Archive for May, 2008

Religion is bad for you. It insists upon humiliating people before deities, falsely states that salvation and forgiveness come from deities or in the hereafter (whereas they really come, of course, from human beings), and weds humans to destructive delusional fantasies, with a lot of violent acting out against nonbelievers and other-believers, especially by Muslims.

Spirituality is sometimes mistakenly identified with religiosity.

People who pray, bless/damn others, and talk about divinities a lot may consider themselves to be (and claim the right to regarded as) spiritual. In Humanistic terms, such spirituality is worthless.

Similarly, when people give religion undue prominence outside their home or place of worship — when athletes thank Jesus for sports victories, when prayer and creationism force their way into the school day, when politicians bow their heads at prayer breakfasts (in a show of fake humility), when demagogic Black preachers sow fantasy and victimhood among their followers, when Muslim mobs burn the Pope in effigy for quoting what someone said about their religion 600 years ago, or when smug clerics or televangelists explain natural disasters as God’s wrath upon this or that group — that’s religiosity.

Worthless and harmful.

Atheism is not a goal, but a product. It is not a philosophical position, so much as it is the result of being consistent about how we view the world: those things/entities that are demonstrably real are regarded as real. Those which show no observable evidence of reality are believed to be unreal.

What would impress me would be the courage to see that deriving all wisdom from the Torah cuts us off from a great deal of learning, tremendously increases our intellectual burden by confronting us with a lot of stuff that’s irrelevant to us, and, worst of all, through selective quoting and other devious techniques, makes us intellectually dishonest and perpetuates the pretense that there is something profound in this often well-meaning but ancient and largely irrelevant document.

Humanity must outgrow the need for the religious fantasies which have given false comfort and set one human being against another for far too long. Holding onto these fantasies — and to the antagonisms and grudges they breed — not only retards one’s development as a human being. It now endangers the entire human race.

I haven’t lost hope. Because I still believe, along with Lincoln, that “America is the last, best hope on earth” So I’m going to keep libertarian ideas alive until American is ready to hear them…because I still hope that someday, somehow, America will, in Lincoln’s powerful words, have “a new birth of freedom,” and be reborn as a nation where there is truly “liberty and justice for all.”

The idea may be called liberty, it may be called individualism or Secular Humanism, it may have various other names. But its basic message is simple: it is not the stupidity of crowds that should guide our lives and our governments, but the wisdom of the individual, the freedom of the individual, the dignity of the individual.

If Americans are struggling, it is because they are taxed half to death. Families are working two and three and more jobs just keep their heads above water. The politicians promise relief, but the only actual relief will come in the form of a reduction in the size and power of government and the amount that it forcibly lifts from everyone’s bank account.

I’m not real big on “for God and country.” In terms of what is worth fighting for, I consider it 0 for 2 (unless it’s self-defense). Both religion and militarism turn off the conscience by getting people to turn rational thought and responsibility over to others. They become killing machines, praying machines, or both. When a head of state thinks he acts with divine authority, it usually means a lot of suffering and death.

I like to think of religious good works as a Subway sandwich (or hoagie, as we used to call them in Philadelphia): a lot of good bread, meat, cheese, veggies, and seasonings, and, just before serving, the whole thing is smeared with a thick layer of shit.

Couldn’t we just skip that last step?

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