Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Been reading some articles from my old friend, cheese. He has posted some very interesting issues about religion so I decided to do some copy and paste into my blog, however the big credit still belongs to him!

So here it goes~

Christopher Hitchens: God is not Great. How religion pollutes everything

- Religion comes from a period when humans where able to think and seek for information but had no way to explain what was happening around them, and religion was a way of explaining the things that could not be explained back then.

- No theologian(people studying religion) has ever been able to conclusively prove the existence of a higher being at any point of time in the history of mankind, the best they have ever been able to do was to attribute an apparent harmony in the arrangements.

- Religion goes for an already rather impossible task of proving the existence of said entity, and takes it a step further, and expects people to believe(which they do) that the speaker not only can prove the existence of that entity, but can claim to know this entities mind quite intimately and can claim to know his or her personal wishes, and in turn can tell u what u can do or can not do in his name.

- It gives to people(ministers/rabbis/shamans) power in the here and now. If you are his holiness the pope, and u have aggregated to yourself the power to free or to imprison, and to decide who may read what, how many tides must be paid, how many holy days must be observed, how many disciplines must be followed, is it seeking power in the afterlife or is it seeking power in the here and now? This is fairly obvious, and to add on to that, the sort of power being attributed to these people can not be challenged by normal challengers.

- One way of demonstrating the fact that religion is man-made is its proliferation(religion is everywhere!)

- There can only be 2 possible creators of religion, it can either be 'god made man' or 'man made god', if it is 'god made man' then it is very hard to see why there are so many religions, and why they are constantly at war with each other, however if you make the opposite assumption, that man has invented religion and god, there isn't much to be explained and I might add there are uncountable cults, sects, discrepancies within the holy books, warring churches. Iraq as an example, most of the hostility is directed at rival churches, at other Muslims, rather than the occupation force.

- PS: this isn't exactly a point, so skip it if u want, it's a counter argument against something put up by another debater, the argument is, religion has done plenty good for mankind, its wrong to say that religion pollutes everything, the counter argument was that while it can be said that religion has done plenty of things for mankind, these things were in fact things that could have been done without the help of religion, and if religion were to take credit for the positive things, it should take credit for the mass murders and warring religions(the crusades). You might say that it isn't fair to put it that way, using the example of how a professor should not have to take credit for both, the student who passed with flying colours and also the other who dropped out, but the fact is that in every religion there are statements like, 'smite the head off the unbelievers' and other statements of the same sentiment, and while not everyone will follow that, that is what the holy books say, and as a believer that is a means of justifying however brutal the act may be, eg: "mass murder/genocide".... The point here being that the holy book encourages the believer in these acts, just as the same way a psychopath professor would tell his students to go out and kill people. As it is the analogy of the professor with the good and bad student is faulty.
In a nutshell, name one good act that could not be done by a person without faith, and then name one evil act that a religious person can commit in the name of religion that a normal person would not do. You will find that it is far easier to find answers for the latter rather than the former.

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