Came across another great essay by Richard Dawkins. In it he coins a new term, Gerin Oil (which is, as smart readers can spot, an anagram of 'religion') and then goes on to list all the evils associated with it. The essay is also a concise summary of theological concepts behind all the major religions like after-life, hell, redemption etc.
Strong doses of Geriniol can also lead to "bad trips," in which the user can suffer morbid delusions and fears, notably fears of being tortured, not in the real world but in a postmortem fantasy world. Bad trips of this kind are bound up with a punishment culture which is as characteristic of this drug as the obsessive fear of sexuality already noted. The punishment culture fostered by Gerin oil culminates in the sinister drug-induced fantasy of "allo-punishment"Âthe belief that individuals can and should be punished for the wrongdoings of others (known on the in-group grapevine as "redemption").
This is his hilarious take on "prayer" and willful disbelief against the evidence from the real world so prominent in religious people:
Medium doses of Gerin oil, though not in themselves dangerous, can distort perceptions of reality. Beliefs that have no basis in fact are immunised, by the drug's own direct effects on the nervous system, against evidence from the real world. Oil-heads can be heard talking to thin air or muttering to themselves, apparently in the belief that private wishes so expressed will come true, even at the cost of mild violation of the laws of physics. This autolocutory disorder is often accompanied by weird tics, hand gestures or other stereotypies, for example rhythmic head-nodding towards a wall.
And finally, how this evil is being sustained and propagated by powerful institutions all over the world:
You might think that such a potentially dangerous and addictive drug would top the list of proscribed substances, with exemplary sentences handed out for trafficking in it. But no, it is readily obtainable anywhere in the world and you don't even need a prescription. Professional pushers are numerous, and organised in hierarchical cartels, openly trading on street corners and even in purpose-made buildings. Some of these cartels are adept at parting clients from their money. Their "godfathers" occupy influential positions in high places, and they have the ear of presidents and prime ministers. Governments don't just turn a blind eye to the trade, they grant it tax-exempt status. Worse, they subsidise schools with the specific intention of getting children hooked.
Read the whole article here.