Is religion to blame for violence?

In a special on religion, we speak to Karen Armstrong and debate New Atheism with Lawrence Krauss and Greg Epstein.

In a special UpFront on religion, recorded before the Nice attack, we speak to bestselling author Karen Armstrong, who argues that politics, not religion, is the root of the world’s worst conflicts.

In the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan debunks the myth that religion is in decline. And in the Arena, top atheists Lawrence Krauss and Greg Epstein debate on whether offending the faithful is the right way forward.

Headliner: Is religion the root of the world’s conflicts?

From the Crusades to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, religion is often blamed for some of the world’s worst conflicts. While some use their faith to justify acts of violence, is religion really at the root of such conflicts?

In this week’s Headliner, we speak with Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, who says politics, not religion is to blame for the violence in today’s world.

Reality Check: Religion isn’t on the way out

“Religion is dying” – that’s what some throughout the world say. But, a look at the statistics shows that globally, many of the world’s largest religions are actually on the rise.

In this week’s Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan debunks the belief that religion is on the way out.

Arena: Are ‘New Atheists’ undermining the atheist cause?

So-called New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris tend to see religion as irrational, evil and unnecessary, often saying that faith must be resisted, or even eliminated.

But as the number of atheists, many of whom are happy to coexist with faith communities, increases, does hostility from new atheists undermine the atheist cause?

In this week’s Arena, we debate the issue with two leading atheists, author and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss and humanist chaplain Greg Epstein.

Editor’s Note: This episode was filmed before the attack in Nice, France.

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