Is Religion Still Relevant? Part 1

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Why do we NEED religion? Or has it ran its course and served its purpose. This question was posed to me a week ago following a long tedious debate with a good friend of mine. My response, No I don’t feel religion is necessary any more but may have served a purpose at a time when no other explanation was available or was needed for survival. I’d like you to imagine something. Imagine a world without science, without the study of psychology, biology or astronomy, just to name a few. A world without the study of disease, germs, medicine, medical procedure, a world where the common cold could very well kill you; a world where natural occurrences are both terrifying and unexplainable to a species that demand explanation. A world without the study of plate tectonics, weather patterns, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, etc. A world of ignorance. Imagine the fear you would feel witnessing the earth tearing apart at your feet, or a large body of water ripping thru your city with no remorse. Maybe you don’t witness these things first hand but the tale is told and re-told with added flair and the warning that this to could happen to you. Imagine your family, more specific, imagine a son or daughter with whom you love very much and would stop at nothing to protect. Now imagine the fear in their eyes and the grip of their hands clinging on to you, terrified no doubt, looking to you for guidance and you having none to give.  How would we explain these occurrences with no means of investigation? How would we decipher the meaning of it all?

People seem to think the founders of religion where well educated, highly enlightened individuals that happened to have a close encounter of a strange kind with a supernatural being and absolutely no agenda of their own. If this were reported today we would say either that person is a lunatic, liar, or just mistaken. Consider the cults of today and the impressionable people that fall into these traps. They buy in whole heartedly and will give their lives to defend it and all their money to promote it. These aren’t ancient tribes or uneducated societies; these are 20th century thinkers well aware or at least partially aware of their surroundings and the cause of natural occurrences. Consider everything we know now and yet still people fold and bend to the will of any man that proclaims divine authority now image the world described in my previous paragraph. It’s far too easy and has gone much too far to create the answer with absolutely no proof at all…God…This must be the act of a being and he must not be too happy with us, right?

Throughout history every civilization has proclaimed God(s) are real. The Sumerians are our first recorded civilization and are no doubt where the 3 Abrahamic religions got most of their stories. Up until Judaism, Polytheism was popular, that is, more than 1 god usually assigned to have dominion over 1 natural occurrence or the other. For example An was a god of the sky, Uta was a god of the sun, Nanna was a god of the moon. They truly believed we were at the mercy of these gods and depending on what natural catastrophe takes place, that’s the god you angered. That’s how we began to explain nature and that’s where religions now got its origins, but then came the new kid on the block. The Old Testament was the promotion of monotheism, that is, 1 God. Think of it as a power struggle, you already have all these gods people pray to and worship right along with the a line of mammals claiming to have direct connections-priests, shamans, etc. Remember at this point the ideas of Gods are as real as anything else, with no science there’s no alternative explanations. How do you get people to praise you and only you? Here’s a thought, instead of 1 god per mystery let’s say there’s only 1 god to explain everything. Here’s the trick, take all the stories that have been passed down, change the players, throw in a couple tales of your god smiting down anyone who opposes, put the fear of your god into the hearts of the ignorant  and poof you have Moses whole campaign. He used his new found God to inspire his armies to destroy the Midianites (Numbers 31:7-18) and waged war against any none believer of HIS god, a very brutal story that I encourage anyone read. One should consider why God just didn’t reveal himself to all and eliminate the bloodshed altogether but that’s another blog entirely. Today we would call this a cult much like Jonestown much like the Manson family but back then, when the world was terrifying and unexplained, it was completely acceptable as the god of promotion was so very real and terrifying.

Religion thrives on fear, the fact that no one can accurately describe heaven, however, has no problem at all describing hell to a certainty, shows that fear is necessary for the progression of religious faith and reason is faiths mortal enemy. We have let go of most religious beliefs as we no longer kill non-believers and no longer sacrifice animals; both now would be considered a criminal offenses to any civilized person. We know now what causes natural disaster and in some cases can predict and prepare for these events. Alchemy has been replaced with chemistry and astrology with cosmology, we’ve learned a lot since our ancestors. The fact that you’ll never hear an astrology class presented in any school curriculum and intelligent design taught as a legitimate theory separate from evolution shows there is no room for mystical magical non-sense in the rational mind to be taught as actual fact to unsuspecting children.

Where did we get that knowledge? Where did we learn murder of non-believers and animal sacrifice is not ok. It certainly was not religion and that CAN be proven. Our final fear is death. The one thing we cannot explain to a certainty is what happens after you die? I will not venture to say; neither I, nor any non-believer knows the results of the unavoidable moment, aside from the obvious burial. But I can to a certainty stake the claim that no believer, no rabbi, no priest, no pope, bishop, mullah, or otherwise have any idea either. They make the claim they know and just like ancient times can control a mass amount of people with fear. No one has ever died and come back ladies an gentleman, and if you claim the bible historically depicts a resurrection of not only Jesus but of all the dead in the greater Jerusalem area (Gospel of Matthew), then my question is, why has no one attempted to explain in detail what they saw while deceased? Seems like a pretty important detail to me and one that I think any human being, no matter the religion, no matter what era, would demand the answer to.

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Comments
  1. Cuvee says:

    You make some good points, but there’s still room for debate.

    • EXP of DC says:

      Then I invite you and anyone else to debate them, Im all ears.

      • MJ says:

        Are you speaking of Religion or spirituality? BIG diff u know.

      • EXP of DC says:

        For this particular entry Im speaking more about religion itself and the uselessness of it. As far as spirituality, Id like to note, their is no a priori connection between that and theistic belief. Meditation for example, is a form spirituality but has no real connection with a deity, rather an attempt to be one with the Universe if you believe thats possible.

  2. MJ says:

    You are demanding that God give you the answer you seek. God is God because we do not dictate to him, he dictates to us. But luckily , he loves us even through our ignorant bliss and rantings.

    • EXP of DC says:

      Perhaps you misunderstand the messege here, Im not looking to any deity for answers Im suggesting that no deity can be the answer and that religion is proveably usless and untrue. I’d like to point out that in no other situation would we accept a supreme dictatorship, its as if your supporting a supernatural North Korea, a dictator that demands eternal praise even after your death. A dictator that is responsible for all the pain and suffering yet has demanded your unconditional love in exchange for his, but only after death, surely their are zero signs of omnibenevolence via deity in the here and now. Thats not a good form of leadership at all and even when the God hypothesis does enter the picture it answers nothing, it solves nothing. For example, New Orleans, if you accept that god is responsible, which you would have to, and you pray to him for help, you’ll see that nothing changed at all, your still stuck in the same position. The God hypothesis answers no universal questions, despite theologies finest attempts. As Ive said religion has served it purpose and was our first and worst attempt to explain the world. That time has now passed, be thankful for that.

      P.S.- I dont quite understand the last part about him loving us through our ignorant bliss. The idea of God is the direct cause of ignorant bliss. It tells you not to look for the answers just relax and say its god, it promotes ignorance and irrationality. If people trully believed god is the answer to all then their are no more mysteries. I was engaged the other day by a friend who said his family was tied together and brought up in the church, I asked, if religion was never a factor would his family love eachother less? He responded with “No” they would still love and take care of eachother. Exactly my point!!! Then he replied but God is in his heart thanks to his religion, which is Baptist, my reply was simple, had he been born in the Middle East theirs a very good chance Allah and Muhammed would be in his heart instead of Jesus. Religion is something your born into, you didnt have much of a choice and it certainly does not make you correct.

      • Ibelieve says:

        Actually the Bible states ‘Ask and you shall receive’, ‘Seek and you shall find’ God tells us to to seek out the answers we cannot find, questions we have, he says to test the waters. You say there is no ‘Mystery’ but there is. The world is a mystery, God is a mystery.

      • EXP of DC says:

        Does it also not state that Adam and Eve where banned because eating from the tree would provide them with Universal knowledge? Does it not state the people where spread around the world and provided different language to confuse the people, so not to complete the Tower of Babel? Are those not Gods words or actions? If you accept the Bible please accept all of it, or is it an impossible task? In one hand you claim he encourages us to seek but on the other he intentionally handycaps our knowledge and our lifespans. Also I didnt say their are no mysteries, I said if you believe god is the answer then there no mysteries left to wonder, we already have the answer…god. I agree the world is a mystery but god is not, according to religion we know god, we know his actions, wishes, mission, in some ways his mind. In that passage Christ isnt saying Seek Physical attainable answers, he’s merely encouraging the pursuit of god. Science sought and found almost all the answer we have now, zero need for a deity. Again god is not the answer.

  3. trish Norman says:

    I can’t see how anyone can still believe in make believe. Surely people have grown out of the mumbo jumbo. I will not stand for people who insist on pushing there beliefs on other people’s children. They should be warned that they are on a slippery slope back to the privacy of their homes and churches

    • EXP of DC says:

      I agree but still they do, but Im here to help and applaud anyone who lends a hand. Dont forget to subscribe and tell a friend. Im trying to push this messege in a big way. Thanks.

  4. Nikki says:

    So i read all your other blogs and i understand all the points that you make, but here’s my question: if we lived in a world of non-believers how do you know that all or any of the tragedy or genocide would stop? i mean maybe it wouldn’t be a fight over religious beliefs anymore, but if we had all these people running around, with no belief that there would be any “consequence” for their actions, then what would stop them? couldn’t that possibly cause more destruction??

    • EXP of DC says:

      Hi sorry its taken so long to reply Ive been swamped with work. As much as I’d hate to answer a question with a question I feel in this case its appropriate. What has religion stopped? What evil atrocity has religion directly diverted? See your question implies that without the idea of ultimate consequence we would go mad, a world of savages. So I ask if the idea of divine redemtion where never presented would you be a murderer? Would you be a rapist? Is religion the only thing holding you back from chaos? If the answer is no to any or all of those then that should be proof enough that neither religion nor god deserve the credit for right action. Thats one way to answer this, heres another. Does it not seem as though you can find a biblical injunction for just about anything, or can arrange scripture to mean whatever you want, and does it also not seem as though religion jumps on whatevers popular. Hitler was completely supported by the Catholic church, slavery was supported by the Christian church, it wasnt until the these two particular cases came to an end that the church then decided that it wasn’t a good idea in fact, but mind you the church didnt end either of them. Another point to ponder is this, what crime will not be commited in the name of god? If you trully believe you’re doing Gods will what wont you do? Neither religion nor god have stopped anyone from commiting a crime, they’ve prevented no murder, no rape, no war, but would you agree that they have been the cause of such acts? Looking at history I think you would have too. Im not saying non-believers are morally superior, Im saying no’one has ever killed in the name of Athesim. Bad people will always do bad things, and good people do good things, but it takes religion to make a good person do a bad thing, if you notice its never the other way around.

  5. Sean says:

    Maybe not. Religion, but God is. Either A. You believe B. You don’t. Simple & everyone is entitled to their own opinion. God still loves us all.

    • Vince says:

      @Sean that would imply that there is in fact a god in which case i would implore to really look at the acts of god on our behalf per your bible. there are so many things i could touch on such as the story of the priest and the concubine or more famous stories such as noah’s ark, or another such as a weapon created by god the ark of the covenant and yet he loves us all after trying to kill us so many times? all i’m saying is look at the evidence. Chris i’m gonna miss you brother.

      YOUR NEIGHBOR AND BEST FRIEND

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