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Apr 20 2010

Atheist Meme of the Day: “Religion Is Useful” is a Bad Argument

Scarlet letterToday’s Atheist Meme of the Day, from my Facebook page. Pass this on; or don’t; or edit it as you see fit; or make up your own. Enjoy!

“Religion is psychologically or socially useful” is not a good argument for why religion is true. And it’s very often not correct: religion has historically been extremely divisive, and countries with high rates of non-belief tend to be countries with high levels of social functioning. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Flewellyn

    “Useful to whom?” is my usual response.
    Useful to authoritarians, yes. Useful to the advancement of social justice and peaceful coexistence? Err…

  2. 2
    Ghouldilocks

    It has certainly been of no use to me.

  3. 3
    nina

    it might be useful to concentrate wealth, power and influence into the hands of the few
    it might be useful to forge community identity
    it might be useful to the individual for hope and (false) comfort
    religion’s greatest use is to stop the poor from rising up and slaughtering the rich, on the promise of an afterlife reward, since religion so often fetishes poverty
    but useful had nothing to do with true

  4. 4
    llewelly

    Historically, religion has been useful for encouraging people to fight in wars … usually wars that couldn’t possibly benefit most of those who risked or lost their lives fighting in them.

  5. 5
    Robster

    As Edwin Starr sang back in 1970: “War (Religion) what is it good for? Absolutely NOTHING!” That it provides comfort to some people does not put religion on a pedestal. It’s an evil con, the biggest single con ever put over humankind. It’s attracted tax-free status in most western countries, on the pretext it does some good. The primary focus of religious charities is to harness more believers. They even admit that, at least the salvation army & st. vinnie de paul admitted in australia in 2004. It’s an evil con and must be discretely removed from society. Get it out of the schools…

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