In his piece “Can religion program people to be irrational?” on MyNews24 Heiné de Waal responded to a readers comment as follows “My intention with this writing is to open minds to question our thoughts, otherwise it can become the ultimate truth for us and can destroy our relationships. Unfortunately religion creates a breeding ground for people NOT to question the mind hence so easily then create irrational beliefs.”
I believe Heine has only touched the problem. It is not the irrational beliefs that create a problem in the world, communities, and families and or on a personal level, it is the actions that flow from those beliefs that result in problems. Irrational beliefs lead to irrational and potentially harmful actions.
The belief that to die for one’s belief will bring one glory in the afterlife results in suicide bombings, children being used as human shields against attacks. The 19 young men who were on the aircraft that flew into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were all educated but in spite of their training allowed or embraced their beliefs in their acts of self-destruction and the murder of thousands.
Misogynistic and patriarchal societies are in most cases built on religious or cultural dogma resulting in about half of the population affected being placed in an inferior position and in many cases being that indoctrinated that they will defend their subjugation as being right and righteous.
The belief that their god will heal injuries or diseases results in the believers rejecting treatments/s that could resolve their problems. This is all to the good when the adult makes the decision on a personal level but unfortunately the same beliefs are used when making decisions regarding treatment for children occasionally resulting in the unnecessary deaths of the children.
The lack of uniform human rights throughout the world is in most cases the result of religious belief and dogma. This is evident in those areas which are still theocracies. The beliefs and dogmas in these areas appear to hold sway over the population maintaining the status quo with religious texts being used by the preachers and other religious leaders to ensure their hold and control on the people. Reason and rational thought are by extension the enemies of religion and belief.