This should be interesting...
And second, regardless of intention, science IS anti-religion. Science is based on logic and rationality, which must reject religion, since religion is based on faith (believing without proof or despite proof of the contrary). People who say that science and religion can go together either don't understand science, religion, or is just trying to make a square peg fit a round hole.
I would suggest that it is you that doesn't understand science or religion.
The university system was instituted by the Catholic church, with the aim of studying the mechanisms of the universe (hence the name). Muslim scholars of old were pivotal in the further development of Greek mathematical thought and of Greek and Middle Eastern astronomy. For most of history, studying the physical world has been considered a sacred endeavour -- under the religious viewpoint, this is studying the works of $DEITY.
You are making a flawed assumption there. Just because religions founded schools and universities (and they did), that doesn't mean it is compatible. Because religion gets to decide what can be questioned and what can't. They get to discard things because they contradict their teachings. And, even more, religion is the opposite of the scientific method.
You see, religion says you must believe without proof, which is by definition anti-scientific. Even more, they say you must believe even if all evidence points in the contrary direction. You will see many scholars that had to add to the end of their works, after all proves and conclusion, things like "but since this contradicts religion, it can't be true, so further studies are necessary". How is that science?
It is like the people who say that the catholic church is a force for good in the world, and prove a single example of something good, while discarding all the evil it's done. You can't do that. Even that is unscientific. You have to take into account Mother Thereza refusing medicines to the sick, because suffering is beautiful in the eyes of god.
Science MUST be skeptic. If you can't prove, you should not believe it. It is NOT true. Otherwise it is not science. Just because religion likes to study stuff doesn't mean it is science, or even compatible with it.
As for logic and rationality, the basic concept of a supernatural deity sits outside of all repeatable observable evidence. You cannot make a logical conclusion either way without solid evidence.
Of course you can. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE => THEE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE IT IS TRUE.
That's both logical and rational.
All we have is a few documents purporting to record witness testimony from centuries past. The most likely explanation for this witness evidence is a mixture of schizophrenic disorders and hallucinogens (in particular the fungus ergot), in my opinion, but I cannot state that Moses didn't actually see a burning bush. Even if we can discount certain events (eg the Great Flood), that does not mean that the existence of the related deity (in this case the god of Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
There is a logical fallacy. You can't disprove Russell's teapot either. However, that is not reason to accept it as true, even as a promissory truth. It is logically impossible to prove a negative, so claiming god is a possibility because you can't prove it doesn't exist is a logical fallacy. You can't prove there isn't an invisible and intangible unicorn in the corner of my living room.
Also, by your logic, if not disproving is reason to accept it might be true, then you have to accept that ALL gods must be a possibility. Together, at the same time. So you end up, by that logic, with all gods or no gods. Because all gods, by that logic, are equally likely. But the existence of one god would disprove the existence of another, so the logic fails on itself, with the only logic deduction being that, since there is no proof of any of them, the only logical explanation is that there are none.
The only truly rational stance is agnosticism: I do not know, and cannot know, and because of this, that knowledge is irrelevant.
That is not rational. That is apologetic. Rationality demands much more than that, otherwise we end up in infinite regression.
During the ages, there were offered several "proves" of the existence of a deity. ALL of them were proven to be false. There comes a point when there is no further need for testing the hypothesis, and you can safely conclude there is no god, no supernatural. How many times does one have to show you THE SAME blank page for you to see there is nothing written in it? How many times THE SAME HYPOTHESIS must be tested for it to be shown as false?
Agnosticism, although superficially a valid and rational stand, is not, because for you to adopt it you either have to discard all previous tests for the hypothesis, or to state that anything will always be possible, where you end up with something that goes contrary to science and logic. Let me give you an example.
We know that two opposite charge will repel each other. this is testable. It is true everywhere on earth, and everywhere opposite charges were observed. However, by your logic, we can never claim it to be true, because we can't test it absolutely everywhere in the universe, in all of spacetime. However, that is a flawed logic. Once something was proved to scientific certainty, which involved repeatability, falsifiability and all other requisites for the scientific method, it is true, unless proven otherwise.
So agnosticism ends up being neither logical not rational.
That is my stance, and I do not think it shows any intellectual integrity to mock somebody for believing in something that is not demonstrably false.
It is demonstrably false, because every single piece of (so called) evidence provided for this hypothesis was proven to be false, to a point that the only argument left is what you are trying to do: shifting the burden of proof.
Consider the recent "discovery" of the phenomenon called the "rogue wave" -- people had been talking about it for centuries, but this testimony was discounted as the same sort of fantasy that made sailors come up with stories about giant squid... which also turned out to be true. But of course not all witnesses were reliable, and we can be pretty sure there was never such a thing as a mermaid.
Rogue waves were never considered false. They were only considered a not tested hypothesis. There was nothing contradicting the theory, except lack of evidence. You are again mixing things up trying to make an argument about shifting the burden of proof.
Many religions want their followers to question (ie critically appraise) their beliefs.
Freely question their beliefs? And accepting the results?
But you cannot arm them with the tools to question their beliefs if you tell them the tool is a poison that will kill their beliefs.
You just disproved your previous assertion. What you mean here is that they can only question if that question will support their beliefs. Scientific questioning WILL kill their beliefs, because it already did so.
It is a special form of insanity expecting to keep trying the same thing and end up with different results.
There is no use sugarcoating it, and telling them otherwise would be lying to them. And I refuse to fight deception with deception.
It is because preachers and churches in general started noticing they had to impose a firmer grip, because they were losing the battle against reason.
(not bothering to reply to your other statements here, where you again did nothing but trying to shift the burden of proof)
Religion is evil, and should be extinguished. We should fight against it, the same way we fight against crime, slavery, child abuse and anything else that harm humanity.
The only difference between a religion and any other philosophy is the presence of a supernatural element. What do you call the fight against a philosophy, if not Macarthyism?
You are again wrong. Religion is not only philosophy, although there is a philosophical element to it. You are confusing philosophy with ideology, which are not the same. Also, religion is more than even ideology. It is lies and distortion (that philosophy doesn't embrace), control, power play and much more than that. Religion is a power structure based on ignorance and ideological belief that goes contrary to nature and science.