Dangerous, But Attractive
The religions are dangerous, but I understand why they can be so attractive. The following text resumes my current ideas. What do you think about it?
I. The sentence.
If believers say "In God we trust", Atheists should say "In us we trust".
II. The statement.
We must be against religions to be for philosophy. Religions expect people listen to them. Philosophy expects reflection from people. A credible philosophy must be atheist, or at least not influenced by any dogmatic organization.
III. The concept of projection.
Our mind has a reason that obligates us to give a sense to our acts. Only mad people have a senseless behaviour.
The persons making a projection not only give a sense to human acts, but also to things and natural phenomena. They project the sensible structure of their mind on their environment.
For example, let's imagine that a certain Adam thinks of doing something bad or forbidden. He thinks of it more and more seriously. The thunder sounds at this moment, promising a coming storm. If Adam says that it's a sign sent to him because of his bad thoughts, then he's projecting his own logical capacities on this completely senseless phenomenon (read: senseless in relation to his thoughts).
The projection is the very foundation of all religions and beliefs that man developed to give a sense to his universe. Actually, in our example, Adam will need only a few minutes of reflection to create the concept of a god (or any superior but invisible entity) able both to control the thunder and to watch men.
So the question (for believers) is not to know whether or not a God exists, but whether or not our universe has a sense. The concept of a God is just a consequence of a positive answer to this question.
A priori (for atheists) human actions have a sense, and everything else just obeys to physical laws (what we could call Nature). Our real environment is as senseless as our mental universe is sensible (and sensitive).
To compare with a known model, nobody can doubt there is a logic and a superior entity above the works of art, as they are human creations.
In a novel or a film, for example, all that happens to the character must have a deep sense, for the character himself, or for the audience.
If the main character dies in an unpredictable accident before his quest is accomplished (as it could happen in reality), the audience will think the screenplay sucks. The lack of sense in a film, as well as in any other art, unavoidably leads to the audience's rejection.
So? People expect a sense in films, but accept the unacceptable in real life? It seems humans are all naturally atheists when they have knowledge. The only argument of religions against that is: "you will understand after your death." Good joke.
IV. Atheism is not a religion.
I have read the letter of a woman who wanted to teach every religion to her students, including atheism. It's a good way of teaching, except a major problem: atheism is everything but a religion.
1. Any religion, any belief in supernatural (as the idea of God is), is a projective way of seeing the world. Atheism is the only non-projective perception of our environment.
2. Some countries are mostly Catholic, some others are mostly Islamic, etc. That depends on the history of each country. Every religion brings a way to give a sense to the world (read: to make a projection), but if someone doesn't believe what he is told by the religious (because he finds it not credible or whatever the reason), then he becomes atheist, even if he never heard about atheism.
Atheism is not a religion. It includes all the non-religious philosophies, or more precisely all the non-projective ones. It includes the whole science.
Of course, some religions are atheist because they conceive the world without any God. I discovered a funny one recently -- Raelism -- whose the idea is that humanity was created by extraterrestrial geneticists. This religion (sect?) obeys to the definition of atheism (no god) but it is still a naïve belief. This kind of atheism is not better philosophically than theists religions. It is not what we could call a non-dogmatic atheism.
P.S. Are the religions as powerful as you say, in the USA?
In Europe (I'm French), if you speak about your beliefs on TV, you will be considered as a regressive and a bit naïve person (and dangerous if you're political). I mean, most of Europeans are atheists, or if they believe in something, they keep it to themselves. Only extremists try to promote aggressively their religion. Maybe it's because of the last war and our fear of all what sounds fascist. Seen from Europe, your fundamentalists look frightening.
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