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
Avorne
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Avorne
3,088 posts
Nomad

It isn't that easy. Religion, like the parasite it is, has pervaded almost every aspect on the world - it isn't so easy to completely do away religion as it is to sand away the sharp corners of it (extremism and radicalism) and leave the smooth centre.

MRWalker82
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MRWalker82
4,012 posts
Shepherd

The problem with that is that there are extremists in anything. As long as there are politics, religion, and anything else that humans can attach themselves to in such a manner then there will be those that take extreme positions.

Now I am not saying we shouldn't have religion. I may not agree with it, but I don't think that it should be eliminated. I feel that everyone has a right to their thoughts and beliefs. However I don't feel that any belief not based on demonstrable and verifiable fact should be allowed to affect policy that encompasses a much larger group.

Religious ideals and concepts should not be allowed to affect our laws, education, representation, or any other aspect of our society. Religion should be kept personal and private and preferably out of the public eye. It is a personal opinion and as such should remain personal.

Avorne
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Avorne
3,088 posts
Nomad

I never said that it'd solve everything - but by smoothing away the more extreme elements of religion it can become a more private affair that stays out of sight and out of mind in governing matters etc.

MRWalker82
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MRWalker82
4,012 posts
Shepherd

This is true. However how do you go about smoothing away the extreme elements? How do you eliminate the Jihadist? Or the Christian Fundamentalist? Or the Mormon extremists? As long as they have their religion and their books and their churches/mosques they will have their claim to righteous fervor.

Avorne
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Avorne
3,088 posts
Nomad

I suppose you'd have to start with education, get the children while they're young. Teach them that religion is OK but that extremism is not. It's hard to sift extremists out of a religion but with work it could be possible.

MRWalker82
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MRWalker82
4,012 posts
Shepherd

I suppose you'd have to start with education, get the children while they're young.


And this is why we need a completely secular government and educational system, especially in developing nations where religious extremism is most likely.
AnaLoGMunKy
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AnaLoGMunKy
1,584 posts
Blacksmith

And this is why we need a completely secular government and educational system, especially in developing nations where religious extremism is most likely.


Hear hear!

But that aint happening any time soon.
wuut
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wuut
232 posts
Nomad

Hitler killed Jewish people for what he believed.


Hitler killed Jewish people because of their race not of their religion. He only wanter there to be one pure race, The Aryan race (blonde hair/blue eyes).
Calm
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Calm
911 posts
Herald

Well, I see this thread has taken off nicely, but I've read quite a few daring statements which are in majority competely ridiculous and not based on actual facts, so I wanted to point out a couple good sources one can read to actually have some real facts rather than presupposed concepts based on inepties:
rintsec=frontcover&dq=statistics+of+democides&source=bl&ots=VUWdF3xzyR&sig=vx6zSPr_g-eiC2tcG3ZaA8DIVjk&hl=fr&ei=e0M7TMS4JYH98Aa2jfmmBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false">- Statistics of Democide, a book recounting a tentatively exhaustive list of all democides occured in the world. Figures can also be found here

Another paper about Religion and Scientists which provides interesting insight about the actual quota of believing scientists.

I think these two sources are very respectable and impartial, but you may challenge them if you will.

With these papers I want to shatter some of the preconcieved ideas, so read them!!

PS. The survey is well under way with just over 50 answers, please participate if you haven't already done so, and thanks for those who took the time to do so

themantschkin
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themantschkin
151 posts
Nomad

I think the main problem of religions is that they hinder the humans from thinking rational/clearly

sure a world without religion wouldnt be a entirely paceful place but there were too many bad things in history which where justifyed by religion or religous belives and still there are too many things excused by religion

i think that religion screwed many big things in history and present like politics and science

Calm
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Calm
911 posts
Herald

OK guys, I've now closed the survey. I'll publish the results here now, along with the most interesting points of view. As to my personal opinion, this will wait

Survey results:

54 participants:
41% Christians (22)
54% non-Christians (29) including 13 Atheists.

Opinions:
15 people believe religion has an overall positive effect on the world.

18 people believe the overall effect of religion on the world is neither good nor bad.

16 people believe religion has an overall negative effect on the world

5 people can't make up their mind.


Interesting comments:

"The vast majorities of the world's charities and missions are directly related to, or were created by, religions or someone religious. Although religion does have some negative effects they are largely negated by the positive."

"I believe that religion helps those who don't have a lot of courage or character. I don't mean this in a negative way, I rather mean that religion is there for people to use if they need it. If they can not find the strength within themselves to take on an important task in their life, then religion can help them do that. I think there's nothing wrong with someone if they believe in an imaginary man in the sky, as long as they get the job done."

"Religion often brings communities of people together. Religious groups often support foreign aid and donations to the less fortunite. You don't need religion to do good, but it often helps."

"The only negative effects I can think of with religion is that religion is the main drive behind war. I guarantee you without finding an official source that religion is the primary cause of more than 90% of all world conflict. Ancient wars, Medieval tussles, and both World Wars and smaller modern conflicts have all been caused by beliefs. There may be other primary or secondary influences, such as territory, charisma, personal experience, etc., but religion is definitely the source of a vast amount of conflicts."

"It has a high potential of abuse by people who see they can seize power over people with religion"

"[Religion]Has impeded progress, scientific and otherwise, is a main cause of death, is irrational, ect."



My thoughts will come a little later, but as you can see the results are pretty much inconclusive... Any questions on other results or for a full list of comments, contact me directly

SubZero131
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SubZero131
599 posts
Nomad

religion is far beyond 2000 years old.
Considering that there are far more religious people than non religious, i dont think it will be going any wheare soon. although i wish i could live for a few thousand years to see what happens

AnaLoGMunKy
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AnaLoGMunKy
1,584 posts
Blacksmith

Considering that there are far more religious people than non religious, i dont think it will be going any wheare soon


Quite the sobering thought.
SubZero131
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SubZero131
599 posts
Nomad

Quite the sobering thought.


i am just sayin ghow it is. no matter what there will allways be remains of something, whether it is a minority or not
Darkhand666
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Darkhand666
88 posts
Nomad

I believe that at it's start some religions were used as primitive code of laws and worked well for a while. Like Ancient Polytheistic religions being used by Ancient Governments to control their people an example could be the Romans, some of their myths show the powers of the gods and if you disobeyed them you will be punished. Then the senate or later the emperors would just have to say the gods supported them, making their citizens fear them. After some time though they were corrupted and used to gain power as you can tell from my little story above. Religion however isn't the only thing that has been corrupted to gain power ex. Money(replaced bartering due to growing populations), Weapons(originally used for hunting), Some Governments(Monarchy could be a good form of government when used properly, Republics and Democracies could get corrupted and inefficient like the Roman Republic).

Overall, I believe Religion has had the most negative effect on the world so far, money coming in a close second. Money which causes greed and usually causes some people to put profits above native sea life, animal life, and human life. Religion has caused numerous wars from the crusades to jihads. It has also stolen close to 1,000 years of technological advancement.

http://buelahman.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/darkages.gif

I know on the first page someone posted this picture and I can only assume it is based on commonly used knowledge in that time period. I assume this because I could not find any site that could explain what it measured and I know after Rome's Fall many building techniques and other technologies were lost. Also from the first page someone said that even though Europe was having their Dark Ages other parts of the world could still advance.Web page of World History and what I know of history during this time was that it was full of war which left few people able to conduct experiments and learn. Also China one of the most advanced countries at the time was Conquered by the Mongols and from what I know normally used isolationism.

Sorry in advance if anything is hard to understand or grammatically wrong it's the ADD distracting me.

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