I have a question for you free thinkers out there. I am not sure I can answer it myself...but have spent hours trying to work out the best answer.

If you COULD ban religion across the globe... would you?

Thinking caps on guys... this is a big responsibility -our chance to change the world...

look forward to your replies...
M

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I grew up in the Episcopal church, and all I can say is that Hell was almost never discussed. In fact, the only time I can even remember the word coming up is in the Lord's Prayer which claims that Jesus descended into Hell during the period between the crucifixion and resurrection. It's mostly the hellfire and brimstone end of Christianity that spends a lot of time and energy on scaring people with the threat of swimming in a sea of molten lava forever.

And back to my initial statement - I don't feel anyone should have the right to tell their children that punishment might include being burned alive.  If your church could avoid that then certainly others could as well.

In some ways, being Episcopal is a lot more like being a Unitarian than a Baptist.

I would like to put a ban on the sorts of ideas that can be passed on to children, however. Primarily, I feel that no one should have the right to tell their children that a possible punishment might include being burned alive. 

@ Heather - I like your idea of banning parents being able to tell their children they will burn alive if they don't please Gord.

Gord is so mean. Fuck Gord! Darn. There I go again acting as if there is a Gord. There is no Gord. What a huge relief. 

I always did find it inexplicable why this Gord deity got off so much by "allowing" people to burn alive because they didn't believe this Jesus character died for their sins, even if they were good people. But yet a mass murderer could utter the words "I believe in Jesus as my redeemer" with his last breath and float right on up to heaven.

In some ways, being Episcopal is a lot more like being a Unitarian than a Baptist.

@ Unseen - Episcopal = God light lol.

Nope: However I would argue that churches should be treated the same as any other business (taxes etc) while the influence that religion has should be diminished through rationality, logic, scientific methods and the fear created by religions (hell, etc) should be treated as any psychoses/neoroses as delusional behaviour without prejudice.

Also, the undeserved 'respect' afforded priests (e.g. as pastoral marriage counsellors) be marginalised in order to afford real commentators an opportunity to debate pressing social issues (e.g. abortion) without rancour or fear of retribution, hell and damnation. 

I would not. They may be wrong, but is their right to be wrong.

I wouldn't ban it per se, as it would directly interfer with peoples right to believe in stupid shit, but getting rid of it altogather would be a much better solution. I hate the way religion is used to control the masses, and I hate it even more that people choose to not think for themselves for a change. But I would not want to ban it but I would rather watch it fade into obscurity along with other mythologies

I wouldn't ban religion but I would stop state money going to finance religious schools. I don't want my tax money going to promote religious education.

You can’t ban religion without banning thinking; and I would never want do that.  Banning thinking is what religion is all about.  The solution is not to join them (in stifling free thought), but for free thinkers to continue to embrace science and reason and hope more and more people follow our example.  If we had stubbornly clung as a species to an appellation to a mythical, invisible, indescribable entity, we would not have learned to cure disease; we would still be praying and dying in our 30's.  

If you look at the history of thought after we began to emerge from the dark ages of medieval superstition, the long term trajectory has been AWAY from religion and towards rationality.  It may not look that way right now, especially in the Calvinist enclaves of America, but reason has been been slowly but steadily gaining ground over the past 400 years. 

With each step forward that science takes, ignorance and magical thinking take one more step back.  Religion will probably never completely disappear; but I think that it will eventually become a fringe phenomenon.

Constitutionally it is a violation. But if it were banned w/o also removing the concept of religion from the minds of everyone it would still fail to accomplish anything ultimately. Remember how well the Prohibition era worked in the first part of the 20th century.

Again Thank you to all who replied... I refer you back to my original comment made three years ago when this question was originally posted (no idea how it flared up again?)
 
..... it is very interesting that this disbelieving hoarde should all stand up for the right to religion. But as many have pointed out - It is not peoples belief that we are really addressing but the right to choice.

I worded the question poorly as it implied that I had some internal struggle with this question. I do not...I concur with all posts here.

Thanks to all for your insight. What is refreshing to see is that there is a commitment to reason and human rights among us and not some mob mentally aimed at destroying faith. This post is a great refutation to one of the classic theist responses as to the "purpose" of atheism, in that we are trying to destroy faith. We just do not want it to influence any aspect of decisions made on our behalf and to prevent belief that impinges on our human rights.

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