Problem is: they’re metaphors.
Metaphors educate but mostly mislead.
Religion isn’t a disease nor are apologists for religion protecting a disease nor are those fighting against religion the cure.
That’s a metaphor.
Religion is primarily:
a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
Its most general meaning is primary to me as it has the broadest and most useful application.
But it has more and more specific meanings, depending on how detailed one wants to get in their usage of the word.
Does it reach the level of specificity that it becomes a physical ailment that is detrimental to human physical health?
I don’t think it does.
The metaphor has been used to denigrate one’s enemies for a long time, usually as a precursor to war.
If your voting public believes their enemy is an infection that needs to be cured, or a cancerous growth that needs to be cut out, then you’ve gotten their consent to destroy people with bombs.
But they’re people. They’re not cancers. Beliefs are not cancers. Cancers are cancers.
Metaphors can educate but they mostly mislead.
Metaphors are amazingly powerful things… .if they can be called things at all, They assist in conceptual connections between diverse topics, bringing someone from a belief in one area and over to another, otherwise unrelated realm.
They assist in sensemaking, but they can also constrict comprehension.
For example, look at the woo factor of quantum physics.
Where does the woo come from?
We think of particles as billiard balls. A 100 year old metaphor that just won’t go away. Physicists themselves likely fall into the same trap.
It’s ok if chemists do. In their realm, acting like billiard balls is perfectly fine; the ball-and-stick model functions fantastically as a practical concession to a human’s limited abilities to comprehend tiny things without making models that are relatable in some fashion.
But when we get into the realm of quantum mechanics, the metaphors just get in the way of understanding after a while.
But that’s an extreme example; in an everyday manner, metaphors push and pull our beliefs in a very fast way.
Unfortunately, what they get utilized for mostly, it seems to me, is for confirmation bias.
Humans are terribly suspect to confirmation bias, myself included because I’m no less human. It takes a LOT of effort sometimes to detangle the metaphors from the realities they are attempting to model.
If you’ll notice though, I used metaphors in my argument as well.
I compared the use of a metaphor towards religion by those are are against religion to governments using metaphors towards their enemies to justify war to the voting public.
Yet you’re not looking to bomb people.
So, did I lead or mislead using metaphors?
Yes I did.