"It's not religion, it's human (nature)"

"It's not religion, it's human (nature)."

That is a very common response when religion is accused of having a hand in evil. It might seem reasonable to most people uncritically looking at the discussion.

Well, it is not. The response basically asserts that religion is just a tool and humanity can do good and evil with it (like scientific knowledge). But that is simply untrue.

Religion is not "here's the name of god, do with it what you wish"; it is "here's a ambiguous book vested with the name of god, do whatever you interpret it says." It is not just a tool, it is a catalyst to do anything motivated with a divine authority.

Yes, humanity has good and bad. A evil man could use religion to do evil. BUT, as just explained, religion also allows good people to do evil in the name of god with good intents. And THAT is why religion is criticized of having a hand in doing evil.

Look at the cases of religiously motivated displays of misogyny, homophobia and ignorance in general. Those aren't evil people. Those are people being religious -- just people trying to do good after religion has crippled their reason and morality.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." -- Steven Weinberg