I grew up in a Christian home, so I’m one of those people who rebelled against their up-bringing, etc., etc. People like me also get riled up by Christian fundamentalists, like those weirdo creationists who are the poster chldren for cherry-picking evidence. Personally, it’s more important to me to experience the excitement of a new scientific discovery than to derive some kind of false comfort from an ancient philosophy. Nevertheless, I can see its value for others.
The truth is that we all live in a world of delusions. Even in science, we know that the latest and greatest or most advanced theories are just approximations of reality, so we choose to apply what we know now as if it were true because it gets the job done. Improved versions of the theories in the future may or may not get the job done better. (Relativity and QM don’t always improve over Newtonian physics, because the added complexity is usually not worth the often immeasureable improvement in accuracy.)
In many ways, religion is effective as a meditative philosophy. Things like yoga, martial arts, Buddhism, etc. all come with psychological/spiritial/traditional baggage beyond the practical effects of teaching discpline, exercise, and other things. But people actually NEED a basis for finding emotional comfort and psychological stability, and religions often get the job done (even if they’re mosty fictional). Do we pick on people for reading fantasy novels, watching Star Trek, and playing video games? It’s all the same.
As Richard Dawkins has said, compared to “certain” relgions, Christianity is relatively benign. And choosing between one “relatively benign” religion and another is like choosing between Karate and Kung Fu and also indulging in the quasi-religious philosophies that come with them. 6 of one, half dozen of another. What difference does it make which delusion you choose? The value in choosing one is the comfort or practical value it brings you. And for many peolpe, they are involved in their religion primarily to belong to a community, with the beliefs being secondary.
Yes, there are those prominent people that turn religion into a weapon, tell you all about how you’re going to hell if you don’t believe EXACTLY as they do, etc. Well, there are “scientists” who regularly engage in fabrication and falsification. Computers have no positive or negative moral aspect per se, but there are people who utilize them to commit crimes. We don’t disavow something just because some assholes abuse it. And we don’t completely disavow something just because it contains ideas we realize are inaccurate.
When we want to pick on Christians, maybe the first representative we think of is Ken Ham. Yeah. He’s a bad guy. (He doesn’t mean to be, but he causes a lot of damage.) Instead, why not think of Kenneth Miller? Despite being a devout Catholic, he has been one of the most vocal opponents to religious bullshit impinging on science since the 1970s. We could all use him as a role model. And BTW, he benefits from his religion.