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    Posts: 843
  • Darwins +120/-1

To the question that Onesimus asked in the thread title, which is really very different from the one he asked in his post, I would say that yes, I do wish that people would just give up religion. But I have to qualify that by saying that it does matter what it is replaced with.

I think that how people think is much more important than what people think. What I would very much wish for is an outbreak of reason. Critical thinking, free thought, skepticism, whatever you want to call it. An age of enlightenment. In an environment like that, religion would lose its power naturally. No force or civil rights violation needed.

If you remove religion by force, it WILL be replaced by something. And that something is likely to be as bad or worse, and will still leave a population that is vulnerable to credulity. We've seen this. In the USSR, and even more so in North Korea, the religion hole was filled with political ideology that was held with the same kind of irrationality and faith as the religions that it replaced. And in the wake of the fall of the USSR, we've seen a massive influx of every kind of mystical nonsense on a population unaccustomed to thinking for themselves in an environment of competing ideas. I can't help thinking that an influx of religion into N. Korea might actually be a good thing, because it would diffuse the power of the state and give them some experience with competing ideas, even if they are mostly bad ideas.

Forcible removal of religion will never accomplish anything good. The only way to make the religion problem better is to displace it with reason, or at least with less harmful religious beliefs.

Edit: Clarified who I am addressing.
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