Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Purpose of Religion...

If you are like me, you have noticed how religion seems to serve many purposes for many people.  Usually it serves multiple purposes for any one person throughout his or her lifetime and, often, multiple purposes simultaneously (or nearly so).

So, I have decided that I should state, to the best of my ability, what some of those purposes are.

Some are so easy to spot that even believers can do it.  Such as the comfort it provides in times of grief.  In fact, this is usually the emotional trump card they pull out to keep us atheists quiet.  "Come on!  Don't say that here.  You know Grandma is still grieving for Grandpa.  She might hear you."

Other purposes are less obvious, especially to believers.  They only see what they want to believe and they want to believe that their cherished delusion is actually a blessing.  So, naturally, they tend to be quite blind to the purposes that reveal anything bad about religion--especially when those things are actually horrific.

Naturally we atheists can see these purposes clearly because we do not have an emotional investment in religion.

One of those purposes is as blindingly obvious now as it was to Constantine, the future Emperor and saint, when he stood before that bridge 1700 years ago:

"The purpose of religion is to get you people to kill each other and feel good about it."

I think it was equally obvious to the men who agreed to sell out their church and its alleged principles for power and money.

As you can tell, some of these "purposes" could be considered insulting if delivered in the wrong time, place, or manner.  If you use them, do so wisely and gently.

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