I can’t see how one can claim that atheism is a religion, it is impossible by the very definition. Agnostic would be more apt. A quote from a letter sent to Ruth Crowley seems fitting; “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.” It simply cannot be done. I don’t think religion doesn’t have a place in today’s society, I just think that in many cases we would be better off without it. As far as I’m concerned Jesus is just the word of choice, substitute it for any name. It works just like any superstition. While religion at its fundamental core might have some important values, there is simply no need for the complimentary ideals that churches teach. Yes it may be an onerous expectation that schools teach it, but minus parents, they seem the next logical choice. I think it goes without saying, also, that schools and religion should be kept as separate as religion and politics should be. Art has never been, and likely never will be, my forte.
Beyond being aesthetically pleasing, for the most part; I see a limited shelf-life for art, as anything more then that, in modern times and would happily go so far as to question its purpose beyond the aesthetic in the past. As to this notion of the afterlife, I hate to say it, but it makes me want to laugh. It is easy to see how the myth evolved. People are reluctant to accept that someone or even something (A pet) they knew and loved is gone. Bernard Shaw sums up the reality of the matter: “The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”
While you may have learnt skills and acquired knowledge that you have used. From my perspective, in a correct world, religion should be separated to such a degree that those who choose not to partake in it will have no occasion to have to do so. Why must a legal marriage be accompanied with a religious ceremony? Why not have a separate civil union? Allowing for the legalisation of gay unions and also for a separate “marriage” which is purely religious and confined to the actual places of worship, churches. I can’t fathom this concept of semi belief in religion, and, as of yet, no one has been able to explain it to me in such a way that I can even accept it as a logical belief. Simply, you either believe or you don’t, I can’t see how you can fall in between.
If you were to say you were unsure as to which religion then I can concede that. But to simply use religion as a mental appeasement for your actions, I cannot grasp. The capacity for religions to inspire violence between each other is one of the fundamental issues I have with religion. They are at the core reasoning, or at least a participant, of almost every conflict in the recorded history of our existence on this planet. On the idea of butterfly’s being a work of god I think Douglas Adams truly epitomised my beliefs when he said; “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” To end, I can’t but help to agree once more with Douglas Adams when he said; “I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.” Sorry for the doubly long response.