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Without religion… October 31, 2010

Posted by thegodless in Uncategorized.
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As I have read through Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, I have pondered the remaining value of religion. In doing so, I have been stumped by trying to come up with a single instance where losing religion would deprive humanity of anything valuable. For the last three days, I have wondered if there is anything that religion offers that humanity can’t achieve on it’s own. The realm of human morals has been the last great hope for religion to have any value in the modern world. Religion has invested it’s remaining worth in a concept that it thought it owned. As morals have now been shown to be naturally occurring, what is left of value from religion? I know we will always be able to value religion’s past accomplishments, however diminished by atrocities they may be, but I’m focusing more on what religion has to offer humanity now. What worth is it anymore?

Until very recently, religion was seen as a way to cleanse thyself from the sins of the past, a way to comfort the dying, and a way to give peace to the relatives of the dying. These apparent benefits have turned out to be nothing more than snake oils. The fact stands that man has replaced and improved upon every alleged religious benefit. If religion was held to the same standards of everything else in life, it would have quickly fell into obscurity. Take the evolution of computers for example. If man held computers to the same standard as religion, everyone would still be using Commodore 64’s, regardless of the fact that cheaper, faster, and more reliable computers exist. It’s like people clinging to pagers in the era of cheap cell phones. It’s like old people too scared to surf the net. It’s not only sad, but harmful to the progress of our species.

Saying all of this, I ask, what remains of religion that can be proven to be a benefit that no other societal construct offers? What value can religion prove it offers to man and if no value exists, why the hell does religion persist?

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Comments»

1. thesecretatheist - October 31, 2010

I wish I knew the answers to these questions. The more I think about it the more I want to say it has no value anymore, that we have grown out of a need for religion as a race. But, I have so many friends and family who cling to it in various degrees that I feel kind of bad for writing off a huge part of their lives as meaningless.

thegodless - October 31, 2010

I too have friends and family that cherish their involvement with religion. I wouldn’t dare say to them directly that they are wasting their time, though I truly feel that, if they could reach this conclusion, their lives would be more rich and meaningful for doing so. It really seems an impossible task for humanity to rid itself of wasted religious effort. I do know that, if only we had spent all of the time and effort on more meaningful activities, we would likely be a much more advanced species.


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