The Universalist Church of Monotheism, a.k.a. pop-science/Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, isn't all bad in all its components. The greatest triumphs of these normative enclosures is found not in their forcible imposition, but in the holding up of the said normatives as counterparts to implied meaningfulness. This is why any stupidity, any insanity made on the part of the belief system, is excusable: because the alternative is the Democrats, so to speak. Or pinkos or Russia or the Mongols or what-have-you.
These fabricated counterparts did not always haunt us. They are lies; insults; imaginary choices between worse and worse. Early Europa, Arabia, et cetera, had countless ways of expressing meaningfulness, empathy, and existence. By eliminating these, the battle became the false dichotomy between Allah/Jehovah and nihilism/void. The human-shaped God, the embarrassingly inelegant firmament et al., the burning bush, the virgins in heaven, the equal-achievement utopia: these abjectly foolish, effectively impossible notions are embraced not on their own merits, but as a defense against the writhing netherspace of having nothing in which to believe. All at once, Richard Dawkins is so disgusting that he can make the Pope seem good, and the Pope is so disgusting that he can make Dawkins seem good. There are of course many and variegated levels of opposing factions and factors available, all of which can be directly opposed by something or other that justifies them.
Christians did not win converts through reason or quiet example, but through the elimination of other belief systems, after which the opposing party seemed to be the lesser of two evils. Once the narrative was controlled, the choice was between "Christ" and "temporary sensations followed by vanishing," ergo Christ can appear rational by comparison. The motivation to believe, similarly, in "Allah," or in "planet-wide kinship of general social progress available equally to all," though superficially idiotic fantasies, are still each better ways to live than what the other option seems to be, again, "temporary sensations followed by vanishing," in which case it is permissible to accuse all infidels of being Hitler et alii.
There are legitimate accusations to be made against the stupidity of either false side; Tory and Labor are both exceedingly dumb; amazingly dumb; so dumb and so evil that, were they fiction, the layers upon layers of obstruction, rudeness, lies, and outright evil would be utterly implausible. Presented with the other option as something to be "against," though, the choice of being against that other side, and thereby embracing the thing which is widely agreed upon to be against that horrible thing, is perfectly rational--rational in the sense of perceived powerlessness, whereby when titans are fighting, you might as well at least choose a side.
It is a great and cosmic pity that the blinders have been so set. It is understandable, though, watching the beaten child trudge toward the fiery mouth along the path of pins, rather than the path of needles. It is the rather than which defines so many of our lost. Desperate for our missing meanings, we inwardly define ourselves by the badness we resist.
Everything in this struggle is a vice and a verse: neither the Theist nor the Scientist is of coherent mind, but they may construct a temporary sort of coherence out of snickering at the pratfalls on the other side, where the grass is always browner.
It should, by now--as many things "should" be by "now"--be somewhat apparent that having faith in our ultimate material perception only establishes a boundary which, once crossed by the simplest of future sensory devices, will negate and embarrass all of our current confidence. The Scientists' extended schadenfreude at the Terran worshiper's imperceptible-yet-humanoid omnipotence should have prepared them for this.
It is a difficult reconciliation. Perhaps it is one not to happen here. To understand any one flaw on this planet is to alienate and harm the essence of so many others; to understand more than one, let alone many, is to become the seeming enemy of these dregs of sorry creation. In a way, they are correct to hate. Who would replace a man's beloved, forgiving rabbi with the void? Who would deny the existence of the shared spirits of evolutionary by-products who, in their few moments here, draw meaning from their participation in the progressing struggle for scientific immortality?
It is the curse of the politician, the shaman, and the financial counselor, writ large. Find the world another line of credit, and you are a hero. Insist that weekly beer be foregone in favor of beginning to pay down the highest debt, and in you is embodied the spirit of malevolence, responsible for every shortcoming thus far. It is as if someone had a limb amputated at childbirth: how cruel it is to tell them the reason why all future children should not be similarly purified. To divulge this evokes what was done to the harmed ones; makes them feel again, or to recognize for the first time, what was lost. To say "You deserve four limbs" might appear to be the kindest thing for one to say to the maimed--not only to help those now, but moreso, those to come. Yet to dare to say it is to make oneself the exposer of the wound. What wicked cunning was displayed by those ancient surgeons, for now those who challenge the dream-limbs become responsible for the pain of the missing. "Ha ha, dude, she's saying you should be an octopus!"