You have to watch the videos to know what all of this is about:
Everything that I will be talking about will probably have to do with what Tony blair said, everything that I didn't mention, I probably agreed with to some degree.
When the man in the beginning of this video said that sometimes people use "google machines" to prepare for a debate, he wasn't kidding. this seems to be exactly what Tony Blair has done. Everything He has said has been said before. He makes no new points which makes it very easy to rebuttal his argument.
Whenever there is a debate about wither or not religion is a force for good or evil, the first argument is always about religious charity. they say that "well, it cant all be bad because we have religious charities" or something like that. they say that their religion inspires people to do good. that may be so, but what of the non-religious who are inspired to do good based on human survival instinct, compassion, and experiences that have formed our personalities through out our life times? These people do not need religion to be inspired to do these things. What does that really tell you about the kind of people who are religious? Do they need some sort of special inspiration for basic human emotions? Wither you are inspired by faith, or just you're own naturally developed morality to help people, you are still helping people. It's that fact that people need an extra nudge from religion that I feel sad for.
He keeps saying that people of faith are kind to one another because of their faith, but it doesn't really have to do with rewards from their religion, he says that it is because their faith teaches them to love one another. well then, why is it necessary to claim that faith is a main reason for people to love one another, when secular people dont NEED faith to love one another?
I also find it disturbing how he can say that science and faith can in fact exist in harmony, that there doesn't need to be anything that divides the two. He says that faith's purpose in science is to understand how we should use the information that science gives us. He seems to forget that, going on faith, the very reason we are all here in the first place contradicts each other.
also, he goes on to say that the reason atheist dictators in the 20th century hindered the overall well being of tolerance is because of their atheism. this is certainly not true. It is because of communism. lust for power. greed and the need for total control. anyone with these motives, no mater what their beliefs are bound to cause harm. This is always one of the first arguments as well, that seems to be parroted during every debate.
I can never understand how people claim that without religion, the world would have a lack of morality. If you need a doctrine which is out dated, incomplete and that contradicts it's self to be moral, then I guess you really are better off beveling whatever lets you sleep at night. I really think that if you need religion to do good, and that it is only extremists who make it look bad for the religion as a whole, then if you believe in you're doctrine in the first place, you are deluded and that will only lead to extremism.
I think that religion will never be able to completely unite with everyone because even within them selves, they have a hard time uniting their different beliefs. I dont think that you can really unite a certain kind of people, with another certain kind of people, when the first kind of people need to feel that they belong to a congregation. They disagree with the other sects of their beliefs, and because of that feeling of helplessness, they feel that they need to ban together with like minded people. This may be good for some things, but it doesn't speak well for tolerance. True religion may not be about excluding people because they are different, but you cannot stop the intolerance when it happens to breed from it.
Tony says that "for some people, humanism isn't enough". this just proves that these people are deluded and that they are the true problem. In this same response, he implies that a higher being isn't necessary to religion, but yet it is found in every religion, and it always seems to be the thing that puts fear in people's hearts and causes confusion in the first place.
oh and I just found it funny that whenever Hitch brings up something that is directly caused be what a religious leader said, Tony says something like "well...there were also religious people who stood against it". well fuck, I would hope so. They cant ALL be stupid!
Also, we will never have complete secularism coming from religious people. Their politics are directly related to their beliefs and doctrine. It is deep into their personalities and is impossible to really control. He says that Israel and Palestine have problems because of politics, not necessarily religion, but he doesn't seem to realize that yes, they have other reasons to have conflict, but they are justifying their reasons with religious doctrine. It has been going on ever since it was "divinely inspired" to be written in the bible.
the bottom line is, anything can be a force for good or evil, no matter what it is. It all depends on who is using it.