Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The problem with God-faith-religion[tm]

Executive summary:

The main problem as I see it is that God-faith-religious[tm] people can (and all the time do) abdicate responsibility (for all kinds of everything) to a "higher power". The instructions they receive are not from a "higher power" but from a group of humans.

I have been very respectful to any religion before. But I have also been growing more concerned about the danger of having huge groups of "faithful" people who believe they have a God-given right to push their particular rules anywhere. Stupid ideas might actually perhaps be deserving of some disrespect.

I found book "The God delusion" and started reading it last weekend.
wikipedia: Richard Dawkins

He's preaching to the converted (HA HA!) and I didn't think I'd be interested reading if I agreed. Two of Dawkins points I'm finding interesting follow, they're very complimentary but distinct enough that I'll seperate them.

1. That atheists should be more actively atheist and more vocal. Atheists are not organised as a group and the G-f-religions[tm] have the powerful political lobbys that run the countries we live in. So it is important for atheists not to be closet atheists. And it's important to evangalise atheism (Ho ho!). I've been concerned/thinking about problems the God-faith-religious[tm] mentality has mostly latent inside it but not sure what could be done about it. Even with our kids we're starting to see how they are now at a disadvantage (a small but pervasive disadvantage) when it comes to choice of schools.

2. All of society gives a huge respect to all G-f-religions[tm] (except for maybe the poor Pastafarians!). And the G-f-religions[tm] expect it. AND they're offended if this respect isn't enthusiastically and fully granted to every aspect of the funny G-f-religious[tm] rules that have been imagined and evolved over the years.

You know, he is DEAD right with point #2 there. I (and I think atheists in general) would be very respectful of other peoples beliefs and cultures and want to be very open-minded. G-f-religions[tm] themselves are probably the groups that are least respectful to each other. There are some (some? more than some maybe) bad things I can think of about any G-f-religion[tm]. I think I have been deluding myselfmy earlier religious indoctrination that a belief in God is good and right has deluded me into thinking it is harmless to allow some of these bad things to persist (and hence possibly to grow) because _most_ of the G-f-religion[tm] is pretty reasonable and good (and after all of course most of the people in the G-f-religion[tm] don't _REALLY_ believe every nuance of weird detail, ... do they?).

Essentially I'm thinking now that it is dangerous for society to be giving these G-f-religions[tm] too much respect. It's like looking the other way when first you see minor bad behaviour. Soon you're looking directly at abuse and torture and you can't do anything about it.

Heh Heh. This person does disrespect nicely :)
youtube: Pat Condell

What's this God-faith-religious[tm] stuff? Gah. Traitor (English) language! :)

English (and maybe every language?) doesn't have a good vocabulary for describing enthusiasticcomitted atheism. You can say you are religious about your food, about your operating system, about your favourite author/newspaper/politics, even about your philosophies and science. And people understand there is no God involved (more-or-less). But can you say you're a religious atheist? HAH. It doesn't quite work. You can see the argument G-f-religious people use often attacking atheism because the atheist is as "religious" about their atheism as they are about their delusion.

Dawkins also talks about the use of the word religion (or spirituality). I see these words as being so inherent in the language because of a few thousands of years of belief in Gods and religions that you can't express some ideas which have no God. There I go respecting God too much again and giving it a capital letter! :) e.g. atheists would describe themselves as having a spirituality consisting of a philosophy of beliefs in the human race - this sounds very religious but it is NOT it is a Godless spirituality.

For me (and others I think) the word "religious" is naturally a word devoid of God because of course there is no God. To me religion simply means the whole structure of a group of people that believe in this kind of God or Gods and follow these particular rules. It's completely natural for me to know there is no God. I'm very very certain of this (of course allowing for a minute (NEGLIGABLE! (hmfph, emphasis of negligable? is that an oxymoron?))) probability which must be allowed by scientific open-mindedness.

This meaning of religion is so obviously not so for God-faith-religious people. A bit scary if you think how different their mindset must be.

I wouldn't have been a closet atheist exactly, a very VERY quiet atheist though! :) It seems just to very rarely come up.

Maybe I'll start by getting a Pastafarian t-shirt! :)

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