The price of freedom is justice - ban religion!

The rights and freedoms you enjoy are neither rights nor freedoms - they are privileges. When you break a law, the first thing that happens is that you lose most of them after having had an unfortunate run-in with the justice system. In most countries, even at this point you are awarded a few privileges - prison law is a fairly abbreviated version of civilian law, more on par with military law.

Law is an ever increasing body of knowledge of behavior we find to be anti-social. It is also a guidebook with a handy measure of how anti-social we find certain behavior - the number of prison days it deals out on judgment day.

So when you say something to the effect of 'that's against my human rights / personal freedoms', you have a losing argument. The right to drive is dependent on the privilege of a valid drivers license.

The privilege of religion has been abused long enough. Law is pure reason, religion is pure bullshit. The value religion adds to society is substantially lower than the associated costs. Religion does not cure people of anti-social behavior, but it does give a potent reason to lie and break the law. 

Therefore, ban it by law and persecute the religious.



I'm from a country with very strict laws. It also has fairly low sentences for crimes and high sentences for misdemeanors. We aren't too strict on the poor criminals, but dish out harsh punishments to those we demand play inside the rules of law. A couple of experiences from personal observation:

I guy I knew got talked into killing his girlfriend's parents after she convinced him that she was the victim of on-going incest. Him and his girlfriend went into her parent's bedroom, emptied a two-barreled shotgun each into them and stabbed them a couple dozen times each. He was found rightly guilty of this crime and sentenced to 11 years in jail. After about 6 years he got moved to a minimum security jail with a single room and granted weekends off every now and again to go home unsupervised. 

By most other countries standard's, a punishment which doesn't immediately seem to fit the crime.    

My dad's gotten faster and faster the last few years, raking in such a number of speeding fines that he's about to lose his license. About a year ago he dropped off my mom at the airport late at night and started driving home. There were no cars on the road, and in a straight undersea tunnel he was a bit too eager to get home, and blasted past a speed camera at around 80km/h (50mp/h) in a 60km/h (~35mp/h) zone. The fine: 6000 NOK / 1100 USD or 11 days in jail.

By most other countries standard's, a punishment which doesn't immediately seem to fit the crime.

Apparently, it is also the best country to live in. Perhaps Dostojevskij and Rawls have a point...

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Comment by Philip Jarrett on June 18, 2011 at 5:47pm

The removal of all religious influence on the govenment...I'm in the US...should be the first step.  Religious 'score cards' should be issued in the current election season, I'm hoping some atheist organization thinks of doing this.  I want to know the candidate's religion up front.  Anyone who accepts the premillenialist view of the Middle East situation is not fit for service, just as anyone who Speaks In Tongues or practices/believes in exorcism and demonic possession.

I believe the only situation that can lead to peace in this world is the creation of absolutely secular governments.  The US is hopelessly a lost cause.  We couldn't get there from where we are now.  I would hope the worldwide atheist community is in touch with the participants in the upheaval in the Middle East.  We need to contact these people and convince them the secularization of any new governments to arise from all this activity should be their number one priority.

A good place to start would be the banning of the rite of exorcism in all its forms.

Comment by Arcus on June 18, 2011 at 6:55pm

I'm first and foremost a supporter of the French concept of laïcité - at least it throws a wrench into the machinery of religious infection quite effectively. Of course, nothing humanism can throw at the problem can ever come close to the ends the seminary educated young man below did:

Comment by MikeLong on June 18, 2011 at 9:24pm
"The rights and freedoms you enjoy are neither rights nor freedoms - they are privileges."

This is a very dangerous starting point. It implies that ALL human activity is inherently illegal unless the government deems it to be compliant with the current set of officials' arbitrary judgement. I gravitate to the opposite end of the scale - EVERYTHING is OK (and should be legal) unless the government (presumably with very good and substantiable reasons) determines that it should be made illegal. (And, where these reasons disappear or are shown to be invalid, the prohibition should be lifted.)
As far as I'm concerned, as long as religion can have NO effect on government or, ultimately, on me, religious stupidity would not necessarily reach a level of harm to warrant making it illegal.
Comment by Arcus on June 18, 2011 at 9:44pm

If there is anything "natural" about these rights, then we should have them innately. We do not, "someone" must make laws that ensure that we do not follow our natural rights because these lead to animal behavior. There's no room given for religion within law or governance, I merely wish to extended that to society as a whole.

The secular human rights are given by humans, the divine "human rights" by Gods. Difference is that humanity's laws progress with humanity while the divine ones are based much closer to our animal and more anti-social past.

Our disagreement is mostly related to a difference in perception between individual and society rights. Religion is like crack cocaine addiction - a mental disease afflicting mostly the poor an uneducated. Like with drugs and alcohol, I accept a state administered system of sale of the dangerous substance and treatment of the addicted victims. The non-governmental peddlers get heavy fines, possibly jail time.

Comment by oneinfinity on June 18, 2011 at 10:24pm
Human rights are not natural and they are not innate. I agree with Arcus that laws are made and needed because humans are animals and in the absence of law and order would generally revert to a Road Warrior situation. But I also agree with Mike that "EVERYTHING is OK (and should be legal) unless the government (presumably with very good and substantiable reasons) determines that it should be made illegal. (And, where these reasons disappear or are shown to be invalid, the prohibition should be lifted.)" The idea being is that people agree through the social contract that certain behaviors, by individuals and institutions, are not acceptable in order to maintain a harmonious society.
Comment by Akshay Bist on June 18, 2011 at 10:44pm

I don't think its right to outright ban religion. If people wish to believe in fairy tales then they can. What should happen is the separation of the government and religion. Religion dominates a lot of the worlds politics, that should end. The tax benefits enjoyed by religious institutions should go. And most importantly, child indoctrination should end. Children should be kept free of religion till they are of a particular age, then be given a primer on all of the religions of the world and then given a chance to choose which religion they wish to follow, if any.

Alas, its all wishful thinking, don't think it will happen in our lifetime, if ever.


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