jts Posted May 21, 2013 Share Posted May 21, 2013 Many years ago I had a cassette of a lecture by John Ridpath about religion. I transcribed these excerpts from it.Religion in its fundamental essence and in its essential practices is totally opposed to human life. It is in fact the deepest of all possible oppositions to the requirements of human life.--------------------------------------------------Religion, east or west, is false. It is false on the grandest scale imaginable. And it has destroyed on the grandest scale imaginable. It cannot escape that because it has in fact abandoned first of all the means of life -- reason, in order to transcend the place of life -- this earth, for the purpose of denying the purpose of life -- which is to be happy here and now. And given that, it cannot have failed to have accomplished what it did. It has pre-empted whole areas of thought which are concerned with the bringing of thought to the application of action, in particular the field of morality which it has pre-empted and turned against life itself. Religion has taken the most glorious concepts of a rational morality such as for example exaltation, worship, reverence, sacred, and it has not only removed those concepts from our lives, but it has actually removed them from this earth, taken them up into the sky and turned them into moral thunderbolts to be launched back down at us and to incinerate us in our efforts to live life. It has taken the concept of ultimate value beyond this earth and it has used it to diminish and demean everything that is here. It has taken human life, which is potentially challenging, productive, successful, tall, joyous, proud, and it has turned it into an anxiety ridden torture. It has turned it into a denial of ourselves in which we then crawl in obedience and fear and seek release from all of this by denouncing everything which we are and everything which we have. Keeping man's estimate of himself low by primarily for example advocating humility and selflessness and damning pride, which is the crown of all of the virtues, it has created a people who desire tyrants and it has created tyrants who desire to have the people. It has created power-lust, power-lust which has always flourished, as Ayn Rand once said, "as a weed that grows in the vacant lot of an abandoned mind."Religion is the abandonment of the mind. It is the damnation of this world and the damnation of this life in favor of what -- ? It is not true that religion does this in favor of anything which is higher or greater or better. It is not in fact in favor of anything that is at all. It is in favor of that which in fact is not. So, religion is not for anything -- if you mean by that anything positive, anything in existence. It is against everything. It is in this sense not the worship of something else; it is the worship of the beyond everything, which is the worship of nothing, which is the worship of death. And Albert North Whitehead is correct when he once wrote,"History down to the present day is a melancholy record of the horrors which attend religion -- human sacrifice, cannibalism, abject superstition, hatred as between races, the maintenance of degrading customs, hysteria, bigotry. Religion is the last refuge of human savagery." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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