ForumsWEPR[necro] The overall effect of religion on the world

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Calm
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Calm
911 posts
Herald

I've seen a lot of threads talking about religion in this section of the forums, and it seems that some people think it has a bad effect on the world and we should try to get rid of religion, whereas others believe religion hhas an overall good effect on the world.

In this thread, my aim is to discuss these two views, because I want to know what people think, and why they think what they think

Now I've created a very short survey here and would love it if you could take a couple of minutes answering it. Just answer as many questions as you want.

In a few days, I'll publish the results and we can discuss them. I hope I'll get plenty of participants

  • 126 Replies
loloynage2
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loloynage2
4,222 posts
Peasant

and it seems that some people think it has a bad effect on the world and we should try to get rid of religion


we don't have to try that much, it will by itself. Religion is 2000 years old. I think that people will change their ideas sooner or later.
314d1
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314d1
3,840 posts
Nomad

First, science has been held back for religion witch is unforgivable. Modern day theist hold back cloning, stem cell research, and other scientific endeavors. Then there is a huge scar of religion I call the dark ages.

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/darkages.gif

It has been used as a tool to start wars, genocides, and general hate for people of different belief or culture. Homosexuals are discriminated against because what it says in the Bible. Hitler killed Jewish people for what he believed. Thousands were stoned and flogged in the past for accidentally messing up one of the religion's laws.

The only time religion has a good effect on the world is when people only read the "good" parts. Sure, for example the Bible says "love thy enemy" but it also has rules saying that you should kill every POW and take the rest as slaves. Kill every male of the villages/towns you cross and only save the pretty girls that you like for yourself... Great philosophy there. The "good book" is full of hate and murder, most of it done by the deity...

NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
5,048 posts
Shepherd

Do you honestly think religion has caused nothing but harm? What about the thousands of families gathering together to go to mass, church dinners, picnics, and other events? Last time I checked, religion often unites people within a community and plays a role with socializing. Religion is often used as a way to help people overcome certain fears and problems when they don't know what to do.

As for the chart, it is rubbish. It could be making measurements off of population or it could be making measurements within only specific parts of the world at a time. In fact, how do you measure scientific advancement on a chart? Not to mention the fact that the only thing the chart proves (if it isn't moot) is that the Christian Dark Ages was the only erra that halted the advance of science. Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks were all heavily influenced by religion. I would also like to point out that "modern science" and "age of enlightenment" are merely times when science took a great leap, which doesn't do a thing to disprove religion.

But once again, I don't even know how scientific advancement is being measured in the first place in the presented chart.

Most people aren't scientists. Therefore, it doesn't really matter if the average person is theist or atheist when it comes to advancement in science. There are a few exceptions, such as stem-cell research and cloning, but these issues are also challenged by atheists as well.

It has been used as a tool to start wars, genocides, and general hate for people of different belief or culture.


This is, sadly, true. However, no war is ever fought purely from a religious standpoint. There's always politics behind the mask of war. Not only that, but hate for people of different belief and culture is caused by other factors other than religion such as skin color, life styles, and moral values.

Homosexuals are discriminated against because what it says in the Bible.


Rather than getting rid of religion, why don't we persuade theists that the bible isn't against homosexuals? The part of the bible against homosexuality is vague and you know that most Christians often ignore specific parts of the bible as it is. Why not persuade Christians that homosexuality isn't bad rather than fight Christianity as a whole?

Hitler killed Jewish people for what he believed.


Even if Hitler did kill the Jews PURELY due to his own religious belief, which there's more to it than that, you can't hold all of religion for one man's actions.

I understand that religion is often used as a motivator when it comes to war. This is unfortunate. However, it doesn't mean we should get rid of religion all together. It means we need to change people's views of their own religion. Like I said, nobody starts a war purely because of religion. Politics are always the primary cause. Religion, as well as moral values and cultural differences, are all used as motivators for war. In Hitler's case, it was straight up racism.

Thousands were stoned and flogged in the past for accidentally messing up one of the religion's laws.


Thousands have been saved or have used religion to improve their own life and the lives of others as well. You don't mind if we look at both sides do you?
Keyara
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Keyara
371 posts
Nomad

It has both a good and bad influence. It may cause war and genocide. And, people will argue the other is inferior but, it also brings people together. People gather at mass and their places of worship. It also gives people hope.

314d1
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314d1
3,840 posts
Nomad

Do you honestly think religion has caused nothing but harm? What about the thousands of families gathering together to go to mass, church dinners, picnics, and other events? Last time I checked, religion often unites people within a community and plays a role with socializing. Religion is often used as a way to help people overcome certain fears and problems when they don't know what to do.


The KKK and gangs also help people socialize, but they are not positive. Fears and problems should be dealt with without the negative side effects common with religion.

As for the chart, it is rubbish. It could be making measurements off of population or it could be making measurements within only specific parts of the world at a time. In fact, how do you measure scientific advancement on a chart? Not to mention the fact that the only thing the chart proves (if it isn't moot) is that the Christian Dark Ages was the only erra that halted the advance of science. Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks were all heavily influenced by religion. I would also like to point out that "modern science" and "age of enlightenment" are merely times when science took a great leap, which doesn't do a thing to disprove religion.


The chart may not be exact, but it shows the general effect of the dark ages. The Greek did have some spiritual influence, but they didn't let that get in the way of scientific advancement. The main reason it was a pushes is because they had a goddess of wisdom. There religion was one of the few rare ones that I like.


Most people aren't scientists. Therefore, it doesn't really matter if the average person is theist or atheist when it comes to advancement in science. There are a few exceptions, such as stem-cell research and cloning, but these issues are also challenged by atheists as well.


But atheists don't do it in mass groups for only the sake of there religion.

This is, sadly, true. However, no war is ever fought purely from a religious standpoint. There's always politics behind the mask of war. Not only that, but hate for people of different belief and culture is caused by other factors other than religion such as skin color, life styles, and moral values.


Even if its not fought for a purely religious point, it is still used as a tool to get the general approval of the nation.

Thousands have been saved or have used religion to improve their own life and the lives of others as well. You don't mind if we look at both sides do you?


Thousands have been saved? How so?

They may feel an improvement in there lives, but the ending of lives of countless others threw out the years makes it dwindle in comparison. Even if it was a far outrageous 10 people who are happy to 1 who was killed, 10:1 then that would mean that one person dies so that ten can be happy. It isn't even a forever happiness... Am I the only one who sees this wrong?

And the number is no were near 10:1 there have been countless, nameless deaths that tip the scale over.
NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Shepherd

The KKK and gangs also help people socialize, but they are not positive. Fears and problems should be dealt with without the negative side effects common with religion.


Atomic bomb. All science, no religion.

There's positives and negatives to everything, including science. If you toss aside religion, you will still have war and hate.

Don't mix a hate group, the KKK, and groups that revolve around violence and illegal trade, gangs, with religious groups.

But atheists don't do it in mass groups for only the sake of there religion.


That's only because atheists don't have a religion.

Your argument is that every time a group of theists protest science, they never have valid evidence backing them up. Sometimes, we are forced to cater to these people. I understand this to be a problem, and I agree. However, not all theists protests science. Most of them keep quietly to themselves.

I would also like to ad that people who don't understand something about the world will often fill gaps in with their own explanations even if they are atheist. Theists and Atheists fill in missing links with non-religious related fallacies all the time.

Anyway, all I have to say is that we should focus on changing the radicals or getting rid of the radicals rather than fighting religion all together.

Even if its not fought for a purely religious point, it is still used as a tool to get the general approval of the nation.


Good things are often used for evil. If it wasn't for the airplane, we wouldn't have been able to drop bombs on other countries, making wars much smaller and therefore killing far less people. If only we didn't have airplanes.

Thousands have been saved? How so?


Thousands of people suffer depression or have personal problems in which they turn to religion to straighten them out. They often use religion to reimburse their moral decisions and to find happiness in such a dark world. Many families remain quite happy because of their strong belief in a strong marital foundation, something that is pushed heavily upon by many churches. Many couples use religion to mend their relationships.

I know you are going to tell me that you don't need religion to fix the above problems. I am aware of this. Likewise, you don't need religion to start a war or a protest against science. All you need are moral values, for the good and for the bad.

I probably should not have used the word "save" because I'm sure there are few cases where someone would have died had it not been for religion. What religion does do, is greatly improve many lives.

They may feel an improvement in there lives, but the ending of lives of countless others threw out the years makes it dwindle in comparison. Even if it was a far outrageous 10 people who are happy to 1 who was killed, 10:1 then that would mean that one person dies so that ten can be happy. It isn't even a forever happiness... Am I the only one who sees this wrong?


If you support the right to bear arms, then you should take a step back and rethink your approach.


Religion doesn't kill people. People kill people.

Religion, like a gun, is nothing more than a tool to help cope with life. Maybe the world would have been better if neither ever came to existence, but they do exist and we must handle them both accordingly.

Rather than exterminate the tool from everyone's hands, why don't we focus on the actual hands holding the tools?

Why don't we turn religious people from their crooked leaders, rather than tell them to abandon their hopeless religion. Every time you challenge God, those people turn to their crooked leaders for guidance. If you turn those people away from their leaders, they will find a morally righteous person to take place of the crook and we will have religion that isn't screwing up lives.

Also, rather than turning all the logical and morally right people away from religion, why not help them become religious leaders? Why can't we replace the bad leaders who protest against science with leaders who leave science alone?

Not all religious leaders are crooked. But if there's a problem where religion intervenes with the general welfare of the people, a crooked leader is behind the problem. We should focus on the crooked leaders and the crooked teachers rather than religion as a whole.

And the number is no were near 10:1 there have been countless, nameless deaths that tip the scale over.


This is impossible to measure.
Avorne
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Avorne
3,088 posts
Nomad

I'd gladly exterminate every religious text and person upon this planet if I thought it'd make a difference - but it won't, because people WANT to believe in the divine and in someone watching over them. I've come to accept that. I instead think it would be best to turn our focus to eradicating radicalism and moving towards a unified world in which religion doesn't get in the way of science and science doesn't loudly parade the fallacies of religion.

xBHWKxUSAx
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xBHWKxUSAx
121 posts
Nomad

I think an about equal number of wars would be started over country, old conflicts and money if religion didn't exist. I really don't have any evidence to back this up but it's my hunch. My religious views are agnostic if you're curious.

LiL_GaNgSta_BlAzE
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LiL_GaNgSta_BlAzE
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Jester

Religion is a two sided conflict. Do not assume that it is indeed just bad or just good. In short, religion is looked upon as a tool of harm and hatred caused by one thinking his religion and his beliefs are better then those of his neighbor.

But it too is looked upon as a tool of sanity, where one may confide and hold onto something more. In times of hardship, one looks onto religion as a means of getting through. Science cannot do that.

All conflict has two sides, and this does as well. As well - all conflict does not have a clear answer as to who is the winer, this does not.

Healmeal
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Healmeal
1,941 posts
Nomad

The overall effect of religion on the world


Religion is not a disease, you talked about it as if it is.

Personally, I think religion simply shapes the world. You shouldn't think too much about whether it's good or bad, just search for the good and you'll find plenty. It shapes the world and we can't (and shouldn't) go back to the past. The past can teach us, but we can't teach the past.
MRWalker82
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MRWalker82
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Shepherd

Don't mix a hate group, the KKK, and groups that revolve around violence and illegal trade, gangs, with religious groups.


The KKK is actually a solely Christian organization, just FYI. Also, if you look at the overwhelming majority of street gangs and even organized groups like the Mafia and many drug cartels, you will be hard pressed to find a member that isn't religious in one way or another.

Anyway, all I have to say is that we should focus on changing the radicals or getting rid of the radicals rather than fighting religion all together.


I totally agree. The other issue we need to address is to completely remove religious influence from our governing bodies. There is still a great amount of theistic influence on our government, and until that is removed 100% there will continue to be injustices in the name of religion.

Rather than exterminate the tool from everyone's hands, why don't we focus on the actual hands holding the tools?


An excellent analogy. The issue with this is that most religions are very adamant that there is nothing that is right that isn't in their book. As many of you have seen time and time again in debates, many religious people will not change their views, even in light of overwhelming evidence that they are mistaken, simply because their faith conflicts with the evidence. Until these people lessen their convictions a bit there is no way to reason with them using evidence. They simply won't see anything that challenges their beliefs.
NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Shepherd

The KKK is actually a solely Christian organization, just FYI. Also, if you look at the overwhelming majority of street gangs and even organized groups like the Mafia and many drug cartels, you will be hard pressed to find a member that isn't religious in one way or another.


The KKK is fueled by racism and extremism. It is unfair to use the KKK as an example because the KKK is not only a small radical group, but most do not support the KKK at all.

As for the gangs, I'm calling it BS. Just because they are theists doesn't mean they are fueled by religion.

The other issue we need to address is to completely remove religious influence from our governing bodies. There is still a great amount of theistic influence on our government, and until that is removed 100% there will continue to be injustices in the name of religion.


Fair enough. However, this isn't justification to exterminate religion.

An excellent analogy. The issue with this is that most religions are very adamant that there is nothing that is right that isn't in their book.


Not true. Most theists are willing to bend their faith against their book by pretending it's meaning is of something else, as long as the theist has feelings for such controversial topic. Let's take homosexuality. Many theists don't know any homosexuals and they are not homosexuals themselves. These theists will easily accept that homosexuality is wrong. However, if you can show theists that homosexuality isn't wrong, and move their hearts, then they will alter their belief against their book. Sure, some people are stubborn, but most theists are quite flexible.

As many of you have seen time and time again in debates, many religious people will not change their views, even in light of overwhelming evidence that they are mistaken, simply because their faith conflicts with the evidence.


That's where you are mistaken. You honestly think it's about evidence? Do you know what it's like to be a member of a religious group? If you knew at one time, then it's plain as day you don't know now.

Let's say you are a regular Christian. You go to church and before mass you go to a Sunday School and talk about God. You talk about morals and how to become a better person. You go to mass where you and your family and friends are all celebrating together. Afterward, you talk to everyone and hang out. You are all happy and feel good about yourselves and you strengthen each other. When one of you feels down another person will walk up to you and tell you that God will help be there for you. Then that person will proceed to pray for you. Do you know what it feels like when someone prays for you when you're a theist? You feel loved. You feel accepted.

Now some guy walks up and tells you that your church is wrong. They tell you the God you love and the God who loves you doesn't exist. They tell you that your God is evil. They tell you that you are wrong.

They are telling you that the one place where you and your family and friends meet and have a good time, is wrong. They are telling you that every time someone prays for you, nothing will happen and that those who love you aren't helping you.

It's not about evidence. It's about what you have. When you try to use raw evidence to convert theists into atheists, all they see is a person who is trying to take everything they hold dear away from them.

Most theists, and people in general, don't care how the earth was created. Most theists are uncomfortable when they think of themselves as having no soul. Most theists don't care about external affairs.

If you didn't buy all of that, then let me tackle this from a different perspective.

As many of you have seen time and time again in debates, many religious people will not change their views, even in light of overwhelming evidence that they are mistaken, simply because their faith conflicts with the evidence.


You're telling theists they are wrong and they should be atheist. That simply won't work.

What I propose is talking to theists and allowing them to believe in whatever they want to believe, as long as it doesn't effect some one else's rights.

You may not be able to convert a theist to an atheist, but you can persuade a theist that homosexuality isn't wrong. You just need to know how to do it.

They simply won't see anything that challenges their beliefs.


When you tell a person that the thing they strongly believe in is wrong, they will go into the defensive. Everyone is like this. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong, especially when it's something they strongly believe in. You have to show them that you understand and respect their belief. You have to work at them slowly. Eventually, they will question themselves. However, our goal isn't to change theists into atheists, but the make theists accepting of homosexuals and to allow schools to teach sciences such as evolution.

I bet you've been in arguments with your parents where you knew you were wrong but argued anyway. That's a perfect example of how people go on the defensive.

Until these people lessen their convictions a bit there is no way to reason with them using evidence.


Simply put, have you ever considered that fact that you're doing it wrong?
coletrain
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coletrain
4 posts
Nomad

I believe without religion, humanity would not be where it is today because religion binded people together. Religion is great when it is used for bringing people together and helping others.

But the problem is there are people that see religion as a way to power and have corrupted it. That is when religion is bad.

So personally I believe religion is good, but only when kept down to a community and personal level, because it is too prone to corruption. At least thats my view on it haha

MRWalker82
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MRWalker82
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Shepherd

@NoNameC68

I'm sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with you on almost all points. I was once a theist, and was a very devout member of the Church. I grew up in religion, going to sunday schools, and even going to a religious school for several years. Much of my family is theist, many are members of the clergy of several different faiths and some even hold degrees in theology.

I spend my teenage years studying and debating theology and I have found time and again that when a devout theist is presented with evidence or opinions that contradict what their holy text claims they will default to what is said in the text. Yes, many theists are flexible, but they are a slim majority at best.

And the issue that I have with theists is that the ones that are in government are by and large the unwavering type that will not go against what their holy text says, and these people are involved in making policy that will affect every member of my country.

Even to use your example of homosexuality, there is no way to prove to a devout Christian that homosexuality is not a sin. It is not at all vague in the Bible that sodomy is wrong and immoral to them. Unless something happens in their personal life that forces them to change their outlook, such as a family member being homosexual, they are extremely unlikely to change this viewpoint.

Krizaz
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Krizaz
2,406 posts
Nomad

Hahaha, I am so passed religion right now.

Try looking at religion from an aliens point of view, someone not of our world. It makes us all look very silly believing in one thing, then saying something aboutit, wasting our time for generations about the simple subject of saying there is, or isn't. Who cares. It's all nice and silly.

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