So we had a very interesting debate 14th November on anti-theism. This is starting to become a BIG bone of contention between atheists. Yes, I said atheists. Traditionally this debate has featured theistic defenders of theism versus atheistic critics. Now we are seeing more atheists (in my observation typically those more conservative leaning who no doubt evaluate the “goods” and “harms” to a different datum, as a result) making the case for religion and religiosity as a societal good. My YouTube friend Friended is one of those.
Here is the debate:
Have a watch, I think it was an excellent run over the points and their counters.
So a couple of points cropped up during the debate that, on listening back through a second time, i realised I’d like to both expand on and investigate a little further. i present them here (whilst sat in my cycling gear after an hour’s ride home).
To sum up the questions:
1) We both agree there are harms and goods but to demand “proof” the harms outweigh the goods it to suppose an objective evaluation can be made of how many apples are equivalent to a certain number of oranges. I found that unfair at the time and I would like some explanation of how EITHER OF US could quantatively balance the harm and good of religion
2) What evidence is there that people adopt religious beliefs simply to flatter their intuitive preconceptions in the teeth of all the evidence we have that one’s religious belief is strongly correlated to the religion of one’s parents?
PS: Big thanks to Friended for suggesting the debate and for the manner in which the debate was conducted.