I personally think religion caused more harm than good in the world - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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I personally think religion caused more harm than good in the world

Ur thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 04:49 AM
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It's been with us from the very beginning of mankind in various forms. I guess it is as much part of us as are arms and legs.
People believe what they want to believe
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:37 AM
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A religious group had a place in the upper hierarchy because they provided services. Not just all about 'preparing your soul for heaven' etc. In historical times a religion was practically a branch of government until a more secular society started evolving in the American revolution. With some growing pains still lingering.

Religions existence is a complex matter. I don't believe it's the main cause of 'bad things' happening in the world. Anymore than Just having a dense diverse human population grappling over resources and a place in the hierarchy.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:23 AM
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Good luck quantifying "harm" and "good" across different eras and cultures

Basically what Conan said, we can't really separate religion from humankind, we're hardwired for pareidolia and that's the root of all our metaphysical ideas.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:07 PM
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I cant help thinking that people who believe in such laughable nonsense are a bit crazy, and therefore potentially dangerous.

Straight up ha, I do.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by D'avjo View Post
I cant help thinking that people who believe in such laughable nonsense are a bit crazy, and therefore potentially dangerous.

Straight up ha, I do.
yes I believe you, when many would not : /

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It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by blue2 View Post
yes I believe you, when many would not : /

Oh thanks pal.

I think

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:47 PM
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Most religions do more bad than good, sure. There are some that appear to have done more good than harm, though. Quakers for example.

The real problem with religions is their perverse evolutionary pressures. The fastest way a religion can gain massive popularity is by conquering continents and forcing the natives to convert, but the kind of religion that would eagerly do that is not the kind that's going to be a force for good in the world. Meanwhile, the sincere good people religions languish in obscurity because they're not willing to force people to profess belief in them. Of course, this is the same reason that the ideology which spread atheism the fastest (communism) was unpleasantly murderous.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:26 PM
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how am i going to be objective? if i believe in a religion that promises an eternity of happiness, that is obviously overwhelmingly good. if i am an atheist of course i hate religion.

many things have happened that people say is because of a religion, but then people of that religion today say no, that was not the religion, that was the people misusing it, a convenient excuse, etc.

gonna get into "hitler was a vegetarian therefore all vegetarians are evil" type stuff.

gotta add that some religions are the opposite of other religions. so lumping them all together might not really work.

Originally Posted by Tao Te Ching Capter 18
When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretence begins.

When there is no peace within the family,
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear.

the point of the quote in this context being that religion arises to make up for some crucial failure. ideology to convince people to do what works rather than maybe what is right or what has come before.

"I take what is mine. I pay the iron price."
―Balon Greyjoy
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:41 PM
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I'm not convinced it has overall. It depends on the subcultures it fosters which changes over time and places. Ideally people are supposed to get a sense of community and comfort out of it, so it has that to offer, sometimes, and not sure how to measure the impact of that. The thing that least appeals to me is the fairytails you're expected to believe, the weird, harmful or hypocritical customs / dogma, and the extremism it sometimes fosters. But, if it weren't religion it'd just be something else probably.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 08:13 AM
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That's because you think of religion from the perspective of a modern westerner so it seems to you to be a distinct category from other ideologies that you take and leave independent of everything else you might know or believe.

For example, the Torah is basically a depository of Jewish laws, knowledge, history, and culture as understood by its authors. If you believe it's divinely inspired, then it's a good thing. If you think it's just a bronze age attempt to preserve laws, knowledge, history, and culture, then it was the best that could be done by humans at that time, and it's still good.

If we're assuming there is no divine aspect and religion is just humans writing down what they think is important, you're basically just saying 'the world would be better if bronze age writers were infallible' and there was never a chance of that.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 01:34 AM
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That's a very broad and generalized statement and I think it'd be hard to really qualify one way or the other.

Sure, there has been plenty of bloodshed in the name of religion, as far back as our records go. Christian zealots literally hunted down and murdered people for centuries, just because they didn't believe in the "One True God." We call them the "Dark Ages" now, although there are still some places in the world where atheists are put to death for their lack of belief. Then there were the Crusades, which killed millions of people. And the annihilation of Paganism during the initial rise of Christianity, whereby entire populations were wiped out because they refused to convert. And of course that zealotry never ended -- we'd have to take into account the undeniable influence of religious thought on European expansion, taking "enlightened" beliefs to the "primitive" and "barbaric" peoples of other lands. Which were either converted or wiped out, again. Funny how people never seem to understand that the Abrahamic religions are the largest religions in the world today, largely thanks to their long and blood-soaked histories. And that's not even mentioning other forms of harm, such as exclusion and ostracism of people who don't share a religion's particular beliefs, as well as things like homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, racism and brainwashing. So yes, there is a LOT of harm to be attributed to religion. Which, in my experience, modern religious people simply gloss over or deny.

But religion may well have been vital to the survival of our species once, long ago when humans didn't understand anything about our world or our universe. Plenty of scientists speculate that religion played an integral role in helping people from different cultural groups to integrate as once-isolated communities expanded and merged. And then there's all of the gorgeous artwork that was created largely thanks to religion -- not just painting and sculpture but architecture, music, etc. Much of modern culture is based directly on religious belief, the good and the bad. I'm sure that religion has helped at least some people to live better lives than they otherwise would have -- the fear of hell and/or desire for heaven can actually keep sociopaths and psychopaths somewhat "in line." Religion can provide hope to some people who otherwise would have none, and help people to find meaning and purpose in a world where they simply can't find any.

I think it's a little too easy for those of us who have been wronged by religion to focus on the harm. And it's hard not to point out when so many modern believers are in denial. It's hard to see the good when you never experienced it yourself, but I think it's there nonetheless.

"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." -Ayn Rand
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:59 AM
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Not religious in any way myself, but if it's a religion where you try to become a better person because of it, doing more good deeds and such, motivates you to do better in life and be a better person, I really don't see the problem with religion as a whole.

That said, my main turn-off is some religions (even the most popular ones), many worshippers tend to be ignorant and intolerant of others that have different beliefs in them. To the point of alienating or stigmatizing them. Or forcing them to conform to their own beliefs. That I think is harmful and toxic. Although I think religious people that are like that, it isn't due to the religion itself, but instead its mostly from their own personality flaws.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Rains View Post
But, if it weren't religion it'd just be something else probably.


I'm always hesitant to be too anti-religious, because if that becomes the norm, "my group" would suffer the most, and they’re the least likely to magically turn non-religious any time soon. So, whatever.

Religion is so huge in some people’s lives, that I often wonder if they’d be even recognizable without it; and it’s so little in my own, that I sometimes forget people actually believe it. It seems so obviously false, it’s frustrating.

People build their lives around texts that are much less sophisticated than they themselves are. Even back when they were relatively new, their ‘unique wisdom’ was only a myth perpetrated by their followers. These books were definitely NOT the best things their times could produce.

To quote a ninth century philosopher, on the “miracle” of the Quran:

Originally Posted by Abu Bakr Al-Razi
By God, If a book could be a miracle; then the books of the principles of geometry or the Almagest that gives knowledge of the movement of planets, and books of Logic and books of Medicine that contain the knowledge for the wellbeing of the bodies – all these books would’ve been more of a miracle than a book that does not give benefit or keep away harm or unveil mystery.

Who would find it impossible to compose fairytales without proof or evidence; except for them claiming that it’s a miracle?

This is a path that if our opponent would choose, we let him alone to the drunkenness of ignorance and wishful thinking; even though we could provide works that are better, in the form of good poetry, eloquent speech, and wonderful writing …
Both Christianity and Islam have sort of caused a hault on more useful forms of knowledge that were already doing well in "primitive times". It's easy to imagine an alternative history where that wasn't the case without changing too many variables. Just allow the Greek / Hellenistic tradition to evolve uninterrupted. That probably would've been better.

But then again, the Mongols did a lot of harm and they weren't religiously motivated, so who knows ...

Ma 'alena
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 11:09 AM
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On the flip side, it would be rebelliousness.

With religion, there was at a least a standard to go by. Otherwise, it's a free for all.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by millenniumman75 View Post
On the flip side, it would be rebelliousness.

With religion, there was at a least a standard to go by. Otherwise, it's a free for all.
Are you implying that non-religious people don't have standards or morals??? Do you seriously believe that, without religion, everyone would just go around murdering, raping, stealing and doing whatever they want just because they can?

...It truly scares me, how many sociopaths and psychopaths are kept in line solely by ancient fairy tales and a childish reward/punishment system.

"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." -Ayn Rand
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 04:51 AM
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I don't see religion as a force in itself. Religion merely is a reflection of humanity. Different people follow different religions and interpret them differently. Some religious groups obviously harmed the world a great deal, and powerful clergy classes held entire continents under a harsh totalitarian rule.

At the same time, religions were also instrumental in some of the great historical events. The American Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the freest nation in the world was inspired by Protestantism and its views on authority and individuality.

Would the world have been better off without religion? I am not so sure. There are plenty none-religious ideologies that have served the same purpose as "weaponized religion". Communism and fascism alone ruined lives of billions throughout just one century. If religion hadn't existed, then I'm pretty sure various authoritarian leaders would find something else to replace it and use it to subdue the population.

I have never followed any religion, and ever since I was exposed to religion for the first time when I was 6, I thought it didn't make any sense. I still adhere to that view. At the same time, religion in itself, however illogical, is neither good nor bad, and it's all about how it is practised.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:15 AM
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Religion has been both good and bad in my opinion. I personally think organized religion at times has been dangerous. Unfortunately since the beginning of civilization we can see the abuse of powerful men using faith to control their populations. Regardless in what you believe in, if you’re desperate enough, if you feel you need to believe in it, you’ll do anything you believe it told you. Faith is a powerful tool, when in the wrong hands it can be used as a weapon.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hopeforall View Post
Ur thoughts?

I agree with your statement.
Just read any book by Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins to find out why.
But if someone disagrees I am happy to elaborate further.

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Shimmer covers all the mess
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 10:22 AM
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People have caused more harm than good in the world. Religion is a scapegoat.

"Sometimes I wish I wasn't as conscious as I am. It would be so much easier."
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