Saturday, September 09, 2006

Theory, and a question

I recently had the thought that people who dissociate themselves from institutional religion do so for some combination of the seven following basic reasons:
  • Judgmentalism and self-righteousness.
  • Hypocrisy; wide gap between teaching and practice.
  • Anti-intellectualism and anti-scientific, superstitious or mythological thinking.
  • Shallow authoritarianism; cult mentality; lack of self-determination.
  • Sentimentalism or schmaltz; childishness, inauthentic displays of "love" or "coolness".
  • Coldness, heartlessness, unwelcoming.
  • Irrelevant or out of touch; nothing substantial to offer to other sectors of life.
Of course, these reasons tie into each other. Now, I don't know if any agnostics, atheists, or pluralists read this blog, but I would especially like some comments from "religious outsiders" (maybe my religious readers can solicit comments from irreligious friends). Which of the above is the strongest reason? What images of institional religion do people find particularly repulsive?

UPDATE: I posted these in a MySpace thread, and got a few interesting replies. Actually, I thought that the main thing people would complain about was judgmentalism. But instead, the atheist/agnostic types said anti-intellectualism was the kicker.

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