Is Religion A Force For Good?

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and well known atheist, Christopher Hitchens locked up in a debate in Toronto as to whether or not religion is a force for good. They debated the proposition: “Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world.” A crowd of about three thousand heard the discussion in which Hitchens was the more aggressive debater, most probably due to the presence of religion in a world that has never experienced peace for a single day. Hitchens argued: “Once you assume a Divine creator and a plan it makes us subjects in a cruel experiment.” There have been many “plans” in human history such as the Crusades to save the Holy land from the infidels. Of course, every religion has “plan” and if this is really an experiment, how are we to know which of these plans is “the plan?”

I figure if there is a “God” then this “God” is “God” of the entire universe so how come he devotes so much time talking with religious figures on what or how to do things? I also wonder if this is an “experiment,” is it an experiment to determine if life forms can devise cruelty nonstop?