Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Opiates and Masses

Dinesh D'Souza in his book What's So Great About Christianity put a pretty big dagger through the idea that religion is an emotional crutch for people who can't otherwise make sense of their difficult life or struggle (i.e., "religion is the opiate of the masses").

I'm not quoting because I don't have the book nearby but he said along the lines of

  • If I were going to create a religion or belief system in order to make me feel good about myself, and about life in general, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made up something that has the most demanding level of obedience and behavior found in any religion or worldview.
  • I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made something up with a consequence for rejection of God that includes the idea of eternality in a place where I am totally separated from God. That's not very relaxing to me. Fire and brimstone is rather unsettling actually.
He went on and on, about this and the rest of it escapes me, but he then went on and turned the tables saying atheists and secular humanists are the ones to whom the phrase "opiate of the masses" applies.
  • If you want to live a life where everything is permitted, and nothing is condemned, and there is no divine retribution, and you get to avoid ever having a guilty conscious, then try atheism. Atheism is a true opiate.
Dinesh D'Souza wrote probably one of the clearest books on Christianity and Christian apologetics that you can find. Excellent read.

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