With the advent of the Internet, you might have already noticed that intelligent, rational conversation about religion is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Online identities have been constructed somewhat anonymously and disconnected from any real “community,” thereby allowing many to pass off opinion for fact, with an absence of accuracy, honesty, and personal integrity.
For example, I cannot begin to count the number of times I have read this on an Internet message board: “Religion kills more people worldwide than anything on the planet.”
Of course this is nonsense, but proof that if we repeat something loud enough and frequently enough, we can get a majority of people to believe it. Let’s leave the debating about what is “religiously-motivated” violence versus “ethnically-motivated” violence for the scholars to debate. The lines are always going to be blurry there, although I believe the evidence from these scholars would be more than enough to put this disinformation to rest. Still, we don’t even need to dig that deep—all we need to do is crack open a beer.