23 May 2013

Should we be accepting of religion?

Religious people are willfully, blissfully ignorant so this post is targeted at atheists who advocate acceptance of religion. As long as religious beliefs don't encroach on the rights of others, let the religious believe what they want. A seemingly reasonable argument? Not when you consider the bigger picture.

The problem with this argument is that people simply don't understand the effects of scale. Religious individuals may be very reasonable people for the most part but that small amount of "don't question, just accept" has a huge knock-on effect when multiplied by billions.

We are a social species and like it or not, social pressure has a far greater impact on everyday decision making than reason does. This is exactly why advertising works. It's why people eat fast foods they know are poisonous, it's why women buy anti-aging creams at the age of twenty, but most importantly it's why people still believe that banks and governments are working in the public interest. Capitalism is about buying shit you don't need to support a system that oppresses you.

Religion is the basis of the decay of independent thinking and that affects everyone in society, including atheists. While we may not believe in gods and miracles, many atheists still believe that the almighty politicians and corporate "job creators" are looking after us from their aristocratic heaven. Those who don't want to take part in this modern day religion are forced into submission through social pressure.

As atheists and pioneers of free thinking it is our responsibility to make it clear that irrational beliefs are hugely detrimental to human society. It is not acceptable for people to nurture mindless obedience anymore. We are all forced into slavery by the submission of our peers.

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