traits.

Does it really matter if its natural or not? I don't understand why so many people believe that "natural" equals "good".  Something that is natural is something that occurs in nature.  Explosive diarrhea occurs in nature. Therefore, it is natural. I don't think anyone would ever describe explosive diarrhea as a good thing.  There are thousands of natural things that aren't good or beneficial. 
And that isn't even getting into the bit about everything being natural. After all, we have no evidence for the supernatural and everything in our universe came about via natural processes. Lots of cranes, no skyhooks.
the reason I bring this up being a gay man I keep gettin bombard with homosexuality is unnatural well I would ask them if christianity or religion is natural...that's why I bring it up
Homosexuality is natural as it occurs in nature.

The first humans did not worship a god of any kind.  Animism was the religion of hunters and gatherers, that, and they worshiped their ancestors who passed on information of food and water sources.  Their religion was completely naturalistic. When we moved to horticultural societies there were beliefs in ghosts of ancestors, but again, there was no real god or god-like figure.

 

I would contend that religion in general is based on fear.  In early Hindu societies, the entire social structure was based on the caste system ruled by Brahmans, or priests.  They shaped the entire society and all of its social relationships.  People followed the rules of their caste because they believed they would move up the social ladder in the next life.  If they disobeyed the priests, they could move down.  Of course we know how fear plays a role in Christianity.  I get the "what if you're wrong" question quite often...

 

I think it is natural for humans to be curious, ask questions, and seek information.  For most people, Christianity answers questions of how they were created, how they are to live, and what is going to happen to them when they die.  Having answers to these questions takes away those fears.  Is it natural?  No.  The only natural elements are the curiosity and the fear.  The rest is a brilliant hoax.

I always hated going to church.  Every Sunday morning would be a struggle between my parents and me to get me out of bed.  Now if religion is natural, why was I so unwilling to go and participate in it?  Religion is just another way to control people.

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