Three articles appear below:

1. A Brief History of Religion
2. "Prof. Brian De Kretser"
3. "A Brief History…" Misinformed


A BRIEF HISTORY OF RELIGION

(Investigator 125, 2009 March)


All religions are superstitions based on ancient myths and the fertile minds of men, who for power and or riches, for personal gain or benefit, fostered these fairy tales of gods, devils, heaven, hell, world saviors, sins and forgiveness, at a price on ignorant mankind.

The formation of religion took place thousands of years ago when mankind was totally ignorant and superstitious, attributing natural happenings e.g. storms, volcanoes, tidal waves etc. to the work of angry gods who had to be appeased by sacrifices. "Ignorance is the parent of superstition and superstition is the parent of religion."

Rulers and priests quickly realized that they were on a good thing:
"Religion is regarded by the simplest as true, by the wisest as false and by the rulers as useful." (Seneca 4 bc – 65 ad)

"First men had worshipped the forces of nature. This primitive animism had been accepted because it had not tried to get beyond this world. The rot had set in when people had started to personify the sun, wind and sea to create gods in their own image and likeness. Finally they merged all these godlings into one big deity, which was nothing but a projection and a mass of contradictions. Poets and theologians had done nothing over the centuries but make a gigantic exaggerated man, whom they will render illusory by dint of heaping together incompatible qualities. Human beings strive to aggrandize the proportions, until they have formed a being totally inconceivable. The cradle of religion, therefore, was ignorance and fear, and mature enlightened men must climb out of it."
(Paul Heinrich—Baron of Holbach (1723-1789)
These myths have been recycled down thousands of years, constantly amended to suit the times, purveyors of that particular religion at that particular time, and the god-men/saviors they were promoting. People of old can be excused, they were completely ignorant, but for this to continue in today’s world, with all the available knowledge and science, there is no excuse.
"Religion can be regarded as a virus of the mind." (Prof. Richard Dawkins)
 
There is no shortage of the simple minded who believe, even the so called educated.

Religion still dominates the world and causes more deaths than all wars combined. It is this blind faith in religion by the masses that enables it to thrive.

"Faith is belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge of things without parallel." (Ambrose Bierce)
As Karl Marx would say, "…Religion is an artificial creation of the human mind, seeking to explain that which appears inexplicable, to justify that which is often unjustifiable, to console those who seek consolation. The purpose of religion is primarily to conceal reality in a veil of delusion. In its essence religion is an illusion, the opiate of deluded people."

Prof. Brian de Kretser,
Institute for Research into Religions,
Darwin, Australia.  





"PROF. BRIAN DE KRETSER"

(Investigator 126, 2009 May)


I was bemused to read in Investigator #125, "A Brief History of Religion", by Professor Brian de Kretser, Institute for Research into Religions, Darwin, Australia.
    
The article was knocking religion in general. I agree with Bertrand Russell’s observation that at most only one of the major religions can be true, as they contradict each other. Accordingly, the central claims of most of the major religions must be wrong, but this does not necessarily mean that all religions are wrong, as Brian seems to imply.
    
However, Brian's article did not contain any evidence or argument, but was just a collection of assertions and the quoted opinions of others, and was also a vivid illustration of the genetic fallacy.
    
Assertions and opinions are meaningless and prove absolutely nothing. If you think of any random theory, you can always find some idiot who proposed it. Cherry picking quotes can "prove" almost anything.
    
The nature of Brian's article does not seem to befit a professor. I have a deep suspicion that the Institute for Research into Religions has a membership of 1 and Professor Brian de Kretser does not have any students.
    
I am not sure whether Brian is having us on, but I suggest that if he wants to parade himself as a professor, then he should start by arguing like one.

Kevin Rogers



 

"A BRIEF HISTORY…" MISINFORMED

Anonymous

(Investigator 126, 2009 May)


De Kretser (#125) commenced "A Brief History of Religion" sweepingly with: "All religions are superstitions based on ancient myths of men who…for personal gain or benefit fostered these fairy tails…on ignorant mankind."

An "All" statement requires only one exception to prove it wrong. My exception is the Bible. In over 100 articles in Investigator I've demonstrated hundreds of points in the Bible correct — even cases of science being wrong and being revised to agree with the Bible.

In The Bible Holy or Horrible? (#118) I answered various atheist accusations and showed that numerous Christian ministries have immeasurably improved peoples' living conditions throughout the world. Modern science, for example, began in Christianity, and thousands of schools and hospitals are run by Christian churches.

A few of many Australian ministries are:
•    Habitat for Humanity which builds houses for impoverished people in Asia and Africa;
•    The Leprosy Mission which supports leprosy research and helps lepers with loans, surgery and education; and
•    The Paraclete Institute dedicated to the care and education of orphans in Malawi.
Individuals also, who take the Bible seriously, everywhere do great things just as Jesus foretold: "The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, in fact will do greater works than these…" (John 14:12)

A "retard" of my acquaintance who could barely talk and faced institutionalization for life, learned to read, and speak clearly, after the age of 30, by using the Bible. Thankful for the independence thus gained the person wanted to the cure blind; and raised funds for 1000 cataract surgeries.

Imagine if ignorant comment like De Kretser's (or of other misguided atheists) discouraged the millions of individuals who do good, or the thousands of ministries, what a much-more tragic world it would be!  

It would be a world like the atheistic rule of Russia, China, Cambodia and North Korea — a world of "gulags", persecution, poverty, famine, and displaced or exiled populations, where "might makes right", and hundreds of millions of people are murdered!

De Kretser's list of quotes from atheists who share his prejudice includes Karl Marx on whose philosophy atheistic Communism was based. Considering the evil results of Communist rule it's appropriate to change one key word and toss the quote back:
"Atheism is an artificial creation of the human mind… The purpose of atheism is primarily to conceal reality in a veil of delusion. In essence atheism is an illusion, the opiate of deluded people."

Skeptics and Bible defenders comment on biblical teachings and topics on this website:
http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/