Don't Be Fundamentalists

I enjoy religion and spirituality as a topic of conversation, particularly when it is not a contentious one. But atheists who are convinced that they "know" there is no god(s) and that all followers of structured religious practices have been duped by money hungry and power hungry megalomaniacs tend to annoy me.

I respect atheism, particularly if it works for you. But the fact is that there is no known civilization since the beginning of recorded history that did not have structured faith systems as part of its moral/ethic/political/social dynamic. Not all civilizations are based on underlying faith structures, but all have incorporated them in some significant way within their way of life. I am not saying this means they have all been right, or that people must accept structured faith. I am just saying that defined spirituality is an inherent part of human coexistence and of significant benefit to humans in general.

And for those who parrot the silly statement that "More wars have been started and people killed by religion than anything blah blah blah..." That's crap. Almost EVERY war ever fought since the beginning of time has been over land, resources, money, or power. Wars aren't fought over religion. The promotion of religious purposes in war is a matter of marketing, because the fact is that most of the people actually fighting in the war are not going to receive much (or any) or the spoils of victory, so those who stand to gain from the war always need to find motivation for those they need to fight it.

And for every person killed, maimed, or abused in the name of religion- just as many have been clothed, fed, sheltered, medically treated, cared for, and educated via religious resources and by the charity and efforts of followers of structured religion.

I don't like when people try to force others to be religious, nor do I like the atheists who look down their noses as if they have achieved some intellectual superiority by choosing not to invest themselves in a belief in a higher power.

To each their own, and to all safe travels.
Casualfun Casualfun
36-40, M
1 Response Jun 25, 2012

While I agree with your premise, unfortunately, your arguments aren't sound.<br />
<br />
I am not an atheist, but I don't believe in God precisely the way God is defined by most religions. A religion, at least to me, is completely different than faith. Religion, by my experience is when a group of people come together under the guise of a common faith. Before long, religion has a power center, a hierarchy and a group of theists who are responsible for defining right and wrong and who, eventually, lose track of what the core faiths are.<br />
<br />
Most wars can, in fact, be traced back to religious origins. I wish not to debate this right here however. I just want to point out that organized religion is subject to the same power corruption and abuse that exists in government. Organized religion is often more about indoctrination of the masses instead of encouraging people to develop a true understanding of God and people.<br />
<br />
I do not agree with militant atheists who, to me, are hypocritical in their approach. If it's wrong for others to convince you that there IS a a God, then it's equally wrong for you to convince others that there isn't.<br />
<br />
We need more conversation and less accusing. If we are truly interested in learning (most people are not), then we should listen first and try to understand.

I have no more comfort with the inherent flaws of religious bureaucracy than you do, and it is the main reason I am not an active participant of my religious affiliation. And while you say my reasoning is not sound, I do not see where you addressed the core point of the second or fourth paragraphs. We can agree to disagree on my point in the third paragraph, because you will never sway me on this point. I believe all conflict is based on greed, fear, and the competition for limited resources regardless of whatever superficial "reasons" are attributed from a contemporary or historical perspective.

And, in the end, we both agree on the main point of my story. Whether religious or atheist, you have the right to hold and defend your beliefs, but not to force them upon others or assume a personal superiority based on others perceived inferiority because they do not "know what you know to be true."

Thanks for the response.

I suspect we agree more than what our words might suggest. :-) Good story!