Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.


( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Saturday, January 28, 2006
"Is the failure of religion to control evil the root cause?" Randy writes:

"I congratulate you on your bravery to even engage in the science-religion-atheism debate. Often to me it seems futile to even engage.

"Having spent many hours thinking/discussing these issues over the years your post caught my attention. Having a best buddy who is a Phd in the history of science and religion, plus a reverend, probably has something to do with that.

"(And of no consequence but I have to write it .........The fact that Grayling is an atheist has ironic significance to me since when people google me professionally the other major professional "Zindler" hit is a leading atheist)

"My main comment is that I question the validity of the science vs religion debate, and the religion vs war debate. I have lately come to the conclusion that fundamentally religion is not the root of war, but evil. I think you were on the mark that one of religions attributes (at least most religions) is the teaching of benevolence and the fight against evil.

"You commented: Since Prof. Grayling is an atheist he naturally holds that religion is false and counts this as one more tick on the bad side of its scoresheet. I am not saying that this is an illegitimate form of argument. But it doesn't quite belong with the Sistine chapel, or antibiotics. Too tired to tease out exactly why not right now

"As to why not right now ........ the question for me is:

a) Is religion is the "root cause" of war and other negatives.


b) Is the failure of religion to control evil the root cause?

"I offer up for your consideration the following. While atheists like to trot out religious wars as evidence, I can't help but notice their avoidance of the results of atheistic cultures. The biggest genocides in history (to my imperfect recollection) have all been carried out by atheistic cultures. Most particularly by Stalin and Mao ...... no religion there ........ and then there was Cambodia, Rwanda. Even Hitler wasn't religious, the first people sent to the camps were the pastors and opposition politicians as I was surprised to learn at Dachau.

"The facts of history would seem to argue that the lack of religion has lead to the greatest atrocities. And borrowing from your thoughts Stalin and Mao cultures did not produce any Sistine chapels.

"One last note, as my friend taught me many years ago, it's not science vs. religion. Religion birthed science. Most of the "enlightenment" scientists were deeply religious and wanted to understand God better."