Ho hum, looks as if this will get posted as it stands. So:
Many people who follow a religion today do so not out of clear
choice, but because they were born into those chains. Chains that have
so warped their thinking that they can no longer see value in man's
intrinsic ability to reason, to question the world around him, values
that have brought man to where it is today.
Couldn't the same be said for most people who don't follow a religion?
Basically, what you're saying is that uneducated people don't tend to
think very much. If their surroundings are religious, they'll be
unthinkingly religious. If their surroundings are atheistic, they'll be
In any case, for those who do think, even if they come from religious
surroundings, there are stages
in their development. Simply put, at some stage they have to decide
whether they believe what they have been told. Your portrayal of this
is a poor charicature.
I argue that man carries in him a sense of what is right and wrong.
It may be shaped by religion, but he doesn't need religion to tell him
whether something is right or wrong. After all, what is religion except
clearly expounded musings of our collective human conscience?
You'll be interested to know that this collective sense of right and
wrong is part of CS Lewis's argument for the existence of God (I'll
reserve judgement on whether it's a good one: read Mere
Christianity and decide for yourself). Yes, you can have a morality
without religion, but if one sees goodness as grounded in God, a
morality without him runs the risk of going wrong.
So what is religion but a tool to organise the masses? A tool to
serve one's own political purposes - power, glory, greed - as various
leaders of all the major religions have demonstrated many times in
history? Where does the fiction of divine truth, wisdom and power
That depends whether you think religion contains any element of
revelation from outside, or whether it's a purely human creation. If you
think the former, then divine truth, wisdom and power aren't a fiction
and they are the other things which religion is (and should be)
How many more times must religious teaching be shown to be wrong
before man questions the value of everything that is set before him?
A man (or a woman) should always question
the value of everything that is set before him.
Why do we inhibit ourselves, and limit man's potential? Why do we not
strip away the veils clouding our eyes and soar to a more
forward-looking society, where each of us is free to fulfil his own
Why do you think that religion always involves inhibiting ourselves and
not soaring? Little quiz: who said "I have come that they may have
life, and have it to the full"?
Can we not distill what is good from it, the expounded rules of our
collective human conscience, just as modern science was distilled from
the mystical, modern chemistry from alchemical transmutation, and modern
astronomy from ancient astrology?
That depends what you think are the good bits. Since you say:
Stripped of all its superstition, what would such a religion be? A
worship and celebration of what it is that makes us human - to embrace
it is to be human. Could such expounded conscience not only coexist with
secular science, but be the guiding principle that together with science
leads man to fulfil his greatest potential?
I assume that you do think that religion is a purely human creation. In
that case, to strip the supernatural away would leave us with nothing
worth having. If there's nothing from outside in religion, preaching and
faith are useless.
But of course religion does already coexist with science, in that the
idea that the universe was created by a rational Creator led some
religious people to look for the rules, and in that
today there are scientists who are religious.
Is religion doomed to die an irrelevant death? Nope. It'll probably change though. Just like here, really.