A very simple question, but so sensitive that most people will not even consider thinking about it. Let alone talk or write about it.
Too often religion is used as a means to acquire power and control. The use of extreme intimidations, terrorisation and promises of heaven and hell are not uncommon. It does not pertain to a specific religious clan or dynasty, all use and abused religion for one and only one reason…. “To Acquire Power” . It happened in the past and it happens today. No one goes free.
I am a none-believer; you may call me a godless person, what doesn’t mean that I have no norms and standards.
It is my view that religion has had its time, something from the past. In those days state governance wasn’t that simple, their were just not enough means to communicate in a timely manner, let alone to react to misbehaviour. Large Empires had to be controlled, specifically the population. But how could the monarch enforce a certain social behaviour, how could they control and manipulate the people so that no unrest would break-out ? Indeed “Religion” an easy way to keep control on people by introducing fear and rewards; where apprehension was something that would happen to you while you are alive… How many have been stoned to death? Placed in a bag with heavy stones and tossed into the river. If you survived (the impossible) then you were a sorceress and would be killed anyhow. Rewards never happened in a lifetime, and were a reprehensible method to keep the population calm by making statements on heaven … unfortunate those rewards only come after one is gone and is no longer a possible threat to the potentate or empire.
Nobody goes free, not the Catholics, Muslims, Buddhist, Jews or whoever…. They all have applied comparable control techniques.
Here is the real question, is “ Religion a curse or blessing?”
I vote for a curse, as virtually all wars have ties to a certain religion. Besides the fact that all religions take personal possession on what the individual is allowed to do and what he or she is not allowed to do. Even today, there are high ranking clerics who dare to state that contraception is a sin while people get infected by AIDS. That sex shall not be a fleshly lust, only intended to conceive and give birth. It is those very clerics that never had a relation with a partner of the other gender. So, where do they get the idea that they can prescribe how one has to live his personal life ? Yes, it is all about control and power.
Sure there are good things as well, unfortunately those are often manipulated and turned into the reverse.
The problem is not constrained to high-ranking clerics; it is throughout the institute that represents a religion. Now the word institute has fallen, a nice synonym for power. The combination; People, Religion and Institutes are the problem. It is not the religion itself that is the issue, it is how people use it, bend and twist it to fit their own personal goals of power.
The believers are not much better; many of them have applied the same power game onto their children and companions or spouses. Especially the wives are victims of the men domination; it is the man who decides what is allowed and what is not…. And to make sure that the woman obeys, it’s given a religious twist through deliberate miss-interpretation of religious statements. Spouses have become private property.
It is one thing to abuse and control women, it is another when children are subject pedophilia. A behaviour that is not uncommon in the Catholic Church. Acts of pedophilia by clerics are covered-up by the institute, and when exposed they state “ We need to be able to exonerate, only then we can be real Christians”. In the past children did not even dear to talk about it, especially since hey were indoctrinated by the same cleric who abused them . “ If you speak, you will go to hell” .
The free choice of being Godless is not that obvious and in most cultures that is not even an option. One is de-facto condemned to a certain religion and all its outbursts, unless you want to be expelled and removed from your family and community.
Religious rules take possession of the free will, the liberty to think and speak freely. More so, it interferes with the personal live of an individual. Sexuality is a big no-no between genders, let alone within one gender…Rules created by silly old stubborn cleric that have never know the pleasures of life… No wonder they do not want others to enjoy the pleasures of live.
Religion and men are fused; Clerical positions are a privilege set aside for males only, in some religions females don’t even make a change at all, and if they do it only applies to low ranks. Now don’t tell me that this is not male domination.
Change to the religious cultures and habits are considered as a menace by the established order. Progressive elements within the institute are preempted from promotion in order to reserve the old thinking. Change is considered as something negative, whereas it is actually an opportunity to make things better, more down to twenty-first century, more real, transparent, and human.
Within religious surroundings, Dis-obedience results always in banishment and isolation. In some cases it even results in been killed. And if you are not punished in this life, you are condemned to hell where you will burn forever…. I guess I will burn forever after.
I could go on for a while, but I will not…. as there are as many counter arguments as arguments.
The bottom line is, religion in the hands of an institution is a curse no matter how we twist or turn it. Religion by itself on a free and personal basis is a right, and so is the choice of been Godless.