Why religion is fundamentally and basically immoral and evil, and should be banned.

Like no other existing human enterprise, religion will one day lead its insane followers to start a nuclear war that will destroy us all over some insult to it or its deity or to the breaking of one of its commandments.
There is no comparable threat to our very existence from any other form of human activity.

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I said nothing about banning speaking,

But a ban on religion IS going to ban a great deal of speech.
Maybe even speech as simple as "I believe in God". If people get together and say "I believe in God", and talk about their belief in God, that becomes like religious assembly, which you would like banned.
Simply put banning religion doesn't make sense, it will only make it more attractive and dangerous. Banning something just makes it go underground, harder to see, out of sight is not out of mind, it will not magically be gone once it is banned.

As for the religious groups that cross the line, write, protest, make it known what they did, especially if it was a criminal act. Show the primarily good people who support them, what these people do with their trust and money. Almost all the people at the top tiers of these things are wealthy beyond any of their followers dreams, and they should be since they don't have to pay taxes on it.

Make more religious charities justify their public good status beyond simply proselytizing, ask to see the books on how much they spend on public services and to who. If they are taking any public funding, it is suppose to go to all citizens regardless of religion, skin color or sexual identity.

Calling them to task on their broken promises, ie. point out the failure of abstinence as the only plan for pregnancy prevention.

Drag these institutions forward because they will not do it themselves. Given how long it took them to acknowledge Galileo a few more centuries should do it... maybe...

There is plenty of good anecdotal evidence these days that reliving social pressures directly reduces the overall religiosity of a society.

Hospitals, good public education, social safety nets, health-care as universal options for all citizens actually relives the pressures that drive people to seek the religious option in the first place. I think it is a good place to start personally, reinforcing what is already there and trying to help build something better.
JstN: Personally I too feel religion should be banned.

Personally, I agree with you. And why stop there? I think we should also ban all of those UFO and alien-bodies-in-secret-bunkers maniacs and their gibberish too. In fact, we should lock them all up in rubber rooms and throw away the key.
JstN: Not taking into account the many reams of evidence proving we've been visited by ETs.

This is great. OK Spaceboy, hit is with your "reams of evidence". Hearsay and FOAF stories don't count. Nor do the testimonies of senile dementia cases that used to work for NASA. And nothing that falls in the 2 degrees of separation rule either.

I don't stalk you any more than I stalk the dog turds I accidentally step in on the sidewalk. But when I do cross your path, it's the same old derangement oozing out of my monitor.

Do not talk about "evidence" - you wouldn't know what that was if it bit you on the ass. You babble about aliens and how closed minded we are for not believing, tell us China has good government and think Erich Von Daniken is reliable reference material. I don't think you've ever been on speaking terms with reality.

Nah I don't think we were really jumping. It's just that more of us wrote the reasons why banning ALL religion wasn't a good or feasible idea, he didn't have too many defenses, and then he started implying logic was on his side and calling people psychopaths. If he had a sound idea he could have defended it more effectively than that. You haven't answered the question of how the ban would be enforced either.

If something is "institutionally dangerous" then deal with it when the actual danger is apparent, instead of banning all religions because some people get fanatical and those fanatics might start a nuclear war.
No, don't ban religion, how would I know who all the really crazy people are... well crazier at least. Don't shut them up let them speak so everyone can see how silly these ideas are.

Seriously bans do not work, if anything a ban on something only calls more attention to it, and makes it seem forbidden and therefor in someways more desirable.

Religion simply put isn't going away anytime soon, not in my lifetime certainly. The best we can do is keep talking skeptically and make it tough for future generations to fall into the trap.

Education, communication, and appropriate actions (protests, ridicule, speaking out in public, etc) are the way forward. Show religion for the ridiculousness it is, a stone/bronze age belief system that has no place in a modern world.
I think we can start with a number of churches/cults. THe first being the catholic church. If you have not watched hungry beast the catholic church sex scandal on youtube do yourself a favour and have a look. It takes you back to before the bible and lists every documented mention of abuse by popes. September is when they plan to ask for the Popes arrest in Britain. This church is the one out of favour all around the world. It is the biggest. If we get this one then the others will hopefully be easier
eric, i understand your standpoint, and perhaps your post was intentionally provocative, but i think your generalisations are too blunt to be useful -

'religion will one day lead its insane followers to start a nuclear war'
not necessarily, this is a worst-case scenario, and a reaonably remote one. at present, i think it's fair to say that political motivation is the more likely cause of armageddon than religion... this is perhaps your least controversial point though.

'religion is fundamentally and basically immoral and evil'
fundamentally immoral - yes, absolutely, i strongly subscribe to the idea of morality as a dialectical process, which necessarily disqualifies all dogmatic moral codes from being truly moral; however, 'evil' is a problematic terms in this context, and does leave you open to criticism of promoting your own form of dogma.
also, don't forget that the vast majority of religious people are not fundamentalist psychopaths, they are normal, generally small-minded people getting on with their lives. they believe because it's how they have been conditioned and because it's psychologically comfortable in many ways...

'and should be banned'
this is the tricky part. if we take 'should' at face value (i.e. because religion is harmful - which it is, as i have always argued), we are left with the pointlessly difficult question of how this might be achieved, leading to the second and most important point:
if we take 'should' as ['should do it because it's a good idea'], you've quite simply not thought it through: banning religion simply would not work, i.e. that's just not the way to eradicate religious thought. in fact, it would probably strengthen religious belief because it would distract from the flaws of religion (instead people would focus on maintaining their beliefs amid adversity). religion's shortccomings are what will lead to the abandonment of religion (and have done in the past - there are plenty of examples of extinct religions), and these are what need to be emphasised. religion cannot be banned, it needs to be given up - there unfortunately isn't a shortcut.
I think a better bet than banning religion would be to redefine them. If they proselytise, penalise people who leave, etc, classify them as cults. Remove all tax funding and special privileges, remove them totally from education (unless someone wants to study a religion in University, say), Faith schools, creationist museum rubbish, and so on. Also remove their "cult leaders" from having an elevated platform for opinions in the media, treat them as if they were no different from any other Joe Bloggs
Religion should not be banned. It should be held to ridicule and scorn but not banned. Eric I hope you are joking. This kind of extremist thinking is identical to the "jihadists" and "branch davidians", and should not be tolerated among atheists. Violence against any person, religious or otherwise, because of some belief they hold is truly what needs to be "banned".
To paraphrase the gun control mantra:

If you ban religion only the fundamental extremists will be religious. You try telling some cleric in Crapistan that his religion is banned now. Remember, this is the same idiot that is offended by a stupid cartoon.

Now, banning ignorance would be a more noble cause, although almost as equally impossible.



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