Religion Kills Progress

Religion kills progress

How are you getting on with that personal jetpack? How about the hoverboard? The functional immortality? Did you enjoy your day trip to the moon? Are you really relocating to another star system for the opportunities? Aren't you glad that all disease is eradicated, and nobody ever gets ill? All of these things would be possible for you NOW if it wasn't for... religious organisations, because religion kills progress, or systematically obstructs it, at the very least.

That's a heap of blame to lay at the door of those who insist their timeshared imaginary friend rules the universe, so what is it based on? Take a look at this picture:-

Religion kill progress

This is GDP per capita for the UK dating back to the thirteenth century, average income if you prefer. That's effectively how rich individuals were, adjusted for inflation. You'll notice that until the start of the nineteenth century, incomes essentially went nowhere. People lived a shitty hand-to-mouth existence, and life expectancies track this fairly well too. Why is it important? Because incomes and life expectancies are a pretty handy proxy for how 'good' a person's life is. Until the scientific revolution kicked in, life for the vast majority of people on this planet was literally nasty, brutish and short. That chart can be extended right back to Roman times, by the way; there's nothing else to see except a flat line.

For the scientific revolution to get going, it was necessary for a critical mass of humans (the deep thinkers and intellectuals, as it happens) to reject the existing dogma of the religious, and stand up for the counting. It was necessary for them to make it known that 'god did it' was NOT an acceptable answer. That was no easy task, and it was dangerous too. It's no exaggeration to say that the stranglehold of religion on the minds of humanity has proven incredibly hard to shift; presumably because those in control benefit so spectacularly from it, and have deployed every resource they possess to try and keep the 'fantasy sky daddy' plates spinning. Religion kills progress wherever possible, especially scientific progress, by pretending to already have all the answers you need, and by insisting that you rein in your curiosity because it is in some way 'offensive to the deity'. They manage this through a combination of mind-control techniques, of Pavlovian simplicity in the main, and in fact, one of the core tricks theistic mental malware likes to employ is to persuade those it infects (the religious) to be proud of an ability to place blind faith over normal human rationality.

Religion kills progress by obstructing curiosity.

In most civilised countries, such as the UK, this lamentable state of affairs is now over; god-bothering has become little more than an irritating tax-dodging irrelevance, and churches are being converted into luxury condos as congregations go into terminal decline. Elsewhere though, it maintains its death grip on the fragile minds of the local population, shamelessly and ruthlessly exploiting the relative lack of education to ensure its own persistence, no matter what the human cost back out in the real world. Just like the tobacco companies, in fact. The efforts the religious go to in order to prevent rational thought and obstruct natural human curiosity are truly extraordinary, convincing me that religion kills progress almost by definition. But why? What's the point? It has no choice. Progress is incompatible with religion, because dogma by definition demands you accept an existing answer, no matter how nonsensical. Looking for the real answer is regarded as somehow unfaithful; something to be avoided at all costs in order to avoid annoying the great invisible beardy guy in the clouds... They are still at it to this very day, of course:- the Catholic Church, for example, has only recently accepted that evolution and the Big Bang are actually real, and then only because continual denial was starting to cause sniggering in the pews.

If you aren't religious, you may be labouring under the delusion that gods, demons, heavens and hells are of no significance in your own life, but you'd be wrong. Even without direct contact, the religious have screwed you over, big time. How is that? Religion killed progress, or willingly helped to obstruct it for over a thousand years; it took us that long to throw off the yoke of Christianity. Ask yourself what kind of world you'd now be living in if we'd managed to even halve that period of religious mental slavery, if we'd understood earlier that religion kills progress and must be stopped. Imagine what YOUR life would be like right now if the scientific revolution had kicked off 500 years earlier, or even a couple of hundred years sooner. You may find that unimaginable; if so, try imagining instead what someone from the year 1817 would think if you could bring them forward into our world. What a soldier from the battle of Waterloo might think of jet liners, the Internet, and modern medicine. There's absolutely no reason why science couldn't have gotten up and running earlier, except for the virulent cancer of religion, stifling progress at every turn in the pursuit of its own survival. Imagine what wonders of science you'd be able to witness right now, if religion had been abandoned earlier. Imagine how many more people would be alive, and enjoying their existences in ways we are only just beginning to explore. And no, religion didn't 'preserve what little science there was through the dark ages'. Religion demonstrably obstructed (often with extreme violence) the attempts of visionary men and women to extend the boundaries of real knowledge and improve the human lot.

If religion killed progress, did it have an accomplice? It would only be rational to assume other factors played a part, but none of them have demonstrated the sheer coherent persistence of god-bothering memes across the millennia. Through changes of government, the coronation and death of kings, the flowering and decay of empires; one backdrop remains constant. Correlation ain't causation, but that sure looks like a smoking gun to me. If you think about it, it's hard to see how religions could not obstruct progress:- after all, if you use this -> definition of religion <- all of them require their subscribers to believe in bizarre and supernatural nonsense, like miracles, heavens, hells, next lives etc. Hardly conducive to rational scientific thought now, is it?

The only bright spot in this whole sad sordid affair is that rationality can return the favour, because scientific progress kills religion, and a mighty fine job it's been doing, especially this last hundred years or thereabouts. So in short, the answer is yes, if you're asking 'should we be pissed off at religion'. Why wouldn't we be? By killing progress, religion in the form of your imaginary super-friend has cost me my jetpack, thousands of years of extra life, and an existence of unimaginable ease and excitement. Thanks a f*cking bunch.