This is the ghost of Professor Ceiling Cat, summoned forth by his minions to create a forum for discussion. In the thread below you can talk about whatever you want.
One suggestion, which is mine, is this: in my post on Friday, I asked readers to tell me why, in the absence of data, they were so sure that religion was bad for the world. That is, how do they know that if the world had never had religion, it would be better than it is now?
That would seem to be an empirical question, resolvable only with data. Yet as far as I can see (and I haven’t read every comment), most readers feel that the question can be resolved not with data, but with logic or from first principles. Or, they cite anecdotes like religiously-inspired violence (my response would be that it’s easy to measure deaths, but not so easy to measure the consolation and well being that, believers claim, religion brings them). But pointing out that religion does bad stuff doesn’t answer the question if it’s been harmful on the whole.
One person I talked to said that New Atheist books like The End of Faith or God Is Not Great were meant not to show that religion in its net effects was harmful to humanity, but instead to emphasize that there were some bad effects of religion that had been overlooked. I disagree: I claim that those books were very clearly written to show that religion was a bad institution as a whole. What do you think?
But of course you can talk about anything you want, or go off on any tangent you want.