---- Conspiracy theories ...
Editorialist Fred Ryan writes that religion is the "grandest conspiracy” ever. That calls for definitions. Religion is a gathering of beliefs that people adhere to with conviction, because they consider them beneficial for all. A conspiracy is a gathering of people with a plan to do something harmful. A religious conspiracy is, thus, an oxymoron. What he really feels is that any self-respecting thinking being should have naught to do with organized religion or a belief in “supra-human beings”. To him, there never was a Creator; there was a Big Bang and we are here not by Design, but by chance. There was no Divine Inspiration or Revelation. The great religions of the world were the work of human beings, gifted thinkers and communicators.
It's interesting to note, however, that throughout history, when Man has been guilty of his most horrendous behaviour, he has righted his conscience with accommodating interpretations of the foundational documents of the great religions. That was Man at his self-serving best, dealing with hard scientific facts for which, to him, there was no countervailing force such as morality based on natural law and common sense: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. If it's to be pragmatism versus Moses, I'm with Moses.
It's not demeaning for us, as rational beings, to have recourse, for our moral guidance, to road maps that have survived the test of time. We do it regularly in the field of science. The fact that some believe in a Deity should not warrant our thinking of them as less intelligent. Some of the finest minds in science, literature, philosophy, etc. have belonged to people who believed in a Supreme Being.