What it tells you to do (love your kin) does not dictate what it is based on.
Knowledge? The definition of santa claus is also knowledge. Information on arbitrary things might be knowledge, but what use does it have to store randomly generated data?
If it was so random and didn't make sense up to a certain degree, people wouldn't want to believe in it. The multiple Gods in Ancient Greece seemed unbelievable, but the fact that it explained so many things that couldn't be explained at the time have helped the average human feel more secure. No fear of the unknown. As I just saw in a video game last night: "No God, know fear. Know God, no fear".
My point: in ancient times, knowledge was limited, but Man's imagination was not, and filled the gaps. You see this as wrong, as a typical, enlightened modern man; but I see its past usefulness, and necessity. Nowadays though, that's something else.
The problem is that although a religious view might explain things "knowledge and explaining the unknown" it always supports itself, not open to new findings that prove it wrong. The thousand year old book is always right, and modern observations are somehow false. One of the golden rules of science (which is, mind you, the very art of knowing things) is to honestly admit what you do not know. This is how you persue the truth. Religion doesn't, it fills in the blanks with imaginary constructs, and when those are proven wrong, they are still held up by people who are incapable of living without it.
A religion is not stubborn and always refuses to admit it can be wrong; the people who practice it though, do. As of today, many Christians believe in evolution as well as their god. The Dalai Lama himself said: "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change." (As a side-note, I found that quote on a website called RationalWiki)
A religion that died.
A religion that was weaker than the irrational and ignorant christian beliefs which survived much longer.
You should know better than that. People didn't go "Oh, that religion sounds better!" Politics and conflicts made the choice for them. Christianity survived much longer because its huge power was centralized and they relentlessly worked at converting and promoting themselves through art notably. All in all, Christianity was simply much more organized, and would have been extremely difficult to root out. As proven as of today, it still is.
Almost. It only tells them to kill the unbelievers in 109 different places in the Quran.
First, it talks about opposing infidels in those 109 verses, killing is only scarcely mentioned. Second, that shows how few people actually do it. People have the rationality not to go on a killing spree, religion or not.
The Japanese word Kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind")
Japanese patriotism was nearly a religion by itself. In both cases (japanese kamikaze and 9/11) faith was the thing that drove them to their actions. Faith. Exactly that irrational thing based on gut feeling and ignorace.
My point exactly. Religion is not the sole source of irrationality, and faiths, in varying intensity, are a way of life.
Irrational thoughts is the source of all evil. The problem is that the presence of faith in one's mind causes him to perform actions he thinks are rational; actually, if his faith is true, the actions ARE rational. Sadly the faith isn't.
I'd like you to explain to me how a faith can possibly be rational. Faith is believing. Believing is having knowledge without evidence. Faith and rationality are the exact contrary of one another. By definition, a faith cannot be rational.
Nothing I believe is based on faith. I have no faith. Until proven otherwise I am a soulles sack of molecules with a virtual conscience. The reason I think advancement of civilization is important is because it is the only thing we can do in this sandbox called the universe. Explore. And maybe one day we will actually figure out the truth. Until then, make no assumptions.
So you believe. You believe in a future revelation just as some Christians believe in the Judgment Day that is to come. Even I don't hold such a belief, that one day we will find out the truth. That just sounds so irrational to me.
Quit denying you don't have any faiths. You believe in mathematics, in science, physics, you believe in your country, in your culture, your history, in your friends, your family, the betterment of humankind, the superiority of science and the poison of religion. Like many others, you've seen horrible things happen, blamed religion, believed religion is evil, and later came to the conclusion that all forms of faith are wicked. You believe in more things than you think; we all do.
Religious people did not pick their religion like they pick their parties. If someone was born into it they were heavily indoctrinated and never had a choice to begin with. Only people who pick their religion as an adult have had a choice.
It's not that different, Hitler's nationalism-socialism relied heavily on indoctrination for example. Besides, that doesn't explain how me or other people stopped being Christian on our own.
And now we get to the bottom of things: Is it rational to believe irrationality is bad?
The problem for your side is that the only arguments against this are irrational to begin with. Only irrational feelings can conclude that irrationality is not bad; there is no rational argument for that.
I am not saying we should live without feelings or emotion, I know that this is impossible due to our brain chemistry.
We want to be happy because that is simply what our brain is programmed to want (which in itself can be explained evolutionary)
The brain is also programmed to want to know, or rather, to not want to not know. As History proves it, people give a higher priority to that pursuit than to rationality.
Exactly, dropping the religion is the only way out if you do not want to lie (to) yourself a way around evidence that goes against your religion. This is a perfect demonstration of how rational intepretation of evidence and religion cannot coexist in one mind.
Your rationality has beaten your religion. Sadly, many people are ignorant and too far in or too dumb (irrational) to break free.
I can't entirely disagree with that, but how come there are so many religious scientists? They're not ignorant or dumb, and they're no more far in than the next guy.
I guess you see religion as an active belief: if you practice, it's all you practice, and it determines the way you live your life. You know that's not true, and this is an important point. Look at the IS now: their belief, which is a bit different than what other Muslims believe in (as proven by their attempt to change the Quran), now that's an active belief. They really believe in what they're doing, their life's purpose. Go ask the average Christian about his opinions on God and he'll tell you: "God's okay, I guess". Same for Muslims. Not the same for radical Muslims, Al-Qaeda or similar cells.You have posted more than the allowed number of quoted blocks of text, wtf?
"If what I said earlier was false, how can it be that there are still religious people?
The evidence is all around us, yet they refuse to accept it!"
I know it as well as you do, but it does not pain me as much.
"My nationality is irrelevant."
Indeed, it's not. I would have presented you with the same arguments anyway.
"Because it is more rational to blindly follow a thousands of years old book full of contradictions and scientific inaccuracies."
I never implied that the Bible was rational. Believing in perfect rationality though, is dangerous. Ever heard of scientism?
"I make no assumptions, and that is by defenition the most rational stance one can take."
Making assumptions could be actually seen as rational. Not making assumptions can be dangerous and unhelping for oneself. In some situations, not making assumptions will get you killed.
I would like to ask you a question. Imagine; something unique happens to you, something that would never happen again. Your body is contaminated with something, that, if researched, will surely advance humanity by a few centuries, maybe more. But you need to die to be researched. Would you do it? Would you sacrifice yourself for humanity's sake?