Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

Main page

Religion.  ---  .Sum up.  (1) Psychology and religion.  (2) Sociology and religion.  (3) Ethics and religion.  (4) Science and religion.  (5) Politics and religion.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  .This section is about religion.  Topics include: ( ) Atheism.  ( ) Economics and religion.  ( ) Ethics vs. religion.  ( ) History and religion.  ( ) Magic.  ( ) Myth.  ( ) Philosophy vs. religion.  ( ) Politics and religion.  ( ) Problems of religion.  ( ) Psychology and religion.  ( ) Sociology and religion.  ( ) Science and religion.  ( ) What.  ( ) Why.  ---  1/24/2006

Religion.  ---  (1) How religious an individual or society is (in mind or behavior).  (2) How big a part the belief-mode mode of experience plays in their life.  (3) How big a part thoughts about divine etc. play in their life.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  (1) Religion as a means of social organization, which involves politics and economics.  (2) Religion as providing psychological emotional solace, emotional pacification, calming of unhappiness, reduction of anxiety depression anger.  (3) Religion as attempting to satisfy psychological information needs.  Religion attempting to provide a world view.  Religion coopting philosophy.  Philosophy being comprised of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.  ---  10/1/2005

Religion.  ---  (1) Religion that will defer to reason vs. (2) Religion that will not defer to reason.  Religion that will not defer to reason is not a good idea.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion.  ---  A problem exists when people use the ten commandments as an abdication of personal responsibility.  People who say, "I was doing everything I was supposed to do.  I was obeying orders.  I was obeying the commandments."  Its a problem when people take the attitude that, to be good, all they have to do is obey the commandments.  Its a problem when people have been so indoctrinated into blind belief that they hold the view that they no longer have to think.  Sometimes the problem is similar to the way that Nazi soldiers attempted to use the invalid excuse, "I was only following orders.", when performing unethical acts.  ---  11/22/2005

Religion.  ---  Argument for religion.  Some people say children cannot reason well.  So these people teach their children to obey blindly (religion).  These parents think religion is good for children.  However, we need to teach children to reason as soon as possible.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Art and religion.  (1) Art about religious topics.  (2) Religious suppression and censorship of art.  For example, religions forbidding the drawing of pictures of god.  Religions forbidding the drawing of the human body.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion.  ---  Atheism is not a religion.  Atheism is not based on blind belief.  Atheism is based on the lack of evidence of the existence of god.  Atheism is a response to the logical contradictions that many religions are founded on.  ---  6/22/2004

Religion.  ---  Atheism.   The number of closet atheists is very high.  Unfortunately, in America today, and in the world, people do not always feel comfortable admitting they don't believe in god.  As a result, atheists are often a minority in the USA and the world.  And as a minority, atheists are often discriminated against.  Discrimination against atheists is wrong.  ---  6/22/2004

Religion.  ---  Atheism.  Do not be silent on religion.  Do not say "whatever you believe is fine".  Be a vocal atheist.  Just like it is not good to take the view in ethics that "whatever you want to do is fine", for example, murder is not fine.  There is freedom of thought and freedom of speech so therefore society should not outlaw religion, but we should speak out against religion like one would speak out against any other suboptimal attitude.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Atheism.  Ethics and religion can be separated.  Ethics can and must stand on it's own.  Thought and reason can replace ritual and belief.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Atheism.  One does not need the concept of god or religion to raise kids.  People only need the concept of right and wrong.  I know many people raised as atheists who are ethical people.  ---  2/15/2005

Religion.  ---  Atheism.  Progressivism and atheism.  Progressives tend to be atheists more so than non-progressives.  Good for Progressives.  Go atheism.  ---  5/5/2007

Religion.  ---  Atheism.  You don't need god to be good.  ---  6/23/2005

Religion.  ---  Atheists are often wrongly persecuted.  (1) Some religious people wrongly believe that anyone who does not believe in god must be for evil.  (2) Some religious people wrongly believe that anyone who does not believe in god must want to force their views on other people.  (3) A reason why religious people believe this may be because its the way they themselves act.  ---  12/23/2003

Religion.  ---  Children and religion.  Children do not need religion.  Children should not be taught religion.  Children should be taught ethics.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Children fear monsters that they have never seen and that do not exist.  Similarly, adults fear gods that they have never seen and that do not exist.  Gods and monsters are the product of human fear and abstraction.  ---  9/11/2005

Religion.  ---  Children tend toward the magical.  Teenagers tend toward the mythical.  Why shouldn't adults tend toward the religious?  ---  7/19/2001

Religion.  ---  Christian.  (A) They tried to raise me as a christian.  I has some issues with it.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Problems I have with the views of some christians.  (1) They don't believe in pre-marital or extra-marital sex.  (2) They do not believe in abortion under any circumstances.  They do not believe in contraception.  (3) They think the pope is infallible.  Opinion:  The whole concept of a pope is too hierarchical, authoritarian, militaristically organized.  (4) Transubstantiation (belief that communion turns into body and blood of christ) makes no sense scientifically.  It is too magical.  (5) Belief in mysteries and miracles is not based in reason.  They teach people not to reason, just to believe.  ---  03/20/1993

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Protestantism.  Views pro.  (1) Work ethic produces successful people.  (2) Humanism, world centered, produces people well adapted to living in this world.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Some christians believe that suffering and pain is good.  Some christians also believe that pleasure is bad, sex is bad, the physical body is bad, etc.  So the individual pursues states of psychological and physical pain.  The individual also has guilt and shame when they feel pleasure, or joy.  This all ends up with the individual having depression, which can cripple and kill.  Another result is that the individual is repressed, which can cripple and kill.  ---  10/10/1997

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Some christians believe that suffering is good and pleasure is evil, so they feel guilty when they get pleasure (good things give pleasure), and they feel virtuous when they are depressed.  This reinforces depression, and screws up their minds.  ---  08/01/1997

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Some forms of Christianity are sub-optimal because they believe that whenever anything good happens it is because of god and not you, and whenever anything bad happens it is your fault and not god's.  This does nothing for your self esteem.  ---  11/30/1993

Religion.  ---  Christian.  Things about some christian views that I do not go for.  Opinion: the following are unhealthy:  (1) Prone to inaction (prayer rather than action).  (2) Too nice.  Accept injustice against self.  The "turn the other cheek" belief.  A psychologically damaging point of view.  (3) Anti-materialism and otherworldliness, which can produce maladjusted, poor, neurotic people who have problems living.  (4) Priests and nuns, who live without mates and without sex, which is a sub-optimal way of living.  They are the ones who teach the congregation.  (5) Transubstantiation.  (6) Infallibility of pope.  (7) Emphasis on mystery.  (8) Repression of anger.  (9) Repression of sex.  (10) Premarital abstinence.  (11) Views against divorce.  (12) Symbolism.  (13) Women priests not allowed by many versions.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Components of religions.  (1) People.  (2) Places.  (3) Things.  Books, writings, texts.  (4) Actions.  (5) Thoughts, ideas, views, beliefs.  ---  2/15/2006

Religion.  ---  Conservative, right wing, reactionary, backward, fundamentalist religions are a problem.  ---  3/27/2007

Religion.  ---  Contra religion.  By promoting a supposed other world view, religions have a tendency to disregard this world.  Many religions wrongly believe that this world is completely dirty, sinful and to be given up as lost.  Many religions wrongly see the human body in this world as completely dirty, sinful and to be given up as lost.  Many religions wrongly see humans in this world as completely dirty, sinful and to be given up as lost.  ---  12/16/2004

Religion.  ---  Contra religion.  By promoting faith over reason, religions have a tendency to be anti-intellectual and against reason.  ---  12/16/2004

Religion.  ---  Contra religion.  Religion does more harm than good.  Religious wars, religious terrorism, religious intolerance and all the other unethical actions done in the name of religion are greater than any supposed good religions do.  Therefore, people should endeavor to lift themselves above religion.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion.  ---  Contra religion.  Religion has negative value because religion does more harm than good.  Religion holds people back more than it improves people lives.  By emphasizing blind belief over thinking and reason, religion creates repressed, stunted, non-creative individuals.  ---  11/21/2004

Religion.  ---  Converting others.  Religious people who try to convert other people have two goals.  (1) Egoistic.  Some religious people  believe they will go to heaven if they can convert another person.  (2) Altruistic.  Some religious people believe that they will "save" the other person if they can convert the other person.  ---  5/31/2000

Religion.  ---  Criticisms.  (1) The notion of religion as a man made institution can be criticized in many ways.  (2) The notion of god can be criticized in many ways.  (3) The notion of the spiritual can be criticized in many ways.  ---  12/14/2004

Religion.  ---  Divine mistakes.  Its amusing to think that besides those cast out of heaven there are also those rejected from hell.  Those to whom it is said, "You are not evil enough to hang with us.  Please vacate your cubicle."  There are those who will be homeless in the next world too.  Not so bad.  Pretty good.  ---  9/28/2003

Religion.  ---  Economics and politics of religion.  The Church as a political and economic force.  The Church, especially before the era of non-profit organizations, was similar to both a political party and an economic corporation.  There was a political tendency in the church toward dictatorship.  There was an economic tendency in the church toward monopoly.  Self perpetuating.  All consuming.  Warped by power and greed.  ---  11/25/2004

Religion.  ---  Economics and politics of religion.  Witchdoctor, Shaman and Priest are simply occupations by which individuals make a living.  These activities are started and promoted by people trying to make a buck.  It starts with someone making a claim of supernatural expertise, which is then is used to gain money and a sense of social power.  ---  5/25/2000

Religion.  ---  Economics and religion.  Religion is a business.  Many people use religion as a way to make a buck.  Many people use religion as a way to make a living.  Religion is about money.  ---  5/15/2004

Religion.  ---  Economics, business and religion.  Religion is a big business.  Millions of dollars a year are made by companies that produce religious products.  Religious groups and businesses employ tens of thousands of people.  These people have a monetary interest in the perpetuation of religion.  Many of these people are selling religion because they can make a buck at it.  Some of these people become millionaires through religion.  They line their own pockets with the proceeds from religion.  These are the rich and powerful religious, corrupted by money and power.  ---  11/13/2004

Religion.  ---  Economics, politics and religion.  (1) Religion as an economic force.  Religion as a business.  Religions want your money.  (2) Religion as a political force.  Religion as a power grab.  (3) Religion claims not to be about the evils of money and power; yet, religions are all about money and power.  ---  1/16/2003

Religion.  ---  Elements of religion: from without and within.  (1) Beliefs (subject, view, argument).  (2)(A) Practices: reasons for them (believed and actual).  (B) Roles: priests, monks, nuns, mystics, hermits.  (C) Institutions: church structure, mechanism, etc.  (D) Activities: prayer, almsgiving, fasting, etc.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  (1) Ancient religious ethical systems (especially ancient texts) are often primitive, narrow, shallow, and inadequate.  Today our rational analysis of ethics is deeper and broader.  (2) Ethics based on belief, and not reason, (i.e. religion) are often sub-optimal.  (3) Most religions prescribe morals and ask you to accept them on faith without thought.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  (1) Some people mistakenly believe religion is the same thing as ethics and morals.  Religion is not the same thing as ethics and morals.  Religion is concerned with the divine.  Ethics and morals is concerned with right and wrong.  (2) Some people mistakenly believe that religion is the only way to ethics and morals.  Religion is not the only way to ethics and morals.  Religion accepts ethical pronouncements on faith.  Philosophy reasons ethics and morals.  (3) Some people mistakenly believe that religion is the best way to ethics and morals.  Religion is not the best way to ethics and morals.  Reasoning about ethics and morals improves your ability to make ethical decisions in new situations.  Believing and obeying religious precepts degrades your ability to make ethical decisions in new situations.  ---  11/10/2004

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  (1) You don't need religion to know what "good behavior" is.  Primitives can be good, and they are not going to hell.  (2) God only cares that you are good.  God does not care what religion you are.  Anyone from any religion can go to heaven if they are good.  If you say no to this, you are wrong.  (3) Therefore, we do not need religion, and even thoughts of god are a waste.  ---  09/26/1997

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  Ethics can, should, and does, exist apart from religion.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  Ethics concepts like good and bad stand on their own without recourse to religion.  ---  12/6/2005

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  If you believe the only way to know what is right and wrong is if "god tells you what is right and wrong", then you are in a non-reasoning state.  Or if you believe "the holy-book will tell me what is right and wrong", then your ethical-thinking skills will wither and die.  ---  3/20/1999

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  Many people practice religion because they want to be good.  However, good exists apart from religion.  You don't have to be religious, or even spiritual, in order to be good.  If you focus solely on religion then it is an impediment to being good.  ---  1/26/2004

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  Reason based ethics is works better than magical witch hunts and magical god hunts.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  Some people say that devoted religious practice guarantees a refined ethical system.  It does not.  Some people say religious practice is the only way, or the best way, to develop a refined ethical system.  It is not.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  The problem with doing good in order to go to heaven is that it is like eating your dinner to get dessert, or getting A's throughout high school in order to get a car from your parents at graduation.  It is a childish reason to do good.  The mature person eats dinner because it is good for them, not to get dessert.  The mature person gets A's because it is good to learn in and of itself, not to get a car from their parents.  For the ethically mature person doing good is its own reward.  ---  12/01/1994

Religion.  ---  Ethics versus religion.  When people confuse religion with ethics or emotion, they do ethics and emotion a disservice.  When people use the term "spirit" to refer to ethics and emotion, they confuse the issue.  ---  3/20/1999

Religion.  ---  Far out views.  (1) Was Jesus an alien?  (2) Was Jesus a man from the future?  ---  3/15/1999

Religion.  ---  For those people excited by religious discussions, consider the following: The percentage of people who claim to believe in god, or who practice religion, runs at about 60-80%.  I suggest these figures have been fairly consistent for the last 20,000 years and are unlikely to change in the future.  Those people fearful of a sudden and enduring rise or fall in the percentage should relax knowing such a change is unlikely.  If someone feels a strong urge to "convert or destroy" the opposition they should relax and realize the percentage is unlikely to change.  In the long run, a variety of efforts by both sides have not changed the percentages much.  ---  2/8/2001

Religion.  ---  Freewill and religion.  (1) If god is all knowing, then he knows we will sin.  Then how can he send us to hell?  If he knows what we will do, then we have no freewill.  It could be god does not know the future, only the present and past.  (2) If he is all powerful then why does he allow evil?  (3) When people say, "It's all gods will.", they leave no room for freewill.  ---  9/15/1998

Religion.  ---  Freewill and religion.  If god's gift to us was to give us free will, then he could have given us freewill in a nicer world.  ---  9/15/1998

Religion.  ---  Freewill and religion.  If you believe in fate, predetermination or inescapable destiny then you have abdicated all responsibility, all sense of ethics and all notions of good and evil.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Genetic basis for religion.  Is there a genetic basis for religion?  Is there a hard-wired instinct for religion in humans?  (1) Many religious people say yes.  So first we have to consider the irony (or, rather, hypocrisy) of religious people who argue for a genetic basis to religion one minute and then deny evolution the next minute.  (2) Secondly, consider if, at some point in human history, there was a population of humans, some of whom had a genetic predisposition to kill other humans that did not believe in god, then one can easily see how a genetic aberration for religion could spread via the murder of people who did not have the aberration for religion, and through the reproduction of people who had the aberration for religion.  Is there any evidence in human history, that religious believers have had a tendency to murder non-believers whom they labeled as heretics, blasphemers and infidels?  Yes, there is plenty of evidence.  Two examples are the Crusades and the Inquisition.  ---  11/8/2004

Religion.  ---  God is conceived by religious people as being infallible and perfect.  However, organized religion is viewed as a construction of man and is thus imperfect, fallible and undergoes a process of development.  As a result, to question religion helps make religion better.  To question our understanding of god helps make our understanding of god better.  So therefore, religious people should thank those who question our understanding of religion and god because they improve the situation.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Hindu, Moslem, Jew, Zen.  They all have their teachings.  Is one religion true and the others false?  Or do they all point to the same thing.  I think, if anything, the latter is true.  ---  1/11/1999

Religion.  ---  History of human's religion (in general and specific religions).  (1) Prehistoric religion.  (2) Ancient religions.  (3) Religions of indigenous peoples (American Indians, African, Polynesian).  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  History of magic, myth, religion.  (1) In humans through history, or in an specific society. (2) In an individual: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, as related to development of reason.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  History of religion in humans.  (1) History of major religions coincides with the development of writing.  Writing provided religions with a way to keep an "official and original version" that will not be forgotten and will not change.  (2) History of major religions coincides with the development of civilizations.  Large, stable, enduring groups with more leisure time to devote to religion.  And hierarchical power-obsessed structures.  Monotheism.  (3) Older religions were in smaller, nomadic groups who had an oral tradition.  These religions would be more changing, flexible and malleable.  These societies were more egalitarian.  These societies were polytheistic.  ---  4/7/2004

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Early humans may have thought that everything was alive.  Early humans may have thought that there were spirits animating all things.  Early humans may have engaged in personification, treating non-human animals as human, and treating inanimate objects as human.  Early humans may not have had the critical thinking skills that modern humans take for granted.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Monotheism.  Why did monotheism take over pantheism?  Because people want strong, powerful gods, to whom they can appeal to improve their lives.  And the result of this desire is to appeal to a strongest god, an all powerful, all knowing god.  ---  12/30/1996

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Polytheism and monotheism.  Polytheism is egalitarian.  Monotheism is hierarchical, and a feature of empires and power.  ---  5/13/2004

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Polytheism and monotheism.  Why did monotheism replace polytheism?  (1) At a psychological level, monotheism was more popular because people thought there could only be one strongest, true, real god, not many weaker, false gods of plant or animal nature.  Monotheism represented a step when human reason began to outweigh human perception.  Monotheism represented a intermediate step on the way toward philosophy and science.  (2) At a socio-political level, monotheism was state sponsored.  Monotheism was an easier way for power holders to control the populace.  A single, unified, monotheistic, state religion was easier to administer than many polytheistic religions.  Monotheism represented a unification of power of the state.  ---  2/6/2004

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Religion does not really develop.  Religion devolves.  ---  12/1/2004

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Religions continue to be born even in modern times, and grow and spread if they are psychologically appealing enough, and socially organized enough.  ---  12/30/1996

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  There was a need in ancient societies to be able to "pass the buck" when necessary and so thus gods were created.  ---  11/2/2001

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  There was a need in ancient societies to have someone or something above all humans in order to make the laws seem  unreproachable in order to enable dispute resolution. So they created gods and said the laws were from the gods.  Initially the gods were a legal entity.  God as a legal entity, a final authority, requires that there be only one, true, all-powerful god; that is, it requires monotheism.  ---  11/2/2001

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  To caveman and primitives everything is alive, and everything is magic.  ---  9/15/1998

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Two ways religions evolve are from bottom up and from top down.  The bottom-up evolution of a religion starts with a hero or someone we admire, who is then exaggerated via tall tales into a legend or myth, and who is then over time and increasing popularity raised another level to the status of god.  (2) The top-down evolution of a religion starts with someone's abstract notion of a perfect being, which is then humanized a little (for mass acceptance) with the creation of the idea of a legendary superhuman god-man, which is then humanized even more (for lowest common denominator acceptance) with the recognition of real world examples who we call heroes.  Sometimes a religion evolves using both the top-down and bottom-up methods at the same time.  ---  10/16/2001

Religion.  ---  History of religion.  Why did all the major religions take off 2000 years ago?  One reason was writing, which allowed the religions to perpetuate themselves.  Another reason was settled, stable civilizations with high population densities, which also allowed religions to perpetuate themselves in enduring social organizational form.  ---  12/30/1996

Religion.  ---  How to study religion?  Use science to study religion as much as possible.  Use philosophy to study religion to answer questions that science cannot yet answer.  Do not use religion to study religion.  Do not use religion.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  How.  (1) How do people practice religion.  (2) How to study religion: from within religion, from without.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  If a religion was against abortion, then it would seem they would be for contraception.  If a religion was against contraception, then it would seem they would be for abortion.  A religion that is against both contraception and abortion makes less sense.  ---  3/14/1999

Religion.  ---  If there was a supernatural entity that was influencing your thoughts, or a prophet's thoughts, or events in the world.  If it was only for the good that would be one thing.  If you posit two entities, one good and the other bad, then when a thought or event is supernaturally caused, how do you tell if the good or bad supernatural entity caused it?  (2) What if the supernatural entity is mercurial and does good and bad actions?  (3) An event that is good for one person is often viewed as bad by another person, so how can you tell except in obvious cases, whether its good or bad?  ---  10/5/2002

Religion.  ---  Instead of saying that all major religions point to the same thing, its more accurate to say that all the major religions, by each claiming to be the one true religion, essentially contradict each other.  ---  9/5/2004

Religion.  ---  It is difficult for someone to hear that all their family's inherited, cherished, comforting beliefs are wrong.  Thus, religion continues.  ---  12/30/1995

Religion.  ---  Kicking the religion habit.  Evolution not revolution.  One argument for religion is that religion keeps a lot of people in line.  To quickly abolish religion would leave many people ethically adrift, without an ethical system to fall back on.  It takes time for a person to develop a rational ethical system.  It can take years.  What do they do in the interim, during the transition from a religious, belief based ethical system to a rational ethical system?  Commit crimes?  It is also emotionally painful for many people to hear that their most strongly held, cherished, comforting, family inherited beliefs are wrong.  The key is to gently bring people up from religion.  Evolution not revolution.  Evolution helps avoid an emotionally painful period of ethical drifting.  ---  09/29/1994

Religion.  ---  Law and religion.  Religious law is a bad idea.  Keep religion and law separated.  Lack of separation of church and state is unjust.    ---  4/27/2007

Religion.  ---  Magic is a power ploy.  (1) Magic is sometimes used by individuals as a means of self-empowerment.  People want to feel a sense of control over nature, other people and themselves.  (2) Magic is sometimes used by people to scare the hell out of other people.  Terror as a power trip; terror as an abuse of power.  For example, when parents try to scare their kids for laughs, the parent is acting like a child.  (3) Religion is often used the same way as magic, as either an attempt at self empowerment, or as an attempt at gain power over others by scaring others.  ---  5/13/2004

Religion.  ---  Magic, myth and religion.  Appeal to magical beliefs is pandering.  Whether its snake oil salesmen hawking miracle cures for a buck, or amusement parks advertising "magical" experiences, or hoaxers con-artists and pseudo-scientists.   They all want to downplay reason and critical thinking.  They want to play up blind belief and emotional appeals.  ---  1/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Magic, myth and religion.  Myths are not just quaint old stories told by people.  Myths exist today.  There are people today creating myths about themselves and others.  There are also people who are pushing or selling the whole concept of myth because it serves their self interests, such as making a quick buck or increasing their power base.  They promote myth and mythic ways of viewing the world because they don't want people reasoning.  Because people reasoning would see through their baloney.  ---  1/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Magic.  (1) Magic as an activity of sleight of hand and trickery.  vs.  (2) Magic as a way of thinking.  Belief in spells, curses, amulets, etc.  ---  12/2/2001

Religion.  ---  Magic.  (1) Magic is really closer to religion than science.  The charlatans who pitch magic don't believe in logic.  They don't believe in cause and effect reasoning.  Houdini helped expose charlatans, quacks and snakeoil salesmen who falsely claimed special abilities.  (2) These charlatans take advantage of people who are desperate, confused and full of emotional pain.  The charlatans take advantage of people who are often poor, uneducated and dim.  The charlatans prey on the vulnerable.  (3) Houdini helped expose a variety of charlatans.  There are many types.  Those who claim to contact the dead.  Claim to see into the future.  Claim to read your mind.  Claim to see into your past and tell you your life story.  Claim to tell you who you really are, and claim to tell you what you should do.  (4) The charlatans often use methods of divination that rely on random choice, such as the shuffle of cards, the roll of dice, or the date of your birth.  By having chance determine who you are and what will happen to you, the charlatans make the same mistake as those who practice racism, sexism, classism and other forms of discrimination.  (5) Other techniques charlatans use.  They watch your pupils dilate to see if you like something, or contract if you dislike something.  They watch your facial expression and body language for subtle signs of positive affirmation and negative dislike.  ---  2/10/2001

Religion.  ---  Magic.  (1) Magicians who mean to entertain, even though the audience knows its fake.  (2) Magicians who mean to deceive the audience in order to take advantage of the audience.  ---  12/2/2001

Religion.  ---  Magic.  Astrology, numerology, tarot, palm reading, etc.  These are more like religion than they are like science.  We should refer to them as religions rather than pseudo-science.  ---  1/15/2001

Religion.  ---  Magic.  Types of magic: belief in ability to (1) Control people or nature, (2) Through spells, potions, amulets, charms, superstition, voodoo.  (3) Benevolent magic ("white magic") vs. malicious magic ("black magic").  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Many religion have a poor record of treatment of homosexuals, and that reflects badly on religions.  ---  3/27/2007

Religion.  ---  Many religions have a poor record of treatment of women, and that reflects badly on religions.  ---  3/27/2007

Religion.  ---  Myth.  Conceptual clarifications regarding myth, falsehoods, lies, fictions, and wrong guesses.  (1) Myths are false.  Yes, myths are false.  Myths are not true.  The reason it is a myth is because it is not true.  For example, it is not true that the earth  (2) Myths are lies.  No, not in the narrow sense of the word "lie".  In the narrow sense of the word, a lie is an intentional falsehood.  The people who made up myths were not usually telling intentional falsehoods because they usually did not know any better.  (3) Myths are fictions.  No, not in the narrow sense of the word "fiction".  In the narrow sense of the word, a fiction is a story written by an author who understands that what he is writing is an imaginary creation.  (4)  Myths are wrong guesses.  Yes, myths are wrong guesses.  Myths are attempts to explain the world, however, the myth is a wrong guess.  The  myth has been proved to be false.  (5) Religion is a myth.  That is, religion is a wrong guess.     PART TWO.  (1) Some people continue to perpetuate myths even though they know that the myth has been proved false, and those people are liars.  (2) Some people perpetuate myths because they do not know that the myth has been proved false, and those people are ignorant.     PART THREE.  There are various ways that the word "myth" is used.  ---  1/22/2006

Religion.  ---  Myth.  Definitions of myth.  (1) Myth as false, inaccurate, lies.  (2) Promoters of myth will argue that myths contain a grain of truth.  A mote of truth wrapped in a pack of lies.  ---  1/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Myth.  Types of myths.  (1) By subject.  Myths about (A) Origin of x: earth, people.  (B) Using y type story: gods, animals.  (2) By geographic area.  Greeks, Romans, Norse, Eastern.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Mythology.     PART ONE.  Mythology is sub-optimal form of  "minding" or mentalizing.  It is shares similarities with the mental abilities of both cavemen and children.  (1) Mythologizing is a "primitive" or ancient form of mentalizing, in that the mythologizer, just like the ancient, uses myth to explain his world, because he has not yet developed cause-effect thinking.  (2)  Mythologizing is also an immature form of mentalizing or "minding" in at least two ways.  Firstly, mythologizers, just like children, have not yet developed cause-effect thinking.  Secondly, the mythologizer views the hero as god-like, just as the child views the adult parent as god-like.     PART TWO.  Related to the mythologizing way of experiencing the world is the phenomenon of telling tall tales.  Tale telling or story telling can be viewed as a primitive (like cavemen) or immature (like children) form of mentalizing.  Firstly, tale telling is knowledge organized by anecdote, which is less efficient than knowledge organized by logical organization.  Secondly, tale telling is knowledge by concrete example, which is more cumbersome than knowledge by abstract ideas.  ---  6/1/1999

Religion.  ---  Original sin.  The notion of original sin is neurotic.  To believe that children are born sinful is a neurotic notion.  To believe adults have original sin is a neurotic notion  ---  11/19/2004

Religion.  ---  PART ONE.  One view holds that people create the idea of god because people wish they were gods.  People create the idea of heaven and hell because they wish there was a heaven or hell.  People create the idea of angels and witches because they wish there were angels and witches.     PART TWO.  Another view holds that people create the idea of god because people fear.  People create the idea of heaven and hell because they fear.  People create the idea of angels and witches because they fear.     PART THREE.  (1) These entities, god, heaven, hell, angels and witches are all creations of average people.  (2) These entities are all human creations resulting from human exercises in abstract thinking.  (3) These entities are all human creations resulting from human attempts at wish fulfillment.  (4) These entities are all human creations resulting from various human fears.  ---  4/20/2003

Religion.  ---  People who decide to do "whatever it takes to save your soul" are scary people.  People who try to convert other people at any cost are sick.  ---  5/13/2004

Religion.  ---  Person A says, "Merry Christmas".  Person B says, "If Allah wills it".  ---  12/22/2003

Religion.  ---  Philosophy of religion.  (1) Philosophy of religion: from outside.  (2) Theology: philosophy of religion from inside.  (3) Scientific study of religion practices: psychological and social.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Philosophy of religion.  Ethical system of a religion (by perspective and subject area).  How should we respond to self actions, others, nature, and divine.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Philosophy of religion.  Metaphysical, epistemic, and ethical topics.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Philosophy vs. religion.  (1) Philosophical arguments for existence of god.  Weak.  (2) Philosophical study of ethics as separate from religion.  Reason-based ethics.  Strong.  ---  2/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Philosophy vs. religion.  When you take the philosophy and psychology out of religion, not much is left.  (1) When you take the psychology out of religion not much is left.  For example, people saying they practice religion to feel peaceful and joyous.  I.e., people practicing religion to manage their emotions.  When you take the psychological concepts and techniques out of religion, not much is left.  (2) When you take the philosophy out of religion not much is left.  For example, people saying they practice religion to do good and justice.  I.e, people practicing religion as a means of being philosophically ethical.  When you take away philosophical ideas, namely metaphysics, about the nature of god and man, and when you take away philosophical ideas, namely ethics, about the nature of good and evil, then not much is left of religion.  ---  2/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Politics and religion.  Power and religion.  Many people use religion to pursue position, status and power.  Religions are hierarchical, bureaucratic and attract organization men.  ---  5/15/2004

Religion.  ---  Politics and religion.  Religion and politics should be kept separate.   Keep religion out of politics.  Theocracy is a bad thing.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Politics and religion.  Religions should not receive tax-free status.  Religions should not get government funding.  The arts, philosophy and sciences should get tax breaks and government funding because the arts, philosophy and sciences produce knowledge.  Religion does not produce knoweldge; religion produces blind belief.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Politics and religion.  Separation of church and state vs. religious dictatorships.  ---  5/14/2004

Religion.  ---  Politics, law and religion.  Many people have a religo-politico agenda, and that agenda is the creation of a religious state.  Many religious people don't believe in the separation of church and state.  However, they inevitably want their own religion, not any other religion, to be the official religion of the state.  Thus, they don't believe in religious freedom.  ---  11/13/2004

Religion.  ---  Problem of religion.  Theocracy, the combining of church and state.  ---  11/10/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  (1) Religion used for terrorism.  Terrorize people into conformity by threat of social ostracism.  (2) Religion used as a sanctimonious power play.  (3) Religious wars.  Religion used to convince oneself that god is on your side during wars.  (4) Religion used to convince yourself you are safe and calm, and that everything is fine and dandy.  ---  7/1/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  (1) Religious terror.  The Inquisition was church sponsored terror.  (2) Religious wars.  The Crusades were church sponsored war.  ---  11/29/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  (1) Too many people confuse religion with ethics.  Solution: Separate religion and ethics.  (2) Too much fighting between religions.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  One can argue that the strife caused by religious wars and conflicts has countered any good that religion has done in the history of the world.  ---  1/31/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religion gave us the Inquisition, witch burning and other acts of unchecked power in the hands of the church.  ---  11/20/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religion has a tendency to produce fanatics because it promotes blind belief in the face of reason.  Most people mistakenly think religion is about good and evil.  It is not.  Ethics, the subject of good and evil, does quite well without religion.  Religion is actually about blind belief and blind obedience in the face of reason.  Religion is about strictly following instructional books and training manuals.  ---  9/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religious terrorism.  The Inquisition was state sponsored religious terrorism that murdered many innocent people.  ---  12/10/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religious torture and executions continue till as recently as Salem, Massachusetts, and even today.  ---  12/10/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religious wars.  (1) Catholics vs. Protestants (Ireland).  (2) Catholics vs. Muslims (Serbs vs. Croatians in Bosnia).  (3) Hindu vs. Muslims (India vs. Pakistan).  (4) Jewish vs. Muslims (Israel and Arab countries).  (5) Hutu vs. Tutsi (Africa).  ---  6/30/1998

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religious wars.  What percentage of wars today are religious wars?  A high percentage.  If religion is a perennial cause of conflict and war then religion is less than optimal.  ---  11/29/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems of religion.  Religious wars.  Who's not fighting?  The Buddhists.  ---  11/29/2003

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  (1) Religion attempts to provide emotional comfort at the expense of reason.  (2) Religion encourages moral obedience at the expense of ethical thought.  (3) Religions promotes intra-group social cohesion only through attitudes and practices that result in inter-group warfare.  ---  11/22/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  (1) Religious intolerance.  Unable to accept other points of view.  Believes that non-believers are damned.  (2) Religious imperialism.  Feels compelled to spread the religion by converting people.  ---  5/14/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  By promoting unquestioning belief and unquestioning obedience, religion ends up causing religious wars and religious terrorism.  ---  5/5/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  By promoting unquestioning belief and unquestioning obedience, religion is against reason, thinking, philosophy and science.  ---  5/5/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  What civilized society is up against is religious extremists, zealots, radicals and fundamentalists who say, "If anyone says anything against my religion, or any religion, we will either kill them, beat them up or drive them out of town."  What society is up against is religious bullies.  ---  11/12/2004

Religion.  ---  Problems with religion.  When I say that religion is a problem, I am not using the word "problem" in the sense of a a question or a puzzle.  I am using the word "problem" to mean a negative, unhealthy, unjust, untrue thing.  ---  11/22/2004

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  All religions have a tendency to produce neurotics because they are (1) Dogmatic.  (2) Pro magical and mystical.  (3) Anti-body and anti-worldly.  ---  03/13/1989

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Does god change people's lives?  Or does people's belief in a god that does not exist change their lives?  Are they really changing themselves, through their beliefs?  Is religion just a mind game?  ---  04/10/1997

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Mental states associated with religious practice.  (1) Ecstasy, rapture, bliss, joy.  (2) Peace, serenity, calm, safe, content.  (3) Are these merely mental states identified by electrical brainwave patterns or chemical neuro-transmitters?  If so, what other ways besides religion can these mental states be produced?  For example, from nature, mediation, exercise, love, hobbies, drugs, etc.  ---  4/3/2001

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  One reason many religions incorporate music and dance into their practices is because music and dance are effective psychological and social control techniques.  ---  1/1/2002

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Religion is popular because early on it developed a set of useful and healthy psychological techniques and attitudes.  However, these psychological techniques and attitudes are too easily misused for unethical purposes.  Religion was one of human's first attempts at psychology.  ---  11/6/2001

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Religion is used by some people as a psychological tool to feel (1) less anxious, fearful and worrying about the future, and (2) less guilty and regretful about the past.  ---  4/13/2001

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Religion was an early, misguided attempt at psychotherapy.  A way to feel optimistic.  A way to assuage guilt and regret.  ---  6/21/2004

Religion.  ---  Psychology and religion.  Religion works for some people as a useful psychological tool.  It helps some people deal with control (power) issues.  (1) Use of religion for a reduced sense of self control (and responsibility).  Examples, "Its all in god's hands.  Let god's will be done.  Let god decide".  (2) Use of religion for an increased sense of self control (and power).  Examples, "I may not be able to take action in this situation but at least I can pray.  God will surely punish the unjust"  Religion helps people feel more powerful.  ---  4/16/2001

Religion.  ---  Psychopathology and religion.  (1) Abnormal psychology of religious zealots and fanatics.  (2) Abnormal psychology of religious neurotics.  (3) They believe everything needs to be understood in terms of religion.  They believe everything in society must be organized around religion and under the control of religious institutions.  ---  5/14/2004

Religion.  ---  Psychopathology and religion.  Religion is mass neurosis.  Religion is mass psychosis.  Believing in things because its written in a book (neurotic).  Believing that god talks to you (psychotic).  Believing in things for which there is no evidence (neurotic).  Believing in things blindly (neurotic).  Believing in things to reduce levels of negative emotions of anxiety, sadness and anger (neurotic).  Magical thinking (neurotic).     PART TWO.  The view that religious behaviors are a result of neurosis.  Versus.  The view that religious behaviors are a cause of neurosis.  ---  10/5/2004

Religion.  ---  Psychopathology and religion.  What aspects of religion are neurotic and what aspects of religion are psychotic?  PART ONE.  Neurotic aspects of religion:  (1) Resorting to prayer rather than reason and action.  (2) Believing that the bible is the only book you need.  (3) Belief in witches.  Belief in angels.  Belief in exorcism.  Belief in devil, damnation and hell.  Belief in heaven.  (4) Focus on mystery for mystery's sake, instead of reasoning to resolve mysteries.  Blind belief.     PART TWO.  Psychotic aspects of religion:  (1) Belief in miracles.  (2) Belief that you hear god talking to you.  Hearing voices.  Auditory hallucinations.  (3) Belief that you see blood coming out of statues.  Visual hallucinations.  (4) Belief that god gives you super human powers.  ---  10/5/2004

Religion.  ---  Questions for specific religions (description and evaluation).  (1) History - dates.  (A) Origins and development.  (B) Founders and major individuals.  What they said, what they did.  (2) Political power.  Number of adherents, dollars they have.  Politically active or inactive.  (3) Similarities/differences other religions.  (4) Structure: social organization (groups, roles, status, institutions, etc.).  (5) Mechanism: practices (prayer, rituals, sacraments, holidays, etc.).  (6) Theology, doctrine, dogma, belief system.  Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetic views of (A) Divine, man, (B) Worldly, other worldly, (C) Before life, during life, afterlife, (D) Texts: sacred and supporting, (E) Sects: similarities/differences among them, (F) View of other religions as valid/invalid, and tolerance/intolerance of them.  (7) Evaluation.  Arguments pro and contra any of its beliefs.  Good points vs. bad points.  Bad: logical problems, ethical injustices.  How neurotic/healthy is it, and why.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Related subjects.  (1) Art: religion as promoting or hindering art.  (2) Magic, myth, and religion: religion came from myth, and myth came from magic.  (3) Philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetic views of various religions.  (4) Political: freedom of religion; separation of church and state.  (5) Psychology:  Affect of religion on psyche.  Affect of psychology on religion.  Affect of psychological personality on tendency to pick up religion.  (6) Science: scientific view of creation vs. religious fundamentalist view of creation.  (7) Sociology:  Affect of religion on sociology (binds people).  Affect of sociology on religion (sociology can promote or discourage/hinder it).  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Religion encourages people to base their actions on blind belief and blind obedience.  People who base their actions on blind belief and blind obedience end up using the empty plea of Nazi soldiers, "I was only following orders".  ---  11/12/2004

Religion.  ---  Religion evolved out of human fear.  (1) Religion came about out of the human fear of death.  (2) Religion came about out of a fear of an abstraction invented by humans called god.  God is a bogeyman.  (3) Religion came about as a response to free floating anxiety.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion.  ---  Religion is an impediment to knowledge.  ---  10/5/2004

Religion.  ---  Religion is for people who desperately want to convince themselves of the following: That they are loved (not unloved).  That they are good (not evil).  That they are right (not wrong).  ---  6/21/2004

Religion.  ---  Religion is the result when you combine anti-materialism and anti-intellectualism.  If its not a thing and its not a thought then what else is there?  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Religion produces fanatics who have a "convert or destroy" mentality.  Religion produces terrorists.  Religion produces wars.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Religion promotes ignorance.  (1) Religion promotes ignorance by promoting blind faith over reason.  (2) Religion promotes ignorance by telling people that they only need to read one book.  ---  9/2/2005

Religion.  ---  Religion sum up.  (1) Three different concepts: The divine.  Religious institutions of society.  Religious experiences in humans.  (2) Philosophy of religion.  Sociology of religion.  Psychology of religion.  ---  10/16/2003

Religion.  ---  Religion tends to make people stupid.  (1) Many religions teach that the  theory of evolution is wrong, and thus these religions spread ignorance.  (2) Many religions downplay reason in favor of blind belief and thus these religions spread ignorance.  ---  5/12/2007

Religion.  ---  Religion: crazy, stupid, or evil?  (1) Stupid.  I notice a lot of dim people are involved in religion.  This raises two sets of questions.  (A) Were the people dim before they joined the religion?  Is religious involvement a result of being dim?  (B) Or did the involvement of the person in religion cause their dimness?  Is religious involvement a cause of dimness?  Religions tend to value blind belief over critical thinking, so religion can impede the development of reason.  (C) Or does one affect the other in a downward spiral?  (2) Crazy.  I think that religion is a psychological maladjustment.  Frankly, I think the core ideas of religion are crazy.  (A) Is religious involvement a cause of craziness?  (B) Is religious involvement a result of craziness?  (3) Evil.  A lot of evil is committed by people who are stupid and/or crazy.  If religion is tied to stupidity and craziness, either by cause or effect, then we should not be surprised to find that religious people do evil things.  Throughout history, a lot of evil has been committed by people in the name of god and religion.  ---  2/7/2007

Religion.  ---  Religious attitudes that are baloney: "It is gods will.  It happened for a reason.  It is part of gods plan.  Everything is fine.  Everything will be all right.  It all works out for the best".  ---  12/15/1997

Religion.  ---  Religious terrorism.  If a person tells you that if you do not believe what they believe regarding religion then they will kill you, then you are living with religious terrorism.  If a person tells you that if you do not believe what they believe regarding religion then you will burn in hell forever, then you are living with religious terrorism.  Religious terrorism is wrong.  Preaching hellfire and damnation is wrong.  ---  9/1/2005

Religion.  ---  Religious wars threaten to destroy the world.  It is a lame excuse to say religious ware are not about the "real" religion, but rather something else like money or power.  Religions are about blind belief and mindless expansion.  The antidote to religion is critical thinking about religion, reasoning about ethics, and the willingness to leave a religion and live without religion.  Unfortunately for the adherents of religion, these are skills that religions do not teach.  ---  5/22/2007

Religion.  ---  Ringing church bells is noise pollution.  If one religion is allowed to ring bells then all religions should be allowed to ring bells.  If all religions ring bells then it would be a ceaseless din.  Therefore, ringing church bells is noise pollution.  ---  10/13/2004

Religion.  ---  Roles of religion in humans.  (1) Sociology.  (A) Managing human interactions.  (B) Ethics systems.  (C) God as law giver.  (D) God as judge.  God as wrathful.  (2) Psychology.  (A) Managing negative emotions of fear and anxiety, sadness and anger.  Also, guilt, regret, shame, etc.  (B) Especially fear about death.  (C) God as love.  (3) Information attempts.  (A) Explaining the world.  (B) Creation myths.  (4) The things that religion tries to do can be done better by science, psychotherapy, the legal system, etc.  ---  3/30/2005

Religion.  ---  Science and religion.  (1) Scientific evidence for god.  None.  (2) Scientific evidence for angels.  None.  (3) Psychological study of mental states of religious experience.  Temporal lobe stimulation produces a sense of another.  Parietal lobe stimulation produces a loss of sense of self.  ---  2/3/2004

Religion.  ---  Science and religion.  Many religious people are anti-science.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Science and religion.  People turned back to religion because science couldn't give them all the answers to all their questions fast enough.  People couldn't handle having any uncertainty in their lives.  ---  01/01/1993

Religion.  ---  Scientific study of religion.  Religion evolved.  Religion does more harm than good, which just goes to show that not all natural things are good things, and not all evolved natural things are good things.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Sociology and religion.  How popular or unpopular is religion in a society?  How powerful is religion in society?  How many converts, how much money, how much political position do they have?  How to combat a religion that is powerful, abusive, and unjust?  ---  04/01/1994

Religion.  ---  Sociology and religion.  Humans are social animals.  Social animals tend to develop hierarchies of power.  For example, the wolf-pack is headed by an alpha wolf.  The tendency in social animals toward the formation of leaders and followers in a group may to some degree be residual and instinctual in humans.  In this way, religion can be viewed as an expression of the human social instinct toward the formation of leaders and followers.  God is an abstraction of the concept of the "ultimate alpha person".  This may be how religious ideas initially developed and caught on.  ---  5/6/2000

Religion.  ---  Sociology and religion.  Religion is a destroyer of indigenous cultures.  The Church is imperialist, intent on converting or destroying the world's cultures.  ---  3/11/2007

Religion.  ---  Sociology and religion.  Religious people are often cultural imperialists who have a "convert or destroy" mission, and thus religions often destroys other peoples and cultures.  ---  3/25/2007

Religion.  ---  Sociology and religion.  The primary function of organized social religion is social reassurance.  People want to be reassured that their neighbor is not going to harm them.  So they all gather and say how good they want to be.  They say how they want to help each other.  They say won't harm each other.  This is an important, much needed social function.  It keeps people calm, so that they don't panic or live in fear and suspicion.  It is not really about god.  God just serves as something above the entire group, so that the entire group can say, "We, as an entire group, are telling you (god), as a higher being above the group, that we are all nice people."  Because for larger groups it becomes difficult and time consuming for every individual to reassure every other individual.  Religion evolved from the need for "en masse" social reassurance.  ---  8/26/1999

Religion.  ---  Sociology of religion.  If people go to church simply because if they do not then their friends will ask, "Why don't you go to church?", then religion becomes simply a form of social coercion, and people will go to church simply because everyone else does.  ---  5/22/2003

Religion.  ---  Sociology of religion.  Some religious people are not so much interested in being holy as much as appearing holier than thou.  ---  2/15/2003

Religion.  ---  Some people can only be reached through religion?  Just like some people can only be reached through art?  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Some people say that even if god did not exist, we would have to invent god.  I say that even if a god did exist, we would have to behave as if god did not exist.  Life is not about god and the afterlife, life is about doing some good here on earth.  Putting the focus on humans and the natural world rather than on any so called "spirit" world.  Developing a reason based ethics rather than an ethics of blind belief and blind obedience.  ---  5/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Straining the limits of credulity with increasingly incredible claims.  (1) There was a cause of the universe.  (2) The universe was caused by an intelligent divine being.  (3) A divine being influences our minds, thoughts, emotions, etc.  (4) A divine being influences the world in a physical sense by performing miracles on inert matter.  ---  1/5/2000

Religion.  ---  The big question is (tbqi): If you do not belong to an organized religion and if you do not believe in god, yet if you have a refined ethical system and do good acts your entire life, are you not better off than if you belong to an organized religion and believe in god, yet you perform a series of very bad acts, asking for forgiveness each time.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  The big questions about religion are:  What variety (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics) of ideas do these religious types come up with?  How strongly do they hold these views?  How intolerant are they of people with alternate views?  How bizarrely and sub-optimally do these views cause them to act?  How far are their ideas from rational, logical, just (fair), thinking and behavior.  ---  08/10/1993

Religion.  ---  The concept of god is the result of overly perfectionist thinking.  The concept of god is an example of pathological perfectionism.  ---  11/19/2004

Religion.  ---  Three areas of the subject of religion.  (1) Claims about the invisible or ineffable.  For example, claims about the divine, the afterlife, the soul, etc.  (2) The psychological.  For example: The ideas and emotions derived from an oral story telling tradition or written texts.  (3) Material things.  For example: sacred objects, artifacts and relics.  Sacred places and buildings.  ---  9/30/2002

Religion.  ---  Three lies of religion.  (1) Its fate.  Its unavoidable.  Its preplanned.  (2) Its god's will.  (3) Its for the best.  ---  3/12/2005

Religion.  ---  Three views of religion.  (1) The view that religion is dangerous.  Should society thus make religion illegal?  No, people must be allowed to hold their religious views.  (2) The view that religion is a disease.  Should society thus try to "cure" religious adherents.  No, people must be allowed to hold their religious views.  (3) The view that religious adherents are logically challenged, epistemologically challenged and ethically challenged.  Yes, that's it.  ---  9/12/2004

Religion.  ---  Three views.  (1) The percent of people who believe in some form of the divine, but who don't believe in organized religion.  (2) The percent of people who believe in some form of divine, but who are humanistic and focused on man and earth.  (3) The percent who are empirical and philosophical.  ---  1/16/2003

Religion.  ---  Three views.  One can be ethical without being spiritual.  One can be spiritual without being religious. One can be ethical without being religious.  ---  12/20/2003

Religion.  ---  Two views.  (1) Many people say they are ethical but opposed to notions of the spiritual which they view as unnecessarily confusing.  (2) Many people say they are spiritual but opposed to organized religion which they view as an unnecessary political and economic institution.  ---  4/17/2001

Religion.  ---  Types of religion.  (1) Animism: animals are conscious. (2) Pantheism: god is actually the laws of nature.  (3) Polytheism: many gods.  (4) Monotheism: one god.  (5) Deism.  (6) Agnosticism: don't know, can't tell, may or may not be a god.  (7) Atheism: they don't believe in god.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Unconscious logical fallacies of the religious: "God is good, by definition.  God is a subject dealt with by religion.  Therefore religion is good, by definition.  Therefore anything that is not religion is not good.  Therefore, reason, science, philosophy, logic are bad."  ---  1/28/2004

Religion.  ---  Unconscious logical fallacies of the religious: "God is good.  God is completely good.  God is the best.  If you want to be on the winning side then go with god.  Anyone who doesn't believe in god is a loser.  Don't be a loser, believe in god."  ---  1/28/2004

Religion.  ---  Unconscious logical fallacies of the religious: "God is good.  If its not god then its not good.  Therefore all non-believers are evil.", so goes the pseudo-logic of the faithful.  Why do so many religious people find it so easy to make this logical mistake?  Because they were raised to believe blindly rather than to reason.  ---  1/26/2004

Religion.  ---  Unconscious logical fallacies of the religious.  Many people mistakenly equate god with good.  They say, "God is good, therefore anything good is god."  Its a confused jumble of pseudo-logic.  ---  1/26/2004

Religion.  ---  Use of the terms "BC" and "AD" is bogus.  Time should not be a religious construct.  I am for the separation of church and time.  ---  12/1/2004

Religion.  ---  What are we to make of religions that offer forgiveness for sins by saying a few prayers?  Does it encourage people to sin again once their slate is clean?  ---  11/8/2003

Religion.  ---  What is religion?  (1) Religion is just philosophical beliefs (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics) on the supernatural; origin and end of universe; and associated practices.  (2) A form of mass neurosis.  (3) A stage in development of the human mind.  Useful if you haven't reached it, useless if you have moved beyond it.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What is religion?  How to define religion?  Religion favors faith over reason.  Religion promotes faith over reason.  However, religion very often tries to bolster its position by using appeals to reason, and that is hypocrisy.  If you are going to go around promoting faith over reason, then you shouldn't do it by appeals to reason and logical argument.  ---  11/10/2004

Religion.  ---  What is religion?  Religion is the result when one tries to tack an ethics system onto a system of magic.  Religion is the result when one tries to tack an ethics system onto a system of myth.  Ethics being a form of philosophy.  Religion is the result when one tries to tack philosophy onto magic or myth.  ---  5/15/2004

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) Religion as a means of social control, a way for the power elite to control the masses.  (2) Rule by terror.  (A) Psychological terror: woe to unbelievers, mentally damaging for long term.  (B) Physical terror: the inquisition, and other intolerances.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) Religion as a way for dim and neurotic people to mollify themselves, and to believe without thinking.  This is a psychological view against religion.  (2) Religion as a way for poor people to be mollified and kept down by power and money holders (organized church).  This is a more Marxist argument against religion.  ---  02/22/1997

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) Religion impedes ethical development.  (2) Religion impedes critical thinking.  (3) Religion promotes blind obedience.  (4) All three above cause neurosis in individual and society.  (5) Time spent praying is time not spent problem solving.  (6) Belief vs. reason.  Are you going to teach your kid to believe and obey blindly, or reason freely and act accordingly.  (7) Impedes ethical development, because ethics is more complicated than any 2000 year old book's ten do's and don'ts figured out.  (8) In times of crisis will you - spend time praying (screaming for parent), or spend time solving problems?  Religion produces adults that mentalize and behave like children.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) Religion is a defense mechanism to deal with things you don't understand.  (2) Religion is a primitive way of thinking.  Religion has a prevalence of pre-rational, pre-logical forms of thought.  It has a sub-optimal effect on individual and society.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) Security from the unknown, for our intellectual inadequacies.  (2) Prevents and limits people from thinking.  (3) Anti-corporeal, anti-worldly = suicidal, self-destructive.  (4) Anti-reason and anti-knowledge.  (5) Destroys thinking, especially free thinking.  (6) Dogmatic, ritualistic, rigid, traditionalistic, escapist.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What.  (1) We do not know if god exists or not.  (2) More importantly, it does not matter if god exists or not.  (3) What matters is helping others and ourselves, and improving the world.  Ethics is separate from religion.  Keep them that way.  ---  10/25/1997

Religion.  ---  What.  Good religion helps, bad religion hinders.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion as organized myth and magic.  ---  12/22/2003

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion developed from magic.  Religion is a form of magic.  Religion is an intermediate step toward reason (reason as exemplified by philosophy and science).  ---  6/4/2004

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion is a holdover from caveman days.  ---  09/26/1997

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion is anti-thinking much like entertainment is.  ---  12/30/1995

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion is for people who can not think for themselves.  Religion is for people who have no recourse but to follow orders.  The problem with religion is that it does not help develop the ability to think for oneself.  Religion keeps you obeying orders like a kid.  ---  10/05/1997

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion is like the fourth grade.  It is a step up for third graders, and a step down for fifth graders.  ---  10/30/1997

Religion.  ---  What.  Religion is so illogical it can drive logical people crazy.  ---  10/30/1997

Religion.  ---  What's wrong with the religious right.  Fundamentalists, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Born agains, Fanatics, Extremists.  Wants abortion illegal.  Wants homosexuality illegal.  Wants to eliminate separation of church and state.  Wants a religious state.  Wants their religion alone to be the official religion.  Believe in violence to achieve their goals.  ---  6/20/2004

Religion.  ---  When you sneeze and someone says, "God bless you.", say, "No thanks."  ---  4/19/2005

Religion.  ---  When you think you are going to heaven, you are less likely to care about earth.  The "rapture right" believers do not care what happens to the earth.  ---  5/12/2007

Religion.  ---  Why do people do religion?  (1) Man is a religious animal.  Unfortunately for worse.  (2) Comes from fear, vulnerability, and uncertainty.  (3) Comes from superego and need for parental approval.  (4) Comes from undeveloped minds.  (5) Comes from neurotic minds.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Why do people have such a strong urge to believe in magic, myth and religion?  (1) Because people often say, "Is this it?  There has to be more to life."  (2) A political explanation.  People do not like to feel powerless.  People will look anywhere for more power, including belief in spells, curses, etc.  People like to feel in control of themselves, others and nature.  ---  2/10/2001

Religion.  ---  Why not worship clouds?  They are so big.  They are so high up.  Sometimes they reach down and touch us.  ---  3/5/2000

Religion.  ---  Why study religion?  (1) Because the problem of the origin and the end of universe, and the problem of evil are big philosophical problems.  (2) Because a lot of people do it, it is a big phenomenon.  (3) Because it is a problem.  (4) Because it is a useful psychological trick.  ---  12/30/1992

Religion.  ---  Why.  (1) Religion is something people fall back on when they have forgotten everything they have learned.  After years of mental neglect, veging on the couch, some people forget just about every fact they ever learned and rust away just about every reasoning skill they ever had.  Then they turn to religion when they have nothing left to stand on.  (2) Religion is especially popular in times of personal crisis, when one is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, unable to think, and in need of someone or something to hold onto, like a child.  ---  09/24/1993

Main page

Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.