Forever cursed is how I see organised religion. I call them corrupt or forever cursed, because that is exactly how I see them. They (the institutions) try to make amends by seeming to have mended their ways; but then somehow go back to their roots. Then you see them for what the really are, they were not trying to change; but trying to manipulate the public as a feeble attempt to sway them. 

Now a lot of believers in organised faiths will take this as me attacking them personally. But the truth couldn’t be further. And they may even claim that hating their religion is hating their beliefs and their beliefs make them who they are. Well thats not entirely true either. It may seem that a person’s beliefs is who they are, but its not. Who you are as a person is shaped by the people around you and the experiences in life you have endured (both good and bad). A religious belief tries to dictate to you what to do, what to think, what to feel etc. It is manipulating the individual, stripping them from the core of their individuality and controlling them. It is controlling them to such an extent, that to them; they think its normal to not question certain things or rather trust certain things or ideas without question. They become accustomed to going through life based on fear. Organised religion thrives on fear. That fear causes people to not dare question their faith, in case that questioning is met with the consequence of eternal hellfire, suffering and torture etc. I do not believe that a person is who they are due to their beliefs. I believe they are not their true selves due to those beliefs. That is not to say that they cannot have any individuality at all; while holding beliefs of an organised faith. Many more liberally minded believers can and do balance or rather separate their faith from their everyday life (especially when interacting with others who do not share their faith). Of course those with a stricter interpretation; are less enlightened with such matters

But it is not the individuals fault they are the way the are. They are the victims of a corrupt superstitious organisation. For example, lets say you have friends or family working for a large corporate company. The type of company that pays their employees poorly, exploits them and uses cheap labour to produce their products . Its quite clear to you that this company is corrupt and too arrogant to admit it. But that doesn’t mean you hate your friends or family. In fact you might even understand that they have a dependency to remain in this company in order for them to pay the bills and feed themselves. 

The same goes for religious institutions. They promote so much corruption and hatred. But that doesn’t mean that all their members are like that too. There are lots of Catholics for example who would disagree with the pope. But they depend on their religion, they feel a need for it psychologically. It gives them comfort believing that they get a reward when they die. I’m not saying there is any truth to that belief. But by believing it; it helps them get through life. I understand that and I sympathise with these people a great deal. 

But this does not change the fact that organised religion is corrupt to the core or “forever cursed” as I say. Never evolving, never growing in philosophy, never expanding knowledge. Because they wont allow such things to occur, they wrongfully believe they are an authority and that they obtain ultimate knowledge and truth. A claim that not even the greatest scientific mind the world has ever known would dare to claim. Because if he or she did; they would be corrupt and wilfully dishonest. 

So if anything I don’t necessarily hate theists. I just hate their upper management; which is corrupt.

Views: 137

Comment by Belle Rose on February 25, 2015 at 9:07pm
Well written Keith :) I do believe that religion at its core is oppressive and totalitarian.

Hitchens says it best:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NFWFYDae2P8
Comment by Nerdy Keith on February 26, 2015 at 3:12pm

Belle, 

Thank you very much, appreciate it. Yes this is certainly true for organised religion. As a former Catholic of 18 years this is was always very apparent to me. 

Ah good ole Hitchens; I always do appreciate and admire his talks. 

Comment by Ed on February 28, 2015 at 11:13am

Keith,

You stated "But they depend on their religion, they feel a need for it psychologically. It gives them comfort believing that they get a reward when they die. I’m not saying there is any truth to that belief. But by believing it; it helps them get through life. I understand that and I sympathise with these people a great deal."

As a deist you admitted to believing in a 'God of Nature.' Does this nature god also provide you with a pathway to eternal life or is salvation a man-made concept and it has no relevance to your deistic understanding?  

Comment by Nerdy Keith on February 28, 2015 at 5:22pm
As a deist I don't believe in salvation at all. The only laws I believe God has, are the laws of nature. The God of nature if it indeed exists; is simply a first cause. What you are suggesting would imply that God interacts with humanity. That is what separates deists from theists, especially modern deists. Salvation is a concept derived from organised religions (particularly Christianity). All organised religions are man written scriptures; so therefore salvation is naturally (or perhaps unnaturally depending on your point of view) a man-made concept.

I believe God to be a creator not dominator. There would be no useful purpose for God to dominate the universe. Nor would it make sense for humanity to be on God's private call list. Which is why I find the very concept of prayer egotistical and self centred. God would not be contacting us out of countless of other possible species all across the universe.

As for an after life? I really do not know. I find the Christian and Islamic concept to be nothing more than tacky bribes to contrast against the fear tactic otherwise known as hell. I would say it's very likely we live on in memory alone. There are also some interesting theories on reincarnation. I'm uncertain of they are true at this point. I'm open to the possibility, however I woild have to investigate the further.

In terms of morality and ethics? I believe as humans we are on our own, we must chose our own path independently and learn from, our mistakes. My bases for morals would be reason, influence of others, empathy and an understanding of the positives of cooperation of others and an understanding of a lacking of such consequences.
Comment by Dr. Bob on March 3, 2015 at 4:24pm

Hi @Nerdy,

I'm curious... when you say that something or someone is "cursed", what does that mean in an atheistic (or deist) context?  The notion of being accursed is a fundamentally theistic one.

Do you think that institutional corruption is limited to religions?  What would you say about believers in democracy, or capitalism, or socialism, or Russian ethnic nationalism?  Are they likewise accursed as groups, even if individually they're nice enough? 

It seems your objection is to any and all human institutions, because all human institutions and communities are corruptible, fallible, at times foolish and wicked.   Not just religions.

I think that's true, and we can bemoan it and rail about it (and sometimes that sort of venting is useful to at least get it out of our system).  However for me that just doesn't seem useful as a way of thinking in the long term.  Bitching and moaning about humans being human and human institutions having humans in them just isn't productive.  In the worst cases, I think it can encourage in yourself and others a sort of negative judgmentalism that can really be harmful.  Thinking of others as being accursed doesn't usually lead to mutual respect and understanding after all.

Just a thought.

Comment by Nerdy Keith on March 4, 2015 at 7:03am

Hi Bob, I use the term "forever cursed" as a way to strike a reaction from fundamentalist theists. Basically it means forever corrupted. I do not think institutionalised corruption is limited to religions at all. Corruption in politics is just as bad as corruption in religion. But a lot of the time they are guided by religious belief. In Russia's case the Russian Orthodox Christian church has helped sway many including Putin take such a bigoted stance against the LGBT. But even when the motive is not religious, it is corruption nonetheless. It may interest you to know that I consider myself apolitical; I never vote in general elections.

You may think I am bitching and moaning. But what I am doing is speaking out against bigotry and corruption. I have to disagree with you in your regard that it is not productive because I do think it can be productive in the long term. A lot of the the reasons we have the rights many of us have today is due to people criticising, questioning and even shaming those who supported certain acts that harmed others. Back during a period in history known as the Age of Enlightenment many deists of the time did just that. They were very vocally against slavery and gender equality. Thomas Paine was one of such deists to strongly oppose slavery in America. Had nothing been said, nothing would change. By bringing to light a problem, you raise awareness.

It seems to me that provoking people's thoughts in any manner; challenging them from time to time, will cause them to self analyse their position. I can attest to that from my own experience as I myself have reviewed many thoughts, conceptions and even worldviews. A long time ago I used to be pro life; but I listed to those who are pro choice "moaning" at me. Then I thought to myself "maybe I was wrong after all, maybe I was thinking about this issue from the wrong angel.” The same point can be made from my switch from atheism to deism.

So as a humanist (and I do also consider myself humanist) i am appalled at the I just way people are treated and appalled at the corruptions of institutions. I will speak out against it, in the hopes that someone may take a step back and re-evaluate their positions. Humans may be humans; but humans change and evolve. We have been changing for over 200,000 years; and I don't think we are even nearly ready to stop changing.

But to bear in mind it is part of human nature to judge, everyone judges. When you read my blog post you made a judgement about me. Whether you wish to admit that or not, this is what you have done. And I’m sorry to say to you but a lot of members of religious “authority” have become corrupt. There is no nice way to put that. I simply will not lie about it, that would be pointless. That doesn’t mean I think all religious persons’s overall are corrupt. As I do understand that you all have different interpretations of you scripture (be the bible or qur’an). There are many what are called “non-practising” or “moderate” Catholics in my country. I don’t believe any of them are corrupt. But their church is; their archdiocese is; and most certainly the vatican is. The corruption will only vanish as soon as people loose interest in the religion altogether. 



Comment by Dr. Bob on March 7, 2015 at 3:52pm

Fair enough, thanks.   I agree with most of that.

I would even include in my agreement the corruption (or sometimes just poor performance) of those of religious authority within my own and other institutional churches.  However, I think the notion that corruption will vanish just because one institution or mode of human thought loses people's interest is not supportable by the evidence.  Indeed, corruption I would argue is most in check when institutions of different types exercise checks and balances on each other.  The loss of a major institution should thus be viewed more with alarm than with rejoicing.   The countries with few institutions left, after all, are hardly paragons of civility and virtue.

The only point other point I would disagree with is that I really didn't make any judgment about you at all.  I did make some judgments about your argument, and then I asked questions or raised concerns about your argument.  After all...

It seems to me that provoking people's thoughts in any manner; challenging them from time to time, will cause them to self analyse [sic] their position.

As I tell graduate students, people who question or challenge your arguments are people who find your thoughts worthy of respect.  You've proposed something interesting, with which they want to engage.  That's a positive judgment of you if anything, not a negative one.

Comment by Nerdy Keith on March 12, 2015 at 7:10pm

@Dr Bob,

No problem and thank you. 

I would suggest taking a look at European countries in which have less religious people in them such as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. However I'm not saying they are perfect (they would still have political corruption to a certain extent); but I would argue that the fact that these nations are less religious has had a positive influence in this case. 

I think you might be misunderstanding what i mean by "judgment". Judgment basically means a perception or opinion. We all naturally make internal perceptions about everything and every person we encounter. Its natural and part of being human.

As you can tell by the piece of my response in which you have quoted; not all judgments or perceptions are bad. But thank you for saying that my judgment has been positive; I appreciate that. 

 

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