Organized Religion: Here’s a Glimpse of the World Without It

stewart-religionNot too long ago, conservative convicted criminal Dinesh D’Souza came out with a movie titled America: Imagine the World Without Her (which has an amazing 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes).  It’s basically nothing more than some outrageous right-wing film that rewrites history, while trying to ridiculously build a world where the United States did not exist.  Eventually it just spirals into nothing more than an anti-Obama and anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda film.

But I thought I’d play off that title a bit and try to create what our world might be like without organized religion.

Though let me be clear, I see faith and religion as two different things.  I see faith as a set of beliefs someone personally carries with them without trying to force others to comply to what they believe.  Religion I see as a human-made concoction meant to manipulate and control people by forcing whatever views are ordained by that religion.

How many wars have been fought based on religion?  Think about the Crusades.  They lasted around two centuries, claiming anywhere from 1 million to 3 million lives.  All in the name of religion.

Just look at Islamic terrorism.  It’s almost entirely based on religion.

So by just getting rid of organized religion, the amount of wars and terrorism we’ve had throughout human history would drastically be reduced.

Look at how often religion has been used to justify horrific acts.  Adolf Hitler used religion to justify his genocide of the Jewish people.  Slave owners used religion to justify their ownership of other human beings.  Anti-desegregation advocates used religion to justify the separation of the races.

Just think about how much prejudice and ignorance has been levied against various groups of people throughout human history all “justified” by organized religion.

Religion has been used to justify horrific acts against women.  Hell, it’s 2014, and in many countries religion is still used to deny women their basic human rights.  Not just deny them those rights, but to often treat them like possessions rather than actual human beings.

All over the world organized religion is used to condemn and vilify homosexuals.  In some countries it’s illegal to be a homosexual, with death being an acceptable punishment for the “crime” of being gay.  But it’s all okay, because religion says that it is.

Hell, religion has even been used to deny a need to address climate change.  You know, because God controls the weather – not us measly humans.

Look at hate in general.  Racism, bigotry, intolerance, judgement, prejudice… it’s all been justified by organized religion over and over again throughout history.

I’m sure many of you have heard about the Salem witch trials.  Human beings were slaughtered all in the name of religion.  These acts weren’t rational.  They were driven by fear, paranoia and ignorance all fueled, and justified, by religious beliefs.

Native Americans were treated like some kind of subhuman savages because they weren’t “good Christians.”   So, what’s the best way religion told us to deal with non-Christian “savages”?  Try to convert some, slaughter most of the rest, all while stealing their land.


Granted, eliminating organized religion from all human history wouldn’t have prevented every horrific act from happening.  But it’s much more difficult to try to justify some of the horrors that have been committed (and continue to be committed) without religion.

For instance, how would one justify a stance against homosexuality without using religion?

Not only that, but the lack of religion would unite people.  Because what religion has ultimately done throughout human history is divide them.  It’s one group of human beings telling another group of human beings that the god they can’t prove exists is more real than the god the other group of people can’t prove exists is.

And if you think about it, what does religion ultimately boil down to?  What happens to us after we die.

That’s it.  

Why do people care so much about this?  Why do people care what happens to strangers once they die?  Something clearly happens… but none of us know for absolute certain.  The only thing any of us know without a doubt is, we die.

Every. Single. One of us.

Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist… we’re all eventually going to die.  And all religion ultimately comes down to is what happens to us afterwards.

It’s just silly, isn’t it?

Let’s slaughter thousands because they don’t believe in the same afterlife that we do!  That’ll prove how holy we are! 

It’s like an unfunny Monty Python sketch.

It’s not as if an individuals path to whatever afterlife in which they believe is contingent on how many people they recruit.  It makes absolutely no sense to care about any of this.

Yet despite the ridiculousness of it all, organized religion remains the most widely used tool to justify human beings treating other human beings in horrific, inhumane ways.

Just imagine the world without organized religion:

  • We wouldn’t have countries where millions of human beings are controlled, with basic human rights stripped away, by brutal theocracies.
  • A world where terrorists no longer had their primary tool they’ve used to wage horrific acts of terror against innocent people.
  • Where human beings weren’t judged on rules written in a book, based on an entity that nobody can prove exists.
  • A world where war was never waged simply because one group of people labeled themselves a different religion than another.
  • Where people had to think for themselves as opposed to simply being told what to believe by somebody else.
  • Denying anyone their equal rights could only be justified by pure hate and intolerance, which are much harder foundations on which to build an argument against giving someone their rights.
  • Women wouldn’t continue to be having to overcome draconian societal laws and rules that religion has dictated about their role in society for centuries.
  • People wouldn’t be divided simply based on a label.
  • All the horrors that have been (and continue to be) justified in the name of religion – would have never existed.

Organized religion, just imagine the world without it.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Caledonian

    This comes under the heading of nit-picking, because I am in agreement with theme and the substance of these comments. However, no one was burned alive as a result of the Salem witch trials. Except for one person who was pressed to death during his ‘examination,’ the rest of those found guilty (13 women and 6 men) were hanged. (Another 20 or so died in prison under appalling conditions.) Burning at the stake was deemed too cruel a punishment for God’s Elect to inflict on their fellow man. I’ve always suspected that the fact that the Inquisition employed burning was the real reason; Protestant Massachusetts would not have wanted anything in common with Catholic Spain.

  • Jonas

    The problem is that religion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is made up of humans. Religion is not some evil entity that happens to make people bend to its will. People use it as an excuse to express both the worst and the best of their human nature. But it is still the human nature at its root. If it weren’t religion, it would be culture, borders, race, sex, money, power, control, political affiliation even sports teams. Humans seem to have an unfortunate desire to divide themselves into groups in order to control and oppress the “others” whom they view as less than themselves. Humans seem to love to live vicariously through group think.

    • Mark Fielding- Pritchard

      I’m very much in favour of religions that have no people involved. I can’t believe any sane deity for instance would want people who live in a desert to take their shoes off when they come into church.

      • Eoin Maloney

        Are you kidding me? Would you rather they tracked sand and dirt in? Criminy. If I was a deity, my FIRST rule would be “take off your shoes, somebody has to clean that floor!” The second would probably be something about murder, I guess. I dunno. Maybe I’ll make it heretical to kick the shit out of gay people for being gay, or something. But definitely, commandment 1: take your damned shoes off. 😛

      • Mark Fielding- Pritchard

        Maybe. Don’t forget chocolate though, chocolate offerings.

      • Holy Bathroom Attendant

        They gotta wash their hands, too. And no skipping scrubbing under the fingernails, either!

    • aikanae

      Religon isn’t just about the afterlife. It’s about guilt too and has a long history of being used to rationalized questionable behaviors. So I don’t accept “it’s human nature” or the need to be relieved from guilt wouldn’t exist. For some, religion is addictive like alcohol or crack.

  • Robyn Pratt Scott

    No one was burned as a result of the Salem witch trials – hung, crushed to death, and died in prison – but, no burning.

    • John Staller

      Oh, well then, nevermind.

  • Michael McAngus

    “…how would one justify a stance against homosexuality without using religion?”
    “It’s icky!!!” Duh.

  • sherry06053

    Oh, I completely agree with you. Religion is silly and dangerous, but I think John Lennon beat you to this story…Imagine…that’s the point…it exists and there is nothing we can do about it other than wait for all the believers to kill each other in the name of their God. Then, the rest of us can live in peace and brotherhood – and try to fix the mess the human race has made of this planet. It won’t happen in our lifetime, so I guess I’ll see ya in hell…

    • Tena Dodds Waters

      I LOVE this article. It simply states everything I have ever thought about organized religion. People don’t need to believe in a god to be good people. Look at all the harm past and present that has/is being done this very second in the name of religion. It sickens me to the core what human beings have done to this planet and to each other. I wish all people would start catching on to the universal consciousness that exists between all of us and realize that we are not separate but ONE.

    • healthnut

      “…there is nothing we can do about it other than wait for all the believers to kill each other in the name of their God. Then, the rest of us can live in peace and brotherhood – and try to fix the mess the human race has made of this planet.”
      Yes, that is the most likely scenario considering the endless wars between Islam and Judeo-Christianity. If only they could kill each other off without destroying the Earth in the process! Some sort of mass round-up into a large cage should contain their delusional violence quite nicely without contaminating their surroundings and non-believers who become bystander casualties.

  • Noqo

    Not all religions operate the same way though. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam certainly focus on aggression, preach intolerance, practice discrimination, and support inhuman acts. There’s no denying that. What about the Buddhists, Jains, or Baha’i, the Sufi and Sikhs, those who practice Wicca or some other form of modern Paganism though? As a Westerner, I too am often swept up and enraged by the actions of the monotheistic faiths. When I have a moment to sit back and relax though, I am reminded that Jews, Christians, and Muslims aren’t the only believers in the world, and they aren’t the only people adhering to, or practicing, a religion. You’re confusing the forest with the tree here. Three bad trees, with a thousand individual limbs, does not make the entire stretch of land worthless. You simply cut down the bad trees, and watch beauty return.

    • aikanae

      Try explaining that to the Palestine’s trapped in the Gaza strip or Kurds fleeing up to the top of the hill, or to missing girls that were kidnapped. If your the victim, it doesn’t matter that millions of others aren’t the same since they do nothing to stop it. That does make them the same.

    • Kim Serrahn

      You maybe forgot about this, maybe?

  • Steve Dingeldein

    How did you miss the millions killed by atheistic governments in the last century? Mao, Stalin . . .

    Humans always find ways to divide us and them, whether it is religion or other characteristics.

    You also ignored the enormous good that has resulted from religion over the last millennium or so.

    • Noqo

      You’re confusing atheism with a political platform. The people killed by Stalin and Mao weren’t killed “because there is no God,” they were killed in the name of cultural identities that their sick and twisted rulers were absorbed in. Unlike the Crusades, which were waged specifically because of a religious ideal and disagreement over who owned the Holy Land. Or the Inquisition, which killed people specifically because they practiced a different religion. The only thing atheism influences is your view on whether or not there is enough evidence to support the existence of a God or gods. Absolutely everything else, from your favorite foods, to the car you drive, to whether or not you kill one-quarter of your country’s citizens, has nothing to do with whether you believe in God or not.

      • Steve Dingeldein

        All “isms” require a political platform to kill. Atheism was CLEARLY part of the “cultural identity” of Mao and Stalin.

      • biloki

        Do you actually believe that Mao and Stalin killed in the name of Atheism?? No, they didn’t. They killed for power and wealth. Greed, is what they killed for.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        and I also enter that they did it for a sick type of fun

      • Raven Cassidy


      • Brian

        Your argument is impossible to prove, thus invalid.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        plenty of death and destruction under religious regimes. BOTH cause problems; ergo BOTH should be destroyed. if an individual has beliefs that’s fine. once an individual/ group wants to impose any belief upon others we have aproblem- even with so-called ‘ good intent”……….keep religious opinions to individual self…. if I am interested I will seek thee
        F*CK all religions. NOTE: im agnostic- which means I dint know what GOD is; and I don’t care as GOD will do as GOD wants without my BEGGING ( see: prayer)

      • TheEquilizer2U

        You are ignorant of basic history!

        The Crusades started because of the muslims invading europe.
        They occupied Spain for several hundred years, killing all the christians.
        Then they tried to push north into France and Germany, but they were stopped.
        After many years of this, the Crusades were formed, and the muslims were pushed out of Europe.

        Get educated before spouting off…..

      • Louis Rivera

        What would happen if we could hit the reset button and just say religion never existed. No Moses, no Jesus etc,etc. It is more realistic that Humans evolved to become what they say “the top of the food chain”. Survival of the species or Darwinism. I agree that all humans will die but evolution does not. Earth, Sun, Galaxies eventually become non existent. All life will continue to fight to exist. Religion is just a tool to keep humanity in check. It just doesn’t work. Really if GOD did exist. Why are we still killing each other? Why does GOD not stop all of these atrocities. According to the Bible Moses spoke to GOD from a burning Bush. Could that Bush possibly be nothing more than a burning Marijuana plant and Moses had hallucinations. That’s closer to the truth than what happened afterwards. Hitler was not the only leader to kill a lot of Jews according to the list. I believe the Jews were held accountable for the death of Jesus. The truth is that humans will continue to evolve. Religion will not. This fact is certain. .That if technology continues the Planet becomes over populated with people. According to scientists the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old.Humans have only existed for maybe 2 to 3 million years. My only concern is what happens next before I die because whatever happens next would mean nothing to me.

    • Bill Herman

      No miss, it was still about religion, Mao, Stalin, etc demanded their subjects to NOT believe, or else.

      • Steve Dingeldein

        Well you’ve universalized religion to belief about anything including the belief that that there is no God. That’s a bit wide for useful conversation as it is virtually impossible to NOT have a world view or belief system.
        However, I will agree with you that Atheism functions as a belief system and people will become AS impassioned about NOT believing in God as they do about believing in God.

      • biloki

        Atheism, is a belief system. If is the opposite of a belief system. Why do religious people always try to pretend that Atheism is some form of religion, it isn’t.

      • surfjac

        Atheism is not a belief for atheists; it is a certainty for them.

      • Bill Herman

        Where do I say there is no God is a religious belief?
        Let me be quite clear, there are many beliefs but I have never heard of atheism being a religious belief.
        If any label, it is anti god.
        He/she/it/whatever is nothing more than a fictitious character invented by man, a very long time ago, as an acceptance of that which may not be explainable based mainly on fear and faith.
        Since that long ago time many things once thought unexplainable have now been explained through science.
        Bur religions often try to dispute scientific proofs and in many ways they then manage to sound stupid.

      • aikanae

        Religion requires faith and to have faith, a person must suspend critical reasoning and logic. That doesn’t happen with atheist’s.

      • Bill Herman

        Thank you, you have just said what a lot of intelligent people believe, that religion is not logical.

      • nicole

        how so…. the bible and jesus if one has takein the time to really study its content you will find out that you all had been lied to by false teachers . yes you are right religion most are not logical!! but intelligent readers of the bible will know what truth is and what its not. like you are not going to heaven or hell romans 6:7 states this “any that die in sin ARE SET FREE from sin”. false teachers know this and lie to you ,for what reason so you pay your one tenth to them. the truth to life you will do well to study Mathew chapters 22,23,24,26 here you will find out what jesus has to say about false teachings if you are and opend minded person as I feel you are. try reading this jesus was a very logical and intelligent man he never did noore would say anything to any body with out his fathers approval. jesus and his father both are free thinker.s so many people bash the bible and put down others like my self because I have fath in the fathers son jesus and what his ways are. if you don’t realy study its contents intensly and then how can anyone realy know? enough to put it down then in my understanding wouldent that make one sound unintelligent,and not realy logical.

      • Bill Herman

        I have read the Bibles, Koran, Bk Of Mormon, studied other Religions and read much and understand much. I am anti organized religion. You do NOT need organized religion to lead a good, honest, happy, etc life.

        You do not need org. Rel to know right from wrong, etc.I consider myself a Philosophical Buddhist. Buddha did not start an organized religion neither basically did Jesus.Followers did. They are all inventions of man all have had some very horrifying histories. Most still do as they add to their stupidity. Much of what has been attributed to Jesus as having stated on and on is only the paraphrasing of what Buddha stated a very long time before he did. Also the 1st book of the new Bible was written approx. 12/14 years after his death over 2K years ago when the written word was generally in Greek and no written word of those times can be absolutely verified as the words of Jesus or anyone else. Not exactly the days of modern communication. So believe what you and anyone else wants to. I still prefer to think it’s mostly all BS hype of the day, by followers trying to make a buck, scheckle, whatever and hopefully go to heaven when they die and adore Jesus and his daddy god for all eternity. That is hell in itself, how very boring etrnity would be. Enjoy.

      • surfjac

        You can’t conflate religion which assumes the belief of a diety and celebrates that belief with rituals and specific patterns of behavior to honor that diety with atheism which states there is no diety.

    • Nerdsamwich

      I would characterize the Mao and Stalin regimes as cults of personality, though not quite up to the level of the Kims of North Korea. No, “personality” is the wrong word here. More like cults of the State. Remember the Soviet motto: God is the State; the State is God.

      • Bill Herman

        What about the Christians, Jews, etc that both Mao and Stalin did their best to wipe out. Stalin at the beginning of WW II had a pact with Hitler both wanted the Jewish eliminated.
        I don’t consider their beliefs were part of a cult belief.
        Stalin did not believe in God he used that quote as a point towards those who did and they had better stop or else.

      • Nerdsamwich

        Competition. The cult of the State, like other cults, dislikes having to compete with other ideas. Therefore, the cult of the State, like other cults, flexes what muscle it has to destroy that competition. There is no difference in kind between the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Holocaust, and the Soviet pogroms. Notice, too, that both Stalin and Mao persecuted non-religious ideas, as well. Ideas that conflicted with the dogma of the cult of the State.

      • Bill Herman

        Basically what all political entities do, be they nice, evil or somewhere in between is to gain power and keep it. With power comes economic gain as well.
        Before religion and money it was about survival which evolved into economics, politics and religion.
        The ones who become leaders all have some excuse that they use to convince people that they should be in charge, many of course throughout history have used religion.
        One good example:
        Anyone who thinks the Crusades were for Christianity vs Islam have no clue of why they actually occurred.
        “We want what you have and because you won’t give it to us freely, god has spoken and told us we should take it away from you in his name. It says so in the . . . ” You may add the quaran, bible, or some comic book here.
        In the end it’s all about power and money not religion.

      • aikanae

        Manifest destiny.

      • aikanae

        Mao and Stalin were wannabe deity’s. They wanted people to believe in them, first.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      the so-called GOOD is another way to control humans. if the religions are so charitable; let them give charity ANONYMOUSLY and with no string attached

      • aikanae

        No tax cuts?

    • John Staller

      When you are using the name of “god” to justify the terror you bring down on the world, and you don’t even know if you are right about the existence of “god”–pretty much any good you do is negated. Especially if you perform that good mostly, only because you think it’ll get you to heaven. In the end, though,religion has been the most destructive force on the planet in history.

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        I wish I could “like” your comment a million times.
        I try to explain this to the people that come to my door to try and “save” me, but they really, honestly, do NOT comprehend doing something good JUST TO DO SOMETHING GOOD.
        “How do you know right from wrong without Jesus/God in your heart?”
        Are you fucking kidding me?

      • Guest093

        Yes, part of gaining everlasting life is almost exactly what you said, loving God with your whole heart soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30)(John 17:3) And in doing so you gain the wisdom to know right and wrong.

        Why would a Christian come to your door? Some false Christians come to ask for donations for their church and to condemn you to a fiery hell for not coming to their church, while others come to teach from the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses for instance want to share a positive message about the future…the one God’s son, Jesus spoke about in the gospels about gaining everlasting life. The thing we’re trying to really relay is what actions are acceptable to God so that you might GAIN everlasting life and be a permanent resident of God’s Kingdom when the time comes for him to instill that Kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven. (Daniel 2:44). This has nothing to do with US gaining salvation. It’s about you! This is why we volunteer (nope we’re not paid). Because we love people and want them to have everlasting life.

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        Whatever. If I have to bow down and except things that I find offensive and/or against my nature, then, I don’t WANT everlasting life.
        Give me a break.
        What kind of life is that?

      • aikanae

        “Especially if you perform that good mostly, only because you think it’ll get you to heaven.”

        Thank you! Doing “good” for personal payoff isn’t being altruistic or compassionate.

    • Bingo Knight

      “You also ignored the enormous good that has resulted from religion”

      False equivalence falacy! One more and I yell “bingo”!!

    • freethinker666

      Name one good thing that would not have happened without religion.

      • Jonathan Kline

        Christmas. Best time of the year.

      • aikanae

        Winter solstice – the days get longer again. There’s a good chance, IMO, that people would naturally celebrate the second half of winter passing similar to a mid-winter “hump day”. Maybe we should do “Christmas” every Wednesday?

      • Nerdsamwich

        It was the Saturnalia first. Christmas is where it is in the calendar because the Church couldn’t people to stop celebrating on that date anyway, so they put something more acceptable there.

    • Nerdsamwich

      Mao and Stalin weren’t trying to establish an atheistic state, they were trying to establish a cult OF the state. In both instances, all opposition to the ruling regime became blasphemy, with the attendant punishment for such that cults invariably impose.

    • Ben Cowgill

      Lame argument

  • AlienFactor

    “Tripping the Rift” Season 1 Episode 1 – “God is my pilot”. The crew go back to the beginning of time and accidentally kill God – and return to a utopian future without religion, hate, or crime.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      ……….and:::: and ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; NO CHRISTMAS ???
      are U insane?? :))

      • Kerplactus

        Yes, it would then be called Winter Solstice or Winter Shopping Orgy month.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        if U dared call it that sarah palin will be camped in front of your place….calling U a secular Kenyan commie white-hating socialist martian muslim

      • andrew mladinich


      • decreator


      • Nerdsamwich

        Being hated that roundly by Sarah Palin is probably the best endorsement of a human being I can think of.

  • allinfun

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” —–American physicist Steven Weinberg

  • Matthew Reece

    Now, take all of the above reasoning and apply it to government, realizing that most of the above crimes would be nearly impossible without the assistance of rulers. A glimpse of an anarchist world suddenly becomes much less fearful.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      matt,,,,,,,,,,,,,, that theory is nearly pristine: the application OF that is impossible as we as a planet have our instincts which drive us all; from protozoans to humans: we want to succeed and don’t care about others. witness ant colonies; just a big government

  • Bill Herman

    Religion has been used to justify all the many wars throughout history. It has never really justified anything but being an excuse to try and gain power and economic assets at the expense of the opposing side(s).
    This even goes on with sports teams. Two football teams on the field before the kickoff, both kneeling and praying for victory to the same god. LOL

  • j p

    it is comical that those blaming religion for the world’s ills never point out the lives saved by religious people and their charity. they also never want to discuss the far more people killed by secular humanist institutions.

    • Nerdsamwich

      Oh, yeah, totally. The Southern Poverty Law Center is just one big atrocity mill.

      • Eoin Maloney

        And don’t get me started on Dudeists. Woof, a bunch of preachy Hitlers.

      • Nerdsamwich

        Dude, what? Did you just non-ironically cite InfoWars? Alex Jones arguing for something is some of the strongest evidence I can think of against it.

      • winsmith

        Did the other links not work or are you just stupid? Lazy maybe?

      • Nerdsamwich

        Oh, they worked. And it appears they all went to one or another conspiracy nut page, about up to the level of InfoWars. On a good day.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      shall we weigh out the deaths and disfigurements by religion over the eons VS the ” charity” done by religion??? probably 75% of the so-called charity is done with the anchor of making the recipient OF that charity listen to/read/ do what the religion wants. that’s not charity– that’s control. Charity in its purest form is not hand cuffed; it is anonymous in application

    • freethinker666

      Read up on the Irish Laundries, and then get back to me.

  • 2Smart2bGOP

    My belief, and I don’t inflict it upon anyone, is that God created the divine spark that would eventually become Man. Man then created God in Man’s own image, and invented religion in order to keep his fellow man frightened, easily manipulated, and easily controlled. God has nothing to do with religion.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      100% correct. GOD simply is what is–

  • Jeremy Noyes

    Regardless of your belief system everyone should at least agree that the premise of religion is based on what happens to us when we die and then we should all agree that nobody knows jack shit about the “Afterlife”

  • merryprankster

    The premise for this article is all wrong. The reason for all horrific things that happen on the name of religion isn’t due to the religions, it’s due to the people. A world without religion will simply be a world were people use something else as an excuse for their atrocities. The problem with humanity isn’t the systems, it’s the people themselves. If we want a better world we need to become a better species, not blame it on our systems and endlessly try to change them.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      hey idiot,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, as religion has ONLY humans as religions agents Ur rhetoric is proven false. the history of ALL religions is fraught with destruction. I agree with bettering us as a species; however religion doesn’t do this. any (??) benefits is rudely offset by the control exerted BY religious zealots and leaders. Theory cannot be reality with wild cards such as what animals do to each other– from protozoans to humans we all are guilty and this may minimalize but never change– its in our DNA

  • Anthony Clifton

    Allen Clifton. A few points:

    By your own definition of what a religion is, liberalism, communism and every other ideology would also be religions. You’re essentially arguing that nobody should ever suggest that society can be improved… which you yourself seem to be doing.

    You also butcher historical reality, implying a greater role of religion in things like the holocaust and “forgetting” to factor in the positive role religion played in all of those events. In fact, you seem to “forget” every positive thing that religion has contributed to society.

    You ham-handedly lump all religions together as if they are all the same. It’s like saying that we need a world without any kind of ideology. The differences of what people stand for matters. When you criticize individuals who did things that are not supported by their religion at large, you aren’t even making an effective critique of that religion, let alone ALL religions.

    Frankly, your conclusion that a world without organized religion would be this improved utopia of everyone being united and happy is laughable. You seriously believe that people do not have bad, abusive intentions without religion? You seriously believe that religious people, contributing by far the most charity in the world, are a net negative force toward unity and helping others?

    • freethinker666

      “In fact, you seem to “forget” every positive thing that religion has contributed to society. Name three,

      • Jonathan Kline

        Christmas, Easter, and Hanukkah. Now, as to which religion we have to thank for that, idk.

      • Anthony Clifton

        1) Canon law, the foundation for our legal system.
        2) Massive amounts of charity in terms of money, time and blood.
        3) The concept of international law.

      • aikanae

        1) May have contributed to that type of law, but there’s a good chance people would organize some system naturally.
        2) Massive amounts of charity? Is that how religions become so wealthy and powerful. On the contrary, most religions have some rational for “giving to get” (usually promises of an afterlife).
        3) See 1.

      • Anthony Clifton

        1) Except that is not what happened. Therefore it is 100% accurate to point to this as an example of a positive contribution to society.

        2) You are seriously denying that charity is a good thing for society?

        3) See 1.

  • dittoheadadt

    What a stupid argument, to conflate Christianity and Islam. The Crusades occurred nearly a thousand years ago, radical Islam is a cancer on civilization TODAY. One religion evolved and advanced; the other is still stuck in the Dark Ages. Other than that, your argument is sound.


    • Rob Bailey

      Christianity and Islam are the same thing; the texts match up almost perfectly. Biggest difference – the more Conservative version (Islam) has resulted in more oppression and stricter adherence to the stories.

  • Caroline Reznicek

    I have to agree with Allen Clifton’s article in it’s entirety. Well said and well thought out version of what I have been saying for years and years. My favorite songs have stated the same things. John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter’s “One Tim Soldier”. Of course both have been blindly demonized by so called “Christians” since they were written in the 1960’s. Thanks for this great article, Allen Clifton!

  • freethinker666

    From what I’ve read, the crusades and Inquisitions resulted in the deaths of tens of millions.

  • Secular_Humanist

    Some of my friends claim to be Christians. When the “need” arrises, I ask what Jesus said in the “Sermon of the Mound?” The resulting blank stares I get are priceless; all ranting stops right then and there.

    • Jonathan Kline

      You’d probably get a better response if you asked about the Sermon on the Mount. Not that they’d necessarily know, but you really SHOULD be getting blank stares about the Sermon on the Mound.

  • Scott Cornett

    “Imagine” – John Lennon

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  • jim

    “All the horrors that have been (and continue to be) justified in the name of religion – would have never existed” talk about assuming facts not in evidence. Stalin did not do his mass murders in the name of religion & neither did the communist chinese. People have been killing each other for a lot of different reasons/excuses since the beginning of time. Sometimes they use religion as their reason/excuse – sometimes they use tribalism. Lots of times it’s been over politics, real estate, racism & a lot of the time it’s just for the hell of it because human beings can be really mean bastards.
    Quit trying to find things to blame and just put the blame where it belongs – individuals take actions – horrible results ensue.

  • Doonerbandit

    I’d love to see a follow up article to this titled imagine the world without extreme political ideologies. Imagine that no world wars no Spanish civil war no Korean war or Vietnam war. Imagine a congress getting shit done.

  • Frederick Jaxheimer

    Okay, I’m am imagining the World without it. Yes, no Lutheran World Relief, which reached out to help 7,759,262 people in 35 countries last year alone. No Diakon Social Services ( programs annually serve between 50,000 and 60,000 people in Pennsylvania & MD), No Catholic Charities , no Salvation Army, no YMCA, & no Christian Appalachian Project, all were launched and have been sustained by the organized Church. No pastors or priests on staff to comfort those that mourn or are hospitalized. – yes there are people that want the government to be the provider for everyone’s every need, but how is that working for them? The Church can see a need and take action .. – say give a man a coat… the government first must check and see if the man was already given a coat before, and is there another person in his town that needs one more based on some law or program policy. Does this man meet ALL the requirements for that entitlement? The poor guy might live in the wrong County or State to get his entitlement from this particular distribution center – we have regulations you know. (I have witnessed this happen in Kentucky with respect to Gov assisted or sponsored Food pantries). Before the poor man freezes to death waiting, let the Church (the organized faithful) just give the man a coat !! .. no one needs to ask if he sold his previous coat, was careless and lost his coat or if he moved up here from Florida. There does not have to be a search for another person in greater need…for the Church is a ministry and does true charity. In disaster response, it is the Church that gets to the scene and does ministry and provides care long before private industry or government agencies get there. Why? Because the Church is a movement and it is staged everywhere and only its detractors claim it is bad to be organized or have elements of an institution. I think that “Organized” corporations must be bad, and “Organized government” is also bad.. it must be based on the logic that organized religion is bad. It is not a pretty sight, this glimpse of a world without the organized Church. There would be no Food Pantry in my neighborhood because it is established and maintained by the volunteers and donations of the local 10 Christian Congregations. I’m seeing a country and a world where we must rely on private sector corporations, civic clubs and/or the Government to be the provider, protector and minister to every need. Imagining that is a horrid nightmare. .

  • Erin Anderson

    We didn’t invade Iraq because of Religion, we did it to protect the Petro-dollar and to take control of the Iraqi oil fields.

  • oscruggs

    This is the most wicked thing I have ever read. A world without religion is a world with no Gods, no control, no purpose, and no reason. If human beings lived in a world without religion then humans will eventually live in a world with no gender which is slowly leading to that and then humans will live in a world without race cause everybody will be having sex with each other as if sex has no value and we would all be a mixture of every race. We will all be wild animals. Religion is the only difference between human and animal. I dont know about you but im not a damn animal. Its really akward that this guy used the term “Hell” twice in his paragraph but is informing about a non religous world and Hell does exist in Christianity. Btw a world with no religion is a world with no God which will just be a world with just man/human and the information above does say religion is man made. “So I wonder” who is the creator of the universe? You really cant say science is the answer cause that is man/human thought and if you do agree that it is all science then you believe in scientology which is man/human made.

    • Kanye Beadly

      “relifion is the only difference between human and animal” you are living proof of how deluded and fanatical followers of organized religion are. So according to you atheists are animals because they don’t have a religion?

      • oscruggs

        Eventually yes if a great majority or all of the people was in the world without religion. Cause if your an atheist in your mindset you shouldnt fear no God nor shouldnt you be judge by your actions you should be able to do whatever you want without feeling any kind of guilt just as a animal. Oh but wait their are laws that are made by man in which most laws came from religious groups that follow some type of God so people would be in order and not out of order like wild animals. So I guess if your an atheist you worship man/male just as you are but who the fuck wants to worship something that makes mistakes and is limited. So in the end atheist worship something but its not God.

  • ajLOU

    I couldn’t agree more. I grew up Catholic, but the hypocrisy of organized religion (in particular), has alienated me completely. When bringing up our son, we never went to church, and I taught my son to live by a simple rule we all know: treat everyone you meet the way you would want to be treated. So simple. And he is a wonderful, caring and open-minded adult. I realize that many people have a need to believe there is a higher power that controls and explains everything, but the fact is that God doesn’t start wars, people start them out of hate…usually based on ethnic background or religious differences. I find it heartbreaking that we seem to be leading up to more war, and more division between us, despite the fact that we are all people who love America. Differences based on religious beliefs. It’s going backwards in time. When will we learn from history and not repeat our mistakes?