Religion can be a source of both great hindrance, help, harm and happiness, depending entirely on the situation and religion in question, simply because of the utter sway it has on the human psyche. As the universe on a whole proves to be larger, bigger, and less comprehensible as the years and decades go by, many wish to feel to be a part of a larger group, where comfort and familiarity, as well as easy 'rulebook' to life can be a great pull. Not only does that person follow that rulebook, but so does (supposedly) everyone else in that group. Humans are cliquish by nature. It's perfectly natural, and harmless, in and of itself. It's only when you start to run into politics that it starts getting iffy--but that's natural and unavoidable as well, even in small groups.
Looking at the big 5 (Christianity, Judaism, Islamic, Hinduism, and Buddhism) I don't believe they are harmful unless put in the wrong hands. If a government runs with religion, instead of being separate from it like a good government should; it can and will use religion to scare and govern its people. Its just like you can have good governments and bad governments. It all depends on who it is that is running it during the time.
no offence to anyone who is not chrstian or anything but there are millions of religions in the world (hyperbole) that require killing and warfare so it can be harmful. plus differnences in religion can cause conflict which is harmful. but all in all i still am going to continue to believ in christ i don't care if teh whol;e world tries to kill me. Jesus is lord and savior.
It doesn't matter if someone is religious or not, we all need to employ the rules of basic human decency and courtesy, every human deserves to be treated with dignity and respect... If we all lived by that, then there would be no hatred, no violence...
I'm Catholic but I belive that it can be harmfull when in the wrong hands in the sense that when powerful people, or bad people in genral do things and try to say that 'God told them, or the devil did', or when people use different religions as a ground to hurt other poeple or to control peoples lives. I feel it makes religion look bad when this happens.
It irritates me how the Vatican is one of the richest places in the world and the Pope one of the richest people in the world (why in the world would you need a bath made out of solid gold -_-) With all that wealth he could practically end poverty but he tells all the normal people and the poor to give even though some of hem may not even have anything. He should be more like a monk, simple life with simple clothes, not decorated with gold..
The people who kill in the name of god, or who treat those of a different religion, sexuality, or opinion badly just because its different then the beliefs of their god(s) and their religious law create the bad name that religion has with many people. But religion can also save lives as well as destroy them. Religion can pull one from the bottom of the bottle or save one from the edge of death...
I am not a religious person. I have been to church only a handful of times but do not agree with the views of the church. I'd rather believe what i want when i want with out a group or book telling me what to do. As long as it doesn't hurt any one i am ok with religion.
Organized religion has more potential to be harmful than helpful, I think. Mob mentality is a scary thing. When you think of a mob being millions of believers strong... yeah...
... That being said, even without religion, I'm sure you'd STILL have the crazy lunatics finding SOMETHING to be fanatic about and killing people all over the place. (I mean... generic crazy people DO currently exist outside of religion) And you'd still have reasonable people, too. So... I don't know... IS it really religion that's harmful? Or just something inherent in human nature?
... Now, as for individualized spirituality/beliefs? Yeah, I'm all for that. My personal belief system is drawn from a number of different religions, with my own life experiences adding to the mix. And it's a fluid thing, able to change and evolve as I learn new things and gain a wider understanding. I won't limit myself to one narrow view of the world, one strict outline of what is or isn't, what I can or cannot believe.
I'm a christian and I voted for religion to be harmful in general. Religion is an institution where everything is governed by whoever happens to be in charge of that religion. So even if you believe that there's a higher power of some sort, there's not probably much room for that said high power to work on in these man-made ceremonies and whatnots we've created. In worst case scenarios, these leaders take advantage of the control they have of their followers and terrible things will happen. We have seen it over the course of history.
All this judgemental and fundamental attitude of christians stems from the religion. I myself think that the judgemental attitude condradicts the message of the bible in many ways. I do believe in God and all the stuff that's in the bible but I honestly think that religion is often as far away from the actual faith as possible.
I personally think all religions are incorrect (My beliefs can be swayed my physical evidence), and I'm genuinely surprised that any still exist. How is it that people refuse to believe in fairy tails, and condemn those they label as witches, while believing in any form of a god? I find it baffling.
Simultaneously, I think that many religions can help people to be better people, and are the sources of many charities.
I guess it's harmful no matter what, but that doesn't make it bad. I mean, pretty much anything we do whether spiritual or not. So yeah, it's harmful and offensive. But I don't think that makes it wrong. Because I believe the concept behind real religion and spirituality is harmless. It's just that... sometimes there are extremes that make it harmful to others.
Religion has done a few things: Given people a reason to live, a reason to die, a bunch of rules, and in some cases leads to oppression and eventually death for people who wanted nothing to do with it. I personally have no problem with people being religious, and I am religious myself, but enforcing those religious views on to someone else or difference of opinion based on religion always ends up making things worse.
i think both religious, and non-religious people can do horrible things. i also think that without religion there is no objective means to make absolute moral choices, leaving the option to do wrong a lot more open and reasonable.
Religion is harmless, its the people of the religion that give it a bad name....something EVERYONE should understand is that people will be people no matter what religion, group (etc) they follow. You can't judge a religion off of something ONE person does and then deem everyone who follows it the same, why that's idiocy and blindness at its finest.
Religion generally speaking is just a medium for anyone who wants to achieve self improvement or a place to paradise etc. I don't recall any particular dogmas who support violence or anything like that (hm.. maybe Satanism?). Religion like most thing in life is harmful on the wrong hands. Like a stone on the ground. If you hit someone with it, yes it is harmful but you can never blame the stone itself.
I like to separate faith and religion. I see faith as the belief that there is something bigger than us and that there is a God of some sort in some way watching over humans. Faith is harmless because it is something individual and personal. Religion, however, involves unquestioningly and blindly following of a set of teachings and values set by some kind of scripts. It involves someone telling you to believe them and you have to, because they know more than you. I don't agree with that, and I think believing anything, whether its coming from a polititian, a priest or you mother, without stopping to think to be dangerous. Great public speakers placed into reveered positions and encouraging a mass of people to NOT question- what part of that isn't harmful??
Religion in itself is harmless and can give meaning to someone's life. But when people fight over it, religion become tainted. I don't think that is religion's fault though, but the fault of human pride.
I see what you mean and respect it though I disagree completely.
Religion doesn't do anything that a secular system can't do ( maybe even better?) In my eyes religion is tainted to begin with, its a system that spreads misinformation and cannot be challenged by reason. Let me put it this way, I feel that anything that is based on a belief can't be beneficial =/. e.g I believe in it, therefore it is true is a bad mindset to have.
I'm going to play devil's advocate for a second . . . (yes, pun intended)
That being said, "I believe in it, therefore it must be true" is definitely a bad mindset. People can change their religion. No religion is written into a person's mind in stone. It is not the religion but the people that cause the problems. If someone hits someone else with their car, their lawyer cannot blame it on the traffic system.
Do you believe in science? Scientists are always finding that they were wrong. How can someone use knowledge that they know they will be told was wrong later? Yet technology continues to move forward using information that will later be considered "obsolete."
How is a system that teaches it's followers to "love one another" and "help thy neighbor" spreading misfortune? The worst religion does is sit in a book. The worst someone actually following their religion can do is try to convert you. (I do not consider occults to be religions but technicality they do fall under the definition)
Killing and hurting others in the name of religion is not the religion. Also, when religious leaders are corrupt and such- like talking about giving when all they seem to do is take- it is not the religion, it's a corrupt person taking advantage of the situation. People that try to force their religion into the laws is also the people not the religion.
That is what I like about science. It is can be tested, researched and studied, scientists are refining proving and disproving. It is a system with scrutiny and it has helped man kind take giant steps in pretty much every aspect of our existence.
Love thy neighbour is great, and you don't need to be religious to have this mindset. What religion does tell is to hate those who are different and hate those who don't choose to conform with the religion.
Religion is testless, cannot be disproven because people won't let it. It chokes science e.g the rejection of evolution, ban on stem cell research and telling people aids is bad but condoms are worse.
Religion started as a way to help explain why things are the way they are before people had science and to help make social guild lines- like don't kill other people or steal from other people. It stays because people like to know what will happen after they die and people like to think that there is a greater power pulling the strings so they don't have to worry about their own actions.
Religion does not tell people to hate those that are different. I have taken classes on the religions through the ages and none of the ones we went over- including the current main stream religions like the Jewish religion, Christian religion and Muslim religion- say to hate and kill followers of other religions. If anything it says to try to help them see the light in a none violent way if not pity them. The hate you're talking about was spoke of by leaders who feared their follower's leaving them and taking their money else where. All of the teaching of these religions are that everyone is equal regardless of their faith and that no mortal can judge the actions of the living or take judgement on another living thing (like killing)- only God (or in some cases Gods) can do that. The stories told in each religion are to help teach the mentality (and try to explain things before we had science to figure them out) not to give a history that the people should believe above all others.
Even though before I said that religion doesn't change, it really does. People just want something that they think is written in stone. For instance the Pope has made changes like removing laws that were in the Bible but no longer work in current society. Or an even greater example is that the Christian Religion came from the Jewish and the Muslim Religion came from the Christian (although they do not believe that Jesus was the savior.)
Archeologists are finding older and older versions of the texts that the Bible was based on. The translations of these older works say "Gods" not "God." And the Christian religion was originally taught and spread through the Nuns. It wasn't until the Priests noticed that the people weren't coming to the church since the Nuns were going out to help the people that the Priests decided to change it. They forced the Nuns to stay in the church so the people would be forced to come and be guilt-tripped into donating to the Church.
What people take from a religion or any other written work is often different from what is actually written- let alone what they do with what they take away.
Its still here because old habits die hard... It may have been useful in the dark ages but now its just detrimental due to the stuff I mentioned before ( trying to put a spanner in the works for equal rights and scientific advancements)
Yes I agree! religion and religious texts are so vague and ambiguous people can just nit pick at what they like and don't like. Like I said, really really dangerous.
I have read snippets of the bible, I have my own copy and it is a horrible immoral and disgusting book with a God who is a bipolar sadistic tyrant. Anyone who thinks he is a loving entity has read the book upside down. As for other religions? they are all the same to me.
I don't have a problem with people being spiritual or having a personal deity they keep to themselves, but religious masses are dangerous because they believe so strongly that what they are doing is right that they force it on others and justify it by saying its what mankind is suppose to do.
Yeah~ That's one thing that always bothered me- most of the Gods in these religions are vicious which is the opposite of the rules the religion is trying to promote. Herd mentality crosses over into many groups outside of religion too. No matter where it shows up it causes problems. Groups of people will always be afraid of change. -_-;
I'm done playing devil's advocate. It was fun debating with you.
Some religions get out of hand and CAN sometimes make people miserable, I know this because I've personally seen it happen. But at the same time, I've seen religion make some people very, very happy! So it can go either way depending on the person. Lol, being raised religious, me and my sister now are athiests... I guess religion just didn't appeal to us at all and made us hate it. But without it, we're very happy people, whereas someone else in the world NEEDS religion to keep them happy and, in some ways, sane.