Challenge to Athiests - is Religion a Pox on Mankind?

by jgnat 169 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jgnat

    Ruby456, you understand I am not trying to win converts here, right? I understand the need for rest, the freedom to walk away. I like the founder of L'arche's concept of a loose organization with soft borders, welcoming.

  • Finkelstein

    Due to mankind's ignorance of the world in which he lived in, gods were created out of necessity to fill in the unknowns

    as to well to develop relationships to these gods who were thought to be precariously in control of this world.

    Organized religious faiths and beliefs were established creating a perceived relationship toward these gods.

    Keeping these faiths organized by men also helps in creating power and control for these men as identifiable spiritual seers

    toward these gods.

    In the containing process of creating these set about channels of communication toward gods,

    mankind has let itself be overtly controlled by these designated seers of these accepted gods, many times

    crippling knowledge that could potentially benefit all humanity in the living human experience.

    So one could say religion has been a Pox on humanity for all these efforts have done is just channeled the

    inherent ignorance out of men themselves in creating a semblance of power and control .

  • jgnat

    wasblind, I have a crazy parent but she failed to demolish my faith in parenthood. I think closed organizations that suppress individuality (perhaps excepting armies) are harmful.

  • confusedandalone

    " might it be a value judgement and a tad premature to declare the advantages of collective action obsolete? It got us through two world wars and might just pull us out of global warming."

    collective action is always going to be needed to solve any major problem mankind faces... however when that collective actions core is based upon religious doctrines or identities it can be extremely limiting in many cases. Unity based upon religion is similar to unity based upon skin color or nationality - they can still be very effective but not nearly as effective as if it were based upon sopmething else. What that something else would be... I don't have an answer for :(

  • Reopened Mind
    Reopened Mind


    I enjoy reading your insightful posts. Your observations of JWism are spot on.

    Is religion a pox on mankind? I want to share an observation from a program on the History channel on the development of humans that I watched some time ago. The earliest Neandertals did not bury their dead but left them in the open like the animals around them. There is evidence that at some point in their evolution they began burying their dead. The commentator postulated that at this point early man developed imagination. To me that makes sense that this was the beginning of religion. Now they could imagine that there was something after death; that there were gods controlling the natural phenomena they saw around them. Over time this morphed into elaborate mythologies. A cursory review of civilization shows that each one's religion is a reflection of their culture.

    Today we see thousands of religions and sects of religions. To me this shows the great imaginations of mankind. Religious groups span the spectrum from benign to destructive and everything in between. They can fulfill our need for community and belonging. But they can also foster extreme hatred, a sense of superiorty, exclusivity, us-versus-them, genocide, wars, subjugation of women, ignorance, etc. It was out of religion that came the Crusades, the Inquisition, and numerous holy wars.

    Religion is a pox (a virus disease; plague, curse) when it imposes itself on those who do not hold the same views. An excellent book on this subject is "The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Cultlure" by Darrel W. Ray.

    Reopened Mind

  • jgnat

    WMF, as you can see I am taking full advantage of my unlimited posting. You will note that I specifically excluded religious dogma from my challenge that these collectives may be advantageous (or at least not harmful).

    Just because others can also conduct charitable acts, does it follow that religious charities are harmful?

    Cooperators Win

    P.S. Pox had a more pleasing single-syllable cadence than virus or cancer.

  • wasblind

    wasblind , I have a crazy parent but she failed to demolish my faith in parenthood

    So true Jgnat

    Despite the negative I still managed to retain the spirit/persona of who I was

    before I got involved in such a supressive religion


    Though it wasn't easy

  • jgnat

    Finkelstein, one could say the same of followers of Aristotle and Newton whose genius is indisputable but whose concepts also suppressed new knowledge for generations by intimidating thinkers in to failing to challenge where they went wrong.

  • Ruby456

    jgnat asked

    Ruby456, you understand I am not trying to win converts here, right? I understand the need for rest, the freedom to walk away. I like the founder of L'arche's concept of a loose organization with soft borders, welcoming.

    yes I understand that - I was not saying that preachers are insatiable and that we need a rest from them. I was saying that the drive to life or to greatness can be insatiable and we need a rest from this life drive sometimes - what I mean to say is that we all have this drive but we need to control it in ourselves as it can consume us.

    soft borders - i like that

  • jgnat

    Laika, I think you are seeing evidence of community identity. We've had it since tribal days. Those of us in our tribe are human; those outside are "others". Others are strange, smell weird, and if they are threatening, we don't feel bad killing them off. Pinker discusses how violent our ancestors were (The Better Angels of our Nature). Short was the life of a tribal warrior.

    More and more we recognize our common humanity on this small globe. Common humanity means one tribe. No strangers, all brothers.

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