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Brick OP wrote

Religious structures, like secular structures, can be tuned and bent towards a ruler's end.

Then why not reject them outright if they're so easy to control?


GaldraChevaliere wrote

Because religion itself isn't a negative force and can spur people to fight for change and lead better lives. Religion is a powerful motivator on both the personal and societal level and can help bind communities to each-other outside of bare pragmatism, to fight against injustice and to root out corruption where it grows. Religion only becomes authoritarian when a religious structure becomes hierarchical and begins to preach that particular belief's superiority to other beliefs.

As an example, Catholicism is flawed but essentially morally neutral, it can be malignant or benign depending from person to person and parish to parish. On one hand you can get the Crusades, on the other hand you can get liberation theology and a ton of worker-led movements. The Catholic Church however is undeniably authoritarian and a threat to peoples' autonomy and especially non-Christian ways of life because of its supremacist, expansionist mindset.

It also really can't be denied that rabid anti-theism is essentially a religious dogmatic code of its own. It has its own hero-worship, its own sense of smug self-righteousness and superiority, and its own desire to expand at the expense of others' autonomy. It has all the negative aspects of organized religion because ultimately it relies on the same structure of a flock and a preacher telling them what to believe.

You can bend any structure and pervert it to something unjust. That doesn't invalidate all structures, but it gives us a duty and interest in rooting out corrupt ones and trying to put better ones in their place. There's a reason why religions are so prone to reform and splitting into denominations. When people aren't satisfied with what they're experiencing, they change it until they are.


ziq wrote

tbf the subject didn't say "was religion created to", it said "was God (singular) created to".