And now for some good news. The fact that mainstream (as opposed to underground) organizations can publish content like that which Charlie Hebdo, The Onion, The Chive, National Lampoon, The Daily Show, Jon Oliver, The Colbert Report, etc., etc. publish, without governmental interference, without risk of being arrested and tried for sedition or heresy, without risking ostracization from society shows that we have come a REALLY long way.
Many of us (far more than will admit) have known for centuries that the god of Abraham was a myth created as an oral tradition to give a nomadic tribe a sense of community and heritage. It's a myth every bit as much as the myths of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Norse, Zoroastrians, Inca, Maya, Aztec, and on and on. It's not even a particularly good, coherent, consistent myth.
But whatever, it kept a tribe together. It led to a few sects where people believed variants of the myth, and then it led to 2 other new tribes, that now have their own sects of variant beliefs. But don't think for a moment that just because a majority of people in the world believe (or profess belief) in the god of Abraham, that that somehow gives it credence. It doesn't. It just means its adherents are very good at brainwashing infants before they have the ability to call bullshit.
And it all comes back around to yesterday's events. Muslims killed 12 people in cold blood because they can't take a joke. Because they believe their god is so delicate and vainglorious they have to kill people on its behalf. I intentionally said "Muslims" because to use the modifier "radical" is to apologize for all of the idiotic beliefs. All Islam is stupid. Much of it is downright dangerous.
Now, this is not to say the other revealed religions are any better but here's the thing - most Jews quit buying into the "inerrant word of god" BS centuries ago. Some bozos (like the ones who demand to be segregated on airplanes) make a newsworthy exception, but they are also a laughing stock AND they haven’t threatened to kill anyone, they’re just a pain in the ass to the travelling public.
Christianity has even come a long way. There are still plenty of them who actually believe in the immaculate conception. (Curiously, since most [American] christians are pretty ignorant and haven’t even read their own bible, they don’t really know the immaculate conception doesn’t refer to Jesus’s conception, but Mary’s). Also because most [American] christians are what I call “cafeteria christians” they tend to pick and choose the parts of the bible they want to believe. For instance, it's okay to judge, apparently. Also that whole "Vengeance is mine. Saith the LORD" bit can be ignored.
While there are still a few nutjobs who picket funerals, some whackos bomb abortion clinics, and this idiot believes bananas were intelligently designed, most of them are pretty happy-go-lucky. I mean, they are okay sending soldiers to go fight a war in a foreign land to defend what they call “freedom”, which is actually not freedom because they also want to have mandatory prayer in schools, want to post the 10 commandments and crosses all over the landscape… come to think of it, most christians haven’t really come too far - except that it’s rare to see them strap bombs to themselves and walk into crowded places to kill infidels.
Anyway, I think we’ve come a long way because as a society we’re okay having people poke fun at our beliefs. We may not like it and we may get really angry over it, but it’s very rare that people kill any more over insulted superstitions. The outpouring of support for freedom of expression as a result of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations yesterday shows we may be finally turning the corner to enlightenment. I think that belief in sky-fairies may be starting into its death throes. As their behavior becomes more and more violent, and the defiance against them becomes louder and louder, and as those of us who know it’s just a man behind the curtain, and not actually The Wizard of Oz, grow in numbers - we may actually see the death of religion on the horizon - at least the middle eastern revealed religions.
I don’t look for this in my lifetime. But as science makes greater strides in explaining the universe, there’s just no need for burnt offerings and superstitious beliefs in the hereafter.