What’s Good About Religion?


If you believe, as I do, that the purpose of religion is to suck all the pleasure out of life and spit it in your eye, then you might have trouble thinking of anything positive to say about it, but I think it’s important to try, if just for a sense of balance, and so that’s why I’ve decided to think of one or two nice things that I can say about each of the main religions, in particular the three monotheistic dogmas which have plagued, I mean enriched our civilisation for so many centuries. The three desert dogmas, as I like to think of them, because between them they’ve done so much to make a desert of the human soul. Let’s begin with Islam. In the current climate of intimidation and special pleading, you might think it would be hard to think of anything nice to say about Islam, but I can think of a couple of things. Firstly, I like their symbol, the crescent moon. I find it much more attractive than the cross, possibly because it doesn’t have anybody nailed to it. And also, whenever you see a large mosque full of worshippers praying together, I like the synchronised bowing. I think that’s always very well done. Also of course we have radical Islam to thank for showing us so graphically what a huge problem religion can become. If not for all the hysterical self-righteous bullying that we’ve been subjected to in recent years many of us might still be labouring under the illusion that religion is relatively harmless. So thanks to radical Islam for the “heads up” on that one. What I like most about Christianity is that it’s not Islam, which is a major bonus in my opinion. Unfortunately, it is Christianity, which kind of takes most of the shine off it for me. I like the fact that the Inquisition is over and Christian history is no longer being written in blood. I think that’s quite a positive development. And recently the Vatican hosted a conference on astronomy which is quite remarkable, given their track record in that area. It was only a few years ago that the Catholic Church finally got around to admitting that Galileo may be right after all about the earth travelling around the sun. And that too was a very positive thing because they didn’t have to say anything. They could have just kept it quiet, and then millions of Catholics would have been none the wiser. And of course you can understand why it took them 500 years to get around to it. With a question of that importance, they wouldn’t want to rush into any hasty judgments and risk making fools of themselves. What do I like about Judaism? Well, not a great deal, to be perfectly honest, except for the fact that it doesn’t preach itself into your face every chance it gets, which I think is a very underrated quality, and one which should be widely imitated. Also of course the Jews have got the oldest of the three dogmas, and yet they’re the ones who are still waiting for their Messiah. And you just know damn well that if he ever did turn up they’d nail him up for blasphemy again, which is an idea that has always quite amused me. Because one thing we should remember is that religion can be source of great humour, as well as great tragedy, guilt, self-loathing, fear, misery, cruelty and pain. Outside of the Abrahamic triangle of insanity, what I like about Hinduism is that they’re vegetarians, which I think is a very civilised way to be. I think they go a little overboard with the cows, but that’s their business. But mainly because Hinduism is not actively trying to take over the world in the way that Islam is, and I think that’s a very attractive quality in any religion that’s nine hundred million strong. As for Buddhism, well what can I say? A religion with no god. Magnificent. Like a prison with no walls. So you see there are plenty of positive things that you can find to say about religion if you look for them. Now, you can say to me: “OK, this is all well and good. You’re clearly making an effort to be positive here, but the fact remains that religion is really just a hedge against death. It’s an expensive insurance policy which will disappear in a puff of smoke the moment you try to claim on it.” And yes, you may well be right about that. In fact you may even further argue that anyone who gets their morals unquestioningly from some ancient text might as well get their personality from a microchip. And again, I’d find it hard to argue with that point of view. Religion, you tell me, doesn’t have any answers because it doesn’t ask any questions. You’ve rejected it time and time again, but it won’t take no for an answer, and you don’t want to be nice about it any more. You’re sick to the back teeth of hearing about people’s beliefs and their gods and their scriptures and their precious goddam faith, and you wish that they would take their ridiculous superstitions and all their cruel and petty stupid little rules and regulations and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. (Some kind of black hole, perhaps, is what you’ve got in mind.) And I can certainly relate to that. I don’t like the arrogant way they try to force their narrow prejudices into other people’s lives any more than you do, but come on, this is supposed to be a positive video, and I don’t want to ruin it by dwelling on the negative things; the selective reasoning, the wishful thinking, and the shameless abandonment of personal responsibility that religious belief embraces in such a self-deceptive and cowardly way. I’d rather focus on the positive. And the most positive thing that I can think of to say, and this is something that many believers have said to me as well, is that religion gives people hope. It gives them optimism for the future, and that is definitely a very good thing. In fact it’s something that I can certainly relate to, because even after centuries of repression, bigotry, and downright bloody-minded stupidity, I’m still optimistic enough to believe that religion is just too absurd to last forever, and that sooner or later humanity’s collective intelligence will rise just enough for us to see it for what it actually is, a cruel and manipulative hoax which sustains itself not by exalting the human spirit, but by breaking it. And I just hope that when that day arrives that we’re big enough to laugh at ourselves, because laughter is the best medicine, as we know. Even according to the Bible: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22. Peace, especially to everybody with dry bones.

100 comments

  1. "Religion doesn't have any answers because it doesn't ask any questions", Great, where do you find these super lines Pat? Says more in 11 words than most people could say in 11 pages.

  2. Hey Pat – not sure if you still read these comments. "Hinduism" doesn't advocate being "VEGETARIAN". In fact, if you do a simple google-search for "aghori" way-of-life – you'll be surprised. In some states (like Tamil Nadu) the government has had to make laws to prevent slaughter of goats as part of "hindu" festivities [The goats are killed in swift strike on their neck – none are made to die slowly]. "Minority" religions (obviously) aren't covered under these laws.
    Personally, I'm a vegetarian – not because that's "better". I like the freedom to eat what I "choose" (meat or no-meat) – is all. 

  3. i agree i think religion has at best forty years be fore it  loses it's choke hold on humanity  science and technology take it's place it's what happens between then and now is what concerns me

  4. O que posso dizer, além de '' ele tem argumentos fortes para com os 'meus' fracos.'' Se rir é um remédio, eu fico feliz, pq morri de rir a cada 5 segundos, sempre parando pra poder rir mais e  não perder nada. Gostaria de dizer que foi ofensivo, mas hora, não consigo ser tão hipócrita a esse ponto. Gostaria de dizer que estava errado, mas estamos discutindo fatos, e fatos reais,  a interpretaram que talvez mude, mas a minha é igual a dele … Fazer oque ? Tentar conviver com essa irritante cultura.

  5. Hello! I always listen to you a few times. First for the content and then for your language and expression. Keep up your good work. It soothes my disappointment of the  discouraging state of the human mind. You are a light in the darkness of mankind. 

  6. Pat Condell you are the Catharsis of Frustration; a vocal flaming of disdain that blisters the focus of your ire. The reek of irony is confined only by your weariness of human absurdities.  

  7. This guy should be British prime minister. He's right on all counts and he has the courage to speak out. Big respect for this guy! Democracy would be in better shape with him at the helm.

  8. I don't believe in any supernatural God. I don't believe, someone ruling me from some unknown place. I don't worship God or beg to any deity to give me good life. However I accept and practice meditation. It's really working for me. I surely accept and wonder how particles behave extremely strange at quantum level. I accept that there are a lot of stuff we don't know about our physical nature. I accept there are many other things that exist but cannot be perceived by our senses or by our instruments. I accept something conscious is happening in everything. I accept every physical and non-physical nature is from some common source. Most of these are accepted by quantum scientists also.

    But there is a branch in my religion, Hinduism which also tells and accepts all the above. I really like the quote from this branch of religion which says " Never believe anything told by anybody unless you personally experience it".

    So who am I? Hindu? Atheist?  Agonist? Science Theist? How should I call myself?

  9. You should read Charles Taylor – Sources of the Self,

    I defines the identity of mankind over the centuries and how they strip off of religion and culture due to modern technology and accelareted progress.
    I don't believe in religion as itself but the affect it has on people, the regularity, the orderliness it gives to people. Especially to those, who have no family or partner, can give religion alot of hope (yet also despair)

    In times, where the world is developing into a technologial society, where the world is moving faster and rushing into one development to another, alot of people can't even comprehend to that and in the end ( I )  we see alot of depressed people.

  10. Pat-You do realize that the way the Jesus' crucifixion went down as a plot by evil was a Christian narrative. Talk about narrative bias. 

  11. so very boring in delivery and content. we get it, you're a pompous self-righteous egomaniac who has it all figured out, throw in a British accent and you got nitwits drooling over what they feel is a valid defense of non-belief. It becomes a giant atheist circle jerk, everyone building on the last until a giant release of anti-religous bigotry makes everyone satisfied and a little sleepy. you say nothing of the humanitarian efforts perpetuated by religious people, much more so than secular. Nothing of the scientists influenced by their belief in a law giving Creator to spur the advent of the scientific age. Nothing of the influence of art, music, architecture, literature, education, providing for orphans, widows, the poor, sick and distasteful. The  very fact Christianity gives value to human life unlike any other belief system, is not a positive? Because you'd rather kill whom you want to kill and when. oh I got it, euthanasia, abortion, infanticide when the mood should strike. Ah yes lets leave those out because we're trying to create a hallucination wherein secularism isn't a madhouse of lust, greed, lies and murder. Nah, lets bash a little more on those crazy religious folk, we're so much better than them.

  12. All religions have exploited the physically, intellectually and morally inadequate humans. Unless one learns to be good without fear of God or even state, and also accepts a just share in all that is available on earth, this wiil continue…..

  13. I am believer in Christ, more gnostic though. One thing I really love,love,love and admire is an atheist that reads the bible and the Qu'ran. I am heavily opposed to Islam, but I read the Qu'ran. It gives insight and knowledge into my own belief, my theological opposition, and history.

  14. well the first "good thing" you said made you look like a complete uneducated and ill-read fool, Islam has no symbol. The moon thing is nothing any muslim considers a symbol by their religion.

  15. Religions wildly imitating a close door policy has my vote. Hell I'd become a member just to see that one through and rejoin another religion for the same reason. Now to find one like that … outside of Judaism … hmmmm where to start? on another planet perhaps …

  16. Here is a question to destroy religion, if God is true why are we worried about global warming? Surely he will fixed it. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  17. Honestly I never thought of how useless religion is until now. Why does the creator of the universe need faith?

    How absurd and silly as hell is that?

    Why should anyone be tortured for being Hindu, Buddha, Christian, Muslim?

    God is a bully.

  18. There are times, when poor old Pat can sound a little "intelligent", but, then sadly he starts his usual "anti-Catholic stuff" [I suspect for him, it's all rather personal] and, if you know even high school level history, it all falls apart. Pat, the inquisitionS [which one?] were overall, viewed as very much a positive, not a negative and by and large, were not Church run affairs. In fact, most "civilized" peoples still rather do like "inquisitions" aka courts of law! Also, the RCC actually has, to this day, a very positive outlook on most science. The standing joke among Catholic apologists is, you know their [Church critics] are dumb as duck shit, when good old "Galileo" gets brought out….trust me, like the rest of your argument, raising that one will n-o-t help your argument, after about 7secs of thought! Peace – whatever that looks like!

  19. What I like about them:  Islam: the sound of the Call to Prayer and the sound of Arabic; Christianity:  the film The Omen 1973 about it and the sound of Gregorian chant is nice; Judaism: Elizabeth Taylor converted: Hinduism: vegetarianism

  20. Theism and Atheism Belief Systems., are equally foolish, since neither can be proved.
    Agnosticism is at least rational.

  21. Buddhism, like a prison with no wall? Not this time Pat. I love your videos but perhaps you need to get clued up a bit more on that one. PEACE!

  22. All 3 dogmas Abrahamic religions started in Africa…Europe was Pagan before all this cults started going on in Europe…

  23. People love to talk shit about organized religion, but I honestly believe religion is good for keeping common people in check because let's face it, most people are too stupid to think for themselves so religion is a good guide for them.
    I still think godless society is merely an utopia.

  24. Pat, when you say : "…religion gives people optimism for the future…" , you do realize that the future religion gives to those people is a special kind of future , right ?
    I mean the future that the rest of us envision isn't related to the destruction of the earth or conquering the planet and get all people into submission .
    So , even if it may sound so positive , at a closer inspection we shouldn't be very optimistic about that sort of future , should we ?
    Great video as always. Thanks

  25. If everybody bacame athiests, there be less world poverty, no wars, massive increase in world literacy rates, a lot more developed countries, less hatred etc

  26. You are not as wise as you think you are. God is always in control. So sorry you are not really without real content.

  27. Religion is the CURSE of the world and is the number one cause of disharmony in this world. Wake up people!!!

  28. If only Hitch were alive; what fun it would be to see him turn devil's advocate and destroy the shallowness of this imbecile's rhetoric, and then just to make the moron squirm show how each faith can be deconstructed to a man made phenomena that soothes mankind's greatest fear – that of dying. Such that in return for suspending your critical faculties a world of idiotic bliss can be yours. Condell lives in idiotic bliss; he has no crtical faculties to suspend as his views on migrants, Brexit, religion and evolution to name but a few demonstrate. Don't waste people's time.

  29. Judaism and Islam believe that an infinitely wise and moral God created the universe and our species. We humans are the summit of God's creation. All humans are born with foreskin, as per the intent of this good and wise God. Manipulated correctly, this foreskin is a source of great enjoyment, an enjoyment that God approves of, because God wishes us to pair bond and reproduce.
    But Judaism and Islam direct that male believers should be parted from their foreskins in childhood; in polite English, this required procedure is called circumcision. This minor surgery was laid down at a time long prior to the discovery of anesthesia and aseptic surgical techniques. The Jewish scriptures solemnly require that this surgery be carried out when a newborn boy is exactly one week old. The Islamic scriptures are silent about any of this. But Islamic tradition lays down that the sons of Muslim must be circumcised before the onset of puberty.
    When performed by traditional and septic methods, circumcision can damage a male for life, and can even be lethal. If God required circumcision to further sanitation, why do the monotheistic scriptures not mandate that the human nether regions be bathed on occasion? The monotheistic scriptures nowhere mention STDs, make no claim that circumcision enhances or detracts from sexual enjoyment, or that circumcised men will tend to have better sexual morals.
    Christianity rejected circumcision very soon after the disappearance of its founder. Nevertheless, starting around 1870, infant circumcision became fashionable among the English speaking people, and this remains the case in much of the USA. Circumcision remains the norm in South Korea, which is about half Christian, and in the Philippines, which is 90% Christian and 10% Muslim. About 30% of human males living at present are circumcised, most of them because they were born to Muslim parents.
    I submit that this widespread notion that God designed the human penis one way, but prefers that it look and function another way, is the biggest open problem in the social psychology of human sexuality. It is grounded in a vast prudish ignorance about the sexual functioning of the penis, specifically about how the moving foreskin enhances masturbation (which monotheism has often deemed to be seriously immoral), foreplay and penetrative sex. In particular, the value of the foreskin for the sexual enjoyment of both parties was not understood until social media made it possible for women to share what they discovered by virtue of having partners of both circ statuses.

  30. i m so glad to see u have changed your attitude towards jews (and no, u cant separate being anti-jewdaism yet pro-jews)

  31. Pat,I love your videos about politics and the Religion of Pieces but this is the first of your atheist videos that I've watched. What's good about religion? I can only comment with any credibility on Christianity by saying that,as very imperfect as I am (and always have been),I am at least a slightly better person than I'd be without my faith…and,perhaps,even a noticeably better person.IOW,without my faith I fear that I'd be a breathtakingly unpleasant individual instead of just a rather unpleasant one.

    And in closing I'd challenge you to explain Jupiter….I mean really explain it…and depending on how effective your explanation is I just might join you in your atheism.

    But not until then.

  32. I think the cresent moon was invented by an ottoman Sultan when he asked once a Turkish Mufti about what should we put on the top of a mosque? Christian churches have a cross on the top of them? To which the mufti replied in Islam we measure the
    The coming of Ramadan by the moon calendar so let put a cresent on the top of a minarate!!!! Maybe this happened some 250 years ago more or less.

  33. Pat, you are bundling Catholicism with Christianity and are stepping over hundreds of years of Christian persecution to do it. Are you completely unaware of the tens of millions of Christians who were tortured and killed by Catholics? This forced Christians to meet in catacombs and used the Jesus fish as a symbol to other Christians of their shared faith which is why we have the Jesus fish today. Literally everything you said about Christianity is about the Catholic church which rooted in disobedience to God. They worship Mary thus breaking the first of the Ten Commandments. They chant the Lord's Prayer even though Jesus told then not to. Look at what it says just 2 verses before the Lord's Prayer.
    "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

    Matthew 6:7 KJV
    The Catholics are not Christians and this distinction led to the murder of millions of Christians who refused to recant and chose death over denying the truth of Christ. I pray God will reveal His truth to you but in order to understand you must become humble which will probably be your greatest challenge.

  34. This fellow treats religions as if they are all the same animal, and shows us that he is incapable of dynamic thinking, demonstrating the very static mindset that he rails against. He mistakenly lumps Salafism, e.g., as a religion, when in fact it is just an intolerant political system.
    Beware the verbalistic, the archenemy of knowledge; fools think in words. So I must pose the obvious question, "What does he think he means by what he said?"

  35. "…doesn't have anybody nailed to it…" so far ! – Just keep in mind that anything is possible with regards to religion.

  36. It’s all a load of bollocks. I ignore people who start banging on about god etc, and come to the door I laugh in their faces and slam it, does that make me a bad person? 😂 I don’t give a flying fuck!

  37. This CLOWN once derided JERUSALEM.
    There are two personalities we should consider when thinking about Jerusalem
    There are all JESUBITES:
    1.Adonai zedek: the master of righteousness.
    2. Abdi-Heba: the servant of Heba

    These two individuals are cannanites and JESUBITES. There are even mentioned more than 3000 years ago in Egyptian scrolls. We should search for these two individuals. They are interesting TO STUDY.

  38. There is no one true religion, because religion was never based on truths. Created by governments to control the masses through fear!

  39. I really can't stop laughing very good! And I fully understand your complete skectisim and so witty. As a Jehovah's Witness I must hope other witnesses don't read this . 2 fingered Peace

  40. I would think something like religion that's been around for as long as man's existence would be able to claim responsibility for at least ONE positive contribution to this world ? Can't think of one.

  41. There is a laughable Christian, English boy
    called C S LEWIS. This sissy boy who claims that he is our WAITED theologian once proposed a defense of Christianity LIKE THIS when confronted WITH the Christ we FORCED to THINK of him in TERMS of 3 L'S:
    1. Liar
    2. LUNATIC
    3. LORD

    This English idiotic sissy boy from LITTLE England never looked up all The entries of the letter" L" he will find millions entries for the letter " L" . One of THESE entries is LEGEND. There is a laughable Yankee boy I forgot what his name is who claimed to have DISCOVERED THIS entry under the latter 'L' and he discovered than Jesus CHRIST is a LEGEND BECAUSE such word does exists in the dictionary.
    Even the asinine Yankee boys like this guy can OUTSMART the greatest English THEOLOGIANS like this laughable little boy from LITTLE England called C S LEWIS.

    The ENGLISH CLOWNS have created a redicoulous RELIGIOUS organization called
    SALVATION ARMY, very MILITANT sounding as always and laughable as he could CONVERT to the humility of a MYTHICAL figure like the Christ led by British SNOBS. It is clear to me than the problem with C S LEWIS is not that he is CHRISTIAN, but because he is both ENGLISH and CHRISTIAN. A TASTELESS oxymoronic COMBINATION as funny as saying : SMART, RATIONAL, FUNNY pat condell. So laughable of a combination that makes one wants to THROW UP.

  42. I love how religion explains itself very easy, we did very bad things in the past, however now we don´t do any more harm, LOL!

  43. Makes you wonder how any one would want to believe anything written in a book over 2000 years old that was written by medieval, uneducated, inbred, undernourished, dehydrated, violent, bigoted & moronic liars. You cant believe a word anybody says from that area of the planet to this day & that is the only thing you can rely on.

  44. "Synchronized bowing" It IS a far more attractive genuflection than the bob-and-curtsy kind the Catholics practice..I rather like Shinto….EVERYTHING has a spirit: rocks, wind, water, ink, paper, rain, trees…EVERYTHING has a spirit, ergo deserves respect…nothing wrong with THAT concept, except it CAN be carried to extremes…but what the hell…..the Truth is I believe religion is FAR WORSE than Karl Marx's " opiate of the masses". It is the STRYCHNINE OF THE INTELLECT….

  45. Why cant we get all the religious nuts to fight it out to the last man who dies later of horrible injuries..just saying.

  46. Mr,. Condell, it was the Romans that crucified Jesus. The Jesus invented thou shalt not kill and the Romans placed the guilt on other since by then, they already became followers of the Jewish teacher who did not come to change the law… or even one iota of that book.

  47. Pat, one very smart man said. "You don't need a religion to tell right from wrong". Another said, "Religion is an insult to human intelligence and dignity".

  48. Funny, I didn't hear anything "good" about religion…
    And islam isn't a religion, its an ideology or cult.

  49. Pat why don't you do a video on the origins of these fake religions? It's so important people like you continually educate people.

  50. LOVE your truth talks Pat !! My former MOTHER IN LAW WAS A 24/7 CHRISTIAN BIBLE BASHER AND SHE WOULD ALWAYS BE ON MY CASE TO JOIN THE CHURCH !! ⛪ 😱👿 YOU KNOW THAT HALL WITH A CROSS ON IT AND HAS A BLOKE IN BLACK WITH A WHITE DOG COLLAR ON WHO GREETS AND THEN BRAIN WASHES PEOPLE TAKES THEIR MONEY AND WHEN THEY ARE GONE HOME HAS SEX WITH THEIR YOUNG JUVENILE SON'S AND DAUGHTERS !! EVIL PEDOPHILE BARSTARDS 👿💥🔫. 👿💥🔫 👎😠

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