there are many ways in which people differ from one another by virtue of traditions handed down through the generations, and these are often admirable and worthy of respect. but there is a qualitative difference between a cultural tradition and factual evidence, and we should not feel obliged to respect, or encourage the perpetuation of, beliefs about reality which we know to be untrue, simply because they form part of a tradition, even an ancient tradition. when you put it like that, i find it hard to imagine how any person of goodwill and intelligence could seriously disagree. yet because it is usually not put like that, there are many people, even non-religious people, who have been duped into confusing the ‘cultural tradition’ side of religion with the ‘statement of facts’ side, and endowing both with the respect due only to one.
the entire essay on RDF.