What if Religion doesn't wither away but simply changes under Communism as it did under capitalism?

What if Religion doesn't wither away but simply changes under Communism as it did under capitalism?

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Other urls found in this thread:

archive.org/details/MarxismChristianitySymposium
archive.org/details/UrgencyMarxistChristianDialogue
archive.org/details/ChristianityTodayInTheUSSR
marxists.org/archive/lawrence/2001/human_nature.htm
pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/
pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-unaffiliated/
telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10776023/China-on-course-to-become-worlds-most-Christian-nation-within-15-years.html
masterrussian.com/russia/facts.htm
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being
history.stackexchange.com/questions/9248/how-educated-were-the-clergy-during-the-medieval-period.

As Engels noted, "the only service that can still be rendered to God today is to make atheism a compulsory dogma and to surpass Bismarck's anticlerical Kulturkampf laws by prohibiting religion in general."

Religion was not banned in the USSR. Churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. existed, as did clergy and the publication of religious texts.

The struggle against religion is waged chiefly via debate. In the first two decades of the USSR anti-religious propaganda and even violence came about due to the fact that the Orthodox Church and most clergy of the other faiths were linked to Tsarism and local exploiting classes, and had resisted both soviet power and collectivization.

When churches were closed or torn down, this was supposed to be done with the consent of the local population. Yaroslavsky, head of the USSR's atheist organization in the 1920s-30s, criticized violations of this tenet.

As the CPSU pointed out, under socialism a new generation of clergy came into being that supported the socialist state even if they themselves were not Marxists. Both this clergy and ordinary believers were to be treated respectfully.


Yes, but obviously a long-term one, not something that can be accomplished via decrees.


By removing the material conditions that give rise to it and educating people. For example, "the real danger facing the churches in the GDR today is no longer a direct confrontation with the state. . . Numerous parishes have already dwindled down to a small handful of worshippers, if that. But since the church in the GDR—unlike that in the West—does not have the opportunity of compensating for its dwindling religious substance and attractiveness by social activities, it is hit all the harder by the process of secularization." (Sontheimer and Bleek, The Government and Politics of East Germany, 1975, p. 125.)

In other words the church no longer had the need to dispense charity to the destitute or carry out other societal functions. One's belief in religion was not tied to economic or cultural considerations. This obviously weakens the influence of religion.

There are three books I've scanned you might find of interest:

* archive.org/details/MarxismChristianitySymposium

* archive.org/details/UrgencyMarxistChristianDialogue

* archive.org/details/ChristianityTodayInTheUSSR

This is more likely to happen than for it to simply wither away.

The maker of this image forgot to add "enforcing private property laws"

religion as it is today, definitely needs to whither away. Most Christian places of worship in the U.S. are bastions of reactionary ideology. They also ameliorate the problems created by capitalism by setting up charities, so all the externalities that come with the economic system are offloaded onto them, and these religious organizations then benefit by either getting an opportunity proselytize, or advertise their "good works".
I really don't like organized religion and I think it's mind poison. That said, the Christ-coms are OK, because they at least try to curb that poison to benefit us.

But these material conditions and debates and such only go after religion in its current form and ones akin to Christianity

However religion have been apart of humanity forever what is to say that it won't simply take on new forms under communism as it did in ALL economic systems?

What "needs to happen" is different from what will happen

I don't see how leftism can continue without taking a more religious role.

Why would someone risk their life any die for a cause without believing in any sort of after life?
It seems that the more capitalism you get the more people ditch religion for a more materialist lifestyle

The USSR was more Christian than the capitalist EU is today

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idk, ask all the people in revolutions who did it and didn't believe in god

okay

praise jesus we aint slaves to profit no mo'

Is there a point you're trying to make?

It's already withering away under capitalism

Under communism we should aim to educate the population in philosophy, and through this build a secular-atheist form of spirituality based in an advanced form of dialectical materialism.

Dialectical materialism isn't anything like vulgar bourgeois materialism, which is in all ways the opposite of proper spirituality. It does know a spirituality, in that it loves all superstitious things that drive people to consume and work without reflection. It generates a kind of Western Buddhism, or "mindfulness," of which the purpose is to separate the individual from their history, and bring them fully into "the moment," an ideological construction embodying the expectations of capital. An enormous industry is built around such commodified spiritual experience. People look at spirituality as a way out of the bourgeois materialist logic, only to find themselves more deeply sucked into it.

Needless to say socialist spirituality will be very different. The first thing to note is that, whereas the mode of spirituality associated with class society is based in thought (e.g. meditation, idealist self-reflection), socialist spirituality makes the revolutionary step of instead asserting living labor (reproduction of oneself in the world, materialist self-reflection) to be the true locus of spirituality. To be spiritual is to create, to struggle. It is historical, trying to build upon a tradition and impose oneself on it. It is dialectical, always working to dealienate the laborer from his labor.

Proletarian spirituality should exist within a single space, no, be indistinguishable from proletarian art and science.

Obviously we will do ceremonies, just without the magic thinking, people mostly go to churches and all that for the community function.

Educated does not = atheist

why

Why religion is on the decline, in a century most people will be atheists.

atheism is on the decline though

humanity is on the decline though

its not

not OP but thank you, high quality post

No probs, we are already saw this in things like liberation theology, we can coexist with religion and work for the betterment of the society. I believe education will make people less religious though, just like we can see happening in the developed world now (not necessarily today, but in the last 10~20 years), and eventually religion will be replaced by more sophisticated forms of metaphysics and ethics (like dialectical materialism).

Capitalism is the grinding stone by which all inferior cultures are wiped away.

Communism is just a religious concept. Why would a concept of religion destroy religion? lol

Found the boomer

Well if you don't do the ceremonies you'll probably leave a gap, and something else arises.

Religion should help people understand that the world whose creator is worthy of their worship is this one, instead of asserting that the creator of heaven is worthy of worship. For this world has merely improved greatly, and is not yet Heaven, but indeed has both that potential and much to love about it today.

Communism is a core human yearning, much like religion itself. However it is not a religion, especially in the way that Marx uses the term.

Here, have a boongish jape that leads nowhere:
Ewia abwohvt! Tio fzwupa! Owtyt pairz! Ner lelg eha!

these are magic words

There is nothing natural about communism. It goes directly against human nature

marxists.org/archive/lawrence/2001/human_nature.htm

Paying for worship is worse than paying for sex.
If my religious beliefs revolve around sex, then forcing me to pay for sex is a violation of my rights to free practice. That's two count violations in one package.

this is extremely relevant to the discussion at hand

It isn’t


Religion is a brainworm.

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Humans lived in communism for thousands of years. Communism is in your blood.

It does though. The more educated you get, the less practical implications religion ends up having. In the end God becomes a mere philosophical abstraction, standing at the head of a system functionally indistinguishable from atheism.

Yeah. Communism is about stealing and prostitution. Crony capitalism is just communism with cash as a distraction.

Primitive Communism and FALC will be very different. It’s like saying Nineteenth Century India is the same as San Fransisco because both are under the capitalist mode of production.

Then that's how it will be. At such a point it's not really a "danger" in any way, especially given its lack of institutional and financial power.

When Marx said "religion is the opium of the people", it was just a keen observation and not a value-judgement ("people are stupid to believe in this shit").

So maybe something else is replacing religion as opium. Think of video games, for example.

Religion in most modern countries would die within a generation if parents weren't allowed to indoctrinate their kids with religious ideology before they could think properly.

How would you stop this? it goes a bit beyond personal intrusion on a citizen's life.

…By making it nearly in possible for other citizens to have their own personal life. Then you can charge citizens rent for exclusive rights to practice something other citizens are not allowed to. It's a loophole to intrude on citizens by making it appears as if they are intruding on you.

The only religions that would have to be actively suppressed in a socialist revolution would be
Evangelical Christianity
Catholicism
Wahabist Islam (and 90 percent of this could be destroyed simply by isolating Saudi Arabia)
Zionist Judaism and any Jewish sects sympathetic to Zionism
Hindu Nationalism
And maybe a few tiny groups that don't really cause problems but should be nipped in the bud just in,case like the modern KKK, black Israelites and so on.

Religion as such would wane significantly under socialism and anything left would be completely defanged by the time we got to full communism. Going full Hoxha would be a misstep in today's world particularly in the Western nations

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Spooked af post.

Atheism is the fastest shrinking religion in the world. Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world's population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020,

Real surveys and statistics say atheism is on the decline worldwide. Sorry atheists but atheism is not on the rise nor is it winning. It's still the minority and a declining one at that.

The Pew Research Center's statistics show that atheism is expected to continue to decline all the way into 2050 with a continued growth of religion. Other research also shows a huge surge in growth for Christianity in China which is currently the world's most "atheist" nation because of the atheist communist government suppressing religion, the research suggests that China will soon become the world's most Christian nation within 15 years.

This is simply history repeating itself: Christianity prospered in Rome back in the ancient era when it was suppressed and it still grew in the militant atheist soviet Russia when it was suppressed there only a century ago with the majority of Russians today now also identifying as Christian. Just goes to show that atheist suppression of religion still doesn't stop religion.

Sources for the legion of whiny /Redditor/ fedoras that will no doubt show up it this thread:

pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/
pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-unaffiliated/
telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10776023/China-on-course-to-become-worlds-most-Christian-nation-within-15-years.html
masterrussian.com/russia/facts.htm

nope

thats just a trend that started around a few decades ago

...

buddhism is deeply esoteric

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and yet in the intellectual world apologists continue to suffer defeat after defeat while atheism continues to cement itself as the de facto normal position, and for some mysterious reason i find myself completely unthreatened by the opinions of the chinese masses ;^)
*tips*

Explain to me how the two positions differ then. When you cut down on all the superstitious bullshit all religions converge towards a single knowledge of truth.

Not that, But Maitreya Age trough the depiction in my country is really resemble something around Authoritarian Socialist world to LibSoc World, but with Buddhism Characteristic. Also Maitreya rebellion used to happened in my country before communism becomes a thing when lower class got oppressed.

but this isn't true in the slightest

What are you talking about? The abrahamic religions are widely different from native European, indo european faiths and different from that of the eastern tradition

how can anyone believe this? atheists are several orders of magnitude overly represented in academia, and while the debate on god isn't settled, i can personally inform you that your side is losing ;^)

see
atheism is shrinking, fast
Atheism in academia is a trend that is dying out as well

Because of the colapse of the Eastern Block

Because religious people in Africa have higher birthrates.

links don't support the claim that atheism in academia is declining, and there are arguments to be made against naive projections of demographic changes into the future, but to be honest i don't think i'll really care if it did. the source of my smugness lies in the knowledge that theists at large are unable to vindicate themselves against the basic charge of being unable to justify their beliefs, and i seem to be in good company thinking that, at least for the moment

is that supposed to be some sort of argument? when people aren't forced into atheism they usually don't go with it.

is this supposed counter anything?

the links show a global decline in atheism

atheism is academia is just a trend

but this applies to atheists as well

communism is atheist in nature
something about god being the ultimate hire arch upsets communists

what sense does it make to call atheism in academia a trend, when the so called global decline of atheism is precisely also a trend?

atheism doesn't make the sort of decisive metaphysical commitments that even the most moderate form of theism takes for granted, and its burdens of justification aren't symmetrical in the slightest.

the fact of the global decline of atheism?
because atheist intellectualism is a fairly recent thing

it does though

Your wrong. Athieism doesn’t believe in any sky god or whatever. Athieism is the rejection of those brainworms.

The number of atheists isn't going down, they are merely growing slower than every religious population - which makes sense. Religion tells people to be fruitful and multiply, whereas atheism tends towards anti-natalism.

this is a copypasted Ismail post right?

Unironicaly atheist natalism is needed.

Either that or become better at convincing people.

Intellectuals have always rejected the vulgar religious doctrines peddled to the masses. It is because religion nowadays shows itself to be entirely superstitious that intellectuals have become atheists.
Unlike people in any previous historical era, we are aware of the historical truth of religion, the fact that it is based on fairy tales whose evolution can be easily tracked if you possess the evidence. We also know that none of the creation narratives correspond to the evidence we find in the world. We know that what religion asserts to be moral in fact isn't moral at all, and only based in the prejudice of the people who invented the doctrine.
If religious institutions hadn't been so dogmatic, they might have reinvented the notion of God in a way amenable to these new discoveries. But dogmatism is the means through which religion exerts its power on people! It's the truth of religion. Therefore it was a matter of historical necessity that religion lost its favor among the intellectual classes.

Which is equally well a metaphysical commitment.

Atheism rejects dogma X for their own dogmas

Religious people breeding
Non religious people not breeding

As you can see the number of atheists is declining

This is only true in Western countries though.

Arguing against the creation story pushed by mainline protestants does not = none of the creation narratives correspond to the evidence we find in the world.
The creation story fits quite well with real world evidence

no this is just an opinion

But with atheism comes their own dogmas they've swapped one religion for another

this only applies to strong atheism. your rely on an awful >y-you too to sustain yourself

Which creation story?
You believe that homosexuality being fine is just an opinion?
Atheism doesn't have any dogmas. You're thinking about new atheist idiots, i.e. the majority of people willing to debate atheism online. They don't represent any philosophically sophisticated brand of atheism.

This is a narrative invented so lazy atheists can pretend they have no "burden of proof" or whatever. Pure sophistry. In the real world (outside of the online new atheist circlejerk) everyone who calls themselves "atheist" asserts the belief that god isn't real.
But even if we accept the weak vs. strong atheism distinction, you called atheism the "rejection of those brainworms," which isn't the same as the lack of commitment "weak atheists" are supposed to show.

whichever one you're talking about

How is saying: "homosexuality is fine" anything more than a statement of opinion

no true scotsman
you just made that up. You have no data on what "the majority of people online" will do

i'm not the person who used "rejection of those brainworms", and i didn't claim atheists have no burden of proof. i claimed in a different post that they do have burden of proof, as anyone does, but that it's not a mirror image of the kind of burden of proof incurred by theists for making grandiose metaphysical claims, as the person i was replying to was implying. please don't put words in my mouth

the strong vs weak atheism distinction isn't a "narrative", nor is narrative a word for "categories i dislike", and you are factually wrong about the existence of actual weak atheists. i fully appreciate your distaste for disingenuous atheists who play stupid motte and bailey games, opportunistically shifting between strong and weak atheism to suit the moment, but it has been my experience that the "philosophically sophisticated brand of atheism" is characterized by a general reluctance to commit to any particular metaphysics. also, the strong vs weak atheist distinction doesn't mean confident vs fence sitter. a weak atheism is fully consistent with "strong" critiques of theist epistemology. you can call religious belief a brainworm without having to prove that god doesn't exist.

it's possible
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being

I wasn't talking about any in particular, but let's take the genesis narrative. You might claim that there is some deep metaphorical meaning to it, and I won't stop you from doing so. It might be very valuable. But it's simply a fact that this deeper meaning was never the primary meaning associated to the text. Common people have always treated it as a matter of historical truth.
Further, if you choose to read it as a deep allegory of sorts, why still insist that this book is the one and only work of god? That shows incredible arrogance towards the other world religions. At that point, it would be better to embrace atheism as the truth of our world, and then approach all of the worlds religions as philosophies you can learn from.
You're a moral relativist then? Is that the position you're taking?
Not a no-true-scotsman at all. Did I ever claim that these idiots aren't "true" atheists? They are true atheist, absolute insufferable ones.
I've been online enough to know what types jump on the opportunity to discuss religion. You don't need data on this. What? You're both religious and a vulgar positivist?

Reluctance to commit to any specific metaphysics isn't the same as reluctance to make any metaphysical claims. "Weak atheism" is a useless synonym for agnosticism.
If you call religious belief a brainworm, you must be able to provide a strong argument for disbelief in god. Otherwise your beliefs are just as arbitrary as those of religious people.
The idea that there is any difference between negative and positive beliefs is highly ideological. A lot of theistic arguments are dedicated to proving that theism is the standard mode of human cognition. You can play such games endlessly.

Seeing as most atheists who aren't already breeding are first worlders that is not a responsible idea.

it sure starts seeming like you're upset that there are sophisticated forms of atheism out there

that's not how it works. if i call religious belief a brainworm, i have to justify my belief that religious belief is a brainworm. this has nothing to do with the existence of god.

and they all suck

i forgot to add that i made no distinction between negative and positive beliefs and i dare you to quote me saying otherwise

Can you name the dogmas atheists believe in?

This tends to end poorly. In Poland's case it just cemented the ussr in the role of the foreign oppressor. Cultural engineering tends to play out much difderently than how it is dreamt up in armchairs.

God does not exist
Equality
Bourgeois democracy

these have nothing to do with atheism

This is incorrect. Common people always treating it as a matter of historical truth is a recent development

" Now who is there, pray, possessed of understanding, that will regard the statement as appropriate, that the first day, and the second, and the third, in which also both evening and morning are mentioned, existed without sun, and moon, and stars—the first day even without a sky? And who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God, as if He had been a husbandman, planted trees in paradise, in Eden towards the east, and a tree of life in it, i.e., a visible and palpable tree of wood, so that anyone eating of it with bodily teeth should obtain life, and, eating again of another tree, should come to the knowledge of good and evil? No one, I think, can doubt that the statement that God walked in the afternoon in paradise, and that Adam lay hid under a tree, is related figuratively in Scripture, that some mystical meaning may be indicated by it" Origen on First Principles, Book 4, 16

Well that is a problem of faith not any rational conclusion

Why

How about you answer the question? Why do you feel the need to assign ideology to this?

You're saying no true atheist has dogmas when they most certainly do but you just said that now.

Yeah its atheists who jump at the opportunity the typical "I'm an atheist debate me"

Most atheists are just secular. Nu-atheists do actually have an ideology (it's basically western chauvinism combined with cringey enlightenment aesthetics.) Incidentally the new atheists are the ones who push atheist idpol and promote islamophobia alogside the evangelicals they used to obsess over during the bush years.

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Most atheist replace christianity with Secular Humanism + cultural christian values when it convinces them

not a dogma

has nothing to do with Atheism

has nothing to do with Atheism

It is though.


see

>Now who is there, pray, possessed of understanding, that will regard the statement as appropriate, that the first day, and the second, and the third, in which also both evening and morning are mentioned, existed without sun, and moon, and stars—the first day even without a sky?
And why should this author explain that he is speaking about those who are "possessed of understanding," when, as you propose, every christian already belongs to that group? He might as well not make this distinction at all. Except he does, and this indicates something, namely that my suggestion is true, and common people were always led to understand the scripture literally. Your quote confirms every suspicion I had. From the earliest moments of Christianity common people have been misled by scripture, while the elites hypocritically rationalized its nonsense by calling it "mystical." This ability to simultaneously know that scriptures are normally read literally
For common people, you'll find that the arguments proposed by this author don't appear as self-evident as he holds they are. Those educated in philosophy might have understood that the nature of a "day" consists in the turning of the sun around the earth, but what reason does a common slave have to think this? Someone like that might as well hear of the scripture and conclude, "So it must be that the distinction between night and day precedes the sun and the moon, so that the appearance of these objects follows from it being day or night, rather than the other way around." At first this appears to be as sensible an opinion as any other.
A philosopher, having reflected over these matters more thoroughly, and knowing about the laws governing the motions of the heavenly bodies, and being informed about the phenomena surrounding eclipses… they know better. With a slave, scripture is likely the highest education they've received in their lives.
So it's entirely arbitrary? Is that what you're saying? There must be something that makes you accept one faith rather than another, some rationale behind it.
If not, the same problem persists. Why would you reject other religions when you are exposed to them? Isn't it better to take a bird's eye view over the two of them, and decide that they are two attempts to get at the same truth of the world?
To me, having faith in multiple religions at once is perfectly sensible once you accept that their meaning is mystical rather than literal. After all, who is to say that the mystical core of the religions isn't compatible, even if surface level readings suggest that they are contradictory. You just aren't comprehending them deeply enough.
Because you've abandoned any naive notion of god and replaced it with a series of philosophical notions perfectly compatible with the materialist understanding of the world. At that point it's best to drop any pretense of religiosity and embrace atheism. It's just a pragmatic concern really. You know that most religious people believe in weird superstitions, why continue to associate with them?
"Homosexuality is okay" isn't just a statement of opinion because it has real ethical consequences. We know that homosexual behavior is something many people enjoy, and we know that it does no damage to our society. We also know that many who enjoy homosexual behavior have trouble enjoying any other type of sexuality, making it needlessly cruel to deprive them of it.
Everyone who engages in open conversation with gay people will see that punishing them for their natural desires is immoral. What faith you believe in is irrelevant to this. It's an objective fact just as it's an objective fact that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.
I never said anything like that. All I claimed is that there are no dogmas implied by being atheist. Some true atheists have dogmas.

No it does the opposite that is an earth church father describing how Genesis is not to be taken literally

It depends what part of it you're reading. The bible isn't a single book, it contains prayers stories, letters etc. Some are to be taken literally some aren't

You're failing to realize the historical context of this.
A common slave isn't going to read the bible on his own. Protestants only excepted fairly recently. The common people are going to be taught this exactly in Church.

But the early Church fathers weren't just philosophers that no one read. Their teachings we're taught in Church

The word your looking for is faith.

this is answered on a case by case basis according to the person's already established religion.

ok? good for you? I don't see what this has to do with much.

Who has? You? Me? Atheism is more naive than the belief in god

How is swapping one religion for another any better? Atheism has its own superstitions

How are ethics anymore than a person's opinion on right and wrong?

Enjoying something doesn't = okay

this is not true.Even today homosexuals like to cause problems politically, the political side of homosexuality is so filled with IDpol it stifles any class struggle, not to mention the broken lives and STDs these people have.

When it is damaging to society muh pleasure isn't a good enough reason to continue it

It doesn't need to be implied. Atheism has their own dogma's attached to them

how is this also not a statement of opinion

rekt

It's an early church father trying to comfort intellectuals who were questioning the doctrine.
Completely arbitrary. You will end up picking and choosing the parts you like and applying a mystical interpretation to the rest. I'm not saying this isn't worthwhile, it's a very interesting exercise in hermeneutics, but you shouldn't kid yourself about how the text functions socially. It makes use of this ambiguity to exert power over people.
And the priest is going to teach them proper natural philosophy? Bullshit. You know very well how it works. The priest only adds a bunch of superstitious bullshit on top of what's already in the text.
Take hell as an example. Appears nowhere in the text, completely superstitious, transparently a scheme to reinforce social authority, and priests love it. Completely standard Christian doctrine at this point.
You're woefully idealistic about how well educated the average priest is, and how much they actually care about getting people to stop being superstitious. Superstition benefits them. In medieval Europe churches loved inventing dumb relics to attract pilgrims. These traditions persist to this day.
Name me an atheist superstition.
How is physics anything more than a person's opinion on how the universe works? It's more because it can be either correct or wrong.
I don't see how you can be a Christian without believing God's moral commands to be "anymore than a person's opinion." You must be a godless atheist if you believe that, and I must be more of a Christian than you are. Interesting, that.
And you believe these things are innate consequences of homosexuality? Bullshit. There are plenty of homosexuals who live respectable lives.
And if it isn't damaging to society, depriving someone of basic sexual satisfaction is immoral.
Another example of the Christians doing this is celibacy among catholic priests. We know that this doctrine causes damage to society. These priests constantly make use of naive church goers (very often children) to meet their stifled urges.
Yet you fail to name a single dogma.

Literally the only difference is technology and the size of the communes.

you just made that up.

Incorrect that is why you have Church authority as an unbroken connection to the past to help understand how it was traditionally understood. the pick and choose is an atheist meme inspired by Protestantism which is a recent occurrence within Christianity

"superstitious bullshit " is completely arbitrary

No superstition doesn't work like that.

Well they require a master's degree so the are incredibly more educated than the average person
How much a person cares about X thing isn't quantifiable

"there is no God"

You still didn't answer the question

What are you even saying here?

Well they absolutely are. Homosexuality has never been separated from consequences despite all the resources to do so.

irrelevant because homosex is damaging.

The benefits of a celibate clergy outway the bad.

This is just a meme. Children in public school have much higher rates of abuse

See above

Just as you made your interpretation of that statement up. We have an equal amount of knowledge about his intentions.
Weak excuse the church came up with to keep people sucking the pope's cock.
Early Christians had much more diversity in their beliefs than protestants do today. Catholicism is also a later invention, mostly due to power struggles within the Roman Empire.
What's arbitrary about shedding misunderstandings of god? Again, you're a poor Christian.
Having a master's degree doesn't mean you are "incredibly more educated than the average person." It means you made it through college. Congratulations.
And to use your own words, this is a recent occurrence in Christianity. Historically common pastors weren't all that educated. history.stackexchange.com/questions/9248/how-educated-were-the-clergy-during-the-medieval-period.
Material interests aren't quantifiable?
That's not a superstition, that's just the meaning of the word "atheist." And you gotta be careful with the words here. When an atheist says "god doesn't exist," he doesn't mean that your deep Thomistic conception of God doesn't exist, he's talking about the bearded man in the sky ordinary Christians believe in. That's hardly a superstition. Really, you agree with him on the matter.
Which is why I would stress that atheism is a rhetorical move more than anything. If led by a honest inquiry into truth, different religious perspectives will converge in their beliefs.
You want an explanation of where moral truth comes from? It's a result of people's interest in maintaining a mutually beneficial community, as well as simply the experience of empathy, which can be quite profound.
You're asking me how any moral belief can have objective truth. If you don't understand how this works, you can't be a Christian, because the idea that moral truth is objective is fundamental to Christianity. In comparison I'm a great Christian.
Bullshit. Plenty of people have lived respectable lives while being homosexuals. Homosexuality does no damage by itself. It does do damage when it gets stigmatized, and comes to adopt the moral degradation common to all people who are rejected by society. You know who is to blame for this depravity? Surprise! It's Christianity!
Even now when homosexuality is somewhat accepted, their culture still stems from the time when it wasn't. You cannot expect it to suddenly change, just as you cannot expect gypsies to suddenly change when their way of life gets accepted. They won't just stop showing the marks of oppression in a day. It's always a slow and painful process.
Explain those benefits to me. How is it not just pointless asceticism, a magic trick that impressed ancient Romans?
There are also a lot more public school employees than priests, and these public school employees will obviously be interacting with children much more often. That's a really dumb statistic to look at.