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Yes, Religion Can Be A Positive Influence

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on April 13, 2001 00:25:38 UTC

It serves to give people something to live for, especially in Europe's feudal age, for instance, when the quality of life was so poor that the promise of reward after death was likely the sole motivator for survival. Make no mistake: a church is a political entity, through and through. I always viewed a church as a headless monster; it serves a quite secular purpose under the guise of spiritual guidance without anyone inside the organization really realizing it.

Back to the point, though. I don't know your religious beliefs, but I agree with you that religion has produced some great things. (It has also produced some horrible things: Crusades, Inquisitions, Witch hunts, that kind of thing, but nevermind.) It can absolutely be a positive influence, guiding people to greatness. I'm not debating that. All I'm asking is: Is religion correct? That's what I care about, truth. If we wanted to, we could teach creationism in all schools, we could outlaw atheism and secular science, we could preach the Bible to everyone in earshot, and we could very well be happier as a civilization. But this happiness would have no more substance than a child hiding under a blanket at night to avoid monsters.

I value knowledge over happiness. If it can be proven that God does not exist and there is no afterlife, I wouldn't be happy about it, but I would rather know. If it could be proven that our reality is an illusion and we are all hardwired to the Matrix, our sole purpose of existence to power machines, I wouldn't be happy about it, but I would rather know.

If there's a semi truck bearing down on me at sixty miles an hour, I'd want to know, wouldn't you? Even if you don't have time to dodge.

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