The Future of Christianity

 

Maybe so...he deserves it.

Maybe so…he deserves it.

“From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.
This is the faith from which we start:
Men shall know commonwealth again
From bitter searching of the heart.
We loved the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part.

The lesser loyalties depart 
And neither race nor creed remain
From bitter searching of the heart.
Not steering by the venal chart
That tricked the mass for private gain,
We rise to play a greater part.
Reshaping narrow law and art
Whose symbols are the millions slain,
From bitter searching of the heart
We rise to play a greater part.”

(Leonard Cohen,”Villanelle For Our Time”)


closing-down-sale“Imagine there’s no heaven
 It’s easy if you try
 No hell below us
 Above us only sky
 Imagine all the people living for today

 Imagine there’s no countries
 It isn’t hard to do
 Nothing to kill or die for
 And no religion too
 Imagine all the people living life in peace

 You, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
 But I hope some day you’ll join us
 And the world will be as one

(John Lennon, “Imagine”)

I’ve concluded Christianity is fundamentally flawed at its very core. It wasn’t built on a foundation of facts, but was conceived to control people.

What’s more, it undermines international relations, promotes prejudices, stonewalls science, and compromises psychological health. Children are still singing hymns, prattling off prayers and having their heads filled with tales about sin, Satan, Jesus, angels and creationism, in school! Right now, there are children lying in bed trembling at the idea that the devil wants to drag them to Hell. AidsCommunities lorded over by the Vatican, or other businessmen, are milking the market. Every week, millions of hours are wasted in churches praising a god that doesn’t exist. Wars inflamed by religion are still being waged, homosexuals hounded, women denied the same opportunities as men, and there is still resistance to science and rational thought. People are turning to prayer rather than each other, and feel guilt about their own sexuality and other imaginary sins. Some churches deny people contraceptives. The Vatican condemns condoms, but Catholic priests don’t change diapers, nurse people slowly dying from Aids, or pay for expensive medicines. All of this is a travesty against humanity!

I think too many people believe Christianity is a benign belief that does no harm. Too many think that some people need it as a “crutch” to help them in difficult times. The truth is Christianity is very often the cause of the difficult times.

inquisition2_JPGPrior to about the seventeenth century, if someone had been caught reading something like this, they could be tortured and burned at the stake. That had nothing to do with theology; it was all about power.

Fortunately, Christian power has faded over the last three centuries in better-educated parts of the world. Part of the reason is that brave humanists and scientists refused to be silent or stop work when hounded by churches, often putting their lives in danger by doing so. If it hadn’t been for them, the Western world might still be living in the squalor and ignorance of the Dark Ages.

 

religion now comes

I believe the world would be a better, happier and safer place if Christianity disappeared. Visualize a world in which many more minority groups are respected. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the time and energy currently used in going to church was somehow channeled into humanitarian projects to improve dietary health, sanitation and education? put up orThink of the good work that could be done through secular organizations using money saved by not subsidizing churches. The tax-free status of Church’s incomes should be abolished.

Some people would suffer a temporary deep-seated loss, but I think most individuals would be happier and healthier, particularly if they embraced a newfound confidence in the wisdom and companionship, not of imaginary friends in the sky, but of their fellow men. The only people likely to suffer any long-term consequences would be some bean counters and clergy, who would lose their jobs, income and status, although most of them would be happier too when they found more meaningful employment. (http://www.clergyproject.org).

Imagine whereI want you

 

We’re currently in a very fast moving period in history, with yearly advances in communication, computing, energy production, astronomy and medicine. Secular humanism, always at the cutting edge of ethical guidelines, is replacing antiquated dogma, so is on the up. It’s easier to be a pro-active secularist than it used to be. I hope I’m doing my bit by helping people grow out of Christianity. I see it as my duty to step up and speak for rationality and science. I know I’m not always right about everything, but I also know that if I do nothing, then I will always be wrong.

 

 

why are atheistsI invite you to join me. There are very lively public discussions in the public arena about reason and superstition, faith and science, so why not contribute? To encourage people to employ reason is to help them be clear-headed, open-minded, and to not waste time, or make life hard for others with irrational restrictions. Reason helps us, the human race, progress to new heights. Science and genuine empathy, not faith and dogma, should be what gives us direction. Christian prejudices against minority groups should be countered, because all people deserve respect, regardless of their gender, culture, religion or sexual inclination. I think the lies and immorality in the Bible and the poor Christian philosophy promoted in churches, schools and the media should be challenged in the public arena and around dinner tables. It would be nice to see all parents allow their children a secular education.

Goodbye Jesus! Good riddance!

Goodbye Jesus! Good riddance!

If current trends continue Christianity will one day be socially unacceptable, in the same way smoking, homophobia, sexism and high fructose corn syrup are on the nose in most modern communities today.

Changing society’s standards seems like a daunting task, yet it has happened throughout history. Consider the suffragette movement, the fight for gay respect, and the abolition of slavery and apartheid. Change is initiated by inspiring visionaries like Emmeline Pankhurst, Harvey Milk, Nelson Mandela and Christopher Hitchens, who voiced objections to the way things were. These people made a better world for all of us by putting in the effort. Humanity needs proactive people like them. If we all just stand around and watch, things won’t change, and the human race might drive itself into oblivion.

militant atheist

old-atheists-vs-new-atheists-600x334

oh, Bill

 

whenever one person

It is not too much

civilization

 

one is often told

 

the moment

 

what is the

 

i believe that

 

David Gilmour

religious apologists

 

what is freedom

References:

Winell, Marlene Ph.D. “LEAVING THE FOLD: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, 1994, 2006

http://www.bertrandrussell.com/writings/has-religion-made-useful-contributions-to-civilisation/

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=America_is_a_shining_city_upon_a_hill

http://www.humanreligions.info/intelligence.html

http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/iq_relig.htm

http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/2009/03/religiosity-mental-illness-and.html

http://www.anitra.net/activism/fundamentalism/psychology.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U1b7Xgyq-Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tBKYVwQl3RQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=F0fN-EK4qmY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_4syU7MC-1w#!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h5L1Js9ex4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHHOiF-dFEg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG72wpp_mLM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwooM4yhiiY

http://voices.yahoo.com/could-social-networking-result-9067061.html?cat=9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbcBpIxY4do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeWpTjmtgXQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNuJ6A6iGP4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iooXQ1-P-0s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkHLyuDi-68

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-I-m-not-sure-whether-I-want-to-join-the-fight-on-religion-or-turn-a-blind-eye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZznlL7uG18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cxeKyRSviCg – !

 

 

Why atheists care about YOUR religion 

Christopher Hitchens kicks ass

The war on Christianity


 

 

 

 

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15 Responses to The Future of Christianity

  1. Scott Morgan says:

    The typical counter argument against atheists claims that religion causes wars and abuses is to point towards Stalin in the USSR, Mao in China, North Korea . . . you guys know the drill.

    But the atheists I’ve known don’t seem to want to go to war or cause suffering. However, neither do most of the Christians I know, either.

    Corrupt people often obtain power in all sorts of institutions. They rile up their underlings using the various tactics available, and create all sorts of physical, mental, and emotional havoc. It can be at the state level, in the business world, and especially in the home environment. Corruption and abuse of power is a human problem not consigned predominately to any particular subgroup.

    I mention these things because, instead of worldview/political groups tearing eachother apart, it would be more helpful for the general public as a whole to be more aware of narcissistic traits in the people that they choose to vote for office, seek employment under, hire, befriend, marry, etc.

    Anyway, I admit we can study such things through the lens of religious history.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Agreed.

      It’s quite funny Christian people sometimes referred to atheism as a religion or even as a philosophy. Bill Maher would say “atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position. Or “off” is a television station. To blame the bad behaviour of certain people on the fact they are atheists is obviously ridiculous.

      Re “Corruption and abuse of power is a human problem not consigned predominately to any particular subgroup.” True, but I wonder whether you will admit that Christianity is all about certain groups of people abusing power?

  2. Ella Rosana says:

    Thanks as its was nice reading, and i am happy to hear this as we look forward to a better life soon, keep the good work on

  3. Melody says:

    Prisons use christianity to control their inmates. They need it pretty desperately.

  4. Buckminster Fullerene, AKA Bucky Ball says:

    Actually, as Ray Kurzweil expounds in his book, “The Singularity is Near”, Homo Sapiens is living on the verge of a huge parabilic upslope in intelligence, as within 50 years, we will be fitted with memory ” extensions”, (as we already have in our lap-tops, and iPods, etc.), and they will be integrated by nano-technology into our brains. The long slow log scale upward sloping curve will go parabolic. As that happens, the foolishness of the ancient religions will be more and more obvious, and fall by the wayside. Christianity has NO future, as the ancient sacrificial “payback” schemes, necessary to appease the “angry” gods will go out of style. (They actually have only been around for a rather short time in the grand scheme of the history of the earth, as humans tried to find ways to explain and control their environment). Actually a VERY VERY short time. The many uses of religion for humans, including the production of increased circulating beta-endorphins, (feel good purposes), political control and MALE power systems, will be replaced by other methods, and drugs, and systems, and most of all, by the instantaneous downloading of EVERY reference book, and material, and article ever written, (and a (daily), download/update of every new dicovery, and article, and book. by “plugging” into a network. There will develop a self-evolving robotic adaptation, for humans, as well as super intelligent machine/beings, which will also self-evolve, instantly, to adapt to every new situation, and instantly learn EVRY new discovery from the past few hours, fro the network. The ENTIRE business of life on this planet will be FAR different in 25-50 years, as we see how “parochial” we were in thinking that something unique happened in ancient Palestine, when there are 600 sextillion stars out there, and probably an infinite number of other universes. The anthropomorphic business of “daddy” in the sky, will be laughed at, by all except the few remaining nut cases who refuse to hook up to the “network”, and think they need to remain “untouched” by the emerging technology.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Jason. Wow! That takes the discussion a lot further. I agree with everything you’ve written about religion. Not sure i fancy the idea of having an artificial memory. It might adversely effect the individual’s capacity to make decisions and reason. It sounds technically impossible to me. Interesting idea though that we could know facts without putting in the effort to learn them

      • Buckminster Fullerene, AKA Bucky Ball says:

        Hi Mark,
        I HIGHLY recommend the Kurzweil book. He does a great job with his graphs and log scales, and time plots. I think you would love it.
        The US Navy, (as well as researchers at various medical research centers), ALREADY have the capability of incorporating/connecting nano technology with/into nerve and brain cells. So it WILL be possible, in fact already is. Am sure they have a lot of work to do, but we ALREADY have artificial memories. Everytime I search in my saved Google files for something I know I saved from somewhere, or in their, (or even the internet), library files, etc., etc., I am using an “artificial” memory. (The “cloud” has become my artificial memory extension). THAT is already happening. We HAVE a huge information system at our fingertips, which a generation ago was impossible.
        BUT, as you say, the integration of all these phenomenal amounts of information is, and will be THE major problem. I am still thinking about that. But we already know from Libet’s work, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ4nwTTmcgs) that the concept of “free will” is actually a fallacy. So that is a very interesting question. Love your web site !

  5. Helen says:

    A whole new way of thinking out in the open. Very thought provoking.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Helen, I genuinely think Christianity is slowly but surely becoming more “on the nose”, at least here in Australia. That can only be a good thing! I look forward to the time it collapses under the weight of public opinion. When that happens it will be a massive step towards international harmony and peaceful societies. Let’s bring it on!

      • Trekkinbob says:

        I’d like to see the Catholic church take the first step off of this steep cliff. However, as long as there are legions of easily swayed poor and uneducated, entrenched religious institutions like it and others will continue to take full advantage of them. This is where religion still finds a home and why education and increased standard of living is so important to our well-being and continued survival. The fight against religious ignorance I believe will continue as long as there is credulity and fear to be milked.

        • Mark Fulton says:

          Well said! I am sure there are some decent chaps in the Vatican who are disgusted by what has happened and is still happening. Yet they are not allowed to admit guilt. There is too much money at stake. The institution is too afraid of losing face.

          I think the Vatican is now stewing in its own rot, children are still being abused, and many good people in the church are highly embarrassed and thinking of abandoning the sinking ship.

  6. Supernova says:

    I had no idea that Christians were racist until I became an atheist. Shocking but true, they were the ones responsible for fighting the civil rights movement. A good example is Pat Robertson’s father exclaiming that he will not “preach to those sons of Ham” (referring to black Americans). Pat Robertson still holds this belief.

    http://www.schlatter.org/smear_the_queer.htm

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Supernova, wow, I didn’t know that about Pat Robertson. We must do our best to help make people aware of themselves. I noticed you have some excellent blogs at starcrashx.wordpress.com/ . Keep up the good work! Warm regards, Mark

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