History has shown what civilizations do when they fall from better moral values. I think that history shows that those values must be taught and upholded or civilization fails.History has shown that more atrocities and death have been committed in the name of god than any other celebrated cause. The middle east has been a hot bed of slaughter and vulgarity against morality since the invention of god, and yet, it is at ground zero of what you are holding up as the ideal, and is filled with the most pious of the pious. For two thousand years and more, man has slaughter man in that area in the name of god, and will continue to do so until they've all killed each other.Let's also explore another fault in your logic. I have been married for 19 years. I have three children. I have never strayed from my wife although opportunity has arisen on a number of occasions. I have watched with fascination the Moral Right's arguments against homosexuality. We should condemn a couple that is loyal, committed, exclusive, does not condone promiscuity, and has high integrity simply because they are gay? No Paul, organized religion is not the road to moral high ground, it is simply a means to manipulate people. Organized religion is as political as the best of them, but by lying about it as they claim the moral high road in the name of god, makes it evil.Sorry, I am not gay, but I would rather live next door to a committed gay couple than a heterosexual couple who's cheating on each other. I would prefer a committed gay couple who love and respect each other to raise a child than a heterosexual couple on the brink of divorce. Yes, I am comparing two extremes, but the Religious Right does not distinguish, homosexuality is bad, wrong, and god condemns it, no matter how high a gay person's moral standards may be.Santa and the Easter Bunny can be proven to be false. God is different.No on both counts. You accept that Santa and the Easter Bunny are not real because you have wrapped your mind around why they were created and both were given specific jobs that once shown to be done by others, tossed their reality in the waste bin. Also, you have no fear in challenging your beliefs in those entities, but you have been raised to fear the consequences of challenging your belief in god.I know you don't wan to walk down this path with me, but I will continue to try. Once you catch Mom or Dad putting the gifts under the tree, slipping the dollar under your pillow, or stashing an Easter Basket behind a chair, the illusion is gone, and you smile and know someday you will be Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy to your own children. But the brilliance of the god idea is that he does nothing. Nothing. There's nothing to catch someone else in the act of doing so you are left with the reality. God was created with such ambiguity that nothing can be shown to strongly disprove his existence. And what's more, the consequences for not believing don't kick in until you die, so there is no proof that consequences exist or not, just fear. All the people rotting in hell for eternity are rotting in hell, or all the people who died and their existence was extinguished at death are gone forever.Now, who did we descend from? From whom did we get our genes? People who had no fear of the unknown, or those who ran like hell when they heard a noise in the bushes? We are the end result of those who ran first and questioned later, so we are genetically predisposed to believe the unknown is real and that it can hurt us.We all have our epiphanies. Mine was Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. It wasn't the absolute context of the book, but the fact that he explored and challenged things that the collective human body accepted as gospel. The very notions of good, bad, and evil are deeply intertwined in our history, and our comparative systems were developed by our ancestors, not handed down as universal absolutes even though we accept them as such. Sad that such a brilliant idea was born into being in the mid 1800's in Protestant Europe where all the intelligentsia responded to it with "INSANE! You must be crazy to think such a thing!" and poor Nietzsche spent his last years propped up in a bed in a hospital. I digress for a moment, but how many religious scholars has science tortured, killed, or persecuted? What religious scholars have been kept under house arrest by scientist?The idea of challenging everything is so healthy, so crucial, and so important to humans as a species. A closed system accepted on blind faith can lead to Hitlers, Jim Joneses, al-qaedas, and spending a life time revering and praying to a goat.Organized religion is not the answer to morality as history has shown it has failed miserably in this respect. Organized religion is a closed system that demands blind faith in its set of beliefs. Organized religion is a divisive force on humanity as it creates an artificial set of differences among us, and then uses those differences to pit man against man. There is nothing good about this system other than it predefined itself as good a long, long time ago. And if you can't challenge your system of beliefs at its foundation, you'll never know.Nigel
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