What positives do religions have that you think we need?
Probably "community," "togetherness" and coming together to sing songs and play out rituals, or some other idiotic things like that. I hear this a lot lately, that atheists need more of a coherent community and whatnot. Next thing you know they'll say we need priests and popes to govern our thoughts and collect tithes.
"Next thing you know they'll say we need priests"
I see no correlation. Much if not most of human social interaction has its history in religion. Now that we're dismissing the religious bit, we are also, unfortunately, losing much of the social aspects. What's wrong with singing songs and playing out rituals - as long as it's "playing".
Sign me up. No God nor authority need be involved - not even FSM.
Atheism already has some saints. Case in point: Christopher Hitchens, though I can't help but notice that he has been quoted less frequently since his anti-peacenik remarks have been talked about.
A second Saint Christopher, you say? He does sort of meet the criteria, but I think he would HATE any such insinuation. Yes he was a bit quick on the draw for me, but always against total authority, from a political or religious basis; it didn't seem to matter. One thing I found odd about him (based on my limited search) is that he had little to say about global warming, except maybe that it is already too late to do anything about it.
The greatest part of religion is it's ability to propagate itself. Just imagine if we could get a corona virus of memes about reducing our carbon footprint to spread and take hold as well as religious meme do. Problem solved in no time.
I believe that we are members of a social species, and religion is a tremendous way for us to interact socially. Social interaction has many benefits, too many to list here. I would go so far as to propose an anti-theistic religion, as one option.
@Steve - anti-theism is no basis for a religion. Saying "fuck you" to a whole sector of society on an organized basis - is not something to base a spiritual organization around. It's supposed to be all about positivity, togetherness, bridge-building, cooperation and education.
Well, religion is the wrong word to be using, and I wish I knew the right one. With that out of the way, it is a big challenge. As Sam Harris talks about in his book "The Moral Landscape", it is a mountainous terrain, and sometimes you have to climb down a mountain, before you can climb up a higher mountain. I propose the same is true for society. It was just one option, quickly proposed. :)
Simon, how would starting a non-theistic religion be saying "fuck you" to anybody? I understand how some might see it that way, but that is not what it would be at all.
Steve said an anti-theistic religion, which is pretty much a contradiction in terms, since religion should be inclusive as one of its basic principles. Non-theistic works fine, as we can see with Buddhism.