It is worth pointing out that the fact that a religion can be/is a control mechanism says absolutely nothing about the veracity of a given religion or whether it is good or bad.

Perhaps rephrasing the statement can help you see what I mean.

Instead of
Religion is a mechanism of social control.
The Media is a mechanism of social control.
Government is a mechanism of social control.
That may well be, but when you are sixteen years old, and beginning to question everything your parents and teachers have ever told you, revelations such as these are a big damn thing in your eyes. Right now you won't care if some dead philosopher has already come to these conclusions, all that matters is that you're thinking for yourself.

When you grow up a bit more, it is very likely that you'll want to (or at least attempt to) read some of the writings from these philosophers, but statements such as these are really irrelevant.

I remember the first time I met someone who was *gasp shock horror* - an Unbeliever such as myself. I know the feeling of 'wow, someone's already thought of this before', but it doesnt mean that your views or 'radical ideas' are any less valid.

Who cares if these ideas of religion as a mechanism of social control have already occured to others? At least you're thinking them.

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