During the last century, many predicted that religion would cease to exist in modern civilization. Nietzsche had previously declared that God was dead. Time magazine asked if God was dead, and Freud and Ellis diagnosed religion as disease. As science explained more mysteries of nature, the supernatural lost relevance. With the exception of some annoying fundamentalism late in the 20th century, religion was little more than an illusion.
Then came 9-11-2001. With its famous tools of fire and murder, religion thundered back to life with the suicide bomber as its calling card, and the Bush crusade was our response. If you believe that only radical Islamists are a threat to civilization, you do not understand the relevance of religion. As Harris and Dawkins teach, all supernatural religions contribute to radicalism because all of them are based on irrational dogma. Religious extremists would not exist if there were no religious moderates, because to think irrationally is to support irrational conduct. The mixture of irrationality and nuclear technology is a most lethal brew. Now the relevance of religion is its potential to destroy everything.
For an opposing view, see an interesting article titled “The atheist delusion” at http:// www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/ mar/15/society.
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