I agree there is a connection between peoples actions and religion...no question about it.
But I tend to look at it as people use the concept and principles of religion to justify there actions. Therefore, judge people based on their actions, not the religion!
We should not judge islam as a bad religion because terrorist bastardize the concepts to justify their actions. Judget the terrorist.
Well, you know, who are we to be judging Islam (or any religion) in the first place. Still, if it's ok to say, with some admiration in my voice, "Islam produced a highly enlightened civilization that allowed many, very different people to live in peace for hundreds of years," then it is just as 'ok' to say, 'Islam produced an intolerant and violent fanatical offshoot that has led to a great deal of suffering in this world."
Actually, when I think about it again, maybe those two aren't equivalent. For instance, I feel like it is my right to admire beauty or strenght in others but it is not my right to deride or condemn their flaws. Maybe I should extend the same generosity to religions and judge them by what they have achieved and not where they have failed.
Ah, it's all about learning not to judge, isn't it?
And one more point:
Michael Haft wrote:
The philosophy of modern science is that of Popperian science, Karl Popper said effectively that science doesn't ever proove anything, it only disproves what is demonstrably false. If however you can find only two options and disprove one, then the other being left over is by default the truth.
I'm afraid I can't agree with that last sentence. The law of the excluded middle is a fine game in the world of logic or science, but it is not wise to confuse it for real life.