I am no longer a member of the Church of Denmark. I’ve been a member all my life, but I’ve never believed in anything. (If you’re not interested in reading a somewhat aimless rant on religion, don’t continue reading). I don’t really know exactly why my parents chose to sign me up. I believe in the scientific method; nothing is set in stone. It doesn’t make any sense for me to just come up with a random fictional story and make like it’s real. It’s a waste of time and a hurdle for curiosity.
When(if) I have kids, I want to try and raise them without belief or non-belief; let them choose for themselves. In Denmark there is something called “christian studies” in elementary schools, so kids at age about 8 are taught about god. Sometimes you end up with a teacher who is a christian and it’ll pretty much be indoctrination. You can opt-out of this, but that won’t keep your kids from being curious(especially since you’re keeping them away from it), I don’t mind that, but I mind basically having to fight a school every day to keep some teacher’s beliefs out of my kids’ head. Every time there has been talk about replacing this class with just “religion”, the idea is dismissed, since the majority of people in Denmark are members of the Church of Denmark, even if they don’t believe in that stuff. It’s usually just laziness, “I like churches esthetically” or “if we don’t support them, they will just appear everywhere”(Since they won’t be organized), but as long as there is a majority the church will have too much control and it’ll be a leverage for politicians purely because of some statistic. So I decided I didn’t want to be a part of that statistic.
The other day I saw some comment, which said that all atheists are immoral. I’ve never understood why some people believe that human beings loose the ability to act nice and be selfless if they don’t believe in supernatural beings. Empathy does not spawn from some arbitrary set of rules and an indistinct threat of eternal damnation. It exists as a result of a complex system of neurons and it is molded by the environment. If anything, being raised with a set of rules without motive or rational explanation will more likely lead to people trying to find loopholes or relying on forgiveness from a supernatural being to try and circumvent said rules or sins. People don’t follow rules merely because they exist, and simple teaching won’t make people understand why those rules are. You can’t just force people to be good to each other, they need to understand why intrinsically, or there won’t be any incentive to be good.
There doesn’t need to be religion to give life meaning, it seems that people have trouble understanding this; you have to give your life meaning yourself, there is no specific rational need for the universe to make sense other than to ourselves. Why does everything always have to make sense? And if you choose a god to make your life have meaning, why? How do you in any way gain anything from believing that? All it does is make us able to throw away rational thinking and not pursue a better understanding of the universe and ourselves.