Want to end terrorism? Outlaw organized religion and watch the magic happen. That’s… pretty much it. Close every mosque, temple, and church and convert them into homeless shelters. Until we address the real root of the problem… society’s acceptance of the irrational… there will be no end in sight. It’s past time for intellectuals to speak out and speak loudly against the dangers of faith, to grow up and follow moral law instead of archaic commands from ancient works of fiction. The Bible, the Torah, the Quran… it’s all bullshit.
I know, I know… some of you reading this are thinking, “What about the people that just go to mass and pray? They aren’t hurting anybody!” And that’s false.
There’s this misguided notion that a group of people praying peacefully is harmless. The problem with that is the broader promotion of blindness, irrationality, and suspension of critical thinking. You can’t pray away climate change. You can’t pray away poverty. It would be like a group of people praying to Santa Clause asking for presents. Except in the real world, it’s human beings that put the gifts under the tree.
Individually, in the privacy of ones own home, this wouldn’t be a major cause for alarm (though certainly should warrant psychiatric attention). But when crazy people gather together with other crazy people they become a support group that propagates and validates their collective insanity. It’s patients running the asylum. If all your friends and family still believed in the Tooth Fairy then you wouldn’t feel too weird believing the same, right? That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
I’ve had a religious person ask me, “What’s wrong with believing in something better than yourself?” Stupid question. Of course it’s good to believe in something greater, but that something should, at the very least, actually be real! Look up at the stars and remember you are made of star stuff. Worship that. Go on a nature walk barefoot feeling the mud between your toes and the wind in your hair. Praise that. Visit an art museum and witness the wonders of human creativity. Marvel at that.
But not fiction.
Don’t read into stories written thousands of years ago. Don’t build your values around ancient, outdated guides for living one’s life when those books also promote unspeakable violence (all three major holy books contain plenty of passages that do precisely that). Unverifiable texts that conflict with science and history are unworthy of any more attention than other fables like The Three Little Pigs. Worth reading for entertainment and perhaps a few life lessons, but let’s not pretend these are history books or a prerequisite for a having a human conscience.
If people believe that a fiction is greater than themselves, than reality, then that is a tragic deprivation from living in the real world. I for one want a society that isn’t insane and that can only begin when the facade of religion ends and humility in acceptance of the unknown begins.