Why you shouldn’t respect religious beliefs

All of the major, organized, official religions around the world are mythologies.  They all fail the test of truth. They don’t stand up to logic, scientific scrutiny or even basic common sense. They contradict reality. They’re demonstrably false.

Religion isn’t just a flawed theoretical hypothesis of how/why the universe began. It’s not an innocuous, silly idea that’s okay to believe in if you really like it. It’s a failed social experiment. There have been, are and will always be negative consequences to believing in a world view that isn’t based on reason or fact. On an individual level it drives people insane and makes them act immoral. It makes them waste their life apologizing and beating themselves and everyone around them up over things that don’t matter. It prevents them from thinking clearly about what does matter, and prayer cripples their ability to change their lives or their environment for the better. The universe is an intimidating place without a holy book to lean on, but your life will hurt worse if you lean on a broken crutch. Religion will lower your quality of life, and nothing will ever come from your suffering.

Not only does believing in mythology waste your own potential. It wastes humanity’s potential. Large groups of irrational people are the most dangerous force in the world. If their shared delusion is based on the premise that the world can be divided into the unquestionably righteous and the inhumanely evil then there will always be holocausts and jihads.

As long as people believe they can earn favor in the afterlife by paying a self-proclaimed spokesman of God, then people will throw away their life savings to line the pockets of snake oil salesmen, and as long as those snake oil salesmen can profit from building bigger, more hypnotic churches, then charity money will be wasted on monuments to mythology and greed while real people starve and die in the streets.

Institutionalized insanity doesn’t deserve respect. It deserves pity and fear. The call to action this raises isn’t to attack the victims of religion. The cure to ignorance is knowledge, and the cure for irrationality is reason. The internet is already crowd-sourcing the task of breaking down how/why religion is mythology and educating the entire world with that information. The internet is teaching people to value curiosity, intellectual independence and objective thinking, and those values stand the test of truth. Once someone’s mind is switched on, it’s very hard to turn it off. There will always be people who believe things that aren’t real even in the face of overwhelming evidence, but the internet is quickly bringing the era of mythology to an end. When humanity’s collective mind isn’t shackled with primitive mythologies it will be able to fulfill its full potential.

However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

The Bible is mythology

Christianity is bad for you and society

Churches and Christian Culture


11 responses to “Why you shouldn’t respect religious beliefs

  • E.M.

    I’ll begin with more general comments. I appreciate that both those who agree and disagree with you respond – your writing helps readers think critically. I also enjoy your emphasis on self-actualization!! We need reminding that humans create our own problems and solutions. Only an individual can effect lasting change in their own life.

    You state the facts: religion is myth, no supernatural beings exist, etc- and go beyond by encouraging people to research – think for themselves – reason – and not rely on illusions to guide them. Each person must control their own faculties to improve and progress – which mythology from ancient times inhibits.

    I’m glad you encourage mutual personhood affirmation in this post and that you distinguish such respect from naive support of harmful belief systems.

    Keep up the beneficial writing!

    Like

  • Raven

    I was really interested in your blog up until I read this post, which happened to be the third. You obviously do not understand people of faith, or faith itself. Once upon a time science fact was just science fiction too. I understand that you neither respect me nor care what I have to think, but I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for you, and in the spirit of Christianity I will pray for you.

    Like

    • That guy

      “Once upon a time science fact was just science fiction too”Thats because, lets say a science factfor example, the distance between Earth to the sun,or anything else we have discoverd,is no way science fiction,unless you are talking about the machines and other things created in Science Fiction.Things created in Sci-Fi are mostly a mix of creativity and are common knowledge of Science or any other common knowledge.Heck that could be every genre of fiction ever.
      Google how religion was created or something similar,and you will find a lot of interesting things on the topic.

      Like

  • Peter

    Wise sloth this is a really great blog! I actually stumbled across this through the what would you tell your younger self/ advice for the younger generation. I did have a question though relating to this article that I’d be grateful for a response. Playing devils advocate could one not argue that religion may increase ones potential?

    This is because perhaps religion teaches one a discipline, and inner confidence (even if it is based on factual inaccurate grounds). For example I would suggest in the case of some pro athletes religion has enhanced their potential. This is because it serves as a method to enhance their confidence and their pain threshold because “God is with them” or their doing something for a higher purpose. It becomes a lot easier to undertake mammoth tasks I i think in these cases when you have some divine force in your favour. Therefore I think religion is a double edged sword depending on what and how it used? I would welcome your comments on this.

    Like

  • Steeny Lou

    Are you confusing Christianity with Catholicism?

    Me, I’m a believer in Christ as my Savior.

    I believe Catholicism to be NOT Christianity.

    I am not into organized “churches”.

    I believe the Bible based on my own reading of it, with the faith that is within me.

    I am not part of any organized church of the land and so I do not engage in “church meetings”. I have a few like-minded friends with whom I communicate about our shared beliefs, and that, to me, is what I need.

    Like

  • Hector

    Great blog post. This is probably me nitpicking but bad hypothesis would be preferable instead of theory. The reason why is because creationists are always comparing and probably even on purpose scientific theory with hypothesis. Take for example the famous creationist slogan, “but evolution is just a theory and there’s no evidence”. In their minds theory equals to just hunches with no evidence when in reality theory is the compilation of concrete data with actual results.

    Like

    • Brad

      Hector I agree, the author of this posting should without a doubt change the wording to hypothesis in this paragraph;

      “This is why I can’t make it a categorical imperative that anyone should should respect any of the major, organized, official religions around the world; because they’re all mythologies. They’re just theories that human beings made up, and those theories are flawed. They all fail the test of truth. They don’t stand up to logic, scientific scrutiny or even basic common sense. They contradict reality.”

      The reason is that something cannot be a theory if it does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. That, by definition, would be a hypothesis.

      Like

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