Uncommon Sense

May 15, 2018

The Basic Problem with Our Religions

Filed under: Culture,Education,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:09 am
Tags: , , , ,

A philosopher named Owen Flanagan quoted someone as saying that “A good human life is lived at the intersection of the true, the good, and the beautiful.” It seems that we all come equipped to determine what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful as part of our basic makeup, so if the aphorism is true, we all have the capability of living a good life. But if you ask a Christian apologist what is the true, what is the good, and what is the beautiful, they will respond that God/Jesus is the truth, only He is truly good, and He and His love are the beautiful. Humans, on the other hand, are depraved, sinful, and unworthy, and that none of those three (truth, good, beauty) come from anywhere but their god. Humans can be saved from their sinfulness, but only through faith in their god or at least obey the gods directives as interpreted by their gods servants.

I am reminded of a phenomenon of the 1970’s and 1980’s called Erhard Seminars Training or EST. This was a self-improvement program designed to improve the lives of the participants. The beginning of the course was described as being brutal as the participants were verbally abused into a state of pliable acceptance, then they were built up into different people, presumably better. Old school military training was similar, but the initial stages were more physical. “Recruits” were abused verbally and physically to make them more pliable for training into better soldiers (any number of movies have highlighted these processes—Private Benjamin, Full Metal Jacket, An Officer and a Gentleman, etc.).

The religions in this country favor depicting potential believers as being unworthy, sinful, even abominable, before offering the “cure.” They describe the world around us as being filled with temptations and dangers, for which they have, of course, solutions. They refer to their followers as docile animals, as their “flock,” as “lambs and sheep,” and as children, with priests referring to their parishioners as their children (My Son, My Daughter, My Child) and accept the title of “Father,” all of which disempowers the parishioners and puts them into the pliable state of a child, ready for indoctrination.

As a teacher I was taught that my primary goal was to provide a “safe learning environment” for my students, so they could learn free of coercion, bullying, sarcasm, and humiliation. I taught college kids, adults, so was that requirement because all of my students had already been safely religiously indoctrinated as children and it was now not okay to coerce them? Why does this “safe, learning environment” requirement not apply to religions, which terrorize young children with images of their loved ones burning in Hell. (Please don’t tell me this doesn’t happen, I have spoken to too many people who have confessed their nightmares regarding their grandparents or other loved ones roasting in fire.)

Why do not we use, as a theme for educating our children the simple phrase “a good human life is lived at the intersection of the true, the good, and the beautiful” and operate as if we believed that?


  1. Very good post sir.
    One small comment on the films you listed. Being made in 1957 or there about, the language was toned way down, the best USMC boot camp film is still “The DI” starring our favorite policeman, Sgt. Friday, yeah, Jack Webb. He was the DI in the film “The DI” and although my boot camp was in SanDiego, the film was at Paris Island, I still see it as the most accurate of any USMC boot camp film.
    The big trouble with “Full Metal Jacket” is how any boot could get 2, live rounds off the firing range. When I was in ppt camp (1968) they range officers counted out the number of live rounds each of us were issued and the made us all pick up the brass, empty casings and they made damn sure, with all caps in the word SURE, the totals matched before we marched back to the barracks that day.
    As to any troubles with our religions, and I include ALL organized religions here, is that in my own view, they exist so that those who have next to zero real world job skills and no ambition do get any of the same to be employed and housed and fed while never having to do any real work and hardly ever any useful work either. One other blog I follow regularly (Atheist Jack) had a good one recently. The photo was of some high church event (my opinion) the caption was “Let us pretend”.
    I haven’t commented much of late. I read your blog every day, but haven’t been feeling very well and kept my nasty old comments to myself. No, I won’t come back and drop my nasty comments here on every new post. As I enter my final days/weeks/etc.. I feel like I’m about talked out. I am certain I have been irrelevant for many years but don’t give a flying crap. I quit caring about me being relevant way, way back in time. Hell, probably long before I was even conceived.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — May 16, 2018 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

    • Sorry to hear you are under the weather. As to being talked out, the only reason to stifle your vice is the slamming noise on your coffin. Each generation seems even more removed from the experiences of the previous and it is up to us to share our successes and failures (and make out apologies when necessary) before we go.

      On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — May 16, 2018 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  2. […] Source: The Basic Problem with Our Religions | Class Warfare Blog […]


    Pingback by rnbn — May 18, 2018 @ 9:26 am | Reply

  3. nice post. keep it up! good way of explaining the problems of our religion. keep posting this types of blogs.


    Comment by Faith Based Movies — May 23, 2018 @ 2:08 am | Reply

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