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People choose their religion, too.

Do they? A key aspect of religion is believing that your beliefs reflect objective reality, e.g. there really is a God that did all this stuff, there really were prophets that performed these specific miracles and said these specific things etcetera. Saying that believing in what you think is objective reality is a choice gives off some strong 1984 vibes.

I think it depends on how you categorize the act of "choosing". It could be cognitive and evidence (more traditional idea of "choosing") based or it could be faith and/or feelings-based (it's not clear if this is "choosing").

There are a thousand religions/sects in the world. Most of them are exclusive (as in the 1st Commandment). You have to make a choice to affiliate yourself with one of them (although not everyone chooses to be specific to one denomination).

I don't think it's reminiscent of "1984" to say that people choose their religion. I think people choose who they want to be around and that tends to be among the largest predictors of religious affiliation.

This is a good argument, but it falls apart when you confront the fact that religious beliefs have no basis in objective reality and are thus entirely unbound from it. People convert all the time, religious beliefs are frequently inherently contradictory, et c.

When your beliefs about objective reality include a bunch of made up delusional shit to satisfy oneself emotionally, it’s pretty straightforward to swap one set of fairy tales that didn’t happen for another set of fairy tales that didn’t happen. No harm, no foul.

Religious groups have a loooooong history of persecution, discrimination, and genocide.

So have ideological groups. The Nazis murdered plenty of communists, too. The communists murdered plenty of critics.

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