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Bloviating Zeppelin: Why Religion Is Bad

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why Religion Is Bad

- Because it sets limits
- Because it advocates discipline
- Because it embraces judgment
- Because it delineates consequences
- Because it promotes hard work
- Because it encompasses responsibility
- Because it suggests independence
- Because it counsels self-reliance
- Because it emphasizes group and not individual
- Because esteem does not factor

If I were logical but Agnostic, I would advocate religion simply for its tenets of Life Living:

The Ten Commandments (or Decalogue):
1. "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me..." (This commandment is to believe in the existence of God and His influence on events in the world. It prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities.)

2. "Do not make an image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..." (This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.

3. "Do not swear falsely by the name of the LORD..." (This commandment is to never take the name of God in a vain, pointless or insincere oath.)

4. "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, "observe". The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation.

5. "Honor your father and your mother..." The obligation to honor one's parents is an obligation that one owes to God and fulfills this obligation through one's actions towards one's parents.

6. "Do not murder." Murdering a human being is a capital sin. As with law, there is differentiated murder and killing.

7. "Do not commit adultery." Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a man and a married woman who is not his wife. Apparently, as with the White House, blow jobs don't count either.

8. "Do not steal." This is not understood as stealing in the conventional sense, since theft of property is forbidden elsewhere and is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap" as well. These are two entirely different levels.

9. "Do not bear false witness against your neighbor." One must not bear false witness in a court of law or other proceeding.

10. "Do not covet your neighbor's wife" Sin, quite frankly, is primarily local. One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another.

This is how atheists see those who believe:

And this is what Wise Europe thinks of the United States:

So tell me a few things, please:

- Tell me how atheism has improved life on this planet.
- Delineate to me how religion diminishes the overall quality of life experienced on this earth.
- Why it is apparent that so many people seem to think that religion needs to be completely abandoned for secularism?

I have my own answers. What are yours?

Which begs another question: What are the tenets of secularism or atheism for living a Good Life?

Or, in a larger context, are the concepts of "good" and "bad" in and of themselves outdated?



Blogger Bushwack said...

Atheism is a lack of faith, in anything other than self.
These folks are largely alone spiritually, but in dire situations they do not yell "OH ME" they tend to still use the word "GOD"

I don't know why religion became so "BAD" my feeling is it became bad when we removed it from schools, and made people of faith keep it to themselves in public.

One thing that religion in schools did was teach consequences for bad actions, and since that has been eliminated, you can tell the result.

Good questions, Jenn might be able to add something too it.

Fri Dec 21, 09:32:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I was hoping so. But this, like so many other important issues, became focused on the "frog in the boiling pot" scenario.

How did we get where we are now? By IGNORANCE.


Fri Dec 21, 10:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

BZ, excellent piece, a HUGE can of worms too, and I am not going to get involved with this one, if I do, I know that someone will get pissed off, not you, but some will find MY answers offensive, and I am not going there in your blog, I like you way too much...

On the 'Top 10 list', number 6 has always given me great pause, I was raised Catholic, and to them it was always 'Thou shalt not kill', the made no differentiation, I was so conflicted, as a young troop and then a young 'other stuff' it was a necessity on occasion, to take anothers life, and the Catholic church had us really fucked up on that 30/35 years ago...

Might be why I so much understood Ranando's 'I love God, it's his fans I can't stand.' thing...

Fri Dec 21, 10:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

How is atheism not a religion in its own rite?

Sat Dec 22, 04:06:00 AM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

Religion in school, who's religion?

I've never seen the 6th written where it reads Murder, this is a first for me.

Who's religion is correct?

Catholics pray and worship craven images everyday. They also kneel to other human beings. Have you ever been to Mass, God never comes up. I don't want these people in my schools, hell I don't want these people on my block.

I've always been told you can't work your way into Heaven, it's a Gift presented by God. It's not what you do, it's how you treat and feel about others.

Keep the seventh-day holy. Is the seventh-day Saturday or Sunday. On my calander, it's Saturday.

Is it really OK to kill in the name of God?

Believe me, I don't want to spend eternity with Bush, Chaney, Clinton, Obama, Hussain, Haggart, The Pope (any of them), Hannity, Coulter, Frankin, O'Donnell or any of these Ass-Hats and I know I won't have to.

My relationship with my God is very personal. He's my friend, my teacher, my guide. I don't need to share that relationship with anyone. I don't have to have people tell me how this relationship should be. In Fact, I could care less what others think. I don't need my relationship to go to school. I don't need my relationship to come over to your house and please don't bring your relationship to mine.

I don't care who is an Atheist or not. They can preach Atheism until they're blue in the face, I don't care.

I don't care because I have my relationship and that's all that matters to me.

Sat Dec 22, 05:07:00 AM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Atheism is, indeed, a religion as now practiced.

So is economics, in case anyone has missed that.

Limits are, indeed, good things to have and many represent the concept of 'reciprocity' and that is a highly civilized virtue. Many of the 10 Commandments are things that make high sense to a tribe leaving Egypt to rediscover itself (and the question of 'captivity' of the Jews is called into question by the forms of labor and care given to them while in Egypt, because slaves were treated far, far worse than appointed civil labor that all in Egypt had to donate towards the State). That cultural identity meant, however, that not committing murder is a tribal dileneation: the Jews had no problems killing those outside their tribe when they marched into the land of Canaan... quite the opposite, in fact. That shifted to be more universalized by Jesus, to include humanity as all under the purview of higher power... unless, of course, you classified them as savages or sub-human. But even *they* could have wisdom thrust upon them if you worked hard enough at them. 'Civilizing' them. Although, as it turned out, not all men were created equal in that ability to be 'civilized' and those Monophysites really were heretics...

Working past *that* took a few centuries, a number of wars, some paper nailed to a door, even worse wars, a time of 'enlightenment' and, for the first time, putting forward that the State should not decide religion for its people. Why that was only 1648!

Mind you, the originially, highly delimited view of 'murder' put forward for the circumstances of that tribe in the desert had, by now, been expanded upon in so many dimensions that calling it the original rule takes a bit of work. And it would get expanded more and more and more and justly so! Self-evident rights are, indeed, self-evident, but I somehow do put conscious self-recognition and self-enlightenment as pre-requisites for understanding this... so I can't really suggest that my cats get the franchise, mainly because we would be flooded by kibble in no time at all. We have changed our understanding of who we are and what we are, so when I hear calls to go 'back to that old time religion' I do have to ask: are you nuts?

If we think it is a universal view with what we have *now*, how come that view has very little accord with what it was when first promulgated as non-universal? And that is *just* on the killing of humans, don't even get me *started* on bearing false witness which was even more highly dileneated to the tribe... and it, too, expanded over time.

And if you come around and put forth that these original tribal ideas are good ones, then I will support that and ask for that exact, same support to the tribes of Iraq who utilize similar ones as they are *tribal* values, not of necessity, religious ones. Tribes can come to understand these things: we know that as the ancient tribes that gave us basis for modern civilization did the exact, same thing from different religions, tribes and regions. And if you think the Jews had a harsh view on bearing false witness, then the shocking things the Nordic peoples did with same and where we get our modern high dudgeon about it, would shock you.

Sat Dec 22, 07:06:00 AM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

You're right of course.

Most atheists are atheists for emotional rather than rational reasons.

Actually, having learned Hebrew, there are several words for "kill" with Qatal being a morally neutral word for it and could apply to murder, killing an animal for food, or even swatting a mosquito, while the commandment uses the word Ratzach which means "murder" and generally refers to any killing outside of the law.

Sat Dec 22, 07:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Ranando said...
Catholics pray and worship craven images everyday. They also kneel to other human beings. Have you ever been to Mass, God never comes up.
Exactly... I am 54 years old and other than funerals in the family, I haven't set foot in a Catholic church since I was 17, and I never will for any other purpose other than the funeral of a loved one...

Idolaters, I wonder?? Is idolatry any worse than being an atheist??

As I said, BZ opened up a HUGE can of worms on this one...

My kinda blogger, not afraid of pissing off those that feel they have to toot their own horn every time they walk thru the church doors...

Sat Dec 22, 10:57:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I'll let everyone in on a little secret: I was an agnostic for years and years -- not anti-religious, simply indifferent and mostly uncaring. I am still not a promoter of organized religions. But the tenets, the concepts of good things to do, recognizing and declaring evil things, the structure, that's what I believe Man to need -- something larger than himself.


Sat Dec 22, 11:41:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Well Ranando I think the "consequences" that religion proposes are a benefit to society, although the degree in which it is taught is troubling.
Who's religion? Good question.. I guess at the end we will see who's right, unfortunately no one comes back and tells us.
It's called having faith in what YOU believe to be right.

One of the more disturbing things in the school is the lack of discipline, the kids run amuk cause you can't whoop that ass like you used to.

But for religion as a whole, I am like you, My faith and my relationship with the all mighty remain MINE, and even the wife doesn't force me into her style of worship.

agnostics, I believe is like fence sitting, sooner or later you have to decide which way to go.

Atheism, is basic disbelief in biblical teachings... or so I've been told, but many atheists do believe Jesus was a real man and walked the earth.

A can of worms indeed, but isn't that why blogs are great?

You shouldn't discuss politics or religion in bars for a reason.

Sat Dec 22, 04:30:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

There's only two things I know for absolute today.

My God and that I have to finish this Business Plan by Monday at 10 AM.

Sat Dec 22, 04:47:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

Wait, make that three.

I'm going to have another drink, LOL.

Sat Dec 22, 04:51:00 PM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

VERY thoughtful post.
I agree with BWH that atheism, humanism, agnostics are all religions.

Now, put this in your pipe and smoke it: Those who believe that there are no absolutes make no sense because they are stating an "absolute" by saying they don't believe in absolutes.

The reason why the ten commandments are good ways to run a society is because they were written by a good and perfect God.

The reason you can't rely on man is because man is faulty. Could you imagine man coming up with the ten commandments? NOT! That had to have come from God because the very nature of it is against our natural tendencies or thinking.

Sat Dec 22, 05:20:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mark said...

Many so-called atheists seem to really believe in God, but are really mad at him for not making the world the way they want it. or so it seems, because so many of them get very angry and emotional whenever God is mentioned. seems to me like a real honest atheist would not care one whit about Christmas, Crosses, or nativity scenes and let us silly Christians carry-on with our folly.

one other observation is this, If a person worships God the way THEY want to, what, in fact are they worshipping? a construct of their own mind? an Idol, perhaps?

seems like God should be worshipped the way HE proscribes, not me, you, or us. after all, who supposed to be in charge here, eh?

Sat Dec 22, 08:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

A South Park ep comes to mind, where religion becomes extinct, and atheism is the prevalent belief system in the future. There's just as much faction and divisiveness and violence then, as there is today.

Religion isn't necessarily the problem in the world. It's man. It's in mankind's nature to give birth to assholes, sometimes, whether they are crammed full of religion or crammed full of secularism.

Sun Dec 23, 08:19:00 AM PST  

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