Religion has done more good than harm in our world…
This is not a debate. There is no inquisition or crusade or jihad or genocide that you can point to that will ever surpass the consistency of moral foundation obtained by humanity from which all religions are based. People decide not to kill each not because of philosophy, but morality. Morality does not come from logic, but rather faith; faith in the unknown, faith in the social contract, faith in humanity. A moral person doesn’t harm other people for the basic fact that there is faith in those other people not to do harm (Morality). The idea that what we do in reference to the world around us may be judged by a higher power (gods, laws, figures), which in turn will have an effect on the position we hold in this life or the next, has zero baring in logic and sanity. In fact, it is absolutely insane. And it is that insanity which has allowed humanity to exist, for the most part, in harmony, together for a very long time. It is insane to have faith in the unknown. It is logical to destroy possible threats. The enemy is not religion, but an individual’s attempt to rationalize insanity.
Religion is not the bad guy, the elephant in the room. Yet some people believe fanaticism has a foundation in religion, and that is false. Fanaticism is the rationalization of insanity (i.e. my reality is better than your reality). And it doesn’t matter if you are Islamic, a Baptist, a football fan, an activist, or a patriot, the outcomes of this type of behavior are always bad and destructive. Our society isn’t made up of constructs that model themselves after saneness, but rather what is insane. There are varying levels of sanity and insanity, but only one of the two extreme poles has a destructive pattern (extreme insanity). We are psychologically built as a collective species to imagine the unknown, to have faith in its existence, to wonder and tell stories, but when a person convinces themselves that these unknowns or in some cases fictions are absolute, based on concrete logic, the person loses touch with understood reality. When a person or group of people believe they are special or chosen because of their newly found rationalizations away from collective humanity, they will find a way to set themselves apart. Fanaticism becomes normality and insanity becomes reality. The relationship then becomes a philosophical paradox of relativeness between insanity and sanity.
Religion certainly doesn’t get a pass from the horrendous deeds done in its name, to be fair, of the five major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and New Age) the only religion that promotes violence in its scripture (Quran) is Islam. As for the other religions, horrible acts perpetrated in their name come from a misrepresentation or ego-based interpretation of a book written and translated over centuries. In fact, most massacres in our history have occurred under the pretense of culture and nationalism, not religion. It is logic (If P, then Q) that is the greatest destructor, not misinterpretation of the unknown. When perceived logic gets inserted into unknowns, bad things happen in the name of what is normally good. Today, most religions and religious people have figured this out, but there are still isolated instances of ego inserting itself into interpretations. And in most acts of violence, on an isolated or a global scale, the ego and the philosophy of misunderstood knowledge lend itself to destructive outcomes.
Insanity as a collective acknowledgment is what holds our humanity together. Extreme insanity, or acting out illogical interpretations as logical disruptions is a fanatic’s playbook. Religion has always been a tool, for good or evil, relative to power. Do not look for logic in what is impossible to understand.
Use your heart (morality) to justify actions and use your mind (logic) to carry them out and not the other way around.