Great site – I have been an atheist from quite a young age. When I was a school we had to go to church every day – 10 years of it! But – being open minded I listened and listened for a couple of years and studied the other options available. I came to the conclusion that I had never heard such a load of contradictary, self satisfied unquestioning lunacy from any other area in life. Recently I read a book by the British biologist Richard Dawkins – ‘The God Delusion’ He is concise and funny about his arguments about ‘God’ and religion. However what struck me most was his accounts of religious people attacking him for his belief/arguments. I can see here also on this site what can only be described as completely mad rantings against you. And the way they treat their children! If for any other purpose I made my children kneel and mutter utter nonsense even for minutes a day I reckon they would be taken away from me – even the FSM. This is really a form of mass insanity or brain washing! Until now I have been content to leave religious individuals to their delusions – my reasoning – if it makes them happy then leave them to it. But what I see happening in the world is just getting more an more scary, most of it is centered around religion (or religion is used as an excuse). What can I do? What can any of us do! By nature we atheists are reasonable intelligent people – can we make the religious listen?
I wouldn’t say that all religious people have delusions (most are, from my perspective, merely incorrect). I do agree, though, that religion is being used as an excuse or motivation for ills that range from annoying to truly horrifying and that something should be done about it.
I think that one of the biggest mistakes the United States made during the cold war was trying to position itself as a religious nation, putting God onto our money and into our slogans. This gives justification to mixing religion with politics, and gives our enemies in the Middle East the excuse to say that we are Christians attacking Islam instead of a nation fighting terrorism.
Mixing religion with politics is never a good idea, particularly when it’s a matter of mixing a system that condemns investigation with a system that does not want to be investigated.
We can’t get rid of religion, and I’m not even sure that’s a worthwhile goal (at least in the short term). But what we can do is a) fight to get religion out of politics, and b) encourage everyone, religious or not, to be reasonable, intelligent people. If we could do that, then I’d say the battle was won.