"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

faith or reason?

The reason why I am opposed to religion is that I believe that it does more harm than good.

The pure base of religion is lovely. If you believe in God and do good in your life you go to heaven. If you don't, you go to hell. Something like that. It should be a nice way to keep crime rates down.

But people who are so deeply and profoundly religious risk losing all sense of reason. Such as slaughtering unbelievers, to the more mundane - not allowing Sunday trading, banning their children from Harry Potter, and then back to the important - stances against blacks, women, homosexuals, unbelievers, etc. The problem with religion is that once it controls your life sufficiently enough to deprive you of all common sense, you start to try and control other people in ways that one human being should not control another.

I read Harry Potter. I support women's rights and gays and Sunday trading. It's called COMMON SENSE. I read Harry Potter because I like it. I support women's rights and gays because I have made a conscious decision that it is a right and important thing to do. I support Sunday trading because yes, I do need to eat on Sundays, too. God is not the be all and end all of everything.

As atheist as I am, I try not to impose my beliefs onto others, unless their beliefs obstruct mine in a way I believe to be unreasonable. I'm a big believer in doing whatever you want, as long as it doesn't affect other people. Which means I don't support people trying to make a universal ban on Harry Potter - in fact, I don't even advocate parents banning their children from reading it, because children are human beings too, you know, and have the right to have a say in what they do.

I don't approve of people, religious or not, making outlandish claims and having the audacity to bother federal courts who have better things to worry about than whether or not Harry Potter supports Satan. It is because of these people all religious people look ridiculous. It doesn't matter what family, religion, ethnicity, community you belong to, once you belong to it, you represent it in all that you do. Which is why I can't stand Asians acting weird because it gives all of us a bad name.

We have a civic duty to protect the rights and liberties of all people on earth. The impinge on another man's rights is the greatest crime of all.


Adelaide Dupont said...

"It doesn't matter what family, religion, ethnicity, community you belong to, once you belong to it, you represent it in all that you do. Which is why I can't stand Asians acting weird because it gives all of us a bad name."

Thank you for that point. Perhaps it is a comparatively minor point. That is the one thing we humans have in common. We are representational beings. Indeed, Schopehauer wrote a text called The world as will and representation and he clearly meant the human world.

If nothing else, it makes us careful about all our bonds, both the ones we choose and the ones we didn't. Though the issue seems to be being more careful about our actions (the ones we can control).

(But surely there are actions which are just ours, that our families and communities only touch less than other actions?)

And your overall point: that religion has done more harm than good or has the strong potential to do this, is well taken. And that impinging on people's rights is the greatest crime ... certainly it is the one most commonly committed, and it is the root of other crimes, to property and to person.

The sense of reason is a hard-won sense. We all have the potential of losing it - and of gaining it. It is not a constant thing, any more than faith is. It is subject to continuity and to change.

"The pure base" paragraph was very functionalist. I had a smile about the "crime rates going down".

Vexatious and frivolous claims. They probably clog down the machinery of the legal system faster than anything else. They are like mosquitos.

Mermaid said...

So, I'm guessing you're talking about organised religion?
If so, w00t.


I can ban my kid from reading Harry Potter if I want to. It's my household, just like you can let your kid read it.

What if you define asians being weird as something some random asian finds normal? Srsly.