The barbarity of religion

It is sad that so many people in the world grant religions a cloak of respectability which they just do not deserve. Whatever good they may provide through charity work or support systems is no doubt completely overshadowed by the harm they do in impeding education, preventing equal rights, stifling free expression and acts of cruelty to both humans and other animals.

The supposed good religions do through charity is vastly overestimated and in any case counteracted by their tax-exempt status in many parts of the world. The Council for Secular Humanism has a report containing an analysis of the charity of religions in the United States. Continue reading

Dominion and vegetarianism

I have decided to become a vegetarian. It may seem to be a major change but it is something which I have thought about many times over the past few years as I moved to establish a consistent philosophical position. I was finally forced to make a decision after reading Matthew Scully’s Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.

The book is interesting and very well-written, the author having worked as a speech writer for the ex-president of the US George W Bush, but was quite a change as he generally writes from a religious point of view. when the majority of what you read is written by atheists having someone seriously quoting the Bible can be quite jarring (although not nearly as bad as when, misled by its title, I read through a book written by, and presumably for, Jehovah’s Witnesses). That said most of the book is presented in a secular manner and appealing more to emotions and the idea of mercy than to either religion or secular philosophy, the latter of which would have greatly benefited it. Continue reading