The debate over religion suffers from a confusion of terms and amnesia as to history. Religion can be a category defined in sociological terms or, ironically, religious terms. Or else in philosophic terms.
Religions can be atheistic and/or theistic. But a key distinction is 1. religions from the Axial Age or 2. religion(s) in earlier civilization, thence to the Paleolithic. Religion is denounced by new atheists in a new legacy that seems to follow Bertrand Russell more than anyone else. This echoes Spinoza, in some. Another related stream is that of the ‘humanism’ of, for example, the early marxists. Revolutionary modernism was, however, very much a vehicle of radical protestantism until the French Revolution when atheism became a leftist preoccupation. The exploitation of traditional churches (Catholic in France) turned ‘religion’ into an enemy on the left. But we have tried to point out here that the first communist movement in modern times was a Christian Protestant movement.
The legacy of Kant is far better than that of Bertrand Russell. Kant was the first to both acknowledge the abuse of metaphysics in much religion, and yet point to the upside down metaphysics of the reductionist scientists. A good example (of my own, Kant was a pre-darwinist, fortunately) is that of natural selection: this is the belief that random evolution via random mutation will construct the full organism on the track of ‘evolution’. This is an unproven act of faith in a form of magic that is a strange creationism-in-reverse, a metaphysical howler at the core of science.
Religion is often denounced by spiritual teachers as a form of cultic or groupthink conditioning. The posit ‘spirituality’ as the solution to religion.
In general the debate over religion has suddenly become incoherent and we are stuck with the canard of darwinism posited as the solution to the design argument. And this delusive cultic formation of the new atheists is getting many forms of hidden support and promotion. We are likely to reach the point where the absurdities of darwinism are turned into a public dogma making all social action keyed to this delusion. That will spell the demise of the modern age itself. It is inscrutable that all the prestige of science has been thrown into the defense of darwinism. That will prove a calamity for science.