Admit it. Religion, and non-religious views, is a brainwashing tool.
Religion, whether you believe it or not, is brainwashing society. Here in England, you go to a primary school and the children have to sing religious hymns, they have to study religion classes even if they wish not to. In comprehensive schools, up until later years, children are forced to study religious studies (forced being a risky term, I'm sure if parents got involved you could skip religious studies entirely), whether they believe or not. You see "In God We Trust" on the back of American notes, God is spoken of in national anthems and so on, it's a contagious tool to brainwash members of society into believing there is some good to this life. Religious families, and I've seen this from personal experience, force their children into believing such a thing, whether that family is or Christian, Catholic, Muslim origin, whatever, it's a way of destroying reality and feeding young minds this religious banter.
Now, as religion is a heated topic to begin with, I just wanted to begin this thread as an opener to debates concerning religion, it's impact of society, it's advantages and disadvantages etc. Many of you know that I am an atheist, which of course, is a religion in itself so to speak, it's the choice not to believe in God, it's the choice to look at the realistic side of life, so to speak. More importantly, I think (and I'm not saying it's only atheists who choose this route more), atheists go with science over believing fiction. However, I'm aware that science isn't always correct, most of it is guessing, but it's a more reliable source of knowledge than any religion of any sort.
With this in mind, I'm just highly curious as to what other members believe. I want to know your religious (or non-religious) views, and I want to know why you choose to be that way inclined. I also wanna hear your thoughts on "religious brainwashing", whether you agree with it or not.
I also want to discuss religion's good points opposed to it's bad, because even thought I am not a religious person, and lots of elements of various religions annoy me greatly, I still see how religion, if used appropriately, can be a good tool. For example: I feel that religion is societies way of accepting their existence. If the world did face the, not so accurate, "truth", it'd be a very depressing world. The fact that we're here for no reason, we are here by accident, we are not important (links with science, the vastness of the universe, space, planets, the cycle and evolution of life on other planets (all elements I'd like to chat about here, also)) is a saddened thought, and it'd probably drive the world insane to know we're not here for any purpose. However, looking at the opposite side of this spectrum, religion is one of the main competitors for casting mass conflicts, racism, bullying, whatever else the world is consumed by, is all, or is mostly, began by the debate of religion.
So, if you bothered to read this and get what I am trying to say and what I want to discuss, then I'd like to see a reply.