Interesting thoughts, and I say this as a die hard atheist ;-) but cultural christian. It mirrors many of the thoughts of the present pope, which I respect a lot for trying to make Christianity focus on its core values of compassion, caring about the sick and the poor, rather than focus so much energy on condemming people either for not believing, or having the wrong sexual orientation.

Still to me, these are perfectly good reasons why religion is a futile attempt at making people better. Because scripture is full of contradictions, it can too easily be abused by people to argue for inherently immoral activities. There is no way to clean up this problem, because religion by its very nature claims the words of Gods are immutable. Thus there can be no change to scripture. No rewrite or clarification can ever happen because the religious claim as a virtue the unchanging nature of their beliefs.

This contrasts strongly with science, which is always rewriting itself as more knowledge is gained. Thus harmful and wrong ideas eventually get weeded out in science. People will claim morality and ethics has nothing to do with science, but I disagree. With the scientific method we can study the outcomes of various practices in society, how we raise children and rehabilitate criminals. When statistics and research shows that beating your children produce bad results, then that has a strong influence on the secular debate on moral behavior. I believe that is one reason why corporal punishment was abandoned early in a secular societies like my own, while it has stayed on in more religious societies like the American one.

It is harder to change such bad behavior by parents when their morals are based on scripture, rather than an ongoing secular debate on morality fueled by new findings within research on child psychology, neurology etc.

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Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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