Originally I was a non-practicing Catholic.  Then a very devout Catholic; then a Evangelical Protestant; now an atheist.  Why this progression?  Influences from family and others, problems in marriage and life in general, study, and world events. 

Presently, I see religion (all religion) causing division, hate, killings, wars.  I see an "us and them" mentality.  I see "My god is better than your god; therefor I will wipe you off the face of the earth."  And not just of late, but dating way back when the Israelites slaughtered idol worshippers by thousands. Now ISIS calls them infidels.  Same thing.

I think of the Crusades--one even ordered by a Pope; the witch hunts, the everlasting struggle between Jews and Arabs, and Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews.  (Hitler was a Catholic, never excommunicated by the Church.

And so, I have come to the conclusion that religion is bad for the world.  And couldn't possibly be true, considering all the diverse religions preaching contrary "truths."

I am at peace with my conclusions.

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I think Madelyn that you have reached the correct conclusion. While religion can be beneficial to some people, it is obsolete and no longer required by mankind.

Have you read Christopher Hitchens’ book; “God is not Great, How religion poisons everything”?

Religion only "causes" divisions when the people make the choice to let it. It is mankind's decision - both individually and collectively to let that happen fueled by a need for power and control. Religion causes nothing. Our actions do.
Belle, that's a tough-as-nails reply, but tough love can sometimes be just right.

No. Not when an essential part of the religion is repeating that yours is the only right one...and every other one is wrong. Especially when a fundamental part of the religion is repeating that mantra five times a day. That's but one example.

..... which is all because mankind has those beliefs, - that they are better than others to begin with- and uses religion as their excuse for horrible atrocities and sick behavior.

Most holy texts also have those concepts which is why believers have them as well. 

Yes Belle. It's sort of like saying:

Patriarchal cultural narratives don't lead to inequality, sexism, sexual assault and a militarised society. It's just people who allow their patriarchal culture to be patriarchical...and use their patriarchy to excuse their patriarchicalness.

Religions reflect cultural values Davis, not the other way around...

No. That's a totally false and a lie most appologists state when divisiveness or highly negative qualities of members of a religion/ideology are pointed out. Go to Lebanon where they share the very same culture and historical background, eat the same food and share the same streets, work in the same company...yet is a country equally divided by Christians and Muslims. Please go to Christian and then Muslim communities and then answer this question for each half:

What is every day life like for a typical woman.
What can and cannot be consumed (eating, drinking, smoking)
How do your wear your clothes, hair, make-up
What would your family do if you renounce your faith or tell them you are marrying someone of the other religion.
How do they react to news of Israel bombing a palestinian village.

Now repeat the same in: Nigeria, Indonesia, the Phillippines, South India, Eretrea, Togo, Kazahkstan.

There is an overwhelming tendency for the Christian and or Muslim majorities/minorities (lets say between 20-70% division) to have notably different family values and attitudes and a sense of divisiveness at least when including family members...and mostly in a very similar way be it Nigeria or Indonesia etc.

So no...you are very very wrong...as are most people who have grown up in a country that is overwealmingly of one religion. So why not go to Lebanon and buy products in a muslim bazaar where not a single woman can be found and then go out for the night where Christian women dance in short skirts on the tables. Then tell me that religions reflect cultural values and be serious when you say it. I won't hold my breath.

The worst idea ever to come from the mind of Homo sapiens is religion. The world would be so much better off if we had never conjured up this ridiculous idea that, somehow, we could live forever by prostrating ourselves before an omnipotent savior.  But we have become so obsessed with it that we do not hesitate to slaughter others to demonstrate to a mythical Magic Man in the Sky that we are worthy of His granting us eternal life.  And no religion has so completely perfected the art of murder in His service than Christianity.

I may have just come up with the way to end Religion.

Brain Storm.

All we have to do is think of a time in the future when there is no religion.  Then think from that point in the future backwards into the past until we get to present time.  And then we will know how it took place and we can just repeat the past-future and destroy religion. :)

Note:  I'm stoned at present.

*cackles*

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