Religion: the Opitate of the Masses.

Religion, organized religion, has nothing to do with God. It is a form of control. At its core, there is no difference between the Nazi cult, and fundamental Christianity, or Islam, or any other mass religion out there.

Sure, the teachings and objectives of these religions might differ from the Nazi ideal, but they still prey on, and exploit, the basic human properties that we all possess. They all deploy similar tactics to achieve their aims. Things like early indoctrination, fear, ritual, and group euphoria.  

All of these beliefs practice indoctrination at an early age. Hilter had the Hitler Youth. Christianity has Sunday School. Both are aimed at molding young minds into a certain way of thinking while those minds are too young and impressionable to question what is being put before them.

Ritual is an important part of indoctrination. Ascribing importance to symbols and religious rites gives your audience something tangible to focus on. In the absence of the presence of any visible god, you have the cross.

The Nazis knew this all too well. And the Reich was carpet-bombed (excuse the pun) with symbols and rites and sacraments. Hitler himself was a symbol and the (father of the nation), the Swastika, the Roman salute, and countless others - all of these things were designed to heighten the awareness and the aura of the Nazi ideal.

Fear is perhaps the most powerful tool in any cult or religious leader's arsenal. Fear is like a lance, jabbing into the backs of the masses, driving them toward religion. Without fear, no one would have any reason to need salvation. And so all of these belief systems are built on fear. For Christians, it's the threat of eternal damnation. In the Nazi regime, they had many instruments of fear. Nazi propaganda was fine-tuned to prey on people's fears. The holocaust was due in part to the idea, created by Nazi propaganda, that Jews were a threat to the German people.

We humans are social creatures. Hundreds of thousands of years ago we lived in large groups, like troops of baboons. We are hard-wired to respond to group dynamics. And religions exploit this too.

Thousands of years ago, when tribes would gather together, they would experience a sense of euphoria that they did not experience any other time. This is a normal human reaction to the group situation, and is actually caused by a natural release of endorphins designed by nature to help us stay together as pack animals. The same trait can be witnessed in cases of riots and football hooliganism, where mob hysteria takes over and people behave in ways they would not normally behave in.

The ancient tribes, all those years ago, were unable to explain this sensation, so they would often attribute it to friendly spirits that must have been around at the time, and they would erect a totem to honour those spirits. This is probably how religions get started in the first place.

The Nazi's recognized the power of group euphoria and held enormous rallies to whip people into frenzies though oration and song. Ever seen a group of born-again Christians on a Sunday throwing up their arms, speaking in tongues and collapsing? Notice any similarity? 

Finally, this "sense of belonging" morphs into... patrotism. Where loyalty becomes an all-pervading sense of nationalism that transends logic and reason. Where anything is reasonable and everything can be justified. From kiling 6 million Jews to flying aircraft into buildings, nothing is sacred, so to speak.

This is the danger of religion. And why we must rid ourselves of it before we can evolve as a species. Religion is divisive. Religion is intolerant. Wars are fought in the name of religion. People are persecuted in the name of religion. Along with tribalism, religion must be wiped from the face of the earth.

Then the world will be a much better place.

velosapien velosapien
31-35, M
15 Responses Sep 15, 2008

Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't Danton, Lenin, Than Shwe, Stalin, Mengele, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Ceausescu, Honecker, Castro, Pol Pot, Broz Tito, Milosevic, Bonaparte and Mussolini oppressive, sadistic, mass murdering atheists who, collectively, butchered ***hundreds of millions*** of innocent men, women and children?

And God did not send us the bible by facsimile, but it is a creation of man, interpreted by man, subject to change by man.<br />
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Religion is a political tool. You don't need it.<br />
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You just have to have faith-in whatever form comforts and emboldens you. Faith in God, faith in fellow man, faith in yourself....

Even if you wipe out everything you believe to be evil, it will be useless if human doesn't change. Humanity itself must evolve first, otherwise they'll just find new excuse to do evil to each other.

a Bit late, but I would like to add that fear and religion are also effective political tools, right, bush-cheney?

I think this is the most coherent thing I have ever read and I agree totally. I am new to this forum so I am glad I have found it. It is nice to see the discussions here and as i live in the south where religion is rampant its nice to see some differing thoughts hehe.

If you read my story you will note at the end I say "Along with tribalism, religion must be wiped from the face of the earth." Tribalism or "nationalism" is as dangerous as religion.<br />
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You cannot justify christian atrocities or muslim atrocities by saying "Oh well. Secular societies do that as well." *shrug* <br />
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Firstly, those secular societies are dictatorships or military juntas led by (for the most part) deranged psychopaths. In those cases, as in the case of the Nazis, ideology has replaced religion, totalitarian leaders have replaced Gods, but the results are the same. <br />
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Religion breeds intolerance. So do many other things such as race, sexual orientation etc. As a species we need to evolve beyond all intolerance. And that means eradicating the source of intolerance if possible or at least addressing it. One of those sources is religion, but it is by no means the only one.

Yes religion has brought us art and music. It has also brought us wars, genocide, torture, murder, prejudice and persecution among other horrors.<br />
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It's time we evolved.

Am eternity surrounded by born again christians? That's my idea of hell.

It would be awful boring up there wouldn't it Irish?<br />

It's refreshing to discuss this with someone with an enlightened opinion. Unfortunately I'm married to a 'beliveiving' Christian/Catholic who thinks I'm going to hell.<br />
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Dont' get me started on the Pope and all that in the Vatican. I can fill pages ;).

You've hit the nail on the head there TChic. Why is God so confused that he had to impregnate himself into a woman, be born and sacrifice himself TOO HIMSELF in order to convince himself to forgive all our sins? It's absurd. <br />
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If you're interested, watch Azsuperman's Youtube series: Tough Questions For Christians.<br />
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...and find out how many absurdities there really are in the Christian faith. <br />
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I'm agnostic because you can't disprove the existence of a supreme being of some kind. But I think the idea that this almighty being would require us to pray to him/her/it or to follow some set of ridiculous rules is just preposterous. It would be like us trying to make ants go to church. And considering the problems religion causes around the world, I think it's just not worth it. <br />
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So I consider myself a weak agnostic, strong atheist, very strong anti-theist (against religion).

I'm so on the fence, I vacillate wildly back and forth between 'believing' and scoffing. I mean honestly I really and truely do not understand the whole concept of God letting his 'only son' die to save the human race. On any level this does NOT make any sense. So for that reason Christianity has always made me a bit uncomfortable. But I want to desparately to be one of the masses because there is comfort in believing what everyone else believes.<br />
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Sorry, just rambling. ;)

I hope this sparks a christian opinion.. because i don't see how you can disagree with this. Very well put.<br />
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Thanks. Hope it made sense. :) I honestly believe religion should be made illegal. It's the only way to ensure this plague doesn't infect more people and cause more trouble.

wow very intense and very well written.