What are you defining "religion" as, for the sake of this discussion? It sounds to me more that you are condemning religious indoctrination - when there are other things that religion could be that don't leave people so closed-minded.
While I was condemning religious indoctrination in my original post, that wasn't supposed to be the basis of the debate. I was referring to religion in the more general sense (and sure, you can generalise the definition as much as you want, but I think it's quite easy to infer what I meant).
I don't think religion is the basis of all evil
I agree that is human nature to war (though I believe with the continuation of globalisation war will continue to decrease, but that's a separate issue). There have been countless non-religious wars (Stalin, Hitler - religious persecution sure, but he certaintly didn't fight under the banner of religion) so that argument is more or less moot.
For all intents and purposes I'm an atheist, and so I believe religion is simply not true
. My original post was therefore more a condemnation on the systematic approach most religions adopt to indoctrinate people in to sharing their beliefs. My mind and beliefs are what I deem to be most sacred to me, and I therefore consider it inexcusable to be brainwashed in such a way. I equivocate believing in the Christian God as believing in Santa Claus or the Boogy Man, and so you can see how ludicrous it is for me to accept that other people see the world through that lens.
I take particular offense to children being brainwashed in to believing in God. Telling a child that they have to be good, else they're going to Hell is akin to mental child abuse. While it certainly isn't true for all scenarios, most people who consider themselves deeply religious are converted at a young age (and think about it, how many people would believe in Santa Claus their entire life if they couldn't disprove it - you stop believing when your parents tell you, or your friends give you cold hard facts to counter it). I went to an Anglican school as a child, and when they sneak Bible Studies classes in between maths and science and teach it as fact, you take it as fact.
And to all those who argue that religion helps bring them peace and teaches them morals and how to be a better person - sure, that's true. Though I'd also argue that you could fill that void without religion just as easily.
Edited by workofartificial, 15 April 2012 - 06:48 PM.