I really have no time for those who can't make a little effort to actually think about what they claim to believe.
Agreed. You can offer them the chance, but if they refuse it...there's not much you can do.
My own belief, based on what I have read, leads me to the understanding that the ends will be very similar if not the same.
And mine, likewise based on wide reading, does not. Interesting.
I have studied enough of the relevant writings to make my own understanding without relying on what others tell me I should believe, and I have often decided that others just don't know what they are talking about.
Oh, absolutely. It's a plague.
There are just SO many people who have only read a single author...Dawkins, Frazer, Jung...whomever, and have taken that as sufficient warrant to turn off their brain and say, "Well, religion is actually nothing but X, or Y, or Z..." but secretly, the whole point of their saying this is to be able to dismiss the lot without having really understood a single one of them.
I may have mentioned this, but when I taught World Religions I used to do a survey at the start of my course, just to find out who knew what already. (There's no point in trying to teach people what they already know, right?) Anyway, the sheet I used was two-sided: on one was a list of questions like, "How many times have you been to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple?" or "How much of a religious book have you read?" and so on. On the other side was a bunch of questions about what "religions" do or teach, like "Do all religions teach loving enemies?" or "Do all religions believe in one God?" and so on.
Anyway, here's what it invariably showed: that the least informed on the front side were the most opinionated on the back. It seems there is an inverse proportion between knowledge and opinion when it comes to religion.
Anyway, thanks for your comments.