Hi just2laws! EXCELLENT POINT! You say: "As to your assessment of religion in general I agree. Yet, many people really NEED religion in their lives. One can not deal with their need by exposing the flaws in their "way of knowing" or by debunking their beliefs by blowing away their persuppositons with facts. You have to help them reduce their NEED."
The NEED stems from FEAR.
Advertising executives know the importance of creating a NEED in the potential customer. The religious mystic uses the same tactic. Religious propaganda creates a need for religion by filling the world with (imaginary) terrors.
Jw's always begin with the false dichotomy of rampant wickedness and ultimate destruction contrasted with the Paradise alternative. The sales pitch consists of either/or
Do you want to be destroyed along with the wicked? OR,
Do you want to live perfectly in peace and paradise? Duh!
The product being sold depends on how well the customer FEARS the alternative.
Hell was invented for just such a reason.
The invisible world of angels and demons and spirit attack was invented to engender FEAR.
Until a person who is swallowed up by religion realizes that the Boogeyman in the closet is just an old hat and raincoat--they won't stop smothering themselves under the blankets of religious "protectionism".
RUTHERFORD was__almost__right about one thing. Religion is a snare and a PROTECTION racket. First they scare you to death and then they protect you from what they are scaring you with!
The delusion that we have these mystical make-believe alternatives to real life is the lie. Once you recognize that no belief system can grant you escape from natural death or give you everlasting life in Paradise---you can free yourself from the false choices leading to such an embrace.
The job of RELIGION is to frighten you and offer you comfort from the fear. That's it. That is all there is. In the process you become the slave to an elite group that grows fat off of your slave labor as you "earn" your way into heaven or paradise through your good works!
THE NEED you speak of is what must be addressed. It is an illusory escape. It is an EVASION of reality.
Religion is the disease. Thinking is the cure.