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That's right because all religious people are poorly educated war loving and irrational.

Seriously... Do you forget what was responsible for spreading education so rapidly around the world (give you a hint, it wasn't atheists).

There are a number of religions that are founded in rationality, and large components of others that are pure rationality. Just because you don't believe in (a) G/god doesn't mean you aren't religious. Just because you believe in a G/god doesn't mean you are irrational.




Irrational for sure. Everyone's an athiest when they're born. The natural position is non-belief. Religion is a faith based belief system for something that cannot be proven. Hence, belief in religion is by definition irrational.

Now, if you are saying 'religion' to mean 'societal construct' or something like that, well, that is a different ballgame. Though I don't think you mean that, so the above applies.

Bottom line, the major religions of the world demand someone to suspend rationality to believe. Otherwise the followers would not be followers.

And as for educated. Perhaps there isn't a conclusive study on the subject, but it is safe to say that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be religious, particularly fundamental. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence

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No, nobody is an atheist when they're born. Atheism is the conscious rejection of the existence of god. Agnostic, more likely.

Yes, religion is by definition irrational. Humans generally aren't very rational beings. Love is irrational, it makes us do irrational things, but I'm sure we can agree, on the balance, love is a good thing. Thus dismissing religion on irrationality grounds is not very meaningful.

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There is confusion over what atheism actually is. Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Implicit_vs._explicit We are born (implicit) atheists.

I also didn't say we should dismiss religion because it is irrational, I said people who were religious were irrational. I believe that still stands.

If anyone asked, I would say we should dismiss religion because it is harmful. Harmful to our stability, harmful to our advancement, harmful to the people that follow it and harmful to the people stuck in it against their will (either country, family or society). Today the negatives of religion far outweigh any good it can do. There was a time and place for religion, but we have outgrown it.

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Most of the negatives you mention are perhaps styled in the language of religion, but they're underpinned by deeper causes.

The Middle East isn't solely a religious conflict, it's very much an ethnic one as well. Oppressive countries are oppressive, they're not liberal countries that just happened to read in a book that they should kill and maim those that worship in the wrong way. Closely knit groups (families, societies) are going to sanction deviators regardless of religion.

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Agnosticism is an epistemological position that many (most?) atheists (such as myself) hold.

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I disagree with both. We are born atheists, but we can create our own god(s) even without the influence of others. How else would religions come to existence? It might even be an evolutionary trait or something. Having bigger brains, larger set of emotions etc, we needed something to protect us from the sensation of a meaningless life, injustice, the concept of death, the ending of our consciousness, etc.

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A number of buddhist sects/schools hold no belief in any god... It is a religion, they are not irrational. It is a major religion.

> And as for educated. Perhaps there isn't a conclusive study on the subject, but it is safe to say that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be religious, particularly fundamental. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence

Correlation or causation? I don't really have time to read through all the studies, but St Thomas Aquinas is a good counter example of that premise, very analytical, very religious...

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I meant that sentence to make good atheists distinct from bad ones (such as various brands of communists). In general, I agree with you. It's incredibly hard to separate out religion from history - almost everything that happened in the world up until about 100 years ago was driven by religious people, and that's the core of my objection that it's a meaningless question. If there never was any religion, you'd have to rewrite literally the entire history of the world and you can't flippantly claim that the outcome would be overall better.

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Almost every person in the world up until about 100 years ago had lice and other parasites.

Should we now declare that, given that Newton, Galileo and Socrates likely had lice (the blood-sucking kind) for some part of their lives, we should consider lice a vital part of our cultural heritage and that any modern scientist should get some?

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Statistically, religious people are worse educated, poorer and less rational than not particularily religious ones.

And still they think of themselves as an example for everyone to live up to.

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