This won't get past two pages before it gets locked, I absolutely guarantee it.
I'm enough of an optimist, though, that I feel humans would follow these practices with or without a religion actively encouraging them.
Oh, wait, you're serious.
There's a reason that, in the absence of powerful religious control pushing people towards charity, we have to have the government do it instead.
AIDS crisis in Africa would have been contained if not for the Catholic church's problems with condoms. So millions of people die from AIDS because we refused to spend our money sending Africa protection, all due to religious misgivings about contraception.
I highly doubt that by the '80s the Catholic Church had that much control over policy to actually dictate such a thing.
What is far
more likely is that the developed world is simply not willing to spend the money to actually fix the problem.
Forced conversion is one of the great horrors of the past, right? Except for the fact that missionaries are actively undermining native cultures globally, and often use conversion as the price for services such as food and medical supplies. People get angry over physical genocide of a peoples, but religion gets a pass when it commits cultural genocide? We are losing hundreds if not thousands of unique languages, folk traditions, and cultural practices to missionaries.
Because governmental outreach programs into the Third World from the First and Second Worlds are obviously really great at preventing this kind of thing
If religion didn't do it, economic globalization would.
3. Religions remove vast sums of wealth from circulation, undermining the economy. Though some of said wealth does go on to fund charity events, most of it is used to buy land or for constructing new churches and filling new churches with useless trinkets. Imagine if all the land owned by churches was taxed, and that the money spent on building these structures instead went towards improving society.
Ha! "Vast sums of wealth," he says. You're living in the medieval era, buddy. You should be looking for CEOs doing this, not religions.
4. The general progress of science is often held up by religious groups, even in such cases where the research in question has obvious benefits to society at large. Case in point, Perry's recent denials of global warming, motivated by appealing to the anti-science platform of the religious right, has cast doubt on legitimate scientific concerns at a time when the opportunity to stave off the worst consequences of global warming is fast reaching a critical point of no return. Then there's the opposition to famine-ending genetic engineering, the denial of evolution by religious groups which undermines efforts to stop bacteria from evolving antibiotic resistances, opposition to euthanasia when quality of life in the patient is unbearable...I could go on, but I think you see what I mean.
- Perry is a fanatic. The mainline religious position is almost certainly not against global warming. I will put on a top hat and set myself on fire if it is.
- Opposition to genetically-engineered farming is understandable, if somewhat misguided, because it easily could wreak havoc on the environment and cause economic devastation like robotics did to the manufacturing sector. The world overproduces food as it is; it's just the wrong people making all the food that's the problem.
- Once again, only the fanatics deny evolution. The official Catholic Church position is that evolution is real. My Catholic high school taught evolution and only evolution, sans intelligent design.
- I'm against euthanasia and I'm not even religious. Keep trying, you'll get there eventually.
5. Most conflicts on Earth are caused by religious differences. Pakistan vs. India, the USSR vs. USA, the mess in the Middle East (Shiite vs. Sunni vs. Jews vs. Christians vs. Zoroastrianism vs. etc.), conflicts all over Africa (such as Sudan), unrest in Southern Mexico, Southeast Asia, and to some extent Russia vs. its former Soviet satellites (atheism/Orthodoxy vs. Islam).
Actually, most conflicts are caused by economic tensions. Religion is just window dressing. See: the Crusades. They didn't go in to take over the Holy Land, they went in to attempt to reunite the Roman Empire for profit. The Holy Land wars were the bonus.
Likewise, somebody failed Cold War
history. The atheism v. Christianity thing was secondary to the actual conflict, and the atheistic Soviet Union
committed more atrocities than the largely Christian United States.
Though I would qualify atheism as its own form of religious belief, so perhaps that's a point in your favor either way, hm?
6. On a more specific level, the desire to usher in the End of Days in some Christian sects (by triggering a war in the middle east) has penetrated surprisingly deeply into the government of the USA, and is the source of the "support Israel no matter what the costs" line of thinking that might end up making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is it not madness to desire a disastrous war, and how can we possibly ignore the matter simply because it is coming from a religious source?
Oh my god, please stop abusing my strawman radar. It's not used to this kind of thing!
7. And finally, all those cases where an otherwise intelligent and pro-active person decides that a problem is "in god's hands" and fails to act when they could have prevented a coming disaster. You see this kind of talk a lot concerning our failures to protect the environment for ourselves, but I believe it permeates through all levels of society and basically accumulates to the point that it obstructs and hinders the progress of human society towards a technological utopia.
I wonder what these words mean
Let's try language that will appeal to you: unverifiable, untestable hypothesis
You have to prove
assertions. I don't see statistics or studies here. I see mostly baseless attempts to claim that religion is the source of all our problems.
You'd have an easier time claiming that capitalism fucked up the last three or four centuries than religion, anyhow, though there's a reasonably good case
that a religious sect gave us modern capitalism, so hey, there's another talking point to bolster this absurd argument.
edited 4th Dec '11 6:18:24 PM by USAF713