But you can't just market salvation for sinners by waiting for them to commit sins. Limits your revenue base. Having everyone on the planet defined as a sinner just by virtue of having been born maximizes your revenue opportunities to their fullest extent possible.
Pardon me for thinking that that's a comically inadequate analysis of the phenomenon.
Well, let’s see.
Six days of creation, two conflicting creation myths, both earth and plants created before the sun, Tree of Knowledge with a talking snake, Da FallSM, two versions of a world-wide flood, the exodus, angels singing to Sheppard’s, virgin birth, walking on water, loaves and fishes, resurrection and ascension, tribulation, seven seals, seven trumpets, second coming, Satan escapes. A lot in between each of these and it goes on.
Is any of this NOT made up?
This is just one religion (glommed on a prior one).
We could do the same for ANY religion.
Start at the beginning. Gods. Any one of them NOT made up?
Is there any objective evidence to any of the above?
Harris: fairy tale, superstition – What do you call incredible stories of fantasy? Dennett: faulty agency-detection – Confounding events with unknown causes? Dawkins: delusion – Belief contrary to evidence?
These three guys are factually correct. This is not some New Atheist version of a religion. This is the hard reality of religion.
What's inadequate in their analysis?
Religion, for better or worse, has always been an important way that individuals and communities have defined themselves and their relationship to others.
Correction, it is the priests dictating the relationships with no dissent allowed.
If your idea is that these things are either literally scientifically true or they're utterly useless, then congratulations, you think like a Christian fundamentalist.
I don’t know what “literally scientifically true” means. When the evidence for an explanation is so compelling that no alternative explanation can stand that is as good as the science can get. As far as the religious stories go, the evidence for fairy tale status is quite compelling and as such, yes, they are useless. To think like a fundamentalist requires the fairy tale fantasy. Science is the complete opposite. To show the religious fantasies as hopelessly false is not anything like the fundamentalists insistence on their TRVTH.
What these myths mean is more important, and that varies widely throughout faith communities.
Accommodate religious delusion by finding some kind of transcendent meaning to their delusional myths? Really? If this were some Shakespeare or Miller play with the reality of the human condition in masterful view then I could excuse the weakness of the fictional plot in favor of the experience of the message. But, regardless of the message, religion requires its adherents to believe the fairy tale plot is reality ignoring its illogic and absurdity. Additionally, even when the message is absurd or hateful or violent, the adherent is required to believe and obey the message on pain of everlasting torture in a “lake of fire”. How fucking wonderful.
Some, such as yourself, try to accommodate religion in society by trying to excuse its poisons by pointing up those myths that can teach worthy memes and saying religion does some good for some lost or despondent souls. But the history of religion, all religion, is one of poisoning relationships between individuals, communities and nations, stifling intellect and advancement and enslaving the mind, the spirit and the soul of all humanity. This far outweighs any good you may see in it.
That religion is so enmeshed in the fabric of modern society is an indictment of religion for the insidious way it poisons the human mind. Activist atheists cannot accommodate anything in religion because despite any good it may do in individual cases religious organizations perpetrate ignorance and bigotry around the world. And, as we have seen in our own country in these modern times, allowing religion to influence public and international policy has been a horridly bloody abomination.
These facts make religion the greatest evil on the world stage today and every effort needs to be made to expunge religion from human consciousness. I am not naïve enough to think we will succeed in this anytime soon. I have my doubts whether, thanks to the illogic of religious thinking, we as a species can survive long enough to see the day when religion’s influence is finally broken the whole world over. But we do have to try.
But you both share the unimaginative approach to myth, one that ignores any meaning other than the literal one and lacks any nuance whatsoever.
What nuanced meanings does one give to a talking snake? The facts the snake spoke not withstanding Knowledge is bad?
Or to a super sky daddy so pissed off that it floods the entire world killing every man, woman, child? Tow my line as given by my priests and don't piss me off again or else?
Or to the myth of the exodus? Carry god before you as you slaughter the innocent and you will surely know victory?
Help me out here MrH. What useful nuances of these myths am I missing?
I'm a nonbeliever, but I think saying "religion is bad" is just about as silly as saying "language is bad" or "culture is bad."
Your hyperbole with language is no example at all. It doesn't fit, doesn't make any sense.
Culture is an umbrella concept for the elements, both good and bad, within it, and in so many cultures religion is the driving element behind the thirst for power and the cause of too much bigotry and bloodletting. Do you deny this?
Religion is one aspect of culture that we have such a history as to preclude it from being labeled anything but bad. Racial and gender bigotry are also elements of our culture enmeshed deeply within our society. Do we make excuses to accommodate their continued existence? White supremacists and Men's Rights Advocates, many using religion as their absolution, do so every day. Is this not "bad" in your world?
Why should we continue to make excuses and accommodations for the demonstrable evil that is religion?
If you want to show what a freethinker you are, quit parroting the cheap generalizations of celebrity atheists.
And I should stop parroting Jefferson on the freedom of conscience. His cheap generalizations were only correct and worthy of repetition. Just like Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, PZ Myers, Larry Krauss, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and so many others.
The talking snake isn't a myth. It represents Satan, which we are told in the Book of Revelation. It talks because Satan talks and Satan had taken on its form for the seduction of Adam and Eve.
This should pose you a bit of a problem.
A few books later in the chronology, in Job, we get to see Satan again. He is a member in good standing of the Devine Council sitting with god. He can only do what god (easily jaw-boned into destroying one of his favorites btw) commands him to do. This is well after the events in Eden, isn’t it. So by your interpretation of the Eden myth Satan is chatting up the naked girl while god, who commanded this part, hangs in the wings chuckling as the scene unfolds.
You realize, of course, that The Revelation wasn’t written until some (supposedly) 4000 years after the Eden events, yes? In the intervening time the priests re-wrote large parts of their books to absolve god of the evil part of the good-evil dichotomy they learned about in Babylon. The evil part of god was bad for business and Satan was a ready-made actor already in the cast. Handy. So the mythical talking snake could, and was, recast in Revelations as Satan doing is his evil thing alone and apart from god at the same time Job has the two of them as council buddies.
These types of illogical disconnects between myths is one of the telltale evidences you get when shit is made up, fabricated, pulled from one’s butt.
I know sin is a meaningless concept to people these days. Murder, stealing, adultery, lying, you know, was it Dr. A who just wrote a post pretty much saying we think all those things are OK these days?
You know better. Murder and theft have always been punishable offenses by tribes, villages, states and nations then, yesterday and today. A plethora of adultery, lying, homosexuality, greed, etc., is an abominable reason for wholesale slaughter. Your version of this god myth makes him into a blood thirsty monster.
Also, sin is inherited, according to the Bible. Even babies inherit it and grow up to be evil people if their family line was evil.
Ahh, yes, the sins of the father. The foundation for the coming franchise. This means modern western society is more moral than your ancient myth.
If you are talking about the Canaanites, I understand that you have a soft spot for idolators and other sinners, but the whole point of eliminating them from the land was that their sin had accumulated to the point that God was going to judge them one way or another.
A people minding their own business with centuries of their own ways, which now you say your god didn’t like because it didn’t include him, are set upon by a nomadic desert tribe of religious zealots and are slaughtered. How nice. A half a world away the Chinese had rather open reasons of power and property to make war without any knowledge of your god. Why didn’t your god have any name or influence there? Because his myth wasn’t invented there.
Theologians might say that the symbolism of the Eden myth is meant to suggest that once one has knowledge of good and evil, i.e. has developed a moral understanding, one can no longer live in bliss. Ethical awareness means responsibility, and that's where anxiety and dread enter the human condition.
In other words, it's bad. Bad enough to condemn every human ever conceived from then forward. One could, if it weren't for the evil god myth doing his evil god thing, say that having a moral understanding, an ethical awareness and its attendant responsibility, is a good thing to have in a species of human. I guess you disagree.
...there's nothing Christlike about walking across the surface of a metaphor.
I like that. Well, done. I'll save that and use it on some fundy loonies later. Thank you.
You're just assuming what's supposed to be proven: that religion is bad, based on your generalizations and vapid sloganeering.
No, based upon the history. Well known, well documented, open to everyone not looking for an excuse to perpetuate the crimes against conscience, crimes against humanity. What you sneer at as generalizations and vapid sloganeering are backed by a compelling body of demonstrable fact. You cannot accommodate those away.
You give your cheesy rhetoric far too much credit. You simply blame "religion" for all the bad things in the world and call it " the greatest evil on the world stage today," then pretend that your sloganeering validates itself. Sorry, I'm not that credulous.
Just like the YEC and the fludists, if you don't want to see/hear the facts, which are all around and available with some but not too laborious a research effort, you don't have to. You still cannot accommodate them away. They will stay there forever waiting for you if you decide to find out.
There is more to the evolution of ha-satan as seen from the first temple period to Satan as seen from the second temple period than you have bothered to learn from your bible. You're big on reading some commentaries so long as they agree with your views. Try stepping out of that comfort zone a bit and find your own commentaries on how the snake could not have been your Satan since the Satan you envision in The Revelation today did not exist in the writings of the first temple period when the snake myth was first written down. Read about the influence of Zoroastrianism in the second temple writings after the Babylon captivity and how the ha-satan evolved into Satan to take the load of evil off of god's personality.
laypeople that attend like myself deserve more respect than a tone deaf buffoon ...
No you don't. But I give you a level of respect given a tone deaf buffoon with sever cognitive dysfunctions.
You are to be pitied and cared for as a mentally deficient imbecile. To be kept from harming yourself and others in your delusions. To be kept warm and fed and excused from the responsibilities of an adult which you have shown you are unable to handle.
Respect as an intellectual equal, however, can never be for your kind. It is hard, I'm sure, but you just have to accept the fact that, in this life, you are different ... special ... dumb as a stump.