Originally Posted by Miburo
You really don't see that there's a big difference between weapons of mass destruction and a bunch of fairytales? Okay, fine, I know what you're doing so I'll roll with this anyway. : )
So let's assume they're exactly the same, and that your premises and conclusions are completely correct. That would mean that movies/books/television/music and pretty much anything else that can influence stupid people to do stupid things are dangerous and should be done away with. Right? Because that's exactly what you're saying.
I'm not saying just because it can be harmless that it's all good. I'm also saying that there's a lot of things that can influence stupid people to do stupid things besides religion; and that religion isn't the root cause of all that, stupidity is.
In your analogy religion is the nuclear bomb. If someone launches a nuke, are you seriously going to put blame on the nuke itself though? Is it the nuke's fault that it got launched? Should the nuke itself be held responsible? Of course not. It's the dumbass that launched it that's the problem.
Even a nuclear bomb is fairly harmless without assholes around to use it. You think if we got rid of nuclear bombs that people would suddenly stop needlessly killing other people? You think the world would suddenly be rid of douchebags who want to cause a ton of harm? Again, of course not. Stupid people would still exist without religion. It wouldn't solve much of anything. All that would change is that they'd have to find a different excuse to be douchebags about shit, and trust me, they would. Your beef is ultimately with stupid people, same as mine. Don't get caught up in whatever excuse they're using to justify their stupidity.
As far as I recall (quote me if I'm wrong), I didn't state that it would be the fault of the nuclear weapons or that their removal would stop 'mindless' murdering. However, by showing you have a contradiction in your ethics, I've shown that your current...'ethical configuration' is untenable. All I'm saying that your justification for condoning religion -- that it can theoretically be benign -- is inconsistent with another of your positions. I'm not defending my position; I'm fighting on your turf to dismiss your argument. In fact, I can't believe that I didn't notice that what you're actually doing is applying your principles to me. I never actually said nor meant to say that religion should be banned outright because it can lead to 'bad' outcomes: you ascribed that principle to me and used that straw-man, albeit unintentionally, I'm sure, to attack that ascribed principle to make my position seem untenable. And I nearly fell for it. But, the fact is, the only principle of my own I've espoused that I recall is this:
Originally Posted by Miles T
...believing in God is not condonable because the positive aspects of that belief can be supplanted by other things that do not come with negative effects. Thus, to believe in God is a choice (albeit not necessarily a conscious one) to obtain positive results along with negative ones when one could just obtain the positive results without this belief.
The rest has just been me attacking your own justification. Again, correct me if I've managed to forget something.
As another analogy, by your reasoning, it's okay for all parents to tell their children to murder without provocation, because their children would not necessarily do so. But, in practice, do you really want a world full of children reared to do that?