Religion, even if untrue, could help guide the average person’s morality. Religion could help if religion taught morality at Wall Street, compassionate behavior for chief executives, just profits instead of blind greed.
Unfortunately, Western religions miss the big issues and instead devote themselves to obstructing society on minor philosophical points (rights of embryos containing 300 cells only are more important then life saving research), prohibition of condom use in Africa, etc.
But, religious books are outdated, badly interpreted, and as Sam Harris would say, dangerous to society. Sam Harris, a militant Atheist, aptly dismantles religion in his speeches and Videos. Really interesting & valuable.
Sam Harris: The View from the End of the World: Dangerous Deadly Religion
This is a voice only recording, you prefer to see a Video (albeit not very well done), you find a video with nice structure by topics http://fora.tv/2005/12/09/View_From_End_Of_World
Video Content description
Quotes taken from the youtube post of the video above follow:
|Sam Harris has been identified as one of the “Four Horsemen of Atheism” — company he shares with Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. An outspoken proponent of skepticism and science, his two books — The End of Faith and its follow-up Letter to a Christian Nation — have become best-sellers.
In The End of Faith, Harris showed “a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities.” After receiving thousands of angry letters in response, he wrote Letter to a Christian Nation, which centered on religious controversies in the United States: stem cell research, “intelligent design,” and links between religion and violence.
Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society.
More on Sam Harris, Bertrand Russell, Atheism, Religion, Morality below
- It’s taboo among religious moderates to compare religions, said Harris, but we must. “Where are the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers? For that matter, where are the Palestinian Christian suicide bombers— they’re as Arab and aggrieved as anyone.” The fundamental beliefs of Islam really are a problem. “Martyrdom in jihad is not a fringe doctrine; it is believed by millions of Muslims.” It’s not a question of ignorance— two-thirds of al Qaeda operatives are college educated. “We have no reason to expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Faith is intrinsically divisive. We have a choice between conversation and war.”
- It was conversation that ended slavery, not faith. “Faith is a declaration of immunity to conversation. To make religious war unthinkable, we have to undermine the dogma of faith. The continuance of civilization requires not moderation, but reason.” Harris ended by lauding meditation and mysticism as a form of experiential science, and observed, “The wisdom of contemplative life is not evenly distributed. The East has more than the West.”
(quoted from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Equfju9kJfA (the youtube page of the above Video)
Bertrand Russell: Why I am not a Christian
This & more interesting Videos can be found at youtube.com/user/AtheistMediaBlog
|Beautiful history Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Bertrand Russell. Russell’s book “Why I am not a Christian” converted me from devout Christian to religious sceptic and Agnostic. But I kept my ingrained respect for religion, in that I thought that religious beliefs should not be attacked.
Richard Dawkins & Sam Harris convinced me that religion is so detrimental & harmful that it needs to be actively fought: “Militant Atheism”.
Sam Harris on Science, Religion, & Human Values
Sam Harris debunking the myth that only religion can give us values and morality.
More by Sam Harris here: