My Problem With Religion | Cosmic Skeptic


have you ever noticed that there’s a stunning correlation between a person’s place of birth and their religious affiliation have you ever noticed that there’s a stunning correlation between someone’s parents religious beliefs and their own I can’t count the amount of times that upon asking a theist why they subscribe to a particular religion that I’ve been met with the responsive well that’s just because I was born into it it’s amazing how oftentimes religious people can so effortlessly point out the flaws and the doctrines of others that fail entirely to apply precisely the same rudimentary critical thinking to their own faith I used to respond to this assertion by trying to point out that it’s a logical fallacy and surely they can see that their faith is so obviously completely dependent upon their geography but it never seems to get through and why is this why are so many religious people so insular and dedicated despite knowing that they only believe in their arbitrary God because they were canalized into doing so well if you ask me I think it’s attributable to the unwarranted privilege that religion is so often granted in public discourse okay you can satirize and criticize someone’s politics and that’s just the diversity of opinion but god forbid you do the same thing for someone’s religious beliefs because well then you’re just the bigger I mean how many times is someone being called a racist simply for voicing in opposition to the teachings of Islam if a Christian is asked why they believe in their God and they say well it’s just because they were brought up – well they derive comfort from it they just feel as though it’s right but that’s perfectly acceptable why should anybody need to justify their beliefs this is almost something I can get behind but let’s not forget that it’s these beliefs which are infiltrating the politics of the masses and the education of children if you want to argue that your religion should be taught in schools and that scientific evidence should be ignored in favor of ancient superstition before then I’m sorry but you’re gonna have to do a little better than that imagine if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump were asked why they support a particular policy and their response was that they would just brought up – or they drive comfort from it or just feel as though it’s right would that be sufficient to anyone now of course if people keep their religions to themselves then they shouldn’t necessarily be expected to justify their reasoning that’s that’s not what I’m trying to argue I just wish the people wanted to I wish that we could live in an educational environment which promotes skepticism and freedom of thought one in which no ideology is held beyond the ability to criticize one which expels bad ideas and promotes no particular religious dogma and teaches children that yes your beliefs are probably just fine but guess what so are other people’s if this was a universal reality not be a quite a quixotic one but don’t you think that radicalization religious authoritarianism and holy wars would all be a thing of the past that’s the thing secularism doesn’t equate to atheism secularism benefits everybody yes it protects my right to be an atheist but it also protects my friends right to be a Muslim secularism just means that each of these rights doesn’t undermine or infringe upon other rights and that includes a child’s right to a scientific education or their right to abstain from pledging allegiance every morning to a god that they don’t believe in the founding fathers of the United States were strictly secular okay we hear so often that the country was founded on Christian values despite John Adams himself once stating that the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as noted in an article from The Huffington Post on the issue the Declaration of Independence that the Articles of Confederation the Federalist Papers and the Constitution the four most important documents in American history all unambiguously proved the country’s secular origins the founding fathers were completely aware of the dangers associated with a religious state which is why they were so explicit in trying to prevent it but despite this every single president of the United States has been a Christian safe Jefferson and Lincoln but even they were religiously ambiguous so they could in theory still fit the bill look at the division that exists in modern society look at the scientific illiteracy of our church look at the influence of a Christian God upon a constitutionally secular state and look me in the eye and tell me that we don’t need secularism now more than ever I may be an atheist but from a secularists before I’m an atheist okay I don’t want to force kids to abandon their religion I just want to create an environment in which they can choose to make that decision for themselves I’m Alex O’Connor and thanks for listening [Music]

100 comments

  1. A transcript of this video is available here: https://cosmicskeptic.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/secularism-is-a-no-brainer/

  2. Its not the only reason i believe in God(yhwh) that i was born in europe, this "argument" is not really An argument, it doesn't really say anything. Scientific evidence should absolutely not be ignored, its our world, teach science! Teach studentes what science says and what the relevant/ present religion says. Teach students Everything so they can make a desicion themselves

  3. thank you for uploading this! I am recently christian, and very much value challenging my beliefs with those from another. it seems like most people online (that have a following as large as you do) are afraid of directly stating their opinions toward god, but you do so with not only thoroughly, but with integrity. i'm sure i can speak for both (hopefully most) theists and secularists when i say we appreciate people like you.

  4. Where are you? We in the Western World DO have that environment where people can choose for themselves what they believe in . A rebel without a cause maybe?

  5. I'm a Christian. I chose to be in foster care around 16. I approve this video and your channel as you seem to use logic and as far as I can tell try to be as unbiased as humanly possible. You've gained my respect. Keep up the good work and don't forget to try to have fun.

  6. You are an amazing young man ! Though it is a shame that a teenager must do a man's job in this crazy society…

  7. If you want a level playing field, you have to agree not to teach children anything at all. Your views are anti-religion, even though you call it an unbiased scientific view. We can happily stop allowing religion into schools as long as you also remove all opposing views too.

  8. you mean there's no southern Baptists in Saudi??! or Muslims in bumfart Alabama??!! lol
    Spot on observation…

  9. Great post, once again. I think the prohibition against criticizing religious belief stems from the knowledge of how easy it is for differing beliefs to be at each other's throats, if history is any guide. This gives us a simmering cease fire, but no real peace. Anti-intellectual skirmishes are the price that our society pays for looking the other way. We need to move the Overton Window pronto and expose the assumptions behind various religious dogma, while guaranteeing the rights of citizens to believe what they wish. In short, we as a society need to grow the hell up and stop pretending that that thing floating in the collective pool is a candy bar.

  10. Alex …. you are without doubt an interesting speaker. A question: Do you consider that secularism has a danger …. in that it is a void which Islam can easily fill ?

  11. I think what many atheists, fail to understand is that religion doesn't cause all of the world's atrocities. Humans do. Religion is merely a tool.

    We are easily capable of causing just as much destruction without it. Just do a little bit of research into Stalinist Russia or Mao's China, and you'll see that their horror can rival any religious war or persecution.

    You think the world would be safe and happy without religion? Give me a break. You're living in more of a fantasyland than religious people.
    Ultimately it depends on a chicken or the egg question.
    "Are people ridiculous because religion is ridiculous ?"
    "Or is Religion ridiculous because people are ridiculous?"

    In the end it is because WE humans are violent by nature, and will will not admit it and pushes it over on religion and politics.Extremism and moral corruption is the bane of humanity, not religion or atheism.
    To imagine a world where this was not so, where every crisis did not result in new atrocities, where every newspaper is not full of war and violence. Well, this is to imagine a world where human beings cease to be human.

  12. Dear CosmicSkeptic,
    I agree with some of what you say and have some sympathy for your thoughts. Truly, all people have the right and responsibility to personal volition, and should make wise, thoughtful, reasonable choices. Good choices have their virtues and bad choices have consequences. However, I do have some problems with some of your statements.
    It is true that many people are "born into" their religion. Of course being "born into" a religion is in no way any assurance of the veracity of that religion or belief system. Each person must objectively evaluate their belief system to determine veracity.
    An equally important point is that, if they happen to be born into a religion, or belief system, that has objective verification, then their faith in such religion is valid, regardless of how naive, blind, or unverified their faith is (maybe we call that dumb luck).
    Faith is not a way of verifying truth or making a religion true; it is a commitment to that belief regardless of whether the belief system of the religion is true or not. It is possible to place faith in a belief system that does not have any evidential support, which would be an example of vain or null faith. It is also possible to place faith in a belief system that does have evidential support, though the person is not aware of any objective support (the dumb luck proposition). Your strong faith in your belief system of Secularism, does have some merits, but also some problems.
    Though we differ in belief systems, I affirm your right to believe in the belief system of your choice, even if it is completely contrary to mine and I extend friendship towards you despite our differences. I also disapprove of any personal abuse (verbal, emotional or physical) against those who differ in belief. We can have debate over our various belief systems, but remain friends and care for one another.
    You seem to assume that all "religion" is oppose to science. Perhaps many, if not most, religions are, however it is inaccurate, and I would venture to say perhaps intellectually naive, to make the assumption that all religions are contrary to science.
    Question: As you said, The Declaration of Independence is one of the major foundational documents of our nation. This document sets forth the foundational basis for our rights, as described in the other foundational documents. The signers of this document agreed that the "unalienable Rights," of all men "are endowed by their Creator " (in opposition to a king or government). This is a significant foundational statement that the signers believed human rights came from a supreme being. What is you assessment of that statement ?
    Much of what you comment on has been discussed and debated for a few millennia, by extremely bright people and a at level of sophistication far exceeding your expressions. The vast majority of people are so theologically and philosophically illiterate, that they are unaware that these elementary questions have been addressed and various responses have been extensively proposed.
    DZ

  13. It's because religion, at least abrahamic ones like Islam and Christianity, emphasise family values, and often its a way of life for people. Your family raised you, and you act and live like them. At least if they were invested in your upbringing. So if your family raises you Muslim then you just follow that because you were raised that way. I mean religions were made for a reason. It helps a lot of people sleep at night knowing that there is something greater than them. Everyone believes in something, you can't escape it. Often a lot of what we believe is false or half true especially our views on how the world works religious or not. I really wouldn't get caught up on peoples adherence to a religion, no matter how absurd you think it is. That is a waste of time, and a bit nasty. Just remember that most people within a religion dont agree with each other and everyone has their own beliefs.

  14. Wonderful there z no religion of humanity I agree but there z god beneath each one of us to make United.

  15. To all those people who seem to find it more important to comment on a typo than about the content: I'm going to listen to Randy Newman's "Short people" now, and I want to dedicate it to you all.

  16. I understand that religion is not doing good by indoctrinating children and making them fear and blindly worship things that might not exist, but isn't this a worthy price to pay to live in a non meaningless life? there is, (of cause) no argument that living a religious life is preferable to living an existentially despairing atheist life. therefore you are advertising a meaningless life over a meaningful one which is not "good"… in fact its quite detrimental and bitter. I think your top priority if you want to do any true good in promoting atheism, is to prove how you can have a meaningful life without god. maybe there is a way.

  17. Nothing more needs to be said regarding this matter. Always a pleasure to listen what you have to say. Best regards from Northern Ireland 😊

  18. When I (had) faith, I tore a big hole in it then once I realized how badly I stepped on toes, I left it! And looked at other relig and noticed ALL of the other ones were just as bad.

  19. You don't want to create an environment that causes kids to abandon their religion?
    that's funny, cause I do. with a little bit of education and critical thinking.

  20. Yeah really not sure which point your trying to make here because it’s no argument that we live in a secular country…if you believe we don’t just because of the pledge of allegiance than you really need to rethink priorities. So your also saying that because children don’t get a choice in how they are brought up that it isn’t holding up secular beliefs but you said yourself it protects all religious and non religious and does not discriminate. You wonder why laws and teachings in the religious works say to give authority to the adults and the children aren’t awarded the same freedoms, but you have to realize that Children are in desperate need of nurture and however they get that is how they will grow to be their own person despite how they were brought up they will grow up to think. For themselves just as you did. So I ask you this, if everything on a political standpoint was already the way you say you wanted it to be, even before your birth, then what’s the point for this video. And I know you don’t live in the us but all your vid was of the us and other countries so seems fair.

  21. Am I the only one who feels like when religious people use community and relgion interchangeably and also they dont realoze how dangerous that is. They are already creating a them us group mentality just by expressing absolutes. But they need to realize religious absolute are not the same as a sense community. Also why does is this community tax free. But 99.9% of all other communities and organizations have to pay taxes? Makes zero sense. Most churchs in my town dont even involve themselves in charitable events. But theyre still all tax free taxing donantions. And some christians churchs even require 15% of your monthly earnings. No fucking joke. Like wtf seriously. How is this legal? And people wonder why Trump was voted in…….. Yes im kinda blaming the bible thumping gun weilding white southerns folks.

  22. Yes children should have the right to figure stuff out for themselves
    Sadly mu lil brother chase hes 9 and he's realy smart and tries to apply logic to things mom makes him go to church and the little guy is being torn between god and science but it should be his place to choose what he belives not mom and mom should support him in whatever he chooses

  23. My mom is a Christian and she says it like this there's a difference between being Godly and religious and those differences are about the same as the difference between people on the left and people on the far left godly people do believe in God but are willing to be respectful to those who oppose there beliefs and can have a friendly debate religious people are the ones that would kill those who oppose them for being heretics and do 911 crap believe me from my experience Christians think religious are just as retarded as you think they are

  24. People like William Lane Craig say that pointing out the correlation between someone's country and religion, or their parent's religion and their own, is a genetic fallacy. Well first of all it's not a claim that their beliefs are wrong, it's simply pointing out that there is a demonstrable correlation, and secondly the genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance, and being raised as, for example, a christian clearly has a bearing on which religion you might have, so it is not irrelevant.

  25. You mention how the founding fathers clearly formed a secular state, and yet so many christians, who don't understand the simple concept of moral systems which don't have a god, claim that secular morality is "just based on christian morality". We know for a fact that people write books, that people come up with concepts, agree on rules, and yet we don't know that a god exists to attribute credit for such things to. Until this changes, the only rational inference would be that people were responsible for these things.

  26. I of course agree with some things you say, especially the bit in this where you say how those who point the finger at others beliefs fail to see their own they're often clinging to. I will give you an example of this. But before I do, as you are a very inquisitive young dude you will be able to understand why I am trying to delve more deeply into where you at . IE I have just tried to google any links where you talk about 'conspiracy theory'. The ONLY one I found was your twitter where you say your glad 'religion' has gomne into a certain category, and other posters were glad 'conspiracy theory' was in it too, but you didn't respond. So I cannot find anywhere you putting your mind to THE biggest conspiracy of the 21st century, yes, the 9/11 attacks.

    Now MY experience from frequenting a diverse range of forums, including psychedelic forums, over years is that the 'atheists' 99.9 % of the time will call ANY questioning of the official conspiracy narrative of 9/11 etc to be 'conspiracy theory' in its derogatory sense. So my experience of atheists mostly has them being supporting 'science and secular state' and that means IF 'they' say 9/11 was how the government and media have it, THAT story is true.
    Now there is weirder stuff also. In various Hollywood films, TV progs, cartoons, comic books, music videos etc etc etc there appears to be code. A 'hidden' code which can be discerned and seen to be a form of predictive programming, and communication between 'those in the know' and also some form of 'magical' influence on the unconscious psyche of the public.

    Now it has to be said that the majority of the researchers into this have been Christians. And my critique of them is how their looking deep into this is good, but the have a blind spot about the story/myth THEY seem to blindly accept without looking AS deep into as their do the films etc they analyze. Here is an example of what I mean:
    FIGHT CLUB – 9/11 CODED – 88 – MARY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7GSUvL55H4

    THE BONE COLLECTOR – 9/11 CODED (Predictive Programming)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUjvKre3yw8

    I try and tell them that their own Christian myth shares the same patriarchal mythic roots with this elite who follow freemasonry/Luciferianism.

    You mention the Founding Father, they also were into Deism and Freemasonry which you fail to mention or know about.

    You see mate, IF you fail to see or talk about 9/11 and the secret doings of what is going on surely you can only be looking at things superficially.

    What is the philosophy of secularism is a good question: "Secular humanism. Secular humanism is a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the basis of morality and decision making."

    Would this philosophy include supporting the 'scientific' myth that brain produces consciousness, and that we are a kind of robot without freewill? Wouldn't this myth suit an elite who can make us think of ourselves as that whilst fkin about with our dissociated unconsciousness as they are doing. Who will tell us black is white and vice verse?

    We are NOT just reasonable beings, but are also mythical beings. We have depths which can manifest as what we call mythical . JUST because patriarchal myth has co opted these depths does not mean we no longer have them. Just means they are co opted by these beliefs which disconnect us.
    And, oh yeah, building walls is never s solution. Goof bags like Trump wanna do stuff like that.

  27. I dont agree with the idea that stupid islamphobes like Sam haris should not be called racist for adding lies about islam
    I genuinely support ben afflick in that debate
    He like me did not believed in islam but that does not means that you just need to go on criticising islam without seeing that bad ideas in other religions

  28. Exactly why secularism, humanism and progressivism needs to be taught regardless of your religious or political belief

    We need more educated people who form their own opinions instead of just following others blindly, imagine having a doctor who doesnt know anything about what he's doing, he knows he should give you a medicine or a certain surgery but he can't explain why, he just says "Well everyone's doing it"

  29. Misguided.This is old school thinking. Don't know which Christians you've been speaking to. My parents weren't Christian, I am, and there was no way I could be blindly or because my parents were. And I don't expect my kids to believe just because I do. Don't let people who commit injury by commission or omission in the name of God blind you. Go deeper.

  30. Although I am not an atheist but I agree with you opinions about secularism. But in a secular country, do you believe it is ok to let people who are spreading their ideas by the fear of hell preach freely?

  31. I was born into a Muslim family and raised as one. I left my faith 2 years ago when I started high school. This year I went to the principal (who I really like as a teacher, he is fair to everyone and like the best principal you can have) and told him that next year I don’t want to be in the list for the Religion lessen and asked if what I should do get a pardon from the subject (I’m an agnostic atheist and our religion classes even tho said to be equal are based on Sunni Islam and I know I will get into trouble with both the teacher and the students). He said that the government prohibited students who claim to be nonbelievers from getting pardoned. I asked even if I got my religion tag deleted from my ID and he said that I can pardoned only if I am an official Jew or Christian. And then our president dared to say we have religious freedom! I was like “I AM FORCED TO LEARN AND REMEMBER HOW TO PRAY ACCORDING TO A RELIGION I DO NOT BELIEVE AND GET TESTED ABOUT IT!! AND YOU TELL ME WE HAVE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS?” to be honest I think the best way for humanity is to leave religion at home or in churches, mosques etc.

  32. My theory is that there is some kind of virus like meme in humans that passes these rituals , these non rational beliefs and religious BS to next generations ,,,it grows in a group and then just like a virus it multiplies and persists in their cultures and passes on ……..it is kind of like a zombie like !

  33. Now , this virus is just transferring info from one generation to next, but why is it there???? who put it there ? something to makes us like robots or making us seek knowledge and get out of this crazy prison?

  34. I think humans need to evolve , I mean fast,, before some fanatic religious maggot-minded ppl push us all into destruction.. Doomsday!

  35. I remember when I was younger we learned about Islam in my primary school and we made our own little mars and we were allowed to take it home if we wanted. It was so fun to hear multiple opinions instead of learning the same doctrines over and over.

  36. My parents are not Christians but I am and I believe every 5 religions should be taught in school: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Atheism Equally.

  37. I don’t really know the meaning of the pledge but I still do it anyway. I don’t find it oppressive cause it says the word God. I think people are acting like who they don’t want to be by being offended by someone saying God. Regardless, thanks for being open-minded Alex!

  38. About 2 1/2 years later, 15.03.19, Christchurch, New Zealand. A tragedy opens a lot of conversations about racism & religions. I hope, that people will see why we need a secular society (especially in education field) to fight against racism & religious conflicts, as well as many other social conflicts/issues.

  39. As a beilver I do hate religion, I hate all these religions, I use to follow christanity but I left that stupid religion, I beilve we should get rid of all these religions, I'm a skeptic too, I don't hate science, I love science, the bible and science can go together, I don't beilve in any organize religion I only beilve in the bible because I chose to beilve in that, but we also have a big problem with athiems and aganostics those have to go, people don't have to respect peoples beilfs, people should have debates more often

  40. Hey brother. Just saw you and Frank Turik(spelling?) I’m a Christian and love hearing opposing views. 👊🏽

    #LoveGodLovePeople

  41. Wonderful video. I used to believe that people would be able to live peacefully together with all religions, but I am learning more and more that it can not be possible to have so many sections and divisions. it divides people on a fundamental level before they can even get to know one another-they hate each other just for their religion they come from. Humanity must lose all organized religions and start to accept a spirituality within them of unity and love.

  42. One of my best friends is spiritual but the other kids make fun of him and talk shit when he doesn’t stand for the pledge. I stand for it because it personally stands for my country, nothing to do with God or America’s Christian biased beliefs. And when it comes to the “Under God,” part I always skip it, or pretend it was never in the speech to begin with.

  43. Yet again, an incredibly moving video that lays out the arguments for Secularism plainly and simply. 17 year old with the mind of Mr Christopher Hitchens himself.

  44. Can you release more Muslim-aimed content on your channel? There's not nearly enough of it. Some suggestions:

    The "prophecies" of Prophet Muhammad

    The literary "inimitability" of the Quran

    Prophet Muhammad's "character" and why that's reason to believe in him (Muslims say because the Prophet was called "The Truthful" and "The Honest" by his people before his prophethood, that meant he couldn't possible be lying)

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