Is religion good?
Three things we might mean by religion:
1) The spiritual practice of the founder of the religion (say, Christ)
2) A community for people as they individually practice what Christ practised
3) A group identity of a we which is experienced as the most advanced and best mode of life because it has the right answers.
(1) is great. Contrary to deflationary views, which claim that someone like Christ was just a good person, (1) invovles the personal journey of each person to develop their cosmic awareness. This is not simply being nice. It is to expand and evolve one’s consciousness.
(2) is good. Humans are social beings and sharing the ups and downs of one’s life practices and goals is healthy and healing. This is church at its best.
(3) is bad. Nothing worthy about it. And is in fact just the kind of group awareness (1) is meant to grow beyond.
Most arguments about religion, between atheists and theists, focus on (3). Nothing is gained from participating in such debates. It only keeps one’s consciousness rooted at the level of group identity.
Focus entirely on (1). At times, if you feel the need, engage in (2) as an aid to (1). Forget about (3), and forget about getting into debates re (3).
Transcend the mode of a we set against another we. Starve that impulse within oneself. Dedicate your self entirely to (1).
Be with christ. That is more important than debating the value of this or that religion, or religion and atheism.
Abstract debate doesn’t mean one has transcended to a higher conscisousness. Usually it is a more refined form of a lower consciousness.
Move beyond debate. Do the personal work of consciousness.