Originally Posted by Miburo
Oh, but nuclear weapons are? XD
No, apparently I failed to make a suitable analogy.
Originally Posted by Miburo
Books/Movies/TV/Music/Videogames/etc. can effect and influence people's beliefs as well. If people listen to music or watch television programs that depict women as objects it can influence them to also view women in that way. Same with anything else I mentioned. People adhere to what people behind TV and music dictate as cool every fucking day. It's almost exactly the same thing as religion in those regards.
Ah, so we are definitely talking about religion now. Okay. I still think your analogy fails. One watches television or listens to music for enjoyment or intellectual fulfilment. To watch television or listen to music doesn't require adopting a belief or ideology. Being part of a religion -- by definition -- does. The aforementioned leisure activities don't require an illogical leap of faith. Religion does.
I think it's important for me to state (as it probably hasn't been clear thus far) that I don't necessarily think truly benign religion is a bad thing. However, my point is exactly that religion has never been benign and that humanity as it is is incapable of practising benign religion. And again, why use some circuitous tool like religion to gain a positive? For example, say one's parent has just died and one could use religion as a crutch while mourning. However, surely it's better to make the best out of the situation without being irrational than to use some irrational prop? It seems like saying, 'Sure, I could be a better and happier person in every way by choosing this option, but I think I'll not choose this option'.
Okay, I'll try to identify your position definitively that I may counter it satisfiably. Correct me if I'm wrong (I suspect I am, and that we actually agree but that one or both of us has misinterpreted the other's intention).
You condone religion because it can theoretically be benign.
I've just realised that in response to my nuclear weapons line, you merely turned my logic back on me without refuting my point. It still stands, it seems: Assuming you are opposed to anybody being able to own nuclear weapons because there would inevitably be a misuse thereof (please confirm that's the case), how can you assert that everybody should be allowed to be part of a religion, when there would inevitably be a misuse thereof? You surely have a contradiction. At 'best', you have to say that everybody should be allowed to own nuclear weapons, and at 'worst', you have to concede the point.
By the by, I'd like to thank you for the good debate, which is so hard to come by. Truth be told, I decided to jump upon your post because I knew you'd put up a good fight. Your other insightful posts, along with some interesting threads are the reason I joined, in fact.