What do you like about religion?

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david43's picture
What do you like about religion?

Just like the title say, what part of religion, the concept as a whole, do you appreciate? I'm an atheist myself and I don't believe in any faith. Yet I just love the diversity of belief systems and myths out there. How people come up with an explanation of the world and try to understand it. And as an author, there is a wealth of interesting ideas I can draw from and play within my fantasy worlds.

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Cognostic's picture
The free sex. Where else can

The free sex. Where else can you have God approved Christian sex as an 8 year old but in the confession box at the local church?

david43's picture
Ha, ha, ha... An evil man

Ha, ha, ha... An evil man will find his way to do what they like, no matter what banner they declared to fly under.

Up To My Neck's picture
The ability to gather

The ability to gather billions of dollars without paying taxes.

david43's picture
I'll admit, I would love some

I'll admit, I would love some of that money.

Randomhero1982's picture
I'm honestly not sure...

I'm honestly not sure...

I would say that there isn't anything special about religion and in actuality, it is comprised of a multitude of positions that one must tip their cap at.

- Social engineering
- Trying to answer the unknowns of the universe and the natural world prior to science and reason.
- Gathering vast amounts of wealth
- Trying to maintain the moral high ground on touchy subjects I.e. abortion, gay rights etc...

david43's picture
I agree with for the most

I agree with for the most part, though the third one is a little debate. And I think all humans do the fourth one. Nobody want to be seen as a monster.

Sapporo's picture
Religion has nothing unique

Religion has nothing unique that I like.

david43's picture
Fair enough. I just like to

Fair enough. I just like to study religion in general, which it bad, good, and nasty all mixed within.

LogicFTW's picture
@Orignal Post

@Orignal Post

I agree with all that is written above, and will add one more:

-It makes those that are gullible and those that reject fact easy to identify. If someone tells me they go to church every Sunday, (or whatever day,) I instantly learn a lot about that person. It also gives me large clues on the folks that raised the person, the community they likely grew up in etc. In short it helps me identify and "label" people with surprising accuracy.

For instance for my work, I deal with disaster response a lot. If I get a lot of: "we will pray," "god will see us through this" etc etc etc I instantly learn a lot how to deal with the client and even gain insight on possible avenues of attack against the client. (Someone that leaves cyber security in "the hands of god," instead of talking real steps to secure their business from attack.)

david43's picture
Cybersecurity? Do you work

Cybersecurity? Do you work with computers?

LogicFTW's picture
Indeed I do.

Indeed I do.

david43's picture
So what it like doing it?

So what it like doing it?

LogicFTW's picture
What is cyber security (as a

What is cyber security (as a profession) like?

Well I took a slightly abnormal path. I studied computer engineering in college. Worked for about 6 months at a medium sized company (that no one has heard of most likely,) decided that was not for me.

Started to work for myself, doing freelance work, starting with small local jobs, doing small scripts and plugins etc. with my old place of work being my bread and butter, then as the years went by I increasingly moved to cyber security as it interested me and my work sort of morphed to that. Now I do disaster response and recovery that is nearly 90% cyber security related. I did not do the normal path of starting at the bottom combing through security reports and logs so can't speak to that.

My "job" is very much "gig" oriented, where I assist small to large tech teams minimize the damage, prevent additional damage, disinfect networks and endpoints and bring peoples data back online. I am the guy they call if they get in over their heads and they are "owned" by the attackers. It is highly intense work, usually fraught with emotions as frequently many people's jobs are on the line and sometimes the fate of the entire company. When I first started the jobs I could assist on were fairly few and far between. These days I just pick and choose which jobs I take on as their is a critical shortage of skilled professionals in this area.

It is exhausting work, and sometimes, (if i decide the job is worth it to me.) I am getting on the first plane that will get me to my destination, with no real idea how long the job is going to take. (2 hours or 2 weeks - my self imposed maximum.) It can be thrilling work, but it is nothing like you see on TV or movies that explore this subject matter. There rarely is brilliant "ah ha!" moments and key breakthroughs, instead its slow steady, EXPENSIVE work. I get paid a lot, but my pay is a drop in the bucket on hardware costs, overtime, downtime, etc.

Hope that helps answer your question. Not to sound all mysterious, (okay maybe a little!) I actually cannot go into to much detail on what I do, due to legitimate security reasons.



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

david43's picture
Well, I can't say I could do

Well, I can't say I could do anything like that, but it sounds like you enjoy at least.

LogicFTW's picture
I enjoy the freedom of

I enjoy the freedom of picking my jobs, the pay certainly helps, (I consider it more freedom,) but is it an "easy, low stress job?" it most certainly is not.

Your typical 40 hour work week job + 2 weeks paid vacation = 2000 hours. When I did taxes for 2018, I had just over 1000 billable hours, and my billable hours includes transportation time. The rest of the time I get to do whatever I want, like post on these forums. I also frequently do enjoy helping others, and while I would not say I thrive in high stress scenarios, I do seem to cope with it far better than most do, especially since I can remain objective and 3rd party to the disaster, a major benefit I can bring to the table on any job I choose to take on.

In Spirit's picture
I like to be in a church

I like to be in a church alone, with no mass going on. It's a great escape from the hustle and bustle and from the city noise. I would prefer being in the country but when time is of the essence a church is an easy get away. A time to sit and ponder, relax, plan the rest of my day. A time to connect with myself, my thoughts, feelings and emotions.

I also don't mind listening to gospel choirs in a church. As a singer/musician I appreciate singing voices and musical rhythms.

On a more religious note I like to switch things around with the theists in my circle when they bring up the topic. For example: I tell them that in the garden of Eden, between the serpent and God that God is the liar and the serpent is revealing the truth. I refer them to about five parts in the bible where the serpent is a representation of God (re: Moses turning his staff into a serpent) Then there is also his name, Lucifer which means bearer of light and then referencing it to Jesus claiming to be the light of the world. So yes, I wrap it up by telling them that Jesus is the serpent they so misunderstand. If you want to see the 'devil' coming out of theists try this one but be prepared for the wrath of the christian.

And who doesn't like puzzles. trying to figure out prophecies is like trying to figure out the end of a thriller movie before it happens. Not that I expect to figure any of it out, but the imagination part of the brain enjoys it.

david43's picture
Yeah, I like religious music

Yeah, I like religious music in general. I once listen to the call for prayer for Muslims and it is powerful stuff. Granted, all religious music is trying to tap into that part of the brain that feels awe. And I can understand wanting to be alone as well.

And laugh a little at about the Satan thing. One thing I always wonder if Satan is God and he playing with us humans. What better why to get people to do evil than to trick them into thinking they are on the 'good' side.

jay-h's picture
" I tell them that in the

" I tell them that in the garden of Eden, between the serpent and God that God is the liar and the serpent is revealing the truth."

Side point: have you ever noticed that Eve and the serpent and Pandora's box are the same story, from two different cultures? Coincidence?

In Spirit's picture


When I started accepting that the God in the bible was viscous and mean spirited to say the least, I thought well then why is the other guy called the devil. It made no sense to me.

I agree with you that it would be the most clever trick for the 'devil' to personify himself as the good God. I include that into my little talk, but like I said.. ooh the wrath that comes out of the theists...lol

david43's picture
Wrath of Theists... Hum, I

Wrath of Theists... Hum, I wasn't even thinking about that at the moment. Anybody that got anger over that comment would have so little in their faith.

Cognostic's picture

*THE BEST THING ABOUT RELIGION - the utter and complete lack of personal responsibility for anything. I can rape and kill your mother, and as long as I tell Jesus I am sorry, everything is right in the world. And the good Christian has to forgive me. I love that part.

I can rape, rob, butcher people, cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, torture slaves, own slaves, fuck little boys, and still be a good Christian because God saves us through grace and all sins can be forgiven but one. As long as I don't point out that the Holy Ghost is a "FUCKTARD" I am going to heaven.

I miss having no responsibility at all for anything I do.

jay-h's picture
It's a bit of a

It's a bit of a generalization. You can find non religious people who deny responsibility also (not many gang bangers are religious), you have people who blame all sorts of violent crime on racial discrimination rather than the criminals themselves.

Avoiding responsibility is a common human trait, not at all confined to religion.

Religion is a crutch, just like psychoanalysis is a crutch. But some sincere believers (in both) seem to benefit, though actually they are really helping themselves.

One other area: Religion is man made.. we realize that. But some of the behavior rules that is in there are not inspired by god, but are the product of centuries of human experience. Certain behaviors reinforced cultures, others damaged cultures. Rules about adultery, incest, theft, lying, murder exist in every successful culture, not because 'god' put the rules there but because humans learned that certain things create social order, others destroy it. If similar rules occur in most cultures or religions, it's not 'god' speaking, it's our ancestors passing down what they have learned. In other words, there may be lessons simply BECAUSE it is man made.

This is a mistake that some freethinkers make, the out of hand rejection because rules seem confining, can be shortsighted. Right now we are going through a period of ideologically driven upheaval and turmoil, change for the sake of change, the kind of thing that has preceded social collapse in the past.

In a way I've become more conservative over the years, I have learned that change should be slow, and measured, not ideological and reckless.

Cognostic's picture
@NeverHappened: "It's a bit

@NeverHappened: "It's a bit of a generalization. You can find non religious people who deny responsibility also"

RELIGION does not hold people accountable for their actions. Whether people are responsible or not is not the issue. Secular systems HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE. Religious systems set them free, forgive them, and give them cake and ice cream in heaven. There is no morality in the Christian faith.

RE: "Religion is a crutch, just like psychoanalysis is a crutch." We are in agreement but I am not sure you actually understand psychoanalysis. Pardon me if I am overly pedantic. Both religion and psychoanalysis are world views. The average psychoanalytic treatment regime lasts 7 to 8 years. There is no indication at all that the psychoanalytic treatment itself is the result of change in the individual as the simple act of maturing will also have a very influential effect. With that said, psychoanalysis like religion offers its clients a world view. A methodology called regression to solve personal issues. It then introduces all sorts of vocabulary, object relations, repression, id, ego, superego, reaction formation, and so much more. It is a bit like being an Eskimo. Eskimos have over 50 words for snow. At the end of your psychoanalytic treatment you will have a thousand words to describe yourself, your behavior, and the behavior of others. Like Christianity, Psychoanalysis give you a sense of being able to understand the world. Like Christianity, there is a whole lot of fantasy in Psychoanalysis that just will not stand against scientific inquiry. So... calling it a "crutch" certainty has some degree of truth to it. I have never seen an ego. Nor has one ever been measured.

David Killens's picture
Religion is a crutch for

Religion is a crutch for insecurity and a gathering point for those who seek power over others.

This known universe is a vast and amazing place, and we are only beginning to discover and unravel the mysteries of this universe. There are many who are secure enough to admit "we don't know .. yet" when responding to questions. Yet there are others who are so insecure that they must have an answer for everything and anything. And for those vunerable to religion, plugging in the "god' equation answers everything and provides emotional security.

Religion has had it's positive benefits to society and individuals, such as being a focal point for peaceful discussion. In barbaric times, if two communities shared the same religion, they had a starting point for discussion, and that had a good probability for a peaceful resolution instead of going to war. Religion also offered a pathetic and weak support for those with emotional problems. Of course, in today's world therapy and modern medicine has made that obsolete.

Religion is obsolete. There is nothing in religion that can be replaced by a better and more effective application of alternate choices.

jay-h's picture
"Religion is obsolete. There

"Religion is obsolete. There is nothing in religion that can be replaced by a better and more effective application of alternate choices."

I'm not sure what the alternate choices are. Humans have not changed. Many of us truly don't need religion, but many people do. Science cannot (and should not) be an alternative. Science defines what is, but cannot address morality. Philosophy can't (some of the idiocy promoted philosophically lately truly shows they have no rudder). Psychology only can help those who believe in psychology (which is as much of a cult as any religion). The ancient Athenians developed a wonderfully scientific framework, but they still kept their religion. Isaac Newton mechanized the universe but kept his roots.

Religion is universal. It's not revealed truth, but it is a form of social sharing, of commonly accepted rules and standards. Humans have several complementary ways of stabilizing society, laws, religious (essentially not necessary logical) rule and social convention (peer pressure, shaming of disruptors, etc). Successful society requires some synchronization of the inhabitants. The alternatives (communism, naziism etc) are a far more destructive form of cultural control.

Cognostic's picture
@NeverHappened: "Science

@NeverHappened: "Science defines what is, but cannot address morality."
You are obviously not keeping up with modern scientific studies.

Well-Being: Its Meaning, Measurement and Moral Importance
"Well-being," "welfare," "utility," and "quality of life," all closely related concepts, are at the center of morality, politics, law, and economics. Griffin's book, while primarily a volume of moral philosophy, is relevant to all of these subjects. Griffin offers answers to three central questions about well-being: what is the best way to understand it, can it be measured, and where should it fit in moral and political thought. With its breadth of investigation and depth of insight, this work holds significance for philosophers as well as for those interested in political and economic theory and jurisprudence.

Science of Morality
The science of morality may refer to various forms of ethical naturalism grounding morality in rational, empirical consideration of the natural world. Moral science may refer to the consideration of what is best for, and how to maximize the flourishing of, either particular individuals[citation needed] or all conscious creatures.[2][3] It has been proposed that "morality" can be appropriately defined on the basis of fundamental premises necessary for any empirical, secular, or philosophical discussion and that societies can use the methods of science to provide answers to moral questions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_of_morality

Science based on humanistic principles of "Well-being" does a better job of describing, explaining, teaching, and exploring moral behavior than any religion has ever hoped to do.


jay-h's picture
Science quantifies things. It

Science quantifies things. It can associate actions with outcomes (in a limited sense), and inform our sense or morality, but it does not establish how those conflicting outcomes are prioritized. Generic 'most good for the most people' sounds like a good basis, but is rather vague. And if recent events have been an example, science (the field, not the actual method) has become subject to the whims of ideology and social construct.

The trolley car problems show the intractability of a conclusion even one that we make instinctively. The reason is, I feel, that morality is part of our inborn instinct. Millions of years of evolution have evolved some very subtle social instincts that can't really be quantified, or made logical. When people abandon (or are pushed by societal pressures to abandon) these core instincts, our internal compass becomes corrupt and we lose that sense of direction.

Cognostic's picture
RE: Generic 'most good for

RE: Generic 'most good for the most people' sounds like a good basis, but is rather vague. And if recent events have been an example, science (the field, not the actual method) has become subject to the whims of ideology and social construct.

YES... Science like religion can not solve moral dilemmas. It simply gives us a more stable framework that "God said it." to operate from.

RE: "but it does not establish how those conflicting outcomes are prioritized. " Haven't we left the prioritizing to the legal system? There are many ways to kill a person. Some legal, some not as legal as others, and some juts outright legal.
While not necessarily scientific, aren't the judgments based on "facts and logic" rather than emotional appeals and woo woo?

I am of the opinion that science is exploring some amazing stuff and coming to very interesting conclusions in the field of "morality studies." "Morality" is no longer the sole proprietorship of the church or religion.

algebe's picture
I like some of the music, art

I like some of the music, art, and architecture, and of course the endless unintentional comedy of religion. Hot-cross buns are nice, too.

mosser's picture
I find it terribly

I find it terribly interesting that religion can provide meaning to people. The fundamentalist, by-the-book approach to religion is certainly limiting, but it cannot be denied that a dialog with a religious text often takes the form of interpretation. Religion becomes deeply personal this way. Sure, it is a communal thing on the face of it, and theological arguments tend to polarize religious groups. There isn't much tolerance for creative, contentious interpretations; these are often called blasphemous. Nonetheless, there is room for such interpretations: the academia is especially receptive. This is not to idealize the academic world, but it is a haven for conversations that won't be encouraged elsewhere. Religion is a source of morals and principles for so many; it dictates so many aspects of life-worlds. Religion is business-minded; there's no contesting that, but it is also a deeply rewarding thing for many people. Of late, anthropologists have begun to examine the viability of religion-based adjudication and legal hermeneutics as an alternative to the state-run and state-centered legal process. That is, they have been exploring how certain communities circumvent the state's legal apparatus altogether, yet resolve disputes in a non-violent manner. This is not to deny that religion has been at the center of so much human violence. That much is well-known. Yet, Anthropology of Religion remains a rather deserted field. There aren't many undergrad courses ; and most undertakings happen at the Doctoral and Post-Doctoral levels. Even this page does not list many Anthropology titles that pertain exclusively to religious thought or the different ways in which one is and can be religious (https://www.bartleby.com/search?scope=Textbooks&q=&subject=Anthropology&...) As an atheist, I bat for the inclusion of an Anthropology of Religion course even at the high school level. There's the seemingly insurmountable church-state divide to deal with, though.

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