Religion is like pregnancy...you either are or you aren't. You can't be religious in moderation, because then you aren't following the very tenets of the thing you claim to believe. An example of this are the Christmas and Easter Christians. Just fucking stay home and get drunk; your supposed god is pissed that you half ass it anyway. Either you go every weekend or you stop. Don't just go to make your guilt go away.
The main idea that your average faithful person, someone whom you may not even know they are religious because they're not the bible thumpers that everyone pictures when you think of a religious person, attempts to follow is the simple stuff: Don't lie, don't steal, don't cheat etc. Essentially, don't be an asshole. It's sad that a lot of people forget that basic message.
It's amazing how I can be reminded several times in a day of why a stereotype exists, and in the same day, see examples that prove the stereotype wrong. This is true of all stereotypes, by the way. At a recent conference, the state's tourism board unveiled their new documentary focusing on the lives of several residents that typify what people expect of a Californian, but also shatter several preconceived notions as well. One woman was interesting. On one hand, she looked the part. She is a surfer, and was the first woman to surf the Mavericks and one half of the only married couple to surf the Mavericks. And in a total contradiction of what anyone would expect by looking at her, she's a PHD chemist. Well, was a chemist, just took a position as a professor. Then to add yet another layer of seemingly contradictory traits, her and her family are religious; praying before each meal etc.
Just because someone is religious doesn't mean they are incapable of logical thought. Often times, it just means that they believe a higher power is behind the scientific processes that shape our universe.
Are you (general you, not you specifically) more logical than many other religious people? Sure, quite possibly. But beware a sense of superiority that becomes further strengthened when like-minded individuals gather in ever growing groups. What may start out as well intentioned actions can quickly turn in to something less appealing, all rationalized by that sense of superiority. A lot of religious atrocities started that way, as people believed their own PR.
you make some good points kevin but i think belief in a higher power is completely different from belief in an ancient religion, and the only reason that people make the jump from point a to point b is because religion quenches man's thirst for symbolic truth.
so the question becomes what role these ancient traditions actually have in the coming age of science? if the priority is on the latter then it looks to me like an increasingly diminished role.
politics is like trying to screw a cat in the ass
Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, etc, are rules that can be attained through simple thought exercise, as well.
However, your points are valid, it is just that I don't need it. I like reggie's response about higher power vs ancient religion. I'll gladly entertain the thought of their possibly being a higher power, and will not begrudge anyone who gets to that conclusion. However, adherence to dietary guidelines written in the time of pharaohs is just stupid (keeping kosher).
That's cool you don't need it, and I don't think everyone needs to have it. It just goes back to my very initial point I've been making for some time, some people who hate the judgmental nature of some religious followers tend to display that very same behavior back towards religious people.
Not payback. I just find it pretty funny how religious people bitch about atheists being judgmental after centuries of religious people literally harming others with their beliefs. Just sayin'.
on the flip side to that, religion also gave rise to a good portion of the modern 'humanist' ideals we hold dear.
#3, these don't exist. Anecdotally, I've had dozens of theists either verbally attack me or offer me pity and claims that they will convert me. I have not evangelized Atheism myself, and have not met a theists who has been accosted by one such. I generally keep my beliefs to myself, it's not "safe" to be openly atheististic is most situations.
and...when Christians are the most hated belief system in the country, then maybe all their whining will be valid.
R.E.H. "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." (The Tower of the Elephant)