Why do I do this and who am I?

I’m going to post a lot of articles and links to sites that criticise religious belief.

I used to be a Catholic. I went to Catholic schools, went to church and did the whole shebang. I figured that God probably didn’t exist around 16 or so but didn’t give it much thought since I figured it was pretty harmless to believe in God.

The resurgence of religious and mystical belief though changed my mind. Personal religious belief can benefit an individual without a doubt. It gives some people strength that they may have otherwise lacked. Terry Waite survived nearly five years of captivity and attributes his survival to his faith. The problem with religion is that it is often not just a person thing. Judaism doesn’t seem to try to spread itself but religions like Christianity and Islam have a viral aspect to them. Their adherents are required to spread their religion. Witness how Christians proselytise on street corners. Each week I receive at least one new religious pamphlet through my door.

Ultimately though religious belief is a delusion and a dangerous one at that. It tries to make people live according to rules decided thousands of years ago by people who could simply not function in modern society. Do we consider acceptable to stone someone to death simply because they disobey their parents? We do not but this is a teaching of the Christian god. Most people are moderates and adopt the buffet approach – particularly Christians. They take the parts of their religious texts that they like and ignore the nasty ones. Of course we know about the extremists as well. Arguably these could be the people who are being honest to their religion. The Old Testament condones slavery but most Christians would certainly not beat a slave let alone keep one. The Bible has been used to justify slavery though. The Bible has it’s heroes Raping their way through the Middle East yet most modern Christians would not condone rape. You can’t escape the fact though that these lessons are still very much part of the religion and to ignore them is to deny the religion. Once you decide that one lesson does not apply then you invalidate the authority of the whole book.

Christians try to tell me that I cannot have morality if I’m an atheist. A condescending and frankly baffling assertion. I’m reminded of this quote.

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Abraham Lincoln

Religion is not to blame for all the evil of the world but it is obviously an out-dated idea that lends itself to conflict. Who do you think is better qualified to decide how we should live? A group of bronze-age men or modern democratically elected men and women?

The most important point again is that you are not forced to read any of the articles here. As a tax-payer I am forced to pay so that religions can indoctrinate people. The publically funded television channels show religious drivel at my expense. The state pays for schools who’s purpose is to educate and indoctrinate. Christians complain of being persecuted but I don’t see how they could have it any better. They have freedom to practice their religion and the state will help them pay for it. This web site though is not compulsory. I am not posting pamphlets through doors to try to de-convert anyone so Christians visiting this web site are getting a choice that so many of their co-religionists deny atheists and people of other religions.

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2 Responses to “Why do I do this and who am I?”

  1. B TULLY Says:

    Who on earth do you think you are?
    You complain about religion being forced upon us and that YOU are not ‘posting pamphlets through doors to try to de-convert anyone……..’ and this on a website called the sceptical ‘preacher!’
    You obviously consider yourself an arbiter of all that is YOUR own belief and dimiss anything that does not comply with your own beliefs
    You rubbish religion astrology homeopothy acupuncture and acupressure because it doesn’t fit in with your one dimensional ‘scientific’ view of the Universe and would like to see the choice taken away from people
    Personally I believe in a God but none manufactured by man I am open minded about homeopothy acupuncture and acupressure because there is no doubting that it does work for some people and although scientifically unproven it may work on a different level eg placebo effect
    So I too am sceptical about certain issues but would never deride or attempt to change somebody’s beliefs if they choose to believe in them but as for you
    You are as bigoted and oppressive perhaps even more so than the organisations and subjects you choose not to believe in
    I note your reference to the James Randi Organisation and you are in good company with a bunch of self appointed pseudo intellectuals who think they know what’s right and what’s not and like some secret sect are trying to convert the World to ‘their’ beliefs
    You’re a saddo who needs to get a life

  2. Sean Kehoe Says:

    Hi B Tully,

    What’s wrong with me using the title ‘preacher’? Do I have some kind of hidden agenda?

    I don’t force my views on others, people are free to visit this site or ignore it

    I rubbish pseudo-science and religious belief because they are deception, pure and simple. Do you think it’s right that people are making claims for their products with no evidence to back them up? Would it be right if I started bottling tap water and selling it to people as a spiritual energy drink? Would it be ethical for Merck (a large drug company) to sell placebo headache tablets?

    Do you think large drug companies should be allowed to make false claims about their products or do you reserve this right only for alternative medicine peddlers?

    You’re perfectly entitled to your beliefs, as are all of us. I dismiss any crazy claim when there’s an absence of facts – that is what scepticism is about. This isn’t a one-dimensional view, it’s rational thinking.

    All gods are manufactured by man, how is yours different? I’m interested in knowing what kind of faith you have and how you acquired it?

    I don’t see how rubbishing the claims of charlatans and liars is bigotry or oppressive behaviour. I have facts and am willing to argue my case. I am perfectly willing to admit that I am wrong if someone can show evidence for the effectiveness of alternative medicine or astrology. What I expect is to see evidence that it works as it’s proponents claim, not anecdotal stories. Note that most of the ‘evidence’ for alternative medicine comes from stories of people who benefited from it, no real evidence.

    I hope this answers some of the points you raised. Note that I have responded respectfully and avoided personal insults – a courtesy that you didn’t do me.

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