Over the years, my views on religion have changed a bit, and I’ve gone from being anti-religion to merely a religious skeptic in stance.
While I think well of the good religion has sometimes done, and its contributions to literature, architecture, art and culture, I also think that the same amount of good could have been achieved without so much of the bad that came with it.
I think that it could have all been done without religion.
And don’t waste my time talking about Mao, Stalin, or Hitler — The first two used the communist ideologies of their respective nations as religions, and Der Fuhrer was a dedicated Christian.
I certainly don’t think that all religious believers are extremist, just the ones that make most of the racket in the popular media, the lunatics that drown out the more liberal theologians with ranting accusations of being not (insert name of religion™) enough.
I think highly of many people of faith, quite a few I know personally. But true respect entails tolerance of belief and disagreement, and I disagree with the belief while respecting the believer’s right to hold it.
You can’t go all Evil Spock on somebody with facts and logic and expect them to reason their way along with you out of a set of beliefs they didn’t reason their way into.
…And so I present a quote from one of the founders of the Age of Reason — the Empiricist philosopher & global skeptic David Hume:
What danger can ever come from ingenious reasoning and inquiry? The worst speculative skeptic ever I knew was a much better man than the best superstitious devotee and bigot.
— David Hume in a letter to Gilbert Elliot, March 10, 1751.