In defence of religion
I am currently discussing my beligerent approach to religion on the Afrikaans thread ‘n Dun draadjie – about believers knowing that their faith hangs by the merest thread (dun draadjie).
During the discussion it struck me that so many atheists are asked – forced, even – to defend their positions. That atheists are expected to justify their criticism and rejection of “God”, of faith, of religion. And although I have always argued aggressively against religion, I too have regularly fallen into the trap of jusitifying my stance.
I challenge believers to justify religion. To provide benefits accruing from belief.
A contibutor, Johan Swarts, suggested “brotherly love”. I responded that 9/11 and Gujarat and Beslan, for instance, indicate the absence of brotherly love in religion. As do Evangelical and Reformed and Catholic attitude to gays, for instance.
No, suggested Johan, such manifestations – of hate – are not brotherly love. Indeed! Discrimination is rife – both within religion and outside of it. Brotherly love can therefore not be claimed as a salutary effect of religion.
What makes religion worthwhile?