There is a belief amongst the faithful that religion gives them a reason for their existence, as is evidenced by the wildly popular book by Pastor Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life”. In spite of the millions of copies sold, along with related journals, bible studies and small group curriculum, the belief that religion can give you purpose further solidifies the observation that delusion plays an important role in the life of the believer. Religion can give a person someone else’s interpretation of purpose for your life or invite you to explore for yourself the purpose that a non-existent entity has for you. Both of these are inherently dangerous because even the most extreme actions foisted upon an unsuspecting public, such as bombings, murders and the attempt to govern by religious law are logical conclusions of a progressively religious lifestyle. This is particularly true if the Judeo/Christian/Islamic holy books are perceived as the literal word of god.
Meaning and purpose absolutely must originate in our own minds without the contamination of religious doctrine, superstition or dogma. Human characteristics such as compassion, social progress, art, music, literature, pleasure, joy, love, personal happiness and the advancement of human knowledge is what gives us purpose. The second any one of these aspects are contaminated by religion they become dark, macabre and twisted, no matter what the venue, even the charitable ones. The ends do not justify the means, and anything that has been accomplished by the religions of the world in the name of “good” is automatically tarnished by the intolerance, bigotry and hatred that is left in the wake of what results from believing in a god who intervenes in human affairs and has a book of rules that are required to be followed at the behest of eternal damnation. In contrast, a majority of moral and social progresses have been the result of the work done by those who are not constrained by the shackles of religion. People such as Edison, Einstein, Darwin, Stanton, Curie, Freud, Russell, Dawkins, etc.
Purpose does not demand a designer, only a reasonable explanation, and the undeniable and proven facts of evolution can deftly explain everything from altruism to the existence of chaos, ugliness and pain in the universe. No religion has withstood the tests of reason and there is nothing to gain by sacrificing logic to the altar of superstition. Religion leaves no room for anything new, but thrives on blights such as slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and the oppression of countless minorities. The totalitarianism of religious absolutes chokes progress, as can be observed by the consistent history that religion has in its resistance to progress and it’s almost universal contradiction to science.
Religion does not bring purpose, but credulous servitude in the blind adherence to ancient superstitions or self-effacing prostration before divine tyrants known only through the revelation of primitive cultures that had no concept of anything even remotely consistent with modern science. The purpose driven life of the religious person demands unreasonable suppression of human nature. It inclines people to violence and blind submission to authority and is hostile to free inquiry. It’s time has come and gone. It has outlived it’s usefulness, it’s purpose and it’s relevance.