Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2008/08/19/Would_We_Be_Better_Off_Without_Religion Journalist Richard Ackland argues that many religious leaders encourage people to blindly follow their beliefs, which can lead to ignorant, and even dangerous decisions. ----- While the world's religions have inspired stunning acts of creation, they also have been implicated in some of the darkest deeds in human history. If God cannot be blamed for such moments of evil, His priests and prophets at least have a case to answer. So what might they say? That religion is unfairly blamed -- and that we should look to other factors? Admit that there are problems but argue that on balance the good outweighs the bad? That there is no alternative; that people need religion like they need air? - Intelligence Squared Richard Ackland is a prominent columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald writing on legal and ethical issues. He is founder of Law Press of Australia, whose publications include The Justinian and The Gazette of Law and Journalism. Ackland has been a staunch advocate of free speech and was co-winner of the prestigious Gold Walkley for Journalism in 1999 following work as writer and presenter of the ABC's Media Watch program. Ackland has also presented ABC Radio National's breakfast program, covering a range of issues and controversies. In 2000 he was awarded the Voltaire Prize for Free Speech.
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