Jehalopeno, I understand your experience after
leaving the JWorg, going from a polarized position to a more moderate appraisal
of religion and religious people. I imagine that your experience, which was
like mine, is the norm. I still loathe the JW religion and rue the wasted
time spent with it.
I like too that you brought in the
historical matter of John Lock whose informed and modest aims were to clear the
philosophical ground so that others could cultivate it. Along with David Hume,
Diderot and The Encyclopaedists and the agency of the White House under
Jefferson who cribbed much of Lock’s work, much philosophical progress was made
and the Enlightenment began to have an impact.
Just as the Renaissance and the Reformation had revised the world views
of the West, the Enlightenment at the end of the eighteenth century began to
end abject servility to the principle of monarchy as well as constraining aristocratic
and religious privilege. It is Humanists today who are still pressing on under the Enlightenment banner.
Therefore ideas; accurate and evidence based mental concepts of
the tangible world, matter very much as do understanding the zeitgeist in which ideas are shaped.
My point is that to make progress, humanity
must keep changing for the better. By dragging forward the old irrational
belief of unknowable, invisible gods into the modern world, it diminishes the
effectiveness of societies’ aims for advancement into areas such as rational
education, peace-making and realization of human potential. So there are grave errors
in perpetuating long sanctioned religious myths about being answerable to gods
when no such things can have any logical validity.
Religion is retrograde,
religion is a faulty life raft; it should not be banned but exposed to reason and left to die a quiet