The Danger of Religion: “faith-based thinking is inherently dangerous” says Atheism UK member

The Danger of Religion: Faith-based thinking is inherently dangerous, such as in thinking “everything happens for a reason”, says Alcuin (Rad Doherty) in our forum. Rad is an Atheism UK fully paid up member and forum moderator. He is also our most prolific forum contributor (with over 800 posts). Rad’s aim is to “undermine superstition in the UK” and he is a:

“Non-believer in favour of an inclusive, humanist (small h) society. One which values critical thinking and is based on secular principles such as ‘one law for all’, democracy and freedom of speech and expression.”

Alcuin concludes his July 22nd 2018 forum post “all superstitions are inherently harmful”:

Consequences of Religious Faith

“In this video (2012), Prof Dawkins emphasises the dangers and sad consequences that can and do result from religious faith..

There are some hard-hitting pictures near the end of the video.

I think there is another and perhaps more immediate danger from all the nice religionists out there. The ones who do the philanthropy, education and the priests who serve their flocks assiduously. The danger I see is in thinking that there is some over-arching intelligence guiding mankind’s actions or future. Religious beliefs, or any faith-based thinking is inherently dangerous, such as in thinking “everything happens for a reason”, meaning either a supernatural or unfathomable one, or one that is somehow guided by a “higher power”. Religionists and the spiritually guided should at least admit that their entity behaves exactly as if it doesn’t exist, or else is quite prepared to see harm come to the human species. We will flourish and explore our environment or we will fail on our own merits. Contenting oneself with the idea that everything from waste management to global warming need not greatly trouble us as “everything happens for a reason” is just a cop-out – an avoidance of responsibilities to ourselves and to society.

Taking responsibility for human actions is being a citizen of the world – not in the sense of corporate high flyers who choose their citizenship based on the best tax haven (PM May’s 2016 speech) – but meaning people who realise that we have a responsibility for our planet and species, not just to try to make our race or nation “great” relative to some other tribe.

Children need to be taught to care about what’s true; to understand why ‘beliefs’ should be challenged and not held sacred; and that tribalism and superstitions are plagues on humanity, however nice religionists and the superstitious may be as individuals, congregations or groups. All superstitions are inherently harmful.

Blue Boat Home by Peter Mayer ..”



2 Replies to “The Danger of Religion: “faith-based thinking is inherently dangerous” says Atheism UK member”

  1. Thank you for the article. It would appear that you feel quite indignant concerning the “consequences of religion.” Clearly, you feel that people are in danger and therefore need emancipating from “religion,” and so I take it as a given that there is a value system that you are invoking, an ethical standard to which you are appealing…?

    Would this be correct?

    If I am correct, can you please provide the basis for this value system? Specifically, is it an objective standard to which you are appealing, or is it subjective? In other words, is it through this standard that you are making your ethical judgments?

    As a Christian (I do not speak for “religion,” I wish only to speak for Christianity), I do not accept the notion that belief in the providential God of the Bible is harmful, in any way. However, let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that if we do assert the claims of the Bible, and if we do teach the providence of God, then we are indeed holding people back and thus we are in fact harming them (for to teach such doctrine would be tantamount to superstitious nonsense, etc, etc.)

    In response, I have only one question: objectively, can you tell me why any of this would be wrong?

  2. Dear Rob, one problem when you choose to speak only for Christianity is that Christianity has many flavours and within those flavours there are cherry pickers so saying that you speak for Christianity tells us very little about what you believe. I may be wrong but what you then go on to say is that you cannot accept the notion that belief in the providential God of the Bible (critical differentiation) is harmful in any way. This implies that you know and agree with as well as adhere to ALL the tenets. So I ask if you take your unruly child to the edge of town and stone him/her or if you own slaves to name just a couple of the more heinous laws in the bible of your providential God. Furthermore, in the brief bio to this article it states the author is a ‘humanist’ which is indicative of the value system proposed as superior. I am sure that you are not assuming, by questioning the value system, that the only means to a fair and just system is the Christian one?

Comments are closed.