On the one hand, yes, religion as mostly practiced and interpreted now is illiberal and intolerant and sucky, but on the other hand, it always could be fluffier and nicer, if people would only.
But they won’t, so what’s the point of saying that?
Oh, you know…it fills the time. It’s not as hazardous as snowboarding. It’s easy.
Christianity, Islam and the other world faiths shouldn’t be completely disregarded. Many of the ethics they teach – and the faith, and in turn, the security which they offer believers – are far too valuable to ignore; what needs to change is our understanding. It is up to the intellectual religious leaders, who have the ability to engage with the intelligent as well as the uneducated, to renovate religion.
No. The items that are too valuable to ignore? Here’s the thing: they’re not inherently religious. They don’t depend on religion. We don’t need to keep religion to keep the items. We don’t decide which items are valuable and which are sucky on the basis of religious criteria; we use other criteria, as Plato pointed out such a god damn long time ago. We can make our own good things. We can transmit them, we can teach them, we can defend them, we can enshrine them in bills and declarations of human rights. We don’t need god to help. We do it better without god.