I have a question for you free thinkers out there. I am not sure I can answer it myself...but have spent hours trying to work out the best answer.

If you COULD ban religion across the globe... would you?

Thinking caps on guys... this is a big responsibility -our chance to change the world...

look forward to your replies...

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I definitely would NOT. I am very much a believer in personal freedom.

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Voltaire

Think of it this way.
If you Could ban atheism across the globe... would you?

If it is OK to ban religion then it must be OK to ban atheism or any other way of thinking. If you write it the opposite way and judge your reaction to each version, it is easier to shed bias and get to the principles of the issue.

As far as I'm concerned the world would be a better place without religion. But it would be a far worse place without freedom of thought. As a matter of principle, I absolutely would not take the trade off.
> If you Could ban atheism across the globe... would you?

Here's something interesting, a definite difference between atheists and theists. I truly think most atheists would argue along the lines of everyone's response here, "no banning." Even most of the "militant" atheists would probably argue this way.

If you flip the question though, I'll bet many theists and especially fundamentalists would vote to ban atheism in split-second.
Nope. For a couple reasons. One, freedom of thought is important. I may wish people would do some hard thinking and critically analyze their beliefs, but I firmly support their right to believe what they wish. I just don't want them trying to impose their unsupported beliefs on other people, like myself.
Second, banning something just makes people want it more. You can't just declare something is no longer allowed and expect people to go along with it. That worked so well during Prohibition, after all...
I wouldn't ban religion for the same reasons already posted above.
No. People have the right to believe as they wish.
Knee-jerk response is "Yes!"

But upon true reflection, definitely "No."

The key in your question is the term "ban." I think it would be wonderful if some marvelous revelation of insight graced the entire planet and made everyone all at once go "Holy shit! There is no god." But any time you ban something that some people want, you'll have resistance. Ban something that the majority want, and you'll have some kind of revolt. Additionally I think it wrong to deny people their right to choice, even if their choice is disillusioned and deranged (when their choice becomes dangerous to others though, I'll jump on the bandwagon to oppose it).

I'm with Nelson in-that I wish government everywhere would stop using, pushing, enforcing, and even listening to religion. And that governments like ours in the US would put their foot down on people trying to push religion into law and government.

Yeah I wouldn't ban it, but I love the idea of the marvellous revelation of insight. Perhaps some lost letters from the apostles saying they made the whole thing up. But even if science could prove 1000% that there is no God, there would still be some demented people out there who wouldn't believe it.

Thank you to all who replied... it is very interesting that this disbelieving hoarde should all stand up for the right to religion. But as many have pointed out - It is not peoples belief that we are really addressing but the right to choice.

I worded the question poorly as it implied that I had some internal struggle with this question. I do not...I concur with all posts here.

Thanks to all for your insight. What is refreshing to see is that there is a commitment to reason and human rights among us and not some mob mentally aimed at destroying faith. This post is a great refutation to one of the classic theist responses as to the "purpose" of atheism, in that we are trying to destroy faith. We just do not want it to influence any aspect of decisions made on our behalf and to prevent belief that impinges on our human rights.
Nope. Everyone else pretty much summed up why pretty well . :)
As other people have noted, banning religion isn't even a conceivable proposition, and would go against everything I personally stand for. If we don't agree with freedom for even those we despise, do we really agree with it at all?

That said, my sincere wish is that all of humanity will outgrow that security blanket!
I could go through the ethical reasons for my nonsupport of banning religion, but everyone else has already stated everything that I would state.

But there's also another issue involved here that was only mentioned a few times. It's the fact that banning religion, while possibly causing the desired outcome, would at the very least be the least efficient method of doing so. Most of us already know that education is the biggest threat to theism or any other dogmatic belief system and we have the means to properly educate all of the children (and when I say "properly educate", I mean that we teach them the skills to think critically, the "baloney detection kit" as Sagan put it). Education is much cheaper than enforcing an un-enforcable law and it would solve the religion problem within only a few generations, as opposed to banning thoughts, which has historically taken hundreds of years to achieve, if at all.

In my opinion, it's not only an issue of ethics but also an issue of utility.
Last time that happened, didn't they call it the "Reign of Terror"?


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