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Old 01-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #1990
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Penn Jillette, on whether atheism is a religion.....

Quote:
Religion cannot and should not be replaced by atheism. Religion needs to go away and not be replaced by anything. Atheism is not a religion. Itís the absence of religion, and thatís a wonderful thing.

Religion is not morality. Theists ask me, ďIf thereís no god, what would stop me from raping and killing everyone I want to.Ē My answer is always: ďI, myself, have raped and killed everyone I want to ... and the number for both is zero.Ē Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We donít need religion.

Atheism is the absence of religion. We donít really need atheism. We just need to get rid of religion.
Religion is faith. Faith is belief without evidence. Belief without evidence cannot be shared. Faith is a feeling. Love is also a feeling, but love makes no universal claims. Love is pure. The lover reports on his or her feelings and needs nothing more. Faith claims knowledge of a world we share but without evidence we can share. Feeling love is beautiful. Feeling the earth is 6,000 years old is stupid.

Religion is often just tribalism: pride in a group one was born into, a group that is often believed to have ďGodĒ on its side. We donít need to replace tribalism with anything other than love for all humanity. Letís do that, okay?

Religion also includes fellowship, joy, compassion, service and great music, and those can be replaced by ... fellowship, joy, compassion, service and great music.

Atheism is the absence of religion. We donít really need atheism. We just need to get rid of religion.
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