I tl;dr this earlier, but now I'm back to it.
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.
I disagree. If there weren't Jews, Hitler wouldn't have ordered them killed, so there wouldn't have been a war. That's still a religious war, even if Hitler wasn't officially religious. He was just one side of the war. As for Stalin, Communism is religion in the same way you're opposed to in that it's brainwashing and there is no room for other religions, so I would go so far to consider that a religious war, since it was a war based on singular thought. Communists have sacred writings, sacred people, 'apostles', conversion, and faith -- Communism is a religion in my mind.
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.
I agree with you for part of this. Children are different than adults and should never be told that they are going to hell if they aren't good. God shouldn't be used as a weapon to get anyone to behave, children or not.
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.
YOU might be able to. I know I can, though I prefer God in my life. Not everyone can though. Not everyone is capable of doing it alone. Everyone is different and if there weren't people that didn't need religion (not God, but religion), truly need it, then it wouldn't exist in the capacity it does.
Edited by Napiform, 15 April 2012 - 07:56 PM.