Y'know, you come off sounding every bit as self-righteous and narrow-minded as any preacher ever did.
your retort that 'but everything wonderful around you is a result of the beauty of Jesus and God'
But s/he never said that; the claim was that *some* of the good around us came from work inspired by or dedicated to religion - not all. Constructing strawmen won't help you deconstruct religion.
I know alot of people will consider this flamebait
Because it is. You might not be religious, religion - particularly the organized kind - might have its flaws, but using phrases like "mass hysteria" or "brainwashing" or "fantasy" to descibe *all* religion is just obnoxious.
you are going to believe it? You donít have to believe - do you - because you have faith. No reason - just faith.
And what's wrong with faith? Solipsism is a singularly useless philosophy, and for anything else you need faith in *something*. Even Descartes recognized as much in his Meditations of First Philosophy, and that's really basic stuff. You seem to have a lot of faith, if I may say so, in your own perceptions and reasoning, incomplete as those might be.
So, again, what's wrong with faith? I'm not asking what's wrong with the Scientologists, or the Catholic Church, or with things that people who have faith happen to do. What's wrong with faith in and of itself? Obviously if one's faith is contradicted by observation that's one thing, but is there anything wrong with believing something not contradicted by observation?
Im finished being afraid and guilty
Apparently you're not finished with being angry, though. The Church still seems to have quite a hold on you, if the mere mention of faith can cause you to have such a hissy fit.
Like you, I was brought up in a very religious environment. Like you, I broke away from it. Unlike you, I've learned to accept that what's right or wrong for me is not necessarily right or wrong for everyone, recognize that I have my own faith (even if it's not religious) and allow other people theirs.
I make every decision in my life for myself, I *own* all the consequences
And you always did. Religion doesn't change that; most don't even try.
It scares me to wonder what my 'thought' processes would have been like if I had not abandoned my indoctrination.
Here's some news: from where I sit, your thought processes don't look all that great. I've met many religious people who could construct a better argument for their POV than you have done, and then present it more persuasively. Maybe religion isn't to blame for any deficiency in thought processes, and lack of religion is no panacea.