I often get asked about why I am so outspoken against religion. For me, the reason is obvious; religion is the greatest obstacle to human happiness, human progress, and human survival on this planet. That doesn’t mean that without religion everything would be a paradise, but it does mean that we can start reversing the damage done by religion.
Part of that damage is in the way we think about the world around us. Religion has taught us that God created the world for us. We know this is not true. The world was created for us; we are just inhabitants here. We are fully capable of destroying the habitat that we need to survive. No deity made this world with us in mind and no deity will come along at the eleventh hour to save us from the damage we have caused to the Earth.
There is no afterlife either and we have to realize that this world is all there is. That means we have to use our limited resources wisely so that future generations can prosper.
We have to shift the way we think about the world and our place in it. Instead of thinking in tribalisticly, we need to start to recognize that we are one race. Could you imagine how much progress humanity could make if we stopped fighting over resources and used that money and effort to make the world a better place and to advance human understanding?
Yes, that goes beyond religion, but it is still important and we still need to shift our thinking in that direction. Forget about capitalism vs. socialism; we need to find some way to utilize the world’s economy for the betterment of all humanity. In some cases that may be to advance capitalism and in other cases, we might need to use a more socialistic approach.
We forget that the economy is a human creation devised to better allocate resources. But to what end? If our current economic system isn’t allocating resources well or is causing more problems than it is solving, then maybe we need to re-examine how economy works and create a better economic system to better serve our needs.
I think we need to shift our economic thinking to better allocate resources to eliminate the poverty while at the same time encouraging environmental, social, and technological innovation. We also need to start encouraging more clean energy innovation. Right now, our capitalistic system isn’t doing any of that. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Companies are buying politicians to relax regulations so that they can pollute more, abuse people’s civil liberties more, and actually stifle technological innovations like the electric car. Clean energy innovations takes a back seat to oil and coal industry lobbyists and religious right politicians who deny climate science because they believe God created the Earth just for us and that there is no way we can fuck up God’s perfect creation.
It is time to start thinking about humanities long term interests instead of our petty tribalism and our ancient superstitions. We need to start thinking about our future on this planet and hopefully our future off this planet. This requires a change in our thinking and we have to get others to shift their thinking in this manner too.