Religion as the Root of All Evil

The subject of this post is hyperbole. This entry is a response to that thread on Flutterby that I mentioned before. topspin, I’m not sure what you want to discuss, since it looks to me like you have a belief that religion is the cause of much evil and nothing I can say will dissuade you from that. As for Paul, you’ve taken a very extreme interpretation of him in order to prove your point. This isn’t that uncommon for people in fundamentalist churches, but I do try to shy away from individualistic interpretation. Sometimes it’s good, but just as often it’s very bad and you listed many of the bad interpretations. I’d ask you to consider those religious movements like the Anabaptists (including Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, etc) who’ve made non-violence one of their core beliefs. Is that religion causing evil? And I won’t claim that the Eastern churches are pure and spotless. One has only to look around the world at some of the politics the Orthodox and Coptic churches play. Orthodoxy is, for many people, very much an ethnic religion subject to the “us versus them” mentality that Larry mentioned. I’ve chosen to be Orthodox despite that. Instead, consider the truth of the statement “White people have cause a lot of slavery.” Its true, but it doesn’t go very far and it doesn’t mean I need to be ashamed of being white. Other races have been involved in slavery. White people have been the victims of slavery. In the same way, “Organized religion has caused a lot of evil” is true, but it doesn’t go very far. If you’re looking for people to be afraid of, you can fear religious people. But being wary of religion won’t protect you (or society) from harm. An exercise: Look over the anti-heros of the 20th century. How many of those people were religious? I’ve not done an exhaustive analysis, but the big names that pop into my head were specifically anti-religious.