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View from the Future

Posted by tungtide on June 16, 2008, 10:55 pm

I’ve been working my way through The God Delusion and came across an interesting subject independent from my usual ranting about religion: how will my comments (and by extension, those of the friends and bloggers I spend time reading) be seen in the future? I’m not talking about hundreds of years but simply a few decades.

The segment of the book was referring to the changing social Zeitgeist and how concepts such as racism, sexism, genocide, and slavery all changed in they way they were perceived by society over time. My thought, then, was how my view on religion would be seen in a future light. As I stated in a previous post, I am not going to be including any classic posts from my old website (circa 2000-2002). In the six years or more that have passed since I composed most of those posts I’ve found that my opinions on the subjects have changed and matured.

I think that it is important for me to define exactly where I stand at this point on the subject of religion. My posts alone don’t paint a complete picture and I’m sure that when I come back to this work in another five years (independent of whether the blog is still running at that point) I’ll have grown and changed my opinions for the better in that intervening time.

I see religion as a damaging force in society because it prizes faith and unwavering loyalty to a group and set of ideas. That’s it, really. Certainly there are more details involved but my biggest issue isn’t evangelism, murder, or bigotry because those issues are all byproducts of blind faith. Take the time to reevaluate beliefs, look at those beliefs held close as well as those that seem odd or unusual. Find wonder and joy in your daily life. Try living a day as a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, or pastafarian.

The reason I post links to other blogs and news stories such as the one in the previous post is because I wish to highlight the problems in the world brought about in the name of religion. Belief in the supernatural should never be used as an excuse for actions against other people that are crimes by any other definition. There are, I am sure, actions by atheists that are equally as reprehensible and I will gladly post those as well. Disbelief in the supernatural is no more of an excuse for committing crime than belief.

To bring this long-winded rant to a conclusion I’ll say that I would be happy in a world where religious belief prevailed if that world lacked the divisiveness and vindictiveness associated with religions today. Sadly, this is not a likely scenario.

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