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Discussion 1 to Meditation 873
There are more contributing factors than violence and instability

by: Larro

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Hi, Maria.

If I may, I'd like to point out that when you stated that "Organized religion seems to be the result of the interplay between the uncertainties of our lives and our inherently human traits." Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe your use of the word "organized" may have been unintended or misplaced.

"This is supported by the fact that the more violent and unstable a region is, the more religious the population."

Can you source that assertion? Because it seems to me that there are far more contributing factors than violence and instability in the State. Additionally, one could argue that the opposite could be true; that the more religious a region is, the more violent and unstable the population. I would also pose a question: Are States, societies, regions that are more secularized less violent; less crime-ridden?

"...any extreme system of beliefs, both religious and secular, can accomplish the same goals -- for examples, look at nationalism and communism."

It may have been better to say that any belief system controlled by a dogmatic, totalitarian and dictatorial State is anathema to tolerance and personal liberty. It appears you're succumbing to the anti-*ism that paints such ideologies with images of Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler; all totalitarian dictators who would probably have ruled the State as they did regardless of what political ideology they held.

"...intolerant and aggressive atheism scares me."

Would you care to give specific examples? In defense of Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, et al, I would wager that they have a similar position on "intolerant and aggressive religion". Additionally, we can probably, and quite safely assume that none of these prominent atheists ever called for the equivalent of an atheist fatwa. Or denouncing homosexuals as sinners and denying them their civil rights because that "lifestyle choice" is not conducive to an atheist society. Or advocating the suppression of a womens rights in the name of "pro-atheism".

If by "intolerant and aggressive" you mean out-spoken and freely expressive then yes, I suppose you could say that they are intolerant and aggressive; by that definition. If people are insulted and offended that somebody is questioning their god/faith/beliefs then they have larger problems to do with their god/faith/beliefs than they do with the "militant atheist".