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Religion is not the root, it is just a tool that is used to create the usual "us-they" opposition, and in its absence there are plenty of other ways to create the same opposition, like "patriotism" and so on. In fact you yourself just created such an opposition, "it's all because of those religious people" and it is already the top comment, showing how eager people are to blame some "they" for all the evil.

That is not to say that particular religious beliefs can not be harmful, but there are plenty of religions and in most of them hatred is not part of the doctrine or ritual unless abuse is made by people in power who would otherwise use any other set of outlooks for the same purpose. There are in fact religions that do not involve "imaginary friends" and interfere little with modern scientific outlook. It could be good to think a bit why religion appeared naturally in different places of the world independently, what psychical needs it fulfills and is there any other way those can be fulfilled. It is a complex and interesting topic, Dawkins-style atheism leads to a "there is no evidence for god so we can just forget about religion" type of stance which makes most "rational" people nowadays not understand the first thing about religion and its role.

You are absolutely right. As much as I hate religion (and I hate it very much), outbursts of violence are not exclusive to religions. Think Breivik or Ramil Safarov, who cold-bloodedly killed two guys because they were Armenian [1].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramil_Safarov

[edit]: I stand corrected, Breivik was actually islamophobic.

As much as I hate religion (and I hate it very much)

I don't know why you hate religion. You might have a valid reason. However, I think hared is never good.

Logic teaches us that it is impossible to proof anything without making assumptions. I believe in science, but I do recognize it as a belief system which is based on assumption no more or less rational than any other belief system. For instance, the assumption that the simplest hypnosis is the most likely.

Any major religion today leaves much room for interpretation, but I think it is clear that the values that they represent are generally good. I think we should pity the murderers of Vile Rat for misinterpretering their own religion instead of letting this create more hearted.

> I don't know why you hate religion. You might have a valid reason. However, I think hared is never good.

I hate religion for its brainwashing. "Hate" might be too strong a word, let's say "strongly disapprove".

To be honest, I don't care particularly, if god exists, or if other people believe that god exists. There were a lot of good people who were religious and did no harm. However, in modern world there are still trials (Pussy Riot in Russia, numerous Sharia trials in islamic countries) or killings happening as a consequence of cultivating religion. I think this is a perfectly valid reason to dislike religion as institution.

But again, that's not exclusive to religion.

Honestly, I think this is not a valid reason to dislike all sects of all religions. You are creating just another us-versus-them mentality.

You are creating just another us-versus-them mentality.

No, just pointing out two things:

1) In the marketplace of ideas, ideas that work should be able to outcompete ideas that don't work.

2) In the modern world (as opposed to the ancient world), religion's purpose is to keep that from happening.

I don't know why you hate religion.

(Shrug) I'm only human. When I'm right about something, I don't like it when I have to compete with someone who's not.

In my opinion, the purpose of religion is to tilt the playing field in favor of people who are wrong -- or who at least refuse to be held to the same standards of proof that I am. What's not to hate?

If you by Brejvik means Anders Behring Breivik, I feel compelled to correct you because of the gravity of your error (even though this is off topic).

Breivik is/was a Christian, and his main motivation for the terrorist attack was religion, specifically Islamophobia.

> Breivik is/was a Christian, and his main motivation for the terrorist attack was religion, specifically Islamophobia.

Thanks for corrections.

That's weird, though, because I remember certain videos of his, mentioning communists and/or marxists plotting world domination.

To be fair, it's tricky to use people like Hitler and Breivik to back up any point one tries to make in these discussions. Those guys were psychotic assholes, first and foremost, so whether they were Christians or atheists or anything else was of secondary importance.

This comment - no matter the intentions - is going to lead to further flaming.

I recommend removing the comment, before it ends up attracting further commentary.

I think this is obvious to most people. No need to feed the trolls.

I hoped people would read the last two sentences as well and really gave some thought to those issues for a while.

I couldn't agree more. Anything that promotes a powerful authority can be used for evil.

I remember a few wars that fueled by primarily nationalistic propaganda (e.g. World War II). Sure there were shades of religion beneath it, but it was more riding on the coattails of nationalism than being the true source (unlike Crusade Wars).

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