You pretty much gave the answer I would have given in the quote above. The reason I gave those statistics is because Fresco holds Islam responsible for social problems in third world countries. I just wanted to show him the mirror. There are good and bad in every religion, that does not make religion bad
Strangely, I don't recall Fresco being so inarticulate previously.
I would have said of religions:
- they contribute to a direction of thought in societies they are dominant in
- if people get rewarded (by social status or otherwise) for showing how righteous they are by pointing out how much of a sinner another is, that will slowly become entrenched
- if as that becomes entrenched, the population comes to accept denigration or violence or similar as legitimate ways of dealing with 'sinners', you are now running the gauntlet of acquiescence through silence...which while affecting the adult population, can have a profound affect on a percentage of children
In other words, religious attitudes that some people argue as harmless (or say 'show me where's the harm') I don't necessarily see as harmless, just because there's no direct evidence of harm.
I personally wonder if the reason the Catholic Church attracted so many paedophiles, is their rule against marriage for their priests.
I don't doubt that many white supremacists hate gays because of the Bible (Whereas in Ancient Greece, it wasn't a big deal, but prior to the last few decades, it was issue in the 'Christian' world)
I wonder if the reason so many Islamist terrorists shout Allahu akbar when committing their acts, is because of the Quran (I don't doubt this - I've looked over some of their literature and it is full of quotes from the Quran...rightly or wrongly, it's able to be used). but also whether rates of sympathy affect such (there are studies out there)
Fresco appears to wonder whether or not the attitudes he sees, are born of the readings of the Quran (leaning on the side of believing they are). I know several Australian women who went over to Dubai to work, have gone over to Dubai, report back that Muslim men are the most sex mad men they've ever run into (perhaps only around western women, so perhaps a loosely related situation to banning marriage for priests), similar stories from here in Australia (there were pack rapes in Sydney), and the rapes in Cologne, and the rapes in England that were covered by British authorities for 2 years, and repeated stories of women being castigated for 'immodest dress' and being imprisoned for being raped.
This isn't by the way, meant to be a 'slam' of Islam, but a picture of some of the problems that can come up with religion itself is interpreted in an intolerant way (so the mass rapes 'women who wear scantilly clad clothing are asking for it' attitude, being suspicious of the morals of the woman over that of the man, suspicions that a large percentage view them as property, coupled with suspected underlying disrespect of women in general). Perhaps, or perhaps that's just what the press reports...but first hand reports, or indisputable reports, do get back to westerners that support such views.
And of course, you gave a decent argument for the reverse.
The thing is, religion has a tendency to promote and sustain the more extreme versions of ideologies. That was one of the things that drove Christianity to separate state & religion.