Most religions are divisive. They teach that there are a god's rules to be obeyed. These rules then become the rules of the secular society, and will be also obeyed. There is no longer need for social reform, inequality and poverty are able exist, but that does not matter because in the sight of God (whichever one you are referring to) all of us are equal and we will all get our reward in the afterlife. This idea of reward AFTER death still is a powerful motivation for many people. I suppose when you are at the bottom of the heap any chance of redemption and paradise would be enticing. Religion stultifies social progress in every area, as questioning and change is frightening to those who are religious . When the fact of the overwhelming patriarchy of most of the powerful organised religions is also considered it is easy to see how alienating religious behaviour really is.

Religions are divisive in every area of life. Many preach that their religion is the only one that is right. Within each particular religions the religious heirarchy is superior to the rest of the congregation. Most religions have a male priesthood, some are so afraid of female contamination they have a celibate clergy advising women on the daily conduct of their lives, and they separate the men and women as much as possible, even in their place of worship. Some teach about 'sin', and condemn 'sinners' to wretched lives, not only now, but also throughout the eternity that they promise to believers. All religious priests will bless the soldiers of their country as they set off to fight and kill the children of their enemies. (who incidentally, are similarly blessed).

We pay a very high price when we allow someone else's invisible friend to dictate rules of conduct. There is only one real rule- it is-- "Treat others as you would have them treat you". It always works, without any divine inspiration.

KS wrote:
What if you had an organization, like a religion, which said nothing about God or what his name was, but simply how men should live, what should be important in our lives, what is right and what is wrong. This would reduce the wars over what God's name is (Allah? God? Krishna?) and also allow a STRUCTURED way for aethists to build their moral values without being forced to believe in something you know doesnt exist.

I am a bit worried by discussing this para:, however I will stick my neck out--here goes! Here in Australia we have a government, elected by us, that tries to do what you suggest. It makes secular laws, in Parliament, to help us all to live a happy and peaceful life, all of us, that is everyone who lives here -- Isn't that what is supposed to happen?