I just read the sign and I couldn´t resist to get in
Religion was created to control the masses. 'Nuff said..
Now.. That doesn't mean there's not some all supreme being. However, just because there's a supreme being, doesn't mean you have to design a religion around that being and then worship it.
That is true in at first sigth, but I think Cinty has some good points, and if you look carefuly, you will find the opposite...
1. religion , culture and ritual are tightly integrated.
I agree. And if this is true, religion was not created. If religion is part, or is related in a deep way with culture, we are created by religion, or by the culture it implies. With we, I mean our point of view, our way to see the world, and the way to be related with others. Of course, is clear I dont agree with the modern theories about subject "making" the world. Subjec is not a cause, but an effect of some structures, we can call that structure "culture", but note is a vague term.
2. religion has nothing to do with god.
That is true, as in a fact. There is many religions that dont subscribe to a supreme being. Hanu can ilustrate this better, I think
Even when is frequently related with power and politics, that doent mean religion is necessarely a way of control. Indeed, since moral is involved with a lot of religions (again, not all of them), power is involved too. But many times is a way to organize the moral world, and every society needs rules.
I agree with this: many times religion was related to ugly things and used as an excuse for terrible acts. Again, this is not necessarely related with religion. Religion does not implies control and sumision all the time.
At last, I want to say I respect every position about this, and I dont agree with any fanatism of any kind. I had a catholic (like most hispanish) education, but the time and the books made me to not be sure about anything. I think there is many arguments in favor and against many things, so nobody is the owner of truth.
I think religion exist in the mistery. If you have no doubt about your god, about your religion, then you are not a man of faith. If there is a heaven, it is for cool people, I am sure God will choose cool and calm agnostics over fanatics believers.