Religion is the most wasteful of all human activities throughout the ages

Religion in its many forms has wasted more human effort, life and capital than any other pursuit in history. That religion was necessary for intellectual evolution does not excuse it. If we could refocus that lost energy towards fostering a sense of world community and equality think how simpler life might be today.

I long for religion's demise.

Here is my belief system as it applies to religion:

* How we understand Existence is divided into three kinds: What humans think we know (this constantly changes), what humans acknowledge we don't yet know, and what humans can never know (because we lack the senses to perceive): the last two are sometimes called the "ineffable". None of these is outside of nature. There is nothing that is supernatural; if anything exists at all, it's part of nature: our ability to perceive it, matters not to its existence.

* We are a world filled with billions of personal religions - one religion to one believer: Like fingerprints, no two people believe exactly the same ideas about even their commonly shared religion. In effect, everyone is making up their own religion as they go, grabbing the bits they like and unhinging themselves from the bits they don't; the guy sitting just next to you at church is worshiping God in an ever-so-slightly, but materially different way. If that isn't proof that religion is simply a man-made construct to fill in our ignorance of existence, I don't know what is.

* Theism isn't ever necessary to live a kind, loving, holy, reverent, spiritual life. And, more often, theism causes the opposite, whatever it's original intent may have been.

* Love they neighbor as thyself, or do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a valid fixed standard for human behavior that needs nothing of God to achieve it's universal human relevance.

For those of you Big Thinkers out there who are theists, how do you make sense of religion?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less