An Argument Against Monotheistic Religion

  1. Manoir de mes reves
    Manoir de mes reves
    I posted this in the religion section, but I figured it may be of special use here. Feel free to comment, offer suggestions, etc...

    An Argument Against Monotheistic Religion

    The purpose of this paper is to argue coherently, and hopefully persuasively, that monotheistic religion is inherently authoritative, irrational, destructive, and oppressive. Should this be accomplished, a belief in religion would be logically incompatible with a leftist orientation towards the world, for this orientation is rooted in historical materialism and is egalitarian, rational, creative, and liberating.

    Please note that this is not an attack against religious individuals, rather against belief in religion itself. Please also note that the term “religion” is used synonymously with “monotheistic religion” throughout the course of the paper.

    Religion is Authoritative


    All monotheistic religions posit an ultimate deity which is all-powerful and all-knowing. This deity is also said to be the ultimate judge of one’s actions as a physical human being. All monotheistic religions posit that one must submit to this ultimate authority or suffer the eternal consequences. Hence, monotheistic religions are authoritative.

    Religion is Irrational


    All monotheistic religions posit an ultimate deity which is all-powerful and all-knowing. There is no material evidence for the existence of said deity what-so-ever. Hence to believe in said deity, and to conform one’s actions around belief in said deity, is to believe and act without reason and logic.

    Now, it can be argued that this is non-rational action, rather than irrational action. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For reason can function; one can reasonably conclude given that there is no evidence for said deity that one ought not to believe in said deity. In other words, it is reasonable to believe with justification, and unreasonable to believe without. Given that religion is unjustifiable, it is irrational to hold religious beliefs.

    Religion is Destructive


    A belief cannot be destructive in itself – but religion is more than a belief, it is a tool. It is a tool which is used, like all ideologies and beliefs, to make sense of our conditions as human beings. Hence we can judge this belief by its repercussions – i.e. how does this belief affect humanity?

    More individuals have died in the name of God than anything else through the history of humanity.

    Now, some may argue that religion has produced positive outcomes as well, including many progressive movements. But this ignores that these movements occurred only within one religious sect – one which is inevitably opposed to all others (for if one is correct, the others are by definition wrong). Religion is highly divisive in this sense, and hence any progressive outcomes are contextualized within said sect. On the other hand, religion as a whole has brought untold destruction of human lives and societies and this reality reaches beyond sects.

    Recap


    Let us briefly review what we’ve covered so far. Monotheistic religion is:
    -Authoritative due to its positing of an ultimate authority.
    -Irrational due to its complete and utter lack of justification and evidence.
    -Destructive due its long-winded history of atrocities.

    Religion is Oppressive


    There are two ways to approach this claim. The first, and easiest, is to note how religious language is discriminatory, and used as a tool for the blatant oppression of women, homosexuals, and even entire peoples. But this is not our task as this has been done before many times. Furthermore, this first way deals with the ways in which religion is used for oppressive purposes, and while this is important, it is not the purpose of this paper.

    The second, and most difficult, way is to analyze the religious portrait of human existence and to note how this portrait is oppressive. This is our task, for this portrait reaches across all sects and is common to all monotheistic religions. The crux of this portrait is that it devalues human life and hence is oppressive. Let us examine the justification for this claim.

    All we know (epistemologically speaking) is existence – it is the verb ‘to be,’ it is the basis of everything. All we know is material reality – this life. It is your memories, your current experience, your sensory perceptions, and your thoughts. This is life – it is all you really know.

    This poses a huge existential problem. We are confronted with the most primal existential question: why only this life? This question is age-old and cannot be answered by science.

    Science and the empirical method attempts (with large degrees of success) to explain the how of human existence.
    On the other hand, religion attempts (without any measure of success) to explain the why. It does so through the positing of a God, soul, after-life, etc…

    It is the purpose of this section to analyze how religion explains the why. And furthermore, to draw conclusions from this analysis, namely that this explanation is oppressive.

    The first point is that religion devalues the body by positing a soul. For in reality, the body (and the mind/brain) is all we know and hence ultimately valuable. But in religion, the body is merely a vessel for the soul, which is eternal. Hence the soul becomes eternally valuable, while the body is only temporally valuable. This is a blatant devaluation of the body, and hence this belief is oppressive.

    The second point is that religion devalues life itself by positing an afterlife. For in reality, as we have already noted, life is all we know. But in religion, this life is merely a stepping stone on the way to the after-life, which is eternal. Hence the after-life becomes eternally valuable, while this life is only temporally valuable. This is a blatant devaluation of human life, and hence this belief is oppressive.

    The third point is that religion devalues human judgment by positing God as the ultimate judge. As we have already noted, we only know this life and body. Yet religion wants us to withhold our ability to make judgments about our condition, and other individuals. Religion wants us to believe that this is a part of ‘God’s plan’ and that God will ‘judge all equally.’ In other words, religion wants to cripple us by suppressing our ability to form free opinions about our condition, and more importantly, to act based on those opinions. Hence, religion is oppressive.

    We can see that through the positing of a soul, a God, and an after-life, religion effectively devalues human life. This devaluation of human life encourages individuals to relate to their lives in regards to unjustified beliefs, rather than in regards to life itself and beliefs drawn from logic, reason, and material reality. This, in turn, encourages individuals to lose focus of what matters – existence and the conditions of life.


    Recap


    Let us briefly review what we’ve covered so far. Monotheistic religion is:
    -Authoritative due to its positing of an ultimate authority.
    -Irrational due to its complete and utter lack of justification and evidence.
    -Destructive due its long-winded history of atrocities.
    -Oppressive due to its devaluing of human existence.

    Belief systems which are authoritative, irrational, destructive, and oppressive are reactionary. Such a belief system is incompatible with the revolutionary left. It is philosophically incoherent to claim to be a revolutionary leftist and to claim to be religious. Belief in religion is detrimental to the revolutionary left for the reasons stated in this paper and therefore ought to be abandoned if any individual wishes to call themselves responsible and coherent.

    - AugustWest
  2. Salabra
    Salabra
    Since I can't THANK you, I will have to post to say, "Very well argued!"
  3. DecDoom
    Great argument!
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