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Subject:atheism can be therapy
Time:03:01 am


It can be! Come on admit it, it's very therapeutic. "Oh, what, me? Need therapy?? *&)^ you, you $)%)@!!!!"

But wait wait it is it is, just listen to me. It is therapy of the simplest kind - self esteem building. Yes, religious targets are so EASY, aren't they? You're telling me you have a hard time thinking about this stuff? You're telling me you put hours of effort into processing your denunciations of the religious? No, it's the simplest, easiest thing! It's so satisfying too! I mean, it feels so good because it makes one feel so IMPORTANT to be able to so easily demolish the bases of faith. A faith that has such influence, such meaning, such power, for so many people. To be able to comprehensively trash and irrefutably bannish to the fringes of credulity this lunacy of faith. It can be tremendously satisfying to sit there in the comfort of one's office chair, dispensing such ground shaking reasoning. - Perhaps thinking "Look at me, just think, what could I do if I really tried?"

Atheism can be therapy and aahh, ain't it such a GOOD one!

It seems to me the greatest issue of our time that the belief system formulated to support our morale, to help us cope with the direst of straights - faith in a supreme being - has persisted beyond any semblence of the circumstances in which it arose. Namely, in a world where humans are given the greatest power they ever had over the earth and over each other. We have become as powerful as the supreme being invoked all those 1000s of years ago. By the standards underwhich faith was initiated, there seems not a hint of reason to persist with it now, let alone take it up.

So it could only be tradition, conformity, the confirmation bias, culture and 'society' that have perpetuated this belief. The negative impact of a faith-based approach to living on our society is a testimony to the impact of transference. We have become all-powerful ourselves, by virtue of the rise of science and reason, yet still have the belief system from a time when we had no power. It has, like most instances of transference, led to a problem. The unthinkable has happened. A belief adopted in a time of the greatest suffering to purchase some psychological relief is now, by being held onto too long, in turn become the cause of the suffering. As Sam Harris contends, it is possibly the worst source of suffering in a world where we are now advanced and powerful.

In psychological terms, we are failing to adapt. In biological terms, evolve. The state of our existence, the enormous degree of power and invincibility it affords us, is made unbelievable by the simultaneous prevalence of religiosity. Surely we don't have all this power? Surely we don't have all this knowledge? Surely we aren't so benevolent among each other? For the attainment of such things would surely do better, especially in the mind of the original theist, than a pretense along these lines built up in the imagination?

What reason, in this modern world, does the original theist have to make that first leap of faith? What reason other than lunacy or schizophrenia? Would this person burden themselves with such an onorous yet arbitrary methodology for living when the desired conditions already exist? Namely, that one is, or can very easily become, as powerful and knowledgable as the  original supreme being?

What reason, other than the wave of tradition, do we have to entertain our minds with this myth? What, other than the confirmation bias, perpetuates our belief in this myth? What, other than conformity, causes it to spread throughout and cement itself within communities? Does our society have to put up with this culture any longer? My last question has to be, when will we say "No."

...and, acknowledging just what a huge achievement this is for humankind, crack the biggest, most satisfied and grateful grin anyone in history has ever seen.

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Subject:Wit is therapy
Time:2006-08-15 04:11 am (UTC)
I would contend that, for me at least, it is wit, not atheism that is therapeutic. It is my ability to strike down the utterances of those with fallacious beliefs that eases my mind in contexts that would otherwise drive me insane. And the source of potential insanity need not arise from the religious man. Indeed for me it often comes from a politically wrong headed thinker (as a whole other discussion, I would argue that political wrong headedness is actually more dangerous than its religious counterpart).

Atheism meanwhile has mostly been a burden when it comes to its existence in a social context. To give you a hint of what I mean, the general public tends to be so ardently against atheism that they would vote for women, ethnic minorities and homosexuals before they would vote for an atheist for a given public office. Atheists come dead last. We are hunted as the worst of the worst. We are made to provide proof for our negative claims when the burden of proof lies with our opponents. When we speak in a language of logic and reason, it is all too often one that others do not and perhaps cannot understand. They can reason, they can use logic, but they do not know how to do so properly or consistently. And to deal with this in day to day interactions when religion comes up (directly or indirectly) takes its toll mentally and emotionally.

Because this has been my experience, I have tended to avoid religious conversations (as well as political ones). I used to engage in them every chance I got, but the circularity of the conversations became too much to bear, and for a time I gave it up. Only recently have I realized that sometimes battles need to be fought, that my thoughts should be shared. And so now, hopefully I will have conversations about religion that will prove to be therapeutic. But if they are, I will try to make it be that the therapy comes from getting through to someone to some extent. For as you say, it is all too easy to throw around one's wit against those who haven't any. For therapy, I’ll take a good massage any day... and I'll crack jokes the whole time.
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