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Stalin, Pol Pot, the leaders of North Korea, etc.

Bullshit. Communist personality cults are about the best example of religious thinking run amok that we can point to, in recent history.

Same mental bug, different exploit.

Calling an anti-religious organization "religious thinking" points to misuse of the word "religious" more than anything.

Go to North Korea and call their citizens "atheists" or "irreligious." They will send you home in a box.

They don't worship god(s) as we tend to think of them in Western culture, but the personality cult of the Kim family is as much a part of their spiritual lives as Christ or Muhammad is to Christians and Muslims. They are atheists only in the narrowest of technical senses.

You cherry picked.

So, to summarize our disagreement, you're going to stand there and tell me, with a straight face, that these images all depict different social phenomena.





Cherry picking is one thing, but when cherries fall from the sky, at some point you have to wonder if you've stumbled into a cherry orchard.

It's human nature to see patterns and to generalize, but your bias is that you see religion as nothing but a brainwashing and control mechanism for the weak-minded, and you equate all such mechanisms with religion. It's not that I disagree with your original post, but "religion" is not essence of the problem.

but your bias is that you see religion as nothing but a brainwashing and control mechanism for the weak-minded

Actually I see it as a brainwashing and control mechanism for almost everyone. If I were accusing 90% of people in all walks of life of being "weak-minded" you'd have a good point. Instead, my experience is that intelligence is almost completely orthogonal to religiosity.

It seems clear that both theistic religions and human personality cults take advantage of a bug in our mental OS that shuts down our critical faculties in the presence of authority figures who adopt a certain psycholinguistic posture.

The religion bug was undoubtedly a useful feature at one time. ("Hey, dumbass. Refrigeration won't be invented for another 2,000 years. Don't eat shrimp or pork." "Uh, why not?" "Well, because, um, because God said he will kill you if you do.") However, it now serves only as a root exploit for use by hackers with less-than-honest motivations. We still have the bug in the code base because of how important it was to our survival in the distant past. It must be 'fixed' at a conscious level, because it isn't going to be deselected by evolutionary forces anytime soon.

This all seems so obvious to me that I believe (there's that word again!) that the burden of proof lies with anyone who disagrees with me. Maybe I have a similar bug, myself. :)

“Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.” -- V.I. Lenin

Yes, for the same reason that a company selling Macs necessarily uses propaganda against PCs.

Stalin didn't want to get rid of religion. He wanted to get rid of competition.

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