As a good old-fashioned New Atheist type, I have long been of the view that religion is most certainly not good for humanity. ...
The world did not come into being because an ancient Norse cow named Auðumbla was thirsty. Allah did not create man from clay. Yahweh Elohim did not bring about the universe in six days before retiring for cocktails on the seventh. In short, every single religion simply got it wrong. ...
But let us not forget just how utterly corrosive religion was, when it had real power, to the pursuit of knowledge.
One example will suffice: the Dark Ages. Now, before you start furiously writing in to tell me that scholars do not, any longer, consider the medieval period to have been an age of darkness, I am well aware of the fact. I know that scholars of the Middle Ages take it almost personally when this crude view is expressed. Undoubtedly, it produced great scholars, literature, art, and architecture. But however much we might nuance our understanding of the Middle Ages, there remains one irrefutable kernel of truth in the old view: it took around a thousand years for modern science to emerge in Christian Europe.
Only with the fragmentation of the old order wrought by the Reformation could science and Enlightenment really take off. At the very least, we can say that Christianity didn’t help science in the slightest
No, this is completely backwards. At the start of that millennium, Europe was behind China, India, and Persia in science, and not very Christian. Then Europe turned Christian, and leap-grogged ahead of all of them in science, and is still way ahead today.
He mentions the Reformation, but that was a Christian movement. It used the newly invented printing press to disseminate bibles widely and teach people to read. Yes, this advanced civilization, but it did it by promoting Christianity, not opposing it.
It took Christianity about a millennium to transform Europe, genetically, culturally, spiritually, and philosophically. The so-called Dark Ages invented the nuclear family, universities, market economy, clocks, individual rights, rule of law, republican government, and the scientific method. Non-Christian countries did none of these, except to copy Christendom centuries later.
But make no mistake: religion is an extraordinarily effective engine of evil.Again, the opposite of the truth. Ukraine is a Christian country, that is unfortunately led by a Jewish president who is a puppet of American and British neocons seeking a proxy war with Russia.
It's not much of an exaggeration to say that one could pick almost any conflict at random, historical or contemporary, and quickly see the poisonous influence of religion. Putin’s war on Ukraine, for example, like the missiles with which he slaughtered Syrians, has been blessed by the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin sees himself as the restorer of a pure Russianness, one based on a rejection of secular and liberal modernity and in search of an imperium over which to rule. For him, Russia is the last great hope of Christianity and traditional values, and Moscow is the “Third Rome”.
It is not so much that religion causes war (though it is very capable of that) as that it makes it worse. Take Israel/Palestine: here there is a perfectly fair and reasonable two-state solution. But religious fanaticism on both sides makes this solution impossible.No, again. Israel has offered a two-state solution many times. It has always been refused.
Islam is evil, and causes conflict. It is set back the progress of civilization in about 50 countries. Christianity does not have the same faults. Christianity has been the major force for good in the world, no matter how you measure it.