10 Mar 2011

Living Without Religion - you don't need God to hope, to care, to love, to live


You don't need God— to hope, to care, to love, to live.

To hope, to care, to love. We have all experienced these powerful, fundamental feelings. They help define what it is to be human. These important elements of a fulfilling human life are experienced by religious and nonreligious people alike.

There are some common myths about the nonreligious—atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists. One popular myth is that the nonreligious are immoral, or at least that they can’t be relied upon to be as good as those with religious beliefs. If you know any nonreligious people (and almost everyone does—see below), you already know this is not true. Human decency does not depend on religious belief. There are good believers and good nonbelievers; there are wicked believers and wicked nonbelievers. You can’t predict a person’s moral character just from knowing his or her metaphysical beliefs.

Another prevalent myth is that the lives of the nonreligious are empty, meaningless, and dominated by despair. This, too, is false. The nonreligious experience the same range of emotions, sentiments, and sensations as the religious. They are joyful and sad; they feel sympathy and disgust; they experience pain and pleasure. They have aspirations; they are concerned about others. They love and are loved.

One reason this myth persists is many religious believers see their god or their faith as the basis for emotions such as hope, caring, and love. We don’t deny that the religious may find inspiration in their beliefs—but our religious friends should not presume that accepting their beliefs is necessary for a fulfilling life.

We who are nonreligious lead meaningful lives without reliance on the supernatural. Moreover, we believe anyone can find meaning in a life that is human-centered and focused on the here and now instead of the hereafter.

Some people have parted ways with traditional god beliefs intellectually but hesitate to give up their faith because they’re afraid of what life might be like without the beliefs and practices they have found so comforting. They’ve heard myths about the nonreligious, and they may think these myths are all they have to go on.

But today, one American out of every six has no religious affiliation. You almost certainly have friends, acquaintances, and colleagues—even family members—who already live without religion. If you’ve asked tough questions about your faith and aren’t sure where to go next, we invite you to consider how many people have already found that living without religion provides a foundation for a life that is rich, rewarding, and complete.

Read more on  Hope  Care  Love  Live  at livingwithoutreligion.org

Press Release:  http://www.centerforinquiry.net/newsroom/living_without_religion/

Related Articles:

Children have a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right to be free from religion

US high school administrators coerce teachers to deny students their legal right to form atheist groups

Atheist Ireland says children's right to be exempt from religious class a theoretical illusion

Irish children subjected to religious dogma in order to get an education in school system dominated by Catholic church

UK atheist says churches are full of families faking religion to get their kids into local state schools

Secularists campaign to change UK law that makes religious assemblies in schools compulsory, government and church resist

Strong Secularism: Religious education can be a form of mental abuse.

The liberal state has a duty to ensure that all children acquire the ability to think for themselves

Who is the Real Anti-Christian: the Atheist or the Fundamentalist Christian?

Author challenges feminists to take on major religions that subjugate and abuse women and children

Pope's attack on atheists reveals fear of secular pluralistic societies that accommodate all believers and non-believers

Child sacrifice and other atrocities ignored by believers who consider the Bible the source of morality

New book on origins of Christianity details the outrageous suffering of children at the hands of ancient religious leaders

President of British Humanist Association: sex and death lie at the poisoned heart of religion

Forced into Faith: How Religion Abuses Children's Rights [book]

Mystic Brutality: Understanding Religion as Child Abuse

When Religion Becomes Child Abuse

What can humanist parents use in the battle against religious indoctrination?

Suicide note of Princeton grad student reveals the tortuous inner life of a child rape victim made worse by religion

An agnostic dad considers how to discuss belief in gods with his seven year old daughter

1 comment:

  1. Nearly 100 submit resignation letters to LDS church

    BY ROBERT BOYD, fox13now JULY 25, 2015,

    Close to 100 people marched through the streets of Salt Lake City Saturday to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where they officially resigned from the Mormon Church.

    Participants in the mass-resignation event said women’s inequality and LGBT discrimination were just a few of the reasons behind why they officially resigned from the church.

    “I’m very nervous, but I`m also happy just to begin that next phase of my life,” said Brendon Carpenter, who was one of about 90 to resign. “As I have been studying the Book of Mormon and the bible while on my mission I discovered for myself that I didn`t trust the leadership anymore”

    Stephanie Orgill said there are a number of issues of discrimination within the church that led her to resign.

    “The treatment of women and children and also the gay community to me the most disgusting and the cultural of obedience rather than free thinking,” Orgill said.

    Orgill and Carpenter said they lost all hope in changing the culture of the church when Kate Kelly, a vocal advocate for women’s rights, was excommunicated last summer.

    “I feel like I have to take a stand, those were my heroes that enforced my Mormonism, and to take them out of the equation I just don`t have anyone to rely on anymore,” Carpenter said.

    Kelly, who now lives in Kenya, returned for the mass resignation.

    “There is a lot of ritual in Mormonism and it’s sort of like a ritual to say I’m no longer part of this organization,” Kelly said.

    She said it’s important to formally submit a letter of resignation, that way church leaders know exactly how many people are leaving and their reasons for leaving.

    “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of a huge exodus of people leaving the church,” Kelly said.

    Those who do resign say it’s a decision that will impact their entire family.

    “I know they will be crushed because I’m the youngest of ten and every one of my siblings, and family and cousins and everyone are still very much Mormon,” Orgill said.

    Dale Jones, the LDS church spokesman issued this statement: “Every person is valued and loved. They are our brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends. Each makes their own decisions about their participation and church membership. Regardless of their choice, we love them and wish them well, and hope they will find the support and answers they seek.”