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← The God issue: New science of religion

Donald's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Donald

Meanwhile, society is gradually learning to live without religion by replicating its success at binding people together. This is something secularists ought to take seriously. Only by understanding what religion is and is not can we ever hope to move on

Since the dawn of history, people like ourselves (intelligent non-believers) have been in a minority and observing with dismay the majority. There is a statement attributed to Seneca or Lucretius:

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful

Regardless of the attribution, it comes from the Greeks before the Jesus myth got going.

I think this means that religion has a deep grip on large swathes of humanity and is not simply going to fade away if only we can get our superior understanding spread around a bit more. We should indeed study religions, not merely disparage the ridiculous elements. If anyone thinks pointing out the unreality of their beliefs, or lack of evidence, will do the trick, they should consider Scientology or the Mormons!

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 22:24:07 UTC | #929108