Effect Measure

Blood on the streets in Teheran. Religion is not the only cause of this. But it’s one of them Not Islam, particularly. Religion, itself. All religions have done this. Enough is enough.


  1. #1 greg dorsainville
    June 21, 2009

    I recommend a star trek the next generation episode I saw recently where a planet is terrorized by an entity that calls itself a ‘devil’. Picard uses reason and science to defeat her. It’s a great example of when that show demonstrates how religion can be an organization of fear that keeps a people from acheiving their best. Both TNG and deep space nine do a great job discussing religion and spirituality. It’s a fair look.

  2. #2 Sweetwater Tom
    June 21, 2009

    It is said that Buddha is the only major religious figure without blood on his hands.

  3. #3 slovenia
    June 21, 2009

    Religion is a montrous creation of human beings seeking power. It should be suspect and lampooned, in whatever form, at every turn. However, the idea of a power higher than human rationality makes perfect intuitive sense to me given the manifold wonders of the universe. Having been damaged by the concept of a “god” in my Catholic youth, I prefer the conception of the “lifestream of the universe.” And I’m willing to comfortably wait and see.

  4. #4 slovenia
    June 21, 2009

    Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a kaiser roll! That should be “monstrous”. Too much malvazija at lunch.

  5. #5 GiGi
    June 21, 2009

    Thank goddess I’m a UU!

  6. #6 nika
    June 21, 2009

    Buddhism is not a religion, it is a thought/nonthought form with ZERO diety (and zero ego for those who have reached kensho, if only for a moment). Only when it has run into and been assimilated by indigenous beliefs (Tibetan, Chinese) has it taken on religious rituals, unfortunate but predictable. Buddha would not consider those aspects to be what he taught.

    Look to Zen Buddhism for the thought form re-distilled and separated from the religious encroachments

  7. #7 slovenia
    June 21, 2009


    You got me. What’s a “UU”?

  8. #8 Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth
    June 21, 2009

    No rational being wants worship nor does any being deserve it: this goes to the jugular of theism!
    It is a one-way street with God: He has to put us into Heaven in the first place as if there one can only be good and still have free will, then that is demanded for us period! So the free will and soul-buiding arguments are trash!This is the problem of Heaven, the definitive refutation of theodicy.
    There is also Rowe’s evidential argument from evil.
    And we ignostics note that the term God is fatuous: no more factual than Santa Claus!

  9. #9 mk
    June 21, 2009

    @ Solvenia…

    “Unitarian Universalist.”

  10. #10 Lisa the GP
    June 21, 2009

    “Believing in stuff and rituals that make no sense and are a complete waste of time”


  11. #11 bmil
    June 21, 2009

    NO generalizing is ridiculous. So is bigotry. You are prejudiced. Generalizing all people of faith into the same category as islamic extremists is the worst kind of stupidity.

    I could go on to illustrate the wonderful things that have been done in the name of religion and continue to be done-but I feel it would be wasted.

    Just sit on your ass and type your useless little blog.

    You are not saving lives-or helping people. You are just a fool with an opinion.

  12. #12 JimV
    June 21, 2009

    In Shogun there is a sect of Buddhist priests who commit assassinations for hire and them commit suicide, “in the name of the Buddha Amida”. A little web-searching brought me to “Zen and the Art of Divebombing,
    or The Dark Side of the Tao”:

    “How would Zen enable the samurai to avoid the sinfulness of their profession? Mainly through the Taoist expedient of not thinking about it. The “silent teaching” can very effectively avoid moral issues, including breaches of the precepts, by dismissing them with all other conceptual and rational issues. Taoism, of course, expects that by not-doing, by not thinking about moral principles, things will take care of themselves.”

    It seems to me that, just as some Christians could rationalize slavery as being in accordance with their faith, some Zen Buddhists could rationalize cutting off the heads of peasants who did not blow low enough.

    Or they could rationalize the need to do acts which I would call good. To me, religion is an unnecessary term added to both sides of life’s equation, which can be cancelled out without any loss.

  13. #13 bubstubbler
    June 21, 2009

    “NO generalizing is ridiculous. So is bigotry. You are prejudiced. Generalizing all people of faith into the same category as islamic extremists is the worst kind of stupidity.

    I could go on to illustrate the wonderful things that have been done in the name of religion and continue to be done-but I feel it would be wasted.”

    1) While it’s false to generalize that all people of religious faith are murderers, it IS true that they’re all fundamentally irrational…at least when it comes to mixing reason and religion. The former is a straw man of your own invention: you just make it up and accuse opponents of holding that position, despite the fact that they don’t actually hold that position.

    2) Inventing bs religious (i.e. power control) stories that do untold harm to humanity is NOT made right by the fact that some “wonderful things that have been done in the name of religion.”

    That’s as wrong as thinking that terminal cancer is a great and wonderful thing because sometimes it can help bring a family together.

    [For fun, let’s all picture hordes of ‘true believers’ trying to get everyone else to be stricken with ‘the blessed cancer’ so that the newly ‘saved’ can experience more family togetherness.]

  14. #14 another
    June 21, 2009

    Sweetwater Tom, nika: You might benefit from reading Zen at War by Brian Daizen Victoria. Eye opening.


  15. #15 OLYCJC
    June 22, 2009

    The Dalai Lama’s actions today to change the theocracy in his own tradition, and the roles he holds, provide an elegant, graceful, and understated demonstration of what is needed in Tehran at this very moment. His separation of spiritual and political authority cannot be seen apart from the context that surrounds it, and must have been deliberate. He is not lecturing, he is not meddling, he is acting and teaching by example. Well done!


  16. #16 Torange
    June 22, 2009

    If you don’t like religion, you will hate the world government. After about 3.5 years the glorious world leader will declare himself god, will fight a world wide civil war with the kings of the east, and then Jesus Christ will return when the Jews are down to their last bullet to save them.

  17. #17 Dylan
    June 22, 2009

    Torange: You are either utterly self-deluded, or you are engaging in self-parody. Or both.

    bmi: Revere is much too polite, and far too considerate of his contributors to say this; I, on the other hand, am not. While you are down on your knees, groveling before your merciful God…blow me!

  18. #18 Adam
    June 23, 2009

    I love Jesus Christ. He healed my disease when no medicine could. He’s taught me the way of true peace and love. He is the way and the truth and the life. I am sorry that so many that share this blog are so very mistaken.

  19. #19 Victoria
    June 23, 2009


    Get a life and think for yourself. The human body has its own amazing recouperative abilities.

  20. #20 Elaine
    June 24, 2009

    I find the anti-religious sentiments on this “science” blog to be offensive, tiresome, and nauseating. Too bad I have to wade through it to get to the “real” news on swine flu. Gag.

  21. #21 Otto
    June 25, 2009

    I’m just glad to rest in the sure and true knowledge that monist materialism ensures that authoritarian regimes will be but discardable three-sigma outliers.

  22. #22 Herb
    June 25, 2009

    The underlying sickness is government, not religion. In the 20th century, more than 100 million people were killed by governments in ideological purges, cleansings, and wars. Google “democide” or see the wikipedia entry for democide. The murdering governments were typically socialist ones–USSR, China under Mao, and National Socialist Germany–all governments that pretended to pursue the greater good. The greater good in the majority of cases was purely secular.

  23. #23 revere
    June 25, 2009

    Herb: So you want to abolish governments? LOL. I think it might be easier to live without religion. And safer. Since you only considered the 20th century (why?) you did omit the costliest war of all, WWI and omitted the fact that the US participated in WWII, vietnam, the gulf wars, etc. And Nazi Germany was neither left wing nor atheist but did have the acquiescence if not collaboration of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. As for Israel-Palestine, Iran, etc., etc.? Keep praying, Herb. It’s doing a lot of good.

  24. #24 Herb
    June 25, 2009


    Yes, let’s make government as small as possible. For ideas on how small government works, read anyone from John Locke to Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard. To borrow from Ayn Rand, true liberty is as yet the untried solution.

    I certainly won’t claim that the US government free of guilt on state murders. Remember Waco. But intention and scale matters. For the US, homicides tend to be the acts of particular bureaucrats rather than policy and law. In any case, the scale of homicide by the US government doesn’t put it anywhere close to Socialist regimes. Again, see wikipedia on democide.

    Vietnam? After the US left Vietnam, the socialist government of North Vietnam wiped out 100s of thousands of innocents. In Cambodia, the communist government of Pol Pot killed 2 million people during its very short reign. The dominos did fall and with them, millions of innocent people. For some of the stories, see boatpeople.org.

    Finally, Nazi Germany was a SOCIALIST state. That’s what Nazi stands for; the full name was the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. The Nazi’s had a secular, socialist dream. They planned to make that dream a reality through, inter alia, health care, anti-smoking campaigns, conquest, and eugenics.

    Again, look at the wikipedia entry for Democide. It will give you the facts to rank states by their murders.

    I will keep praying. May we each “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

  25. #25 CAP
    June 26, 2009

    Consider corrections to Herb’s comment:

    1) Ayn Rand was an atheist and dismissed all religions as superstitious nonsense; apply her thoughts to the concept of God as equally to your pursuit of deconstructing Government by her ideas and prepare to lose your God, too.

    2)Nazi German did not aspire to a secular ideology. Henirich Himmler believed to be descended from an angel. Adolf Hitler justified his most twisted beliefs as serving the will of the Christian God. Nazi Chaplains were enlisted to keep up German “morals” by quoting selected, violent passages from Scripture, notably from the books of Deuteronomy. The emblem of the Nazi Party was a militaristic interpretation of the crucifix : a) the Crooked Cross; and b) the Iron Cross.

  26. #26 Herb
    June 29, 2009


    I’m well aware that Ayn was an atheist and didn’t claim anything to the contrary. I do agree with her views on liberty and capitalism–they are the untried solutions. With liberty, one has freedom of conscience, to believe or disbelieve as one is prepared to do.

    You’re entirely wrong on the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. The party’s faith was pure national socialism.

New comments have been disabled.