The primary cause of climate change is not our abundant greenhouse gas emissions, that is the secondary cause. The primary cause is human overpopulation and selfishness. It is people, groups and governments putting their selfish interests first and the good of our shared planet later that is stopping us from seriously facing the challenges of our emissions.
We share a wonderfully beautiful world, but we are damaging it through carelessness, selfishness and greed.
If humanity is to overcome the climate change and other threats we must have clear thinking: science, reason, not unfounded superstition.
The world needs people to be able to think clearly; they can’t if they are labouring under delusions, especially such huge, life-defining and life-dominating ones as religion.
Plainly different people in different times and places have hugely different interpretations of the meanings of the ancient writings.
As an example, the pamphlet on the right was placed in my letterbox a day or two before the aggressive, murderous, cruel, barbaric, intolerant and strongly Islamic Taliban took over the Afghan capital Kabul in August 2021. Obviously the Taliban's interpretation of Islam is anything but peaceful and tolerant.
I have placed this image and comment here, not because I believe Muslims to be bad people; the great majority of Muslim people around the world are decent, peaceful and tolerant. But the Taliban, and for that matter ISIS, have a totally different interpretation of Islam.
Christianity tooIslam is far from the only religion that has been twisted into something cruel; many people in past centuries were tortured and burned at the stake by 'Christians'. On and off for a century or so Catholic 'Christians' killed Protestant 'Christians' and vice-versa at the time of the Reformation; both lots claimed to be followers of Jesus who preached kindness, forgiveness and 'turning the other cheek'.
I have written on Christian intolerance on another page on this site.
My whole point, the point of this page, is that religion is capable of corrupting anyone who is taken in by it.Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison both professed to be devout Christians, yet they saw nothing wrong with doing their best to destroy what they must have seen to be their God's creation by advocating the burning of more and more fossil fuels and resisting the change over to renewable energy.
North Blinman, South Australia, on a misty morning
Just one little part of what a religion person would consider to be God's beautiful creation
I'm thinking here particularly of the Christianity adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Theodosius around 390AD. Once the Christians gained ascendancy they started destroying the remains of the classical world because they would not tolerate the worship of the old gods.
Islam, too, once it gained power in the Middle East, it began a war of invasion of its neighbours. And the squabbles between the Shia and Sunni versions of Islam came around the same time and have continued to the present.
The Christian establishment in Europe held back free thought, clear thinking in ethics and scientific advance for much of the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and beyond. The delusion that is religion is still stopping the majority of humans from access to fully rational thought.
I have summarised elsewhere how much there is in the Christian 'holy books' that were shockingly unethical by any reasonable standards elsewhere in these pages. What the Christian call the Old Testament was based primarily on the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh. It is also holy to the Muslims. I have written on the horrors that the Bible records as being done by 'holy' people elsewhere in these pages.
In her introduction Ms Nixey writes of the early Christian destruction of the classical world:
"The Christian assault was not the only one - fire, flood, invasion and time itself all played their part - but this book focuses on Christianity's assault in particular. This is not to say the the Church didn't also preserve things: it did. But the story of Christianity's good works in this period has been told again and again; such books proliferate in libraries and bookshops. The history and the sufferings of those whom Christianity defeated have not been."and
"As Samuel Johnson would put it, pithy as ever: 'The heathens were easily converted, because they had nothing to give up.'Ms Nixey records the writing of Celsus who was highly critical of Christianity and its roots in the Old Testament. None of the original works of Celsus have survived; they were all destroyed by the Christian book burners. However, some eighty years after Celsus a Christian apologist by the name of Origen wrote criticising Celsus' work. In his criticism Origin quoted much of Celsus. Ironically, we now know something of Celsus because of Origin's efforts to discredit him.
The demons, they thought, could be killed by suffocation if the nose of the statue was broken off. Or the demon could be annulled by having a holy cross carved into its forehead.
To me, an atheist, the Christian fear of the demons in the classical sculptures seems absurd. But what I, and other atheists, must remember is that Christians believe in gods; if there can be one god, the Christian God, why not any number of other gods (or demons) and why could they not be embodied in statues? A god living in a statue is no more absurd than a god who is everywhere and nowhere. Believers don't need evidence, they don't need common sense, they have faith, they can believe the absurd.
And in many cases, not only the statues, but the temples that housed them were also destroyed. Of course there are a number of passages in the Old Testament that, if taken seriously, could justify this destruction to a believer.
Christian destruction of the classical world: some linksThe following are some of the more interesting postings that I found during several Web searches.
Counter-currents: The Christian destruction of the classical world
History Reviewed: Christian atrocities; three centuries of pagan persecution and Christian damage to beautiful pagan statues
Wikipedia: Persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire
Christian atrocities; centuries of pagan prosecution. This page provides a chronology of the Christian persecution of pagans.
Dwarfing the desecration of ISIS and the TalibanThe Christian destruction of temples, books and art of the classical world dwarfs the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001 and the archeological vandalism work of ISIS.
One of the greatest contradictions in this age is at the core of both Christianity and Islam. Adherents of both religions are told to believe in two things:
In the twenty-first century there is an almost universal acceptance that to torture a person or an animal is a crime and very unethical - yet we are to believe that God will organise eternal torture for us if we don't do the right thing according to his rules. And this, we are told, is a good and merciful God.
Judaism seems somewhat ambiguous on the Hell question.
Outside of religions there are many service groups that can also provide social connection: Apex, Lions, Rotary, Soroptimist, Country Women's Association, Zonta... SA Community lists hundreds of such groups within just my home state, South Australia.
Related pages on this site...A list of my pages on superstition and religion are on my home page
Pages having particular relevance to the subject of this page are...
Another point of view...A rational 'religion'
On this page...A book, The Darkening Age, by Catherine Nixey
Christian destruction of the remains of the classical world
Damaging God's creation
Established religions become corrupt, intolerant and cruel
The Great Contradiction in Christianity and Islam
One point in favour of religion
Religion (and other delusions) cause good people to do bad things
Religion is too open to interpretation
Religion's threat to environmental progress
Specific problems with religion
Why did the Christians vandalise classical art?