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Apr 29, 2024
That's a somewhat shallow perspective on religion. Certainly in some religions there is the aspect of creating social order (which is not actually a bad thing, as most people prefer social harmony to chaos). But that is only part of the story.

Philosophers have always wondered about the nature of existence, the nature of the self, the nature of consciousness, the mind, time, space, etc. It is the human condition to wonder about these big questions, and we have a need to be given some answers. Religion fulfils those needs, or at least it did in the past. Even in cultures without money and without any rich or poor, such as the American indigenous peoples, they still felt the need to have creation myths and a religion.

Most people are hardwired to be religious or spiritual. It's part of who we are. Just as most people have a sex drive, driven by hormones and brain neurotransmitters, most people also have religious or spiritual inklings. I suspect that people who are atheists by disposition just lack the appropriate hormones or neurotransmitters to feel the religious or spiritual impulse, so for them, religious material or culture becomes meaningless. Just as for somebody totally asexual due to hormone deficits, they would not find sexual alluring pictures of any interest.

As for original sin, do you know that this concept originated in gnosticism, and was only later transferred into Christianity? Gnosticism paints a bleak picture of the world: in the gnostic view, the god who controls the physical world is evil, and he prevents humans from contacting any higher benevolent gods. This evil gnostic god, called the demiurge, entraps humans in a debased physical world of his creation.

As someone who has suffered decades of misery from chronic illness and attendant mental health issues, I can see why some people would like to create such a miserable religion as gnosticism, because it reflects the reality lived by suffering people. People who have been fortunate to have led a great life with minimal suffering probably do not see our physical world as debased; but people who have suffered a lot may take a different view about the nature of our world.

Gnosticism by the way does not really support the idea that religion just tells people what they want to hear; nobody would want to be told that they live in a gnostic universe. I find it depressing even just to read about gnostic ideas.

I used to be a very spiritual person, with great interest in Eastern mysticism; but then a viral brain infection I had two decades ago damaged my brain, and ripped out all my spiritual inklings. So now all the spiritual books on my bookshelf have lot all their meaning for me. This shows that religion and spirituality are hardwired in the brain, and if something happens to the brain, it can utterly change your perspective on spiritual matters.

For me, losing contact with these spiritual energies that I used to enjoy (and which gave my life depth and meaning), is one of the reasons I find life so bleak and miserable now.
honestly, trying to parse out which religious ideas are ridiculous and which are spiritual and innate and meaningful is like debating whether santa claus or the easter bunny has more historical validity

it's all obvious bulllshit designed to control and manipulate people, but i can't get someone red-green colorblind to distinguish those colors and i can't get spiritual people to understand atheism

i understand the world is hard and cruel and so the fantasies provide comfort to people. they are still bullshit and lies and used to manipulate and control people and i hate all of the religions and all spiritual beliefs which are even more pernicious because they are nebulous enough that people can deny their deceptive nature and the damage they cause
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Apr 15, 2024
I believe religion exists as a form of class control to help the wealthy class control the lower classes.

Almost every religion says "Don't rebel now and be good. If you work like a slave, heaven awaits. if you rebel and are bad, hell awaits." I think religions also added in a bunch of stuff that lower class people agreed with so they would be more likely to accept the fantasy.

They hate suicide because religion says it's bad, and religion says it's bad because wealthy people couldn't control poor people without religion.

Also, allowing suicide denies that the wealthy and the government control and ownership of the bodies of their workers. They want complete and total control and if someone takes their own life, they don't have power over them.

It also upsets the people who are still left and alive when someone chooses to die.
That is way too simplistic. Maybe certain kinds of organized religion or interpretations of them, but religious beliefs and rituals in general also exist in hunter gatherer tribes as well, where it is known that nobody really "controls the masses". The elites in "civilized" societies use all kinds of things to control the masses (media, law, philosophy, even science), not just religion. But religion goes wayyyy back before civilization.

The interpretation of Christianity I believe in specifically rejects the "Don't rebel now and be good. If you work like a slave, heaven awaits. if you rebel and are bad, hell awaits." Instead, nobody is good, all have sinned, and to avoid hell you just have to trust that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. Then your fate is sealed if Jesus is your savior by faith, no matter how much you sin and rebel. So to me, nobody can control me through religion by fear of afterlife.
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