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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.

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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