To start off with, you're one of the best members here so if the rest of my post sounds aggressive, it's just because I am a plain speaker and it's not personal. With that said, I agree you still can brainwash people without the need for religion, and humans will always find ways to surprise us with their stupidity. However, acknowledging that "bad things would still happen anyway" shouldn't be the gateway through which we justify the existence of religion and the monstrosities done in its names. To say that Jihad isn't born from religion is wrong, it's like saying sexism and homophobia and transphobia has nothing to do with Islam when it clearly if the literature encourages such phobias, and you can't have a rationale discussion about these issues with moderate Muslims let alone the more deeply devoted. If you run national surveys in the UK about homosexuality, and before that, we had similar issues with the Christian communities who couldn't be talked to logically about these issues. It's not a coincidence the younger generations are more accepting and rational and less connected to religion at the same time.
And to bring this back to the topic at hand, listen to the settlers justifying settlements violating international law because god promised them a piece of land.
Religion is used for political gains because religion is deeply political, it wants to be involved with internal and foreign policies just as much as politicians want it to be involved. Teaching kids that x religion is the truth at the age of 5 can only result in brains that can't be reasoned with on important issues when they grow older. You argue humans' are gonna be evil anyway, and I say, well, if it's bad as it is, you don't catalyse it further with fairytales sold as truths. And don't worry, you'd still get your gorey, sexist, -phobic stories in the form of novels, TV shows and video games. They're all mankind's creation after all, just like religions.
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
As for Palestinian giving the world reasons not to help them, well, it's less about what they do and more about lobbying. Once they have something as big as AIPAC in the USA, maybe Obama would've had the balls to do more than issuing blanket statements about how settlements are problematic
No worries, my post often come over 'aggressive' while not intended. And true, religion is a great tool to brainwash from a young age. North Korea does it without religion, or I guess the great leader is 'the religion'. It all comes down to tribalism. Religion is simply convenient because all the 'commands' can be deferred to something that stands above humans, and thus out of reach of criticism.
Religion is a human creation, god never promised them a piece of land, the ones who wrote the stories did. Then sold it as god's will. It all comes back to education. Changing history or selective representation works with or without religion. Religion makes it easier.
When I grew up the Palestinians had more good will, but it eroded with ongoing attacks. And indeed, the United Nations is pretty useless with the US veto'ing everything. Both sides cling to history instead of looking to the future. Not sure how to change that, but it's a good sign the conflict is getting more media attention again. For a while it seemed it was completely forgotten.