Religious imagery and the word of god have been in my face all of my life. Religious themes and symbols are everywhere. You see them in movies, television, social networks, schools, government buildings, bumper stickers, and fish-emblems on cars. Folks dress in religious clothing such as yarmulkes, turbans, robes, veils and burkas. All year long, there are religious holidays with religious music and even religious toys and candy for the kids. I am forced to slow down for church-zones, have to listen to ringing church bells, and my local voting place is even inside a church.
      Religion shapes our social behavior and sways our politics. You hear it at the start of ball games, and at the end of political speeches. It wields enough power over our government to be printed on our money. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from it. Religion literally comes knocking on my front door. I can’t even sneeze without hearing “God bless you“.
      Since the age of ten, I’ve been an avid reader of science fiction novels and short stories. The concept of ’life in the future’ is very familiar to a science fiction reader. Inspired by some of the most visionary sci-fi writers ever published, my young heart would soar as I thought of the potential marvels of the future. I would daydream of the future and imagine a better world to come. I imagined a better people to come as well. 
      In the future, I imagined humans would surely evolve into more peaceful beings, more sensible and supportive of their fellow-humans than we are now. In my young vision of the future, there would be no starving or homeless people anywhere. Medical discoveries would reduce disease and illness to a mere fraction of what it is today. All the people of the world would live healthier, happier lives without oppression or war.
      Lofty aspirations, you say? Maybe. All I knew then was my vision of the future looked much better than the world I saw around me. The world I saw was full of unhappy people, disease, murder and war. Not knowing what to do, I just had to hope that something or someone, sometime in the future, would change the world for the better.
      I’d always felt sure that one day in the future, common sense and reason would replace the sustained ignorance and absurdity of religion. Dragging religion around with its ancient stories and traditions has inhibited the entire race from progressing as it should have. Religion has been the major cause of pain and suffering for all of mankind from its beginning.
      I used to tell myself, “One day, all this foolish religion will go away!” But now as an adult, I know more of how people think and how the world works. It’s past time for me to be honest with myself. I have to accept the harsh truth no matter how much is saddens me.
      The truth is, Religion will always be a part of life on this planet. Man will never be free of it. No matter what is learned, reasoned, or discovered; no matter what questions are answered, what myths are shattered, or what truth is told; the smothering-weight, the stench, the lies, the rapes, the murders, the lust for wealth and power, the infantile stories of gods and demons, the childish longing for an afterlife will always be interwoven throughout the fabric of human life on Earth.
      Realizing that this is true simply makes me feel, disappointed.

 

Views: 220

Tags: Atheism, God, Religion

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on June 22, 2013 at 5:24pm

I understand and empathize with most of what you say. I grew up in a land demented by Catholicism. I thought there was something wrong with me because I felt so disconnected from everyone else. Now 30 or more years later I can see that reason and sanity has started to prevail. The government is becoming very secular and most people under 40 are not religious. They may only be some sort of vague deists, rather than card carrying Catholics. The trend towards Atheism is increasing though, as it is in most first world countries.

Yes, the imagery and noise of religion does pervade the day but I can put up with that as an annoyance and only mildly offensive as long as it is not state sanctioned. I do feel disappointed for the mildly religious minds though for I can see what they are missing out on. Many live as mental serfs and just can’t see how much better their lives would be if they could only drop those chains and the dead weight of a poorly formed conscience based on the outdated paltry morals of their creed.

So until children are allowed to be educated without religion hooking itself to their minds and until societies fully empower women to be equals, religion will always be a hindrance to the evolution of mankind. I won’t live to see that time but I will do my part to hasten its arrival. So in the long run any disappointment I feel always give way to a “belief” that religion will be assigned to the recycle bin of humanity.

Comment by Ed on June 22, 2013 at 9:50pm

Although the baggage of religion is heavy people will continue to accept the task of dragging it along despite their mental blisters and callouses from never answered prayers and a world that increasingly makes less sense viewed through the lens of outdated dogma.

As freethinkers we have an obligation to continue challenging religion and it's archaic notions. 

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 22, 2013 at 10:40pm

...and my local voting place is even inside a church.

Take a look at this, Rick. Food for thought.

Comment by SandBeach on June 23, 2013 at 12:46am

All my best girlfriends are Mormons.  They want me to convert so they "will see me in heaven after we all die".  I want to challenge their silly belief systems many a day, but mostly realize I can't even try to take their faith away, because it would break their hearts to think that they won't get to see their families (whom they love so much) in heaven after they die.  And because I care so much for them, I can't bring myself to break their hearts (which would never happen anyway, because their belief is so strong - they would only reject me, instead of losing their place in heaven with their long-gone families.)

Comment by archaeopteryx on June 23, 2013 at 5:40am

RE: " I imagined humans would surely evolve into more peaceful beings, more sensible and supportive of their fellow-humans than we are now" - we were trying to figure out how to do that, then Richard Nixon was elected, and gradually things went back to business as usual.

RE: "Religion will always be a part of life on this planet" - I don't think so, Richard, I "have faith" that it will die of it's own impotence.

Comment by Unseen on June 23, 2013 at 9:47am

Want to abolish religion? Abolish death! Oh, wait...come to think of it, religion will always be with us because most people will never want to accept the finality of death and religion offers the ultimate escape clause.

As for violence, while much violence is based on religious differences, eliminating religion would not eliminate jealousy, covetousness, racism, honest disputes over territory or resources. 

At heart, violence isn't fundamentally about religion, though religion can fjustify and/or acilitate it in various ways.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 23, 2013 at 11:14am

@uldis

Estonia also ranks 3rd in the world in freedom of the press and 1st in the world (see page 21) for internet freedom. For added perspective, respectively the United States ranks 47th and 2nd*. Estonia also has a rating of 'Very High Human Development' with a rank of 33rd in the world (see pp. 33). Not bad for a nation of just 1.3 million people.

@Rick

By way of encouragement:

Besides free and democratic Estonia, consider free and democratic Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Japan, and France, all of which are 75% to 86% irreligious.

They are not completely rid of religion in these countries, but its influence is so diminished that it is (or soon will be) irrelevant as a political and social consideration. I find that that acceptable. The trend toward irreligion is growing and accelerating throughout Europe and most of North America. 

It seems premature to despair when such wide swatches of humanity have stopped the infantile crawling and finally are walking around upright, and others are starting to do the same in huge numbers.

*The USA's internet freedom rank will plummet during the next assessment: it was determined in 2012 before the exposure of the government's massive domestic Internet spying program.)

Comment by M.M. on June 24, 2013 at 2:54am

I think that hope for an event, however unlikely, is a good way to endure the despair of a seemingly bleak future. I hope that our species makes contact or discovers life on other planets, which in turn influences us to such a degree we abandon any and all obstacles, like religion, that keeps us divided, and from reaching our full potential.

Who could ever have hoped that we would get as far as we have, even though we have so much further to go?

Comment by archaeopteryx on June 24, 2013 at 3:08am

RE: "I hope that our species makes contact or discovers life on other planets" - well, I sincerely hope that doesn't happen until Humankind gets its shit together, otherwise, I fear for those otherworldly beings!

Comment by M.M. on June 24, 2013 at 3:44am

I think it would take an historic and unprecedented event like first contact to stimulate the motivation to get our shit together. More likely from the FEAR of extraterrestrial life.

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Support T|A

Think Atheist is 100% member supported

All proceeds go to keeping Think Atheist online.

Donate with Dogecoin

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Into life hacks? Check out LabMinions.com

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service