Feb. 26th, 2011

urizen: (Default)
After a busy weekend I'm a few days behind... so let's try and keep this relatively simple, shall we!

I'm an atheist, and during my formative years I developed an engrained dislike of religion and what it claims to know about the world. I've enjoyed the rise in popular, more vocal atheism over the past decade and feel that it's been a good thing in raising consciousness about atheism and about religion in general. I like to think it's made more people sit up and think about what they've been taught to believe. Wherever that takes them isn't necessarily as important, although I'm not going to lie and pretend that I don't think the world would be a better place if more people were critical of the claims of various religions.

I do think religion has been responsible for many evils over the years, and it has also embodied many positive virtues. But since it's quite possible to be good without religion, I think it's a shame that ideals of charity and compassion get bound together with rather bizarre claims about blatantly mythical and magical beings. Of course, it's even more of a shame when those claims are used to justify horrible attitudes towards others.

I'm not particularly confrontational about this issue, because I respect the right of people to hold whatever beliefs they want. I don't bring up the topic much with friends, family and colleagues because it can be a rather emotive issue and I don't want to damage relationships. But when religion starts straying into politics and trying to govern peoples lives, I get angry, and want to go write a letter or sign a peition or maybe read some angry blogs that agree with me.


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