Yesterday, over in Facebook I saw this:
and I shared it to my wall and answered, “yes, no doubt.”
Individuals can have whatever beliefs they want, but most religious beliefs are built on myth and superstition and things that cannot be proved and for which there is no credible evidence.
Some beliefs (“God is watching”, “I need to account to God for my every word and deed”, “I will go to hell if I [XYZ]”, etc.) may serve to hold the weak-willed person’s behavior in check, especially those who lack the basic human instinct to treat others kindly just because others are also human and we have to share this world.
Other beliefs (“God made the world in 6 days about 6,000 years ago”; “Adam sinned and passed his sin nature to everyone so we’re all going to hell if we don’t believe in Jesus”; “Who you sleep with in America is more important to God than millions of starving babies around the world”) are absolutely damaging to society.
Not every belief is equal, and not every belief should be allowed to hold sway over an entire society. Allowing religious belief, even deeply held belief, to control all of society when not all of society holds that belief, is damaging.
My job (and yours if you have any ounce of sanity and self-respect left) is to directly confront and challenge ridiculous beliefs, when necessary, and work around them (ignore them) as much as you can. The idea that a God exists is silly superstition. No such god has ever been shown to exist, so there’s no need to pretend a god does exist, or to live as if there’s a god watching and controlling everything.
This topic could be expanded upon into many volumes, but I’m not going to do that. Plenty of volumes already written on the topic. My only point here is to remind that religion harms society and we have a rational and moral obligation to point that out as often and as consistently as we can.