So I happened across this in my friends blog today... he posted it awhile ago, but I read it today and thought it was interesting... what do you think?
"Religion is born from various psychological desires. The desire to be loved, to belong to something, to feel justified in one's actions, to be rewarded for good deeds and punished for bad ones, the fear of death, the fear of chaos and entropy, the unpleasant idea that nothing really, ultimately, has purpose, etc. Religion can and often does satisfy all of these things, but the price is very high. In my opinion it is too high. One must surrender one's own reason, one's own rationality and objectivity, in other words, essentially, one's sentience. "Faith" is the result, a belief in something absolutely for absolutely no reason, and the belief that such "faith" is a good thing. The belief that faith is a good thing must also be taken on faith, say the religious, and this vicious circular logic is often unbreakable and allows people to see no contradiction in living ferociously for ideas that have no apparent connection with reality. Ironically, surrendering oneself to "faith" is in a way like "selling your soul," giving up all human dignity and "god-given" (no pun intended... actually, pun intended) ability to actually reason for the sake of comfort and security. And aside from the personal cost, it also has great societal cost as well, which I believe does outweigh the admittedly substantial benefits. From the needless and totally irrational persecution of people who engage in "immoral" behaviors (although how they're immoral it is never really explained) to the total, uncompromising, unwavering, unstoppable wars of religion, faith in one's absolute rightness seems to take every major existing problem and make it much, much worse. If you think God is on your side, it is an evil act to consider the possibility that you might be wrong, and that can and often is disasterous."