So this morning, I was bouncing around the Internet and found my way to this blog post. (The post makes liberal use of ableist language, so be warned.) It was actually posted a few days ago, calling out all religions for their irrational and occasionally frankly ridiculous beliefs.
I can't necessarily disagree that religious belief is often irreconcilable with rational, scientific explanation. The rational, scientific explanation for things like consciousness or evolution do not and will never involve the concept of a soul or the existence of a deity. And to some extent, that's fine, as a large part of the point of scientific research is to explain in detail how the world actually works.
What is not fine is when someone informs me that I am "wrong" for, say, believing in the existence of the soul. Or holding generally animistic beliefs about the presence of the same in, well, a lot of things. I kinda like the idea of countless "gods" (certainly not the God of the Abrahamic faiths, but deities nevertheless) with dominions as small as a single rock.
Yes, I'm well aware that there is no (scientific) way for a rock to have anything we'd call consciousness. Yes, I'm well aware that there is no (scientific) evidence to support the idea that I have a soul. And you can tell me that from now until doomsday, because I simply don't care. I will continue to believe in these things for the foreseeable future, evidence be damned. And here's a thought: who on this earth can tell me not to?
Religious belief that does not affect anyone else is, perhaps, rare. Most organized religions make a point of spreading themselves, after all. And someone who justifies a killing spree with "it was God's will" can justify it however they like: it's still a killing spree, and they will still be held to account for that.
They will not, however, be punished for believing in a God that commands killing, merely for their unacceptable expression of that belief. My rights end where yours begin: I cannot tell you what to believe, and you cannot tell me what to (or not to) believe. Regardless of rationality.
So posts like the one above can stop implying that simply believing is somehow morally wrong or worthy of condemnation. Unless it affects someone else, there's nothing to condemn.