Debate: The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion?

In the words of Blaise Pascal, mathematician and Catholic, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” Does religion breed intolerance, violence, and the promotion of medieval ideas? Or should we concede that overall, it has been a source for good, giving followers purpose, while encouraging morality and ethical behavior?

For: Matthew Chapman
For: A.C. Grayling

Against: Rabbi David Wolpe
Against: Dinesh D’Souza

Suggested Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

The Muslim Times’ Editor’s comments

I agree with many of the statements made by all four speakers. But, here, I want to opine on one comment that I take a strong exception to.

Dinesh D’Souza in his opening statement says that only 2000 were killed during the 4 centuries of Inquisitions.

I do not know how reliable his number is, but, there is another way of judging his ‘fact.’

In 1492 the year Columbus discovered America, each and every Muslim was either killed, converted by force or banished from Spain and for centuries to come there was no Muslim alive in Europe.

This is one way of judging the impact of Inquisitions on religious landscape of Europe. Inquisitions among other things was also a genocide.

This is what a religion can do to other religions at its worst.

4 replies

  1. If we do not talk over the head of each other and do not resort to Kripkean dogmatism, we may agree to respectful coexistence and better understanding of every religion and philosophy; where our global village provides bylaws for any and all organized religions, so they do no harm and not create any discrimination.

    We promote secularism in each and every country including every Muslim country and Israel.

    We leave religion alone for spirituality and to draw inspirations for our morality.

    We promote 30 Articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights every where.

  2. The problem is this – every person who believes in a god thinks that they have a special relationship with the creator of the entirety of existence. A relationship that makes them better than everyone else. At its best it makes them look down on non-believers and those who don’t share the same god. At worst it makes them think they are entitled to take lives to please their god.

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