Originally published at https://ideapod.com/10-reasons-religion-madness/
Spirituality is important, but religions? Not so much.
Whether you choose to follow Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, or any other major religion, the choice to become a follower of a major religion will not increase your spirituality and growth but hinder it.
Here are ten reasons why you don’t need religion.
1) Absolute Obedience
There may be no greater authoritarian regime than traditional religious institutions.
These institutions are designed to rule all of your free will, and they do this on purpose: the more their followers resemble sheep, the easier they are to command.
Religions are built to make you docile and weak so that they can actively preach their teachings and philosophies without worrying about dissent.
2) Spirituality is for the Uneducated
If you have any sort of higher education, then you should be well-educated enough to know that religion and spirituality do not truly add to your awareness of the universe.
Religion does everything in its power to lower your understanding of consciousness, by bottling the meaning of the universe into a book with a thousand rules that need to be followed.
This burdens your mind with false notions, giving you none of the truths you seek.
Here’s a brilliant quote from Carl Sagan:
“How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.”
3) Filled With Pedophiles
You know how churches and other religious institutions regularly ask for donations and contributions?
The cold hard truth is that every dollar you donate to these churches is another dollar that goes in the pockets of an organization that is known to protect pedophiles.
Hundreds of Catholic teachers and priest have been outed as pedophiles, harming young boys and girls, yet the Pope and the church continue to keep them on board.
4) Flush Away Your Time
Time is the most important asset you have, especially since you can never buy any second you waste back.
The problem with religion is that it takes a whole lot of time if you want to turn yourself into a devoted Catholic, but you are wasting this time learning concepts that could take a fraction of the time to understand.
So much of what religions teach is just nonsense, with repetitive rituals like going to church and repeating prayers and memorizing an ancient book that nobody actually listens to.
Richard Dawkins describes why the Bible isn’t necessarily evil, but just plain weird:
“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”
5) You Were Probably Born Into It
Answer this question: why are you currently following the religion you follow?
There is an incredibly high chance that your answer is that it’s the religion that you were born into.
You inherited the religion from your parents, who taught you to worship their god for their sense of security.
You were taught their prayers, their rituals, when to go to church and how often to repent, but how many nights have you spend actually asking why?
Most religions are actually just a collection of myths and legends from previous religions and cults; yes, even if the most popular ones like Christianity are based on nothing but pagan roots.
6) Teaches Fake Compassion
Religions love to preach compassion, but how much of that compassion do they actually follow?
Most religions have histories filled with blood. Unconditional love is a foreign concept when it comes to the promotion and spread of major religions around the world.
People weren’t allowed to willingly accept new religions; instead, most of the time they were forced into adopting religions, by their conquerors or colonizers.
How much compassion can religions with so much bloodshed actually teach?
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
One thing that most religious leaders these days won’t willingly admit is that their religions are built off of foundations of inbred social networks.
Religions actively promote incest and marrying and breeding within your small communities or extended families.
This way, it is easier to keep beliefs contained, and easier to grow a stronger community of believers.
Religions thrive off of creating the “us-vs-them” mindset, which is why so many religions are always at war with each other.
Writer Steve Pavlina describes it best:
“If you’re one of the saved, blessed, or otherwise enlightened individuals who stumbled upon the one true belief system, then supposedly everyone else remains in the dark. Certain religions are overtly intolerant of outsiders, but to one degree or another, all major religions cast non-subscribers in a negative light. This helps to discourage members from abandoning the religion while still enabling them to proselytize. The main idea is to maintain social structures that reward loyalty and punish freedom of thought.”
8) You Lose Spiritual Understanding
A giant misunderstanding when it comes to religions is that they will enhance your spirituality.
However, the truth is quite the opposite: by forcing yourself down the throat of a single religion, you inherently prevent yourself from understanding more than one perspective or spiritual philosophy.
Your spiritual understanding immediately loses depth, because you have blocked yourself off from the other theologies and perspectives on life.
9) You Will Fear It
The number one way religions market themselves is through fear. They teach us to be afraid of a big man in the sky judging our every action.
And like any lesson, fear is the worst way to teach it.
Because instead of actually learning the difference between right and wrong, and why evil actions are things we shouldn’t do, we are instead taught to just fear the judgment of our actions.
We do not learn why it is bad to hurt or steal from or cheat others, only that we should make sure that we do not get caught doing it.
Here’s a brilliant passage from philosopher Bertrand Russell in his essay Why I Am Not a Christian:
“Religion is based primarily upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly as the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.”
10) Filled With Hypocrisy
There are only two paths once you become a religious person: idiocy or hypocrisy; there’s no in between.
You can choose to either blindly swallow all the stupid drivel that the priests tell you at mass, or you can tell yourself that it is all wrong, but still choose to follow it.
Either way, you have no way to get out of this with your dignity intact.
You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.