To Atheists, Agnostics, Nones, Nontraditionalists, & Freethinkers out there, what are the reasons
that organized religion is totally unnecessary and even useless in postmodern, 21st century society and culture? What are the ways that organized religion has totally OUTLIVED its usefulness?
I don't think it has outlived it's usefulness. I may be an Agnostic Atheist, so don't believe in the Gods that religions profess to exist, but I can see that for some organised religion is helpful.
For some it provides a sense of belonging that they cannot find elsewhere, a sense of hope for the future they may not otherwise have.
I have no issue with religion, until it tries to dictate the rights of people, or intrudes without permission into people's lives. But for those who can function without having to tell people who aren't of that religion how bad they are etc (eg like the fundamentalists, or WBC, ISIS etc) - those for whom religion is personal (whilst still organised...) to them and their congreations...I feel it still has a purpose.
Most religionists believe that the "law of god" supersedes the law of the people or secular law. Unfortunately, not everyone can agree on which religion is the right one to follow or which god is in control. This is divisive and confusing.
That I understand, Austin. But viewing all religionists in the same light as the fundamentalists isn't helpful. For some people it's personal, it dictates the way in which they live, but they don't force it on others - these r the 1's I have no issue
If most religionists were moderates, none of this would even be an issue. I'm all for moderating everyone's views radicalism is just stupid.
Well; its natural death should have been the constant scientific breakthroughs in astrophysics, biology, chemistry, geology and paleontology. Then there has been the historical record, archeology and societal progress. But in any uneducated society, proof means nothing. Sadly, in the end, what it finally took for religion in the US to decline was to have religion metaphorically get its brains savagely bashed in by a corporate/media campaign supporting the anti-religion narrative over the past 10 years.
One way religion has outlived its usefulness is by presenting an origin story as fact. Creation is basically a very old folk tale that many still believe to be true--period. Another key way religion has outlived its usefulness is as a business model for selling happiness and hope. Tithing will be the final nail in the coffin of Christianity in tough economic times. People may simply see through the whole "give us your money and show you have faith". If that part of the religion either went away or transformed into something more relevant to the community, then religion can still survive.
The Christian Church of the 21st Century should be regarded as an institution of tradition; not of faith--sort of how Christmas is today. And Christmas is going nowhere. But the Church should succeed as a physical place where the peaceful principles of Christianity are espoused and encouraged. They should be centers of learning and charity. They should be like private schools, support centers, a YMCA, charity organizations, museums and non-profit foundations all rolled into one group of structures. Members can tithe. But the tithing is for the foundation. It would be for the community and the institution and for services entirely. There should be no more nebulous ambiguity on why one should pay. Members should know they are paying to keep the church and its services alive; not because St. Paul said to do it. In return, they have access to its services.
Organized religion is totally unnecessary because it is so divisive and confusing. We live in a global society these days. What once worked to hold communities together is no longer working. It is instead the driving force for confusion and judgmental hatred.
Religion used to make people feel special and gave them reason to hope for the poor and "wretched'. These days, the poor and wretched are not allowed to be members of a church. They are judged lacking in "godly" favor. Some even go so far as to say the poor are being punished by god. (I know, I shook my head when I read that too.)
Religion cannot survive on narrow minded thinking. Religion needs to be beneficial and progressive. Instead, they are stuck in their old musty books that were outdated thousands of years ago.
Evolution is a fact, Human equality is a fact. Science is a fact. Technology is a fact. These things and more need to be accepted as facts and humans need to work together to solve our planet's problems (most of which are caused by man in the first place).
We need to grow up and throw off the shackles of dogmatic thinking. We need to really learn to love one another and get along.
Stop all the judgmental hate!
The function of religion in the past was to primarily play the role of a government. People in positions of power told you what you could and couldn't do, along with a set of written punishments if you stepped over. Modern governments render this function of religion unnecessary. The other function of religion was spiritual fulfillment, whether from the feeling of a higher purpose, or comfort when a loved one dies. But numerous methods exist today that allow people to meditate, reflect, and feel connected without any religious affiliations.
In my mind, the reason religion has outlived even these basic functions is because it can't separate them from its personal baggage. If all religion did was give people spiritual fulfillment, it would never outlive its usefulness. But it brings damaging concepts into the present (like attitudes towards women, minorities, and sexualities). And since it seems incapable, or unwilling, to cut the parts that are obsolete, then it becomes entirely obsolete.
Totally awesome answer. Religion is stuck, mired, cemented into its conservative dogma. Yes, once upon a time, this fulfilled a useful function. But it is swiftly becoming obsolete as better ways are emerging with which to deal with spirituality.
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