We've talked about the existence of God, about whether or not it is possible to know this. But what about asking a more pragmatic question: Would the world be better off without religion?
Religion has without a doubt given positive meaning to millions of peoples' lives, given them hope, and given them instructions for how to live and interact with their fellow humans. But, religion has also been the cause of incredible amounts of death, suffering, violence, oppression, suppression, sexism, and homophobia. Moreover, we know that ethics/morality can and does exist independently from religion, which means people can do good things without religion. So given all of this, it is a very interesting question to ask.
While it is interesting, it is not to be confused with questioning the existence of God, as they are two separate topics. For example, one can believe in God yet not be religious. This question instead is about the amount of good versus the amount of bad that religion causes.
If you have the time, watch this highly interesting debate (whose panelists include the great, great grandson of Charles Darwin) from Intelligence Squared:
So NS, what do you think?