2011-12-15 Houston, USA / God is not Great / Der Herr ist kein Hirte / Deus não é Grande / Dios no es Bueno

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Religion comes from the period of Human prehistory where nobody had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the fearful infancy of our species, and is a childish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge.

Today the least educated children know much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.

Modern Humans arrived on the scene about a quarter million years ago, and until quite recently they all lived hunter-gatherer lifestyles. In these primitive societies, the men hunted, fished, or scavenged for meat, while the women gathered fruits, roots, and vegetables.

They lived in small groups of around 100-150 people, because this was the largest population that the surrounding terrain could support.

Some 15,000 years ago, Humans gradually began adopting agriculture. Humans domesticated a animals and tended gardens to supplement their hunting and gathering, but eventually all but a few societies around the World shifted solely to farming and herding.

As long as group sizes were small, we had the psychological mechanisms to deal effectively with the members of our community. If you live day in and day out with the same 150 people, you get to know them really well.

But if your numbers are in the thousands or tens of thousands, most of the people you interact with on a daily basis are strangers.

At this point, cultural evolution is taking place. Human existence depends on cooperation. In anonymous societies, it is easy to take advantage of others, as there is no way for the rest of the group to punish those who take advantage of the system.

The solution was to invent ever-watchful gods who will punish for us. Thus, organized religion grew hand-in-hand with the rise of the city-state.

Fast forward a dozen millennia, and here we are, living in a technologically advanced Society driven by science that tells us the World moves according to the laws of physics and not the whims of spirits or deities.

People in industrialized societies have abandoned traditional organized religion. Organized religion may no longer be needed in such societies.

Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astronomy takes the place of astrology.

The Human race no longer needs religion. The Human race is in need of a renewed Enlightenment. The time has come for science and reason to take a more prominent role in the life of individuals and larger cultures; de-emphasizing religion will improve the quality of life of individuals, and assist the progress of civilization.

Organised religion is ‘the main source of hatred in the World‘. Organized religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.

Christopher Hitchens was an American author, columnist, essayist, orator, religious, literary and social critic, and journalist. His confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded intellectual and a controversial public figure.

He regarded concepts of a god or supreme being as totalitarian belief that impedes individual freedom. He argued in favour of free expression and scientific discovery.

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