The Statement: “It is a religious problem!”
If we prefix it with “I think …” so it now becomes “I think it is a religious problem”, then, in my view, it changes the whole complexion of the statement.
Now, I would feel confident that we could share our converse ideas and pretty soon come up with a point that we could both agree upon. By using just “It is…” seems to me to make the issue very simplistic and if it really was that simple then I am sure it could and would have been solved years ago.
I think that it is the “it is…” in statements that is the cause of what we deem to be the problem with religions or religious beliefs. That is forming an idea or faith into an absolute statement of fact. Alone, a faith or belief is a personal experience, I think, and adding “it is…” makes it into a statement of fact that can’t and shouldn’t be disputed. Gone is the belief and now it is replaced with a dogma. A dogma that some people, now, could be willing to kill or die for.
I think that by simply prefixing our statements with “I think…” we are reminding ourselves and others that this is just our own personal belief and of course it is open and encouraged to be challenged. And that I have not fallen into the same trap that I am accusing others of by leaving their faith and forming a dogma.
To me, religious beliefs alone do not cause the problem but the dogmas that they bring along that causes the hatred, intolerance, blindness and violence.