The Laws of Religion
Belief: a positive/negative state behavior, exercised by a human brain, which flavors its interaction with the world.
A person can believe in anything they choose.
Person 'A' can choose to believe in Bugs Bunny, Large Boulders and Gravity.
Person 'B' can choose to believe in Elmer Fudd and Large Boulders, but choose not to believe in Gravity.
When person 'B' is crushed by Gravity + Large Boulder, Person 'A' might correctly conclude what transpired, while the family of person 'B' might falsely conclude that Elmer Fudd was the real cause.
Many people see Elmer Fudd on a regular basis.
People are sometimes killed by rocks.
This does not change the fiction element of our situation.
Elmer Fudd is a cartoon character who, despite anyone's belief, does not exist and cannot be proven to.
The Large Boulder and Gravity can both be proven to exist.
Right about now is where someone gets on their high-horse and begins to spew nonsense about tradition, faith, and other assorted baloney, and half the room gets all sappy and glazy-eyed.
The level and extent of any individual's own disconnection from factual reality (which occurs whether you believe in it or not) has no bearing on the laws of nature, and that individual's own possible squash-ed-ness.
Switching lanes, it is indeed fair to say that one 'believes' in science, the same way someone believes in religion. However, the good news on the science side of the fence is that when it finds it's been disproven, it admits it, and changes it, and re-publishes it for the whole world to see.
Religion, on the other hand, foolishly tries to alter reality. Our belief in religion is the only thing causing religion to exist. If all of humankind suddenly poofed out of existence for 24 hours while a video camera recorded what happened while we were gone, we'd find when we returned that while there were no humans in the universe, science continued to exist while religion was absent. Since our hypothetical situation is impossible, it's pretty worthless, and to a religious believer it's likely a very silly argument, as, of course, god was there waiting for us to poof back all along.
Religion has lost sight of its purpose. That is, rather than go out and actually exercise its teachings, most religions just sit and stagnate. To paraphrase Scott Adams, if the 4 billion people globally who say they believe in a god/religion actually did, and their daily actions reflected it, there would be no war, no poverty, no homelessness, no abuse, no bad things in the world. People would see how amazingly valuable it was to believe in a religion, and I bet the other 2 billion people would be extremely cooperative, as look at how well everything gets done and how fine and upstanding everyone is. The nay-sayers would get their judgement in the end, but for now they get helped in the same selfless and giving way as everyone else- just like god told us to.
But, as is painfully clear, too few people actually walk the walk.
Religion has a fine place in the world, however, just like robotics has its three laws, I think there should be a base of control to keep religious organizations in order. I've begun working on them- still tinkering, so far.
The first rule all religions must follow is: All religions must, in script and deed, promote the friendly and pro-active tolerance of all other religions, no matter how diametrically opposed.
The second rule all religions must follow is: follow your mission statement. If it includes things like thou shalt not kill, steal, take the lord's name in vain, etc, then actually live your life that way.
The third rule all religions must follow is: Missionary work would be allowed, but recruitment would be limited to those who came to the missionary's church on their own- going door-to-door, advertising, leafletting, etc- would not be allowed. The Missionary's own actions alone would have to speak for them.
Pretty much every religion I have heard of claims to be about peace, love, and unity. Oh, wait, that's right- peace, love and unity- but only through world domination by making every person alive part of their church. No religion has ever attained this fallacious concept of world domination, and none ever will, but they seem bent on it. And through this bent-ness, they disrespect all of those beliefs not like theirs... and then expect my respect for their beliefs in return?
Don't get me wrong- on an individual level you have my respect, truly. It's at the organizational level you lose me, and that is the 'you/your' I speak to in this rant.
Going after science is a waste of time which contributes no good to the world except the soothing of your own insecure, lacking-in-faith little self, and at the cost of everyone on the planet when science is set back due to your ignorance.
Nothing short of fascism will achieve the goal of displacing the theory of evolution, because you, [group of religious people], are shoving your beliefs in everyone else's faces, AGAIN- a very pious course of action, indeed. The good believers and doers in the world are really getting a bad name thanks to you.
If you believe in your god, what do you care if absolutely NOTHING in the world proves or disproves your god's existence? You should rejoyce every time there is a discovery disproving the existence of your god- certainly this is merely a test of your faith. Are you that faithless? Oh yeah, I forgot about the world domination part. Hard to convert everyone in the world when your ancient text is as hokey as a 50's sci-fi movie.
After ranting thus, I realize, this is not a rant about religion, but the weakness and lameness, in general, of your average human mind. The same fallible traits which cause a nation to elect a crew of war mongering moron/psychos and then sit back and do nothing about it are the same traits that cause a person aligned with any particular church to sit back and allow those power-and-control-hungry leaders within it to misrepresent and malign them. It seems to have come back to the whole misanthrope theme again. Stupid Humans.