Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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Alternet: Better off without Him?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]iniswitryn)

(Poster's comment: I found this article thought-provoking, a look at the pros and cons of religious inspiration's intersection with the sociopolitical sphere, without gratuitous attack on religious belief.)

Better Off Without Him?

By George Monbiot, AlterNet. Posted October 13, 2005.

"Christian fundamentalists claim religion is associated with lower rates of violence, teen pregnancy and divorce. A new study says they couldn't be more wrong."

Are religious societies better than secular ones? It should be an easy question for athiests to answer.

Most of those now seeking to blow people up -- whether with tanks and missiles or rucksacks and passenger planes -- do so in the name of God. In India, we see men whose religion forbids them to harm insects setting fire to human beings. A 14th-century Pope with a 21st-century communications network sustains his church's mission of persecuting gays and denying women ownership of their bodies. Bishops and rabbis in Britain have just united in the cause of prolonging human suffering, by opposing the legalization of assisted suicide. We know that the most dangerous human trait is an absence of self-doubt, and that self-doubt is more likely to be absent from the mind of the believer than the non-religious infidel.

But we also know that few religious governments have committed atrocities on the scale of Hitler's, Mao's or Stalin's (though, given their more limited means, the Spanish and British in the Americas, the British, Germans and Belgians in Africa, and the British in Australia and India could be said to have done their best). It is hard to dismiss Dostoyevsky's suspicion that "If God does not exist, then everything is permissible."

Nor can we wholly disagree with the new Pope when he warns that "we are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which ... has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires." (We must trust, of course, that a man who has spent his life campaigning to become God's go-between, and who now believes he is infallible, is immune to such impulses).

The creationists in the United States might be as mad as a box of ferrets, but what they claim to fear is the question which troubles almost everyone who has stopped to think about it: if our lives have no purpose, why should we care about other people's?

for the full article see http://www.alternet.org/story/26721

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