A thank you to Richard Dawkins from Janet H.

Mar 23, 2016

Hello, I want to thank Richard Dawkins for helping me to see the truth.
I once once a religious fanatic, a fundamentalist Christian.
I stumbled on Richard Dawkins you tube videos quite by accident.
I had no idea of evolution or what it meant or what it was.
I feel so grateful to him for his rationality and courage.
I want to thank him personally. I live in Australia.

Kind Regards,

Janet H.

3 comments on “A thank you to Richard Dawkins from Janet H.

  • I once met a very young girl who was home-schooled by an extreme Catholic. I was aware she spent several hours a day in Bible study and was not permitted to play anything that did not reference “the Lord” as such. Her parents didn’t even have a TV in their home, because it was a tool of Satan, as they believed and taught.
    In a brief engagement with this child, she responded when I made the expression, “Oh, God…” She said, “You’re going to burn in hell for saying that.” It wasn’t just what she said. It was the wide-eyed look and stern sounding voice about her that shocked me and made me realize I was looking at a little human being who had been brainwashed with torment and fear. That girl will never be able to think for herself. Her mother was insane, even for a religious person.
    As a society, we once didn’t have Child Protective Services, but they are in every state of the US now. Is it wishful thinking to hope someday they might create a specialized branch of CPS to deal with psychological brainwashing of children in their own homes? How can we ever circumvent the parents’ rights in order to protect the children’s rights?

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  • How can we ever circumvent the parents’ rights in order to protect the children’s rights?

    When they abuse children. Depriving children of the right to adult choice by indoctrination and educational failure can be made a thing; mandating a minimum curriculum for education and ensuring its adherence; fixing education and then restricting totalitarian home schooling to allow societies a little say in the skills conferred on its future members and tax payers.

    Slaves are no longer a thing I believe. Kids are not property but their care is an obligation. They asked for none of this. Society too has an identical obligation.

    (Directed quite generally, and not to Mareesa.)

    Grow up America. Stop being so anti-state so-small-government obsessed. Only by engaging in state institutions, voting for their formulations, can we ensure they are not in power but in our service.

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  • I don’t think religion is a delusion at all, although the teachings of religion is delusional in many ways. I was raised Catholic myself, with the stereo typical large family. All of my sisters and my brother are religious, as were my parents obviously. They all attend church regularly. Never had much conviction about it personally, but I did wear a piece of jewelry, a St Christopher medal. I clung to it for many years considering it my link to the church. It was kind of a backup plan I suppose.

    I got very curious about religion one day and bought a bible. I figured I’d start with the old testament, figuring I wanted to get to the root of it all. After all, I never really paid much attention in church, or the CCD classes I was forced to attend as a child.

    Well, it didn’t take long to figure out I had wasted my time and money. I was bamboozled. I didn’t even get through genesis before putting it down. “Really?”, I thought to myself. Keep in mind, I was not a good student, and basically dropped out of high school in my senior year. What utter nonsense.

    I didn’t have far to fall from religion, because I always felt instinctively it was a load of malarkey. My purchase of the bible only confirmed what I already knew in my heart. My parents, and my entire family, were wrong. But, if that’s what helps them get up in the morning, who was I to make a fuss about it?

    Still, I clung to my St Christopher’s medal, still a little hesitant to give up my tiny thread to faith. I finally (another story) gave it to someone I felt needed it more than me several years later, and detached completely from my last thread of faith.

    The conclusion I came to was religion is more akin to a drug, than anything else. It’s an evolutionary addiction, which was good for our survival many centuries ago, but is now working against us. People are addicted to religion and they don’t know how to put it down.

    I even remember experiencing classic withdraw symptoms, although somewhat mild compared to more recognizable addictions, like cigarettes, or cocaine. Yes, I speak from experience. I’m not an angel. I felt a bit of anxiety, fear, restlessness, anxiousness, etc. The symptoms lasted for a few months honestly. I made it a point not to believe anything, but weigh the world in terms of probabilities. You either know something, or you don’t, and if you’re somewhere in between you’re left with a probability of truth.

    I remember arguing evolution vs religion with my brother. He asked how I could reject religion, and believe in evolution. I told him, I don’t believe in evolution. That would be silly. There’s was simply an overwhelming pile of evidence that suggests evolution is correct, and no evidence for the existence of a deity. If I believed anything, I believed 1+1=2. That was it.

    Like I said, religion is more like an addiction from my experience. Have a bad day, come home, say a prayer. You get a rush of dopamine, and you feel better. All is right with the world again. Cheat on your spouse, say a few hail Mary’s to get your fix, and forget about it. Live a weekend of debauchery, go to church, and all your sins are immediately washed away, while being rewarded with another dose of dopamine. It’s all about the reward, from the bottom, to the top of the religious hierarchy.

    Growing up I was always curious why addicts found religion, and why many of them would take it to an extreme belief. Well, if you’re looking at the problem from a standpoint of addiction, it makes perfect sense. They’re simply using one addiction for a cure to another. And obviously, this group is prone to addictive and destructive behavior.

    I knew a guy down the street from me who was a serious druggy. He was one of those bad boys you steered clear of growing up for fear of your life. Not that he would have resorted to that sort of thing, but tales grow over time. I ended up partying with him once, and he was a musician more or less, and a pretty good song writer. Although his songs were a bit twisted and anti social. Kill all Pedestrians was the name to one of his songs. Aside from the obvious questionable lyrics, it was a well written tune. He was really a normal guy who was raised Seventh Day Adventist. It was a strict religious family, and deeply faithful. He wasn’t faithful, obviously, until I ran into him a few years later. He had cleaned up his act, and was now full on religious, spreading the word of god. It was puzzling how he went from one extreme to the other. I always looked back on that memory from my youth, and wondered about it. There were many others I saw take the same path, and we’ve all seen it on the street. How many people claim to find god at the bottom of a bottle, or the pointy end of a needle?

    In the old days the top got the best of the best. They got all the women, all the food, and the best of the best in housing. The people below them got the fix. The addiction worked to bind societies together, which was good for our survival.

    I think the explosion of religion stems from writing technology more so than anything else. Paper and pen was the internet of the 1st century. Being a new technology, it was rather complicated, and few could use it for the betterment of mankind. Instead, it was exploited by those who knew how to wield the pen. Imagine how a scroll, or book might have seemed to primitive men. It had to be almost mystical, like a divine art. Few people knew anything about reading, let alone writing back then. Actual writing required a chisel or twig in the dirt in most cases. Full text documents were unprecedented for the most part.

    Paper itself was invented in 105BC. You’d have to figure the possibility that the Chinese traded paper for goods. It would take a long time to trickle into the belly of religion central. Yes, there was writing before then, and other means for which to write things down, but paper I think may have been the key that truly spawned the birth of religion as we know it today. Paper was a disruptive technology, which more or less replaced word of mouth and story tellers. It also puts everyone on the same page with organized, and more importantly, unified thought. Paper would have naturally led to more robust theatrical presentations as well. Paper allowed man to think alike, rather than rely on word of mouth translation which lose a tremendous amount of meaning over time and distance traveled. Paper documented thoughts in a cohesive manner, as the internet gives everyone access to all thoughts and information. One click away from understanding a hydrogen atom.

    They didn’t really have schooling back then, so learning to write was a bit more difficult, and not really accessible to the masses like now. A limited number of people would have that skill, and access to paper and pen. Religion was the birth of reading and writing on a much more profound scale.

    Obviously, these are all more theoretical than anything else, because I have no hard evidence to support it, but I do consider this highly probable or plausible. My experience in life, with the human evidence I’ve personally witnessed over my 51 years of existence, leads me to consider religion is an addiction, not a delusion. An addiction, like any other addiction, can make you susceptible to irrational and delusion thoughts and behavior. It’s no mystery to me why AA stems from a religious organization. It’s like setting up a crack house for an alcoholic treatment center.

    The long term cure to religion just might be religious rehabilitation centers. People need to be weaned off their dependency on religion, so they can think for themselves.

    You know, we readily accept sex addicts in today’s society, so I don’t think this theory is too far off the mark. Religion is an addiction, and probably needs to be treated as such. It would no doubt raise some eyebrows though. I’ve had a couple of people lash out at the idea, so I quickly changed the subject. They tend to get a bit irrational at the thought, which is typically a sign of denial in the addicts world.

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