I never was, am not and never will become religious. My father let me grew my curiosity. I stubbornly chose to study the "hardest" subject in my undergraduate course. I took up to the maximum allowed courses during the three years of under graduation and enjoying it to the best I could.
Since I started this blog, I have been exposed to a lot of challenges and none have changed my view on religion - religion has passed its used-by date long time ago. People also questions my scientific attitude and says that I should be an agnostic. No, I am an atheist. If you claim there is a god, you provide the proof. If there is no evidence of such existence, my default position is there is no god. I cannot be agnostic towards pink unicorn, imaginary flying dragon, ...
My family urges me to be "polite" towards the religious and stop ridiculing religion. I am sorry I cannot, but I appreciate their concerns. Intellectually, religious ideas cannot stand up to the standard of evidence I have been trained to require. Religion is an idea virus, spreading and damaging the host - human society.
Religion, as a business, is unfairly subsidized by tax payers. Religion does not fulfil its corporate citizens' obligation to pay tax. The huge amount of money collected by religion is only channeled back to promote religion - and more income. Charity? Does it not there are charities working without any religious banner? When a priest of a church in Melbourne suburb spend a little more in helping the poor, what did the church do? Try to force him to retire! [source]
Religion is not a harmless thing people choose to do at their private space. As the saying goes, "if I do not know there is a god and Jesus, I don't go to hell when I die. WHY you tell me then?" Religion is political, trying hard to grip any political power and have no intention not to exert its unwarranted power and wealth. How many people have died in the name of religion over the centuries? How many more need to die in the future?
Without raging wars (this is only hypothetical because USA ex-president Bush alleged that he was told to invade Iraq by his god), religion is still doing a lot of harm. Richard Dawkins, in comparing the Catholic church to the Anglican, put it like this:
What major institution most deserves the title of greatest force for evil in the world? In a field of stiff competition, the Roman Catholic Church is surely up there among the leaders. The Anglican church has at least a few shreds of decency, traces of kindness and humanity with which Jesus himself might have connected, however tenuously: a generosity of spirit, of respect for women, and of Christ-like compassion for the less fortunate. The Anglican church does not cleave to the dotty idea that a priest, by blessing bread and wine, can transform it literally into a cannibal feast; nor to the nastier idea that possession of testicles is an essential qualification to perform the rite. It does not send its missionaries out to tell deliberate lies to AIDS-weakened Africans, about the alleged ineffectiveness of condoms in protecting against HIV. Whether one agrees with him or not, there is a saintly quality in the Archbishop of Canterbury, a benignity of countenance, a well-meaning sincerity. How does Pope Ratzinger measure up? The comparison is almost embarrassing.
Is Anglican church any better? May be. But it is still a parasite to the society we can do without happily.