Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Everything is a belief? Ok, i'll grant that but some beliefs are based on fact and some aren't. Some start out as pure beliefs and become substantiated by facts. Some remain beliefs only through lack of fact. The fact that the planets revolve around the sun began as a belief and was subsequently supported by fact. The fact that the Earth was flat was a belief, non-supported by fact, which vanished when facts proved differently....although i dare say that, if one looks hard enough, one may find a group that still believes the Earth is really flat. (which will not change the facts).
Religion is a belief supported by faith. Are there facts that support a superior force, being, or God? Good question. I thought about that in the hospital recently. When the doctors told me that my intestine was punctured, my thought was, "Oh, no! That means the contents of the intestines have spilled out to infect other things!". The docs then told me that, at the instant of puncture, the white cells rushed to the area to form a kind of bubble around the puncture area to contain it. I remember thinking what an amazing thing that was, how incredible that the human body had that knowledge and ability to do that. I found myself thinking that, with such incredible intricasies of the human body imbedded, one had to conclude that it was created by some form of intelligent grand design. How does one view the body any other way?
Believing in some divine creator, though, does not necessarily mean that it resembles anything organized religions portray. The religions base those portrayals on faith only. Is there a Heaven that the Christians portray where you can go (but only if you accept Jesus as your Savior?) Are there 74 virgins waiting? Is there a hell? Is God watching your every move? Does He hear your prayers or is it the power of positive thinking that makes the difference? Are there pearly gates? None of these things are supported by facts so how can the religions claim that their beliefs are the only true ones?
As I said, I don't think the rank and file have a problem. It has traditionally been the religious leaders who have instigated the hatred or disdain between religious groups. They do it to build memberships, to recruit people to fight (as is being done now) or for expansion, like the original crusades, or for power and profit, like the inquisitions and witch trials. The "bashing" comes from the top. Those who follow it are just pawns..
my humble opinion....
btw, Ron, Ayn Rand was produced many times. I would venture to say more people saw her than Jesus