Interesting reading, including:
Purely religious teachings are most often divisive and dangerous.
How did the author of the book quantify the evidence in order to make that determination? (There seems to be a jarring deficit of citations.) Has the author published the statistics which support the “most often divisive and dangerous” claim?
They [religious teachings] build walls between people, creating artificial social conflicts, prejudice, and discrimination.
You mean kind of like as with a great many other social factors which divide people, including language, culture, caste, geography, ethnicity, politics, economics, and various other issues over which people disagree and affiliate?
Meanwhile, I could provide countless examples of “purely religious teachings” causing people of differing opinions, ethnicities, languages, and tribes, to become close allies and to peacefully coexist.
They have started wars and fueled persecutions. One bloody example was the violent Thirty Years’ War in Europe, which had many causes but primarily began as a conflict between Lutherans and Catholics over infant baptism, transubstantiation, and whether prayers to the Heavenly Father need an intermediary.
And yet Roman Catholic France joined the war on the side of many Protestant countries!
I definitely enjoy “The Friendly Atheist” articles. As has already been noted, it has become a veritable “Evolution News & Views” of atheism.
Meanwhile, I advocate the elimination of all languages, cultures, politics, economics, and geography because all of these have built “walls between people”, have created “artificial social conflicts” (as opposed to genuine social conflicts??), and “prejudice and discrimination.”
Ah, he should really read his history, because while that war did start over religion, it continued because it was profitable for both sides.
Yay! Open borders!
Oh… wait, you were being sarcastic weren’t you?
I don’t know about that. It may have been briefly profitable for some parties but mostly everyone suffered, to degrees ranging up to totally horribly. I’d say it continued because of Germany’s unstable political structure and because various powers kept thinking they could fill the vacuum. That being said, while religion had everything to do with the start of the war, his description of that process is very strange. It makes me doubt he’s read anything about the war.
Possible. However, one last thing I have to say is that, while religion was one of the factors for starting the war, the main reason is German displeasure of Pope meddling in emperor’s affairs. So, while the war started because of one of religious leaders, it was mostly for political reasons.
Not an apologist, I just like to spew random historical factoids.
But can you define random??
I’m studying English language and literature, not philosophy of language.
@Djordje Darn… I was all ready to start a new topic, “Djordje Solves PS Biggest Problem by Defining ‘Random’ Once and For All.”
I’m gonna leave that to people better versed in philosophy.
Most Americans have very little understanding of European history—and even how events like the Thirty Years War and closely related events before and after contributed to the massive migrations which settled the American colonies. Indeed, most Americans have little knowledge of why their ancestors made the difficult and dangerous voyage to the New World.
When I was in school, the history book always focused on the European voyages of discovery and only spoke in generalities about a few groups (e.g., the Pilgrims) “seeking freedom.” I would advocate making history far more “personal” by tracing many illustrative examples among the various migration people groups, from Palatinates to Huguenots to enslaved Africans to Highland and Lowland Clearances Scots (including many indentured servants) to Puerto Ricans to Irish Potato Famine refugees.