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Something to think about

RobertMartin 8 Oct 1

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A pretty narrow and uninformed view of “religion”. That is to say, his view of religion was as narrow as those he was criticizing.

skado Level 9 Oct 1, 2021

Have you ever heard of a war that DIDN'T have "God on its side?"

That’s a part of its history but not all of it.
Biologically, and of course culturally, religion has been a central feature, if not perhaps the organizing principle behind human progress for at least the last 25 centuries. It’s as dirty and flawed as any field of human endeavor, maybe more than most. But just like burning coal, polluting as it was, it powered the organization of human societies during critical millennia of development. It still functions that way today.

To the extent one values civilization (and I admit the jury is still out on that) there is a debt owed to the role religion has played.

@skado Well...let's take it back past Christianity and think about the mystical paintings in caves around the world. I imagine our ancestors huddled in those caves on a stormy night, with thunder and lightning and pounding rain. Everyone of the kids was terrified. An old man begins telling a story about the ''thunder god'' and spins a pleasant little tale to calm them down. (My grandmother used to say that the angels were making their beds...shaking out the sheets.)

You're right that it seems to be an intrinsic part of our ''calming the fear/uncertainty" mechanism. Did it make the Neanderthals ''better people?" How about the little KoiSan people who drew animals on rocks, hoping a magic spell would attract them to their hunters? Did that function to ''better'' their natures?

It's a superstitious SPELL which people use to get favors and approval from forces they cannot understand. By learning to control their beliefs, ''priests'' and ''shaman'' learned they could derive power and control over their tribe. They still do.

Yes that one word covers a lot of territory.

@skado Good people I am sorry to say would do bad things even without religion, for good people to do bad things, you do not need religion, only misunderstanding. No man in history perhaps did as much harm as Thomas Midgley, who invented and personally marketed both leaded petrol and CFCs. Yet everyone who knew him said that you could not have met a better, kinder, more moral or well intended person. ( Google him if you like.)

The role that religion plays is that of an enabler for evil people, especially in deliberately promoting misunderstanding. Since it is the one system of thought that makes no attemp to safegaurd against misunderstanding. Such as asking for reason, evidence, or the test of falsification etc..

Religion has a lot in common with guns. The old argument by the pro-gun lobby being that guns never harmed anyone, it is the people who point them at others and pull the trigger who are responsible for the harm. To which the equally old worn out answer is that, who would want a gun except someone who wanted to point it and pull the trigger, or indulge in a trivial entertainment at the cost of maintaining something very dangerous, in the home. And no doubt guns were, and still are sometimes, useful and even kind things. To the early farmer who needed to feed people when crops failed and protect the crops, they were a useful, and perhaps even a kinder way to kill animals than trapping and spearing with primitive and often painful devices. But very few people in the gun owning Western World today are primitive farmers, living on the edge of starvation or threatened by wildlife.

So it is with religion, it is true as LucyLooHoo says, that once religion was a needed to explain the thunder, by people like the early farmers. But those days too are well gone. The days when good people needed religion are for the most part over. There are, and have been for a long time far better ways of acheiving good ends, and understanding, available to good people. The only people who now truly NEED religion, are those who wish to promote misunderstanding (evil), and increasingly so with time. It is not religions past but is future which is all important, and that future is increasingly that of religion belonging to the evil intended and promoting evil.

So that while those who wish to still pratice the sport of marksmanship, or collect antique guns, may not be directly involved in gun crime, but only induging in trivial entertainments and sentimental attachments. They nontheless help to promote gun culture in the world, thus indirectly contributing to the harm guns do. And so it is with those who indulge in religion for the same reasons, promoting and normalizing it adds to it power and influence and thus to the power and influence of the evily intended, who increasingly find their natural home there.


Weinberg was on my father-in-law's PhD Committee.

BD66 Level 8 Oct 1, 2021

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, from an esteemed Nobel laureate physicist. As a nullifidian I could not agree more! Thank you for sharing it.

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