“Religion is the universal obsessional neurosis of mankind; like the obsessional neurosis of children, arouse out of the Oedipus complex, out of the relation to the father… [It is] a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.”
“The God–Creator is openly called father. Psychoanalysis concludes that he really is the father, clothed in the grandeur in which he once appeared to the small child… The emotional strength of this memory-image and the lasting nayure of his need for protection are the two supports for [the religious man’s] belief in God.”
“Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing the personal one.”
“Think of the depressing contrast between the radiant intelligence of a healthy child and the feeble intellectual powers of the average adult. Can we be certain that it is not precisely religious education which bears a large share of the blame for this relative atrophy?”
Like other neurosis or addictions, religion can be overcome, but only by facing up to the truth:”They will have to [Step One] admit to themselves the full extent of their helplessness and their insignificance in the machinery of the universe; they can no longer be the centre of creation, no longer the object of tender care on the part of a beneficent Providence… ‘education to reality.’… It is something, at any rate, to know that one is thrown upon one’s resources. One learns then to make a proper use of them.
“Many questions come to mind. How influenced by contemporary religions were many of the scholars who wrote the texts available today? How many scholars have simply assumed that males have always played the dominant role in leadership and creative invention and projected this assumption into their analysis of ancient cultures? Why do so many people educated in this century think of classical Greece as the first major culture when written language was in use and great cities built at least twenty-five centuries before that time? And perhaps most important, why is it continually inferred that the age of the “pagan” religions, the time of the worship of female deities (if mentioned at all), was dark and chaotic, mysterious and evil, without the light of order and reason that supposedly accompanied the later male religions, when it has been archaeologically confirmed that the earliest law, government, medicine, agriculture, architecture, metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, ceramics, textiles and written language were initially developed in societies that worshiped the Goddess? We may find ourselves wondering about the reasons for the lack of easily available information on societies who, for thousands of years, worshiped the ancient Creatress of the Universe.”
? Merlin Stone,When God Was a Woman
“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”
? Isaac Asimov
“The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God,’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.” Carl Sagan
“It turned out I was pretty good in science. But again, because of the small budget, in science class we couldn’t afford to do experiments in order to prove theories. We just believed everything. Actually, I think that class was called Religion. Religion class was always an easy class. All you had to do was suspend the logic and reasoning you were being taught in all the other classes.”
? George Carlin, Brain Droppings
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