see my links posted a bit earlier.
The original quote by A Brain in a Vat was "Science, on the other hand, being perhaps the most obvious example of using logic and reason as a source of Truth, does not share this characteristic. A scientist can believe firmly in something, and if evidence or reason leads to the contrary, the scientist is forced to change his mind. Even if the scientist loses sight of logic and reason and refuses to change his mind, the scientific community at large will realign its beliefs."
You responded with people having their lives ruined for being correct.
I haven't had time to read every single entry listed in those links, but AFAICT they're talking about scientists being, at best, ridiculed, not having their lives ruined. Moreover, in all these cases, the scientific community at large did realign their beliefs, once the evidence was presented.
In fact, I would argue that this is part of the way science works, if unfortunate. As well as adopting new correct ideas, it's also important to be sceptical about new claims, otherwise we'd be adopting homeopathy, belief in Unicorns and who knows what. Yes, it's unfortunate if people's feelings are hurt, but that's more a social issue than a scientific one.
Now, I'm sure you're going to claim that the religious opposition to new scientific ideas is just the same thing, and eventually religious people accept the new thing. The first problem is that there is no clear mechanism by which this works. E.g., if we're disputing evolution because of what the Bible says or what you think God says, and later religious people accept evolution, then what changed? You have to accept that either the Bible wasn't right after all, or what you thought God was saying wasn't correct, or that God changed his mind - none of which are particular ringing endorsements for religious belief. With the scientific method, the change is "we tested it and found enough evidence to convince us this was true".
The second problem is that a significant number don't change their beliefs long after the scientific community has accepted them - again for evolution, significant enough to cause political debates in the US over education.
The third problem is that people's lives have been affected more than simply being ridiculed (although I'm willing to accept that this isn't an issue today in Western countries - though it's still a concern the way that religious belief can have political strength, e.g., laws preventing new research because it offends people's religious beliefs).
Your political examples aren't scientific ones. And I fail to see how the "video game" murders are anything to do with your claim about scientists ruining people's lives over new correct theories?
Like I said before. I am not arguing for religion as an answer to everything. I am arguing for religious people to not be looked at like idiots because they are religious. To use your "But officer..." scenario it's the same as the presumption of innocence in most western legal systems. It is not an excuse for being stupid. Religious people have every chance to be as stupid/ignorant as anybody, but that doesn't mean that all religious people are stupid/ignorant.
I agree that religious people aren't necessarily stupid - the evidence suggests that religious people can otherwise be quite intelligent.
I do think that religious belief is misguided (i.e., not supported by any evidence) and irrational. I also think we shouldn't uphold religious belief, faith and so on as being good things, or things that should be respected, just as we wouldn't for any other kinds of irrational belief.
I am not arguing at all against the scientific method. Just like religion the fault with ignorant/intolerant scientists lies with the man not with the method. I am just showing that holding science to a different standard when there are plenty of intolerant scientists just like there are plenty of intolerant religious people is ignorant.
So what is this religious method you talk of? I mean, I can explain the scientific method, and I believe it's a rational way of finding out about the Universe, that works. Examples of scientists being irrational are cases where they aren't doing the scientific method.
So let's talk about religion - when religious people, and leaders of religious organisations, cling to a belief even if evidence or reason leads to the contrary, is this following the religious method, or is this not following the religious method?
If it's the former, then that's exactly what we are criticising here. And if it's the latter - perhaps you can join us in criticising the billions of religious people who are doing it wrong. (I'm not sure our views are that different - I acknowledge that there are some religious people don't seem to use it to base their beliefs about the world on, other than that there is a God.)