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Does religion do more harm than good?

  1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
    CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago

    I wrote a hub on this topic (using this title) explaining my belief that although religion does some good in the world, it does more harm than good.

    This sparked a debate in the comments section. I thought that debate might better be conducted in the forum. A brief comment on the hub--pro or con--is more than welcome in the comments section of the hub, but for back-and-forth debate, let's do it here.

    1. robhampton profile image89
      robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      My thought on this, and I have not read your article yet, is that some people get mixed up by the word itself "Religion"  You say "does religion do more harm than good" Well that all depends. I am a Christian person, and certainly not here to judge atheists, or Wicca, or whatever. That just happens to be who I am. I was raised a Catholic, but no longer attend the Catholic church. I am a musician as well and have played music for many different denominations (Baptist, Catholic, etc..) I believe that no matter what "religion" you are, as long as it is not satanism, that God sees what is in a persons heart and does not care what religion you are. My mother is Catholic. I have a Stepfather who is what I consider a hard-core catholic and believes that if you aren't catholic, you are surely going to hell. My mother, on the other hand even being a devoted catholic believes as I do, that there are other avenues to Heaven.
        Years ago I would be argumentative with atheists or people who did not see things the way I do, but I know now and am content that I don't need to clutter my life with that kind of stress. If I believe what I believe then all I can do is live my life and try be an example without trying to change the people around me. If people could learn to love each other no matter what their walk in life is, we would learn so much more from each other. Does religion do more harm than good? Yes, sometimes it does because many people are blinded by society.

      1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
        Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        What do you know about Satanism that you're against it?  They make some good points that need addressing if you are to understand the full picture.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image
      90
      Christy Kirwanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Catherine,

      Just thought I'd mention: conducting those sorts of discussions on the Hub itself can actually be really helpful. Search engines see your comments as well as the Hub's content, and in-depth, insightful comments can show that readers like to engage with your Hub (and also provide great supplemental info for people looking for different points of view). Just be careful to moderate your Hub's comments closely as hate speech, excessive profanity and other issues can harm your Hub's search engine rankings.

      By all means, continue your discussion here as well, I just thought you might find this information useful-- ultimately, it's up to you. smile

      1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
        CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks Christy. That's good advice. Sometimes the same person comes back six times to argue with me, and I start to feel a little overwhelmed.

        So OK folks come back to the hub and make your comments there. Actually there hasn't been hate speech or profanity so I thank everyone one for that.  I also thank the people who disagree, but do it with me with reasoned arguments and facts.

      2. arksys profile image92
        arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

        No Religion teaches to harm others ... that is the work of people.

        If a religious person has killed then so has an atheist. It has nothing to do with a persons beliefs. Yes it is used as tool to create wars but that is not its purpose and the people are to blame, not the religion.

        Any religion, if practiced properly will always bring good.

        1. BuddiNsense profile image61
          BuddiNsenseposted 24 months ago in reply to this

          1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"


          Religion is the work of people not god. It was religions that asked for human sacrifices. Religion is not going to bring any good but only division.

          1. arksys profile image92
            arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

            You cannot take things out of context like that.

            "Now go, attack" would mean something happened before this... it's the same thing Bush said to his army when entering Afghanistan. Meaning something happened before this quote.

            Division is created even in children while they are in kindergarden. I would like to see unity just as much as you, but the fact is, it is in our nature to divide. Until there is right and wrong in this world there will be division.

            1. BuddiNsense profile image61
              BuddiNsenseposted 24 months ago in reply to this

              I think you haven't read the old testament.. I was only using the one that came to my mind first. Nothing came before that, only Israel want the land of other peoples and they were not willing to give it.

              You might also have noticed that children in kindergarten reconcile even before the sun sets. My that is beside the point, you said religion do not teaches harm but I specifically showed how religion ask to harm that's all.

              1. arksys profile image92
                arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

                No I have not read the old testament ... I cannot agree that Christianity teaches harm even if that came from the old testament. How can they just go and attack for no reason? there must be a reason. maybe a Christian could help here.

                1. BuddiNsense profile image61
                  BuddiNsenseposted 24 months ago in reply to this

                  The old testament or most of it is Jewish scripture and it is Jewish religion that advocated to kill the people of the land. You might also know about the various pagan religions that advocatee sacrifices including human sacrifices. Now does Christianity does that? Jesus invented the modern concept of hell for christianity and he has nothing but bad words and curses for his opponents but fortunately,  unlike your prophet, he could never grab power. Only god knows what he would have done if he had power. But his later followers, the "Holy" men (John Chrysostome came to mind) who were guided by "spirit", those infallibles, who taught the religious principles, did all they could.  So all religions advocate harm to those who disbelieve their priests, their version and to those who don't donate money. It also does harm by advocating eternal punishment and by preventing people from seeking GOD.

                  1. arksys profile image92
                    arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

                    In my opinion, if Jesus ruled in his time it would have been a better place at that time. He did not write any text therefore you can only assume that he had nothing but bad words for disbelievers. I cannot believe a messenger wanting to cause nothing but harm.

                    Religion is not about land or power. It is about hearts and souls. If people do not understand this simple fact then they did not get the message. They used religion as a tool for their own benefit.

                    1. BuddiNsense profile image61
                      BuddiNsenseposted 24 months ago in reply to this

                      If we are not to trust the words of the bible for the words of jesus then we cannot trust it for his existence either. So if we rely on history jesus is a mythical creature just like Zeus or Anubis and whatever is said in his name is entirely made up. You cannot believe,  what was your prophet doing after he got power, with a qualification to "nothing but harm", harm to those who don't believe them or oppose their rule?

                      Religion is man made and it was made to grab or assist in grabbing power from time immemorial. Of course the founders, some of them, might have said "love your neighbours" but that neighbours usually include their own kind only and not only humans but even social animals are doing it without anybodies directive.

        2. Shawn M Williams profile image77
          Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          I can think of two religions that do teach to harm others...even kill them...ancient Judaism, and Islam.

          1. arksys profile image92
            arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            You are being biased. If you added Judaism and Islam then you should have added Christianity for the same reasons.

            1. BuddiNsense profile image61
              BuddiNsenseposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              I am not sure, some christians, at least, disapprove the OT and the violent megalomaniac.

      3. Haunty profile image84
        Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Religion is a myth we use to make sense of the world. Some people choose to believe in myths that are more harmful than others partly because they don't know an alternative. Some use the myth of atheism, which is the most harmful one because it basically says we are just a bunch of junk rolling around in space, which is gonna fall apart and that'll be the end of it.

        1. janesix profile image61
          janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          That's better than thinking we will continue to live forever and ever, despite the laws of physics.

          1. Haunty profile image84
            Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            Energy never dies, it just changes form. Like it or not, you can never die. wink

            It's really hard for me to believe that we, and everything outside of us, come from nothing.

            1. janesix profile image61
              janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              Who says everything came from nothing?

              1. Haunty profile image84
                Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                You're right. I have no idea what you are saying.

                1. janesix profile image61
                  janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                  Scientist don't think the universe came from "nothing". Only creationists do.

                  1. Haunty profile image84
                    Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                    I was under the impression creationists thought God always existed and folks came from God.

                    Anyways, there is a certain pitfall to the scientific mathod. You cannot deny the existence of something you cannot disprove. And if you look around, no serious scientist ever denied the possibility of the existence of God.

                    1. janesix profile image61
                      janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                      So? You also can't deny that their might be a flying spaghetti monster. It is just as likely, with zero evidence for either.

            2. janesix profile image61
              janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              Where were "you" before you were conceived?

              1. Haunty profile image84
                Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                Nobody can answer that question.

                1. janesix profile image61
                  janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                  Yet aren't you convinced of eternal life? What do you base your theory on, if no one can anwser the question?

                  1. Haunty profile image84
                    Hauntyposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                    I am not at all convinced.

                    Where I was before I was conceived, I don't know. But let's assume I didn't exist in any way. And yet, here I am. I came out of nothing. When I die, I will also disappear and I won't exist any more.

                    Nothing -> Me -> Nothing -> [Um... I wonder what happens next...]

      4. Jlbowden profile image81
        Jlbowdenposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        I like to remain neutral when it comes to topics like Religion and also Politics.  Which sometimes And most likely the reason being is that being catholic by religion and not active in the Catholic Church for years now.  I had the unique experience of attending meetings for about a year, with a religious group well known by most - the Jehovah's Witnesses.  A few people whom I had made the acquaintance of in the past, had invited me to several of their meetings.  And this is how it all started. 

        After this experience I not only shook my head in disbelief, but very dumbfounded.  Or you could say - confused for a better word,  about all religions. throughout the world, I also became somewhat aggravated and disgusted about religion as a whole.  You could say that the Ordeal with this witness group, threw a monkey wrench into my outlook overall on the topic of religion.  Hence my reason for severing my ties with any religion.  This has not changed my belief in God however, because I as far as a creator goes - am still a firm believer!

    3. Benjimester profile image91
      Benjimesterposted 2 years ago

      Of course it does.  Religion is man's attempt to be deemed acceptable in the eyes of God.  I think it's commonly forgotten that it was the religious leaders of Jesus' day who had him put to death.  Jesus hated religiosity.  He was the one who went into the temple and turned over the tables.  I am a Christian man, but I fully believe in the quote from CS Lewis:  "Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."  This is true of Christianity and every other religion.  But loving God and experiencing God wasn't meant to become a religion.

      1. robhampton profile image89
        robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Your answer is way better than mine! LOL. Seriously, I agree. great reply!

        1. Benjimester profile image91
          Benjimesterposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks amigo smile

    4. janesix profile image61
      janesixposted 2 years ago

      Overall, I think religion does more harm than good. Although if the religion is kept out of the state's business, I see how some religions can be beneficial to society, by providing a social structure or framework that is hard to come by in a secular world.

      1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
        CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I agree that the social structure can be helpful, although that could be obtained in other ways. Should religion get credit for the good deeds people do in the name of religion, or would these people do their good deeds even without religion just because they are good people who like to do good deeds.

        1. janesix profile image61
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I don't know. But there is a correlation between those who don't attend church, and those who are poor in America. I think it has to do with the social structure that the church provides. I could be wrong, but I do see the correlation. People who go to church/synagogue also do things like go to pta meetings,and town hall meetings, etc.

          I'm not sure what kind of social structure would replace it. I would like to see ideas though.

          1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
            CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I think the correlation is poor people and church going. I'm in the process of researching this for another hub.

          2. CatherineGiordano profile image89
            CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Would it be a bad thing if those people spent less time in church and more time at the pta meetings and working on other community projects. isn't the church diverting their time from these worthwhile activities.

            1. robhampton profile image89
              robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Catherine, good luck with your future writings, and thank you for bringing up this discussion, but it sounds like you are trying to get people away from church and into PTA meetings..Which, by the way, I have time to do both

              1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
                CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I'm not trying to get people to do anything. I don't think that people will quite going t church and go to pta meetings on my say so?  I'm asking the question: Is church what gets people to go to pta meetings or would they do it any way. And if the latter, should we give the church credit for people going to pta metings? I think some good people go to church and some good people go to pta meetings, and some do both, but one has nothing to do with the other.

            2. janesix profile image61
              janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Who knows? All I said is that there is a correlation between civic minded people and churchgoers.

              Plus, many churches are civic minded, and do a lot to help in the community.

              1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
                CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I agree churches do good when they help organize people to do good things in their community. Although church and religion are not exactly the same thing.

                1. janesix profile image61
                  janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Well, I don't really know what the difference might be.

                  I am only speaking of the social structure it provides anyway. And only in places like the US, where it is pretty tame and doesn't interfere too much with the state and government and the most of social life. I can see religion being a real burden on society when taken to extremes. Like in the Muslim nations, or Christianity a few hundred years ago.

                  1. robhampton profile image89
                    robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    You clearly stated that the church is taking away time from people to attend PTA meetings.  Are you purposely starting these hubs/forums just for attention or clicks?  You have contradicted yourself many times over now

                    1. robhampton profile image89
                      robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                      BTW, for Catherine, not janesix

                    2. janesix profile image61
                      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                      I"M not the one who said that. Someone else did. Please quote me or reread the thread. I'm NOT the one who said that.

        2. robhampton profile image89
          robhamptonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Well, as I said.. as a Christian, not a "religious" person I believe soundly that good works alone do not get a person through the narrow gate. Some weeks I'll go to a Presbyterian church, another week I may attend a Baptist church and so on. It's difficult to comment without creating controversy simply because I believe that their are required certain steps to be granted into heaven. No, you don't need to be perfect. That's what salvation is all about. What is good works without faith? Someone can spend their entire life being a "good" person, but they don't know God? Yes, there are MANY people out there like that, but if someone believes there is an afterlife, Heaven or Hell, and never acknowledges God then what is the point of believing that simply being a good person will get you into an eternal greatness? If you believe in Heaven or hell, it's simple. You need to have a daily relationship with God. Good works alone doesn't buy you a ticket to Heaven

      2. BuddiNsense profile image61
        BuddiNsenseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly, religion did do good, but the scales have tipped the other way.

    5. Mel Carriere profile image90
      Mel Carriereposted 2 years ago

      You seem to be a very good person, Catherine, and religion or lack thereof never colors my assessment of people.  I am a Catholic Christian but one of my good friends is a devout Buddhist, but there are no holy wars between us.  I have not read your forum comments here, but I hope you are not being tied up to be burned at the stake.  Individual liberty and freedom of speech are the things I hold most sacred when all is said and done.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image23
        Castlepalomaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, I think in most part ,religion today dose more harm than good.

        Jesus was a very spiritual and intelligent man of his time, yet an amateur shaman to allow so many wrong translations and allow so many hypocrite behaviors to room the earth. Some odd religions are harmless.

    6. Jane Err profile image77
      Jane Errposted 24 months ago

      Not all religion is bad or harmful....only the ones who have no forgiveness, no tolerance, no love.  A religion which encourages people to kill nonbelievers and "others" is not a religion...it's a license to murder innocent people.

      1. arksys profile image92
        arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

        I do agree with you. I'm assuming you are talking about Islam and would like to clarify one thing here from the Quran.

        "Allah does not forbid you as regards those who did not fight you on account of faith, and did not expel you from your homes, that you do good to them, and deal justly with them. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice. (8) Allah forbids you only about those who fought you on account of faith, and expelled you from your homes, and helped (others) in expelling you, that you have friendship with them. Those who develop friendship with them are the wrongdoers. (9)"
        ~Quran 60:8-9

        The rules in place were against specific members of the non-muslim community. They are all dead now and therefore these rules do not apply today. The translation is as simple and clear as it can get. Do good to the non-believers and deal with them justly. Only those who develop friendship with those non-muslims who expelled you from your homes are wrong doers.

        It does not apply to any non-believer living in our times today.

        1. janesix profile image61
          janesixposted 24 months ago in reply to this

          Does "doing good" also involve chopping off their hands and feet? Lovely religion.

          1. arksys profile image92
            arksysposted 24 months ago in reply to this

            Doing good does not involve cutting hands. Doing bad does, but with very strict rules to the point that when there is a shadow of a doubt in the case you give the person the benefit of the doubt. This includes stoning. The rules are strict enough that it would very rarely come to the point of stoning or cutting off the hand.

            1. Jane Err profile image77
              Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              People...esp. women....have been hauled off and stone while all along profess their innocence.  What benefit of a doubt????? Looks like the word of a man is all they need to remove all doubt.  You really are blinded by all this bs aren't you?  People don't follow the law in any religion...they just throw stones at other people who don't.  "Let he who is without sin caste the first stone"....now those are words to live by.  They don't make hypocrites of people.  There are no perfect people, therefore, all those people casting stone, wielding swords are ALL hypocrites.

              1. arksys profile image92
                arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                If people are not following rules then blame the people. Don't blame the religion. Its quite a simple thing to grasp if you are willing.

          2. Shawn M Williams profile image77
            Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            With the support of many faithful Christian believers my people are unequally judged and punished even to death every minute of the day.  I've seen an article in a Christian magazine asking for Christians opinions of this and every one of them said tough luck, we don't care, and that's what they get.  This was opinion after opinion and not a single voice expressed any compassion or remorse.  I have friends from all kinds of belief systems, Buddhism, HInduism, Islam, Christian, Judaism, Paganism, etc.  what bothers me most is people who would rather adhere to secular survival of the fittest and still profess to believe in God.  I see people professing one thing with their affiliations, and then professing another thing with their words and actions.  Why don't we just include All whether faith or not, whether our faith or not and go all the way instead of only when it is convenient for us or makes us look good or superior.  Personally I find no difference in any religion.  They are ALL a mixture of good and evil if not in the written word, then in practice by its' followers.  I choose to forgive ALL for in doing so I forgive myself because in my belief system there is no seperateness.  All are One and to life up ANY lifts the whole.

            1. janesix profile image61
              janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              Do you mind if I ask what your belief system is?

              1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
                Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                I am an animist...I believe that ALL are ONE as GOD.

        2. Jane Err profile image77
          Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Yeah.....sure.....either the Muslims wrecking havoc on the innocent people throughout the Middle East.....well, in fact all over the world, are bad people who will rot in hell or they are doing exactly what the Koran asks of them.  WHICH IS IT?

          1. arksys profile image92
            arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            Its the Americans actually who killed over 350,000 Muslims, and leaving a casualty count of over 2.5million people. But you just choose to ignore these facts completely and blame it all on those savage Muslims who are angry because they lost members of their family. Nothing good has come ever since Americans entered this territory. Some of the terrorist groups did not even exist a decade ago.

            1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
              Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              I often wonder what is the truth because I know that we are cultured by the media to believe lies every second of the day, so why should we believe anything coming from the media.  Whenever I hear someone say something contrary to what the media portrays, I believe them instead of the media because I know how they manufacture reality of my people so that we are despised all over the world by people who only know what is in the media.  That's why I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and simply forgive everyone.  I'm finding out more each day that everyone is just alike even the supposed enemy.  I can't hate them because I feel the same way they do about some things.  They stand up for what they believe in, but we vote them into office and support their programs and do not protest.  Until we all get in on getting things right together there will always be problems that seem to have no solution.  I have to care about my supposed enemies.  I have to care about the people who do me wrong.  I don't know what religion has to say about that.

              1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
                Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                Not only do I have to forgive, but I have to seek their benefit, which is often lacking in social intervention.

              2. arksys profile image92
                arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                I have given this link to many people but no one really goes through it for some reason. I am giving you what I know from this site which is updated in America and has educated people running the show. you can look at their credentials on the site. There is an executive summary available for download as well.

                http://www.costsofwar.org/

                "And those who, when they are subjected to aggression, defend themselves. (39) The recompense of evil is evil like it. Then the one who forgives and opts for compromise has his reward undertaken by Allah. Surely, He does not like the unjust. (40) The one who defends himself after having been wronged, there is no blame on such people. (41) Blame, in fact, is upon those who wrong people and make mischief on earth unjustly. For such people there is a painful punishment. (42) And if one observes patience and forgives, it is, of course, one of the courageous conducts. (43)"
                [Quran 42: 39-43]

                Not everyone has the same temperament, but there is a great reward for those who forgive. being given a reward by an angel is something. Being given a reward by Allah is something else.

                1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
                  Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                  That's a really good site.  However I intuitively knew all these things before the wars even started.  I knew it was a bad idea and that this would be the aftermath.  I'm not there to see it in person, and the media shields us from that.  If we could see what is really happening to people around the world I think many would push for change towards peace.

                  1. arksys profile image92
                    arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                    I agree. Millions of lives have been destroyed yet that is not shown to the people, but when one or five non-Muslims are killed its plastered all over the news. You may have also noted when a Muslim does something wrong, it is specified in the media that the person belongs to an Islamic background. If a non-Muslims does it then its a disturbed individual and their religious background is mentioned but not really discussed.

                    The non-Muslims usually end up being called individuals, but Muslims are always part of the savage teachings.

                2. Shawn M Williams profile image77
                  Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                  I like those verses from the Quran.  They could use a little tweaking in my book because I believe that an offender should take the place of the victim for the survivor's sake.  By that I mean that if your son is murdered, then the murderer has to become your son and take care of the family.  There is no hostility.  It takes a horror to create a horror and all horrors see themselves as justifiable, but if you really want to be just, then act only out of love for all and not a fragmented form of love only for a segment.  Just my take on this, but yes, those verses are good, but they can be better.

                  1. arksys profile image92
                    arksysposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                    Yours is an interesting approach, although I think it is difficult. If someone kills my son, I would not want to see that murderer anywhere near me, let alone to take the responsibility of my son. I think that would be torture for me to look at that person every other day.
                    Would you want a member of the Taliban to live in America and take the place or responsibility of some American's son?
                    There are gender issues, social issues and many other issues to consider before making rules like this.

                    Tweaking in my opinion causes disbalance, and that I have seen it happen within the Muslim community. They try and do things better than prescribed and guide others to do the same, yet they don't realize what is easy or affordable for them may not be for another.

    7. jacharless profile image80
      jacharlessposted 24 months ago

      This is truly an open-ended question.
      Religion, by its most primitive definition, is anything humans engage in a manner of ritual behavior, expressed by either sensation/emote or science/mechanics, who's underlying goal is enlightenment of the individual or collective. Oft times these practices are attached to strict rules and rewards for actively participating in said ritual.

      That said, historically, I would wager on the side of more harm than good.

      The human conscious has been very busy entertaining itself at speeds unimaginable, in what appears to be a fight for self preservation against the forces of time. Has been this way for thousands of years. And, with each passing moment, that battle intensifies in all manner of expression, as we nearly the appex of the future of humanity.

      In its defense, however, religion is not the cause of this battle, this conscious struggle, but is certainly the inexhaustible fuel and fan of the fire.

      James.

    8. mishpat profile image59
      mishpatposted 23 months ago

      Religion is just a word to describe a set of rites and rules in a supposed form of "worship" by which man tries to develop his own thought processes and inventions in an attempt to "get right with their gods."

      In this modern world, religion dates back to just outside the gates of Eden when humanism bared its ugly teeth in the person of Cain who chose to go against God and find his own way to "utopia."

      There is, by the way, no actual dating of the first "religion."  The best man has been able to present, to date, is religious rites that pre-date the Flood but not the Garden.

      It would be hard to say the Adam and Eve practiced a "religion" though they did use some fig leaves to try to fix things.  But they did have a personal, "face to face" relationship with God.  Though they messed up, they never questioned God's position, HIs pronouncements nor His right to do as He did.  This is not "faith" as we see it, but belief by knowledge.  (This is another subject.)

      Religion has to do more with a mix of faith and personal interest, which is accompanied by a set of rites and rules that are supposed to bring one closer to or back to God, the new fig leaves if you will.  At best, it can do this.  But few times is man at his best in this area.

      More times than we care to consider, these "religions" end up back at the Garden with a new snake in the form of the present day charlatans hissing out his or her sweet tasting venom, using a loose translation of a holy book, to make a buck off the searching millions.  Is it any wonder that man has such a low regard for organized religion?

      And man, after being burned by religion, being as unchanging as he is, moves into the mode of Cain with a thought process that begins with "Who needs God anyway" and ends with "There is no God."  Man has (and continues to) developed a multitude of "religions" based on "If it feels good, do it.  If it hurts my interests, develop something that feels good."  It is an effort in futility on his part to be equal with God and thereby supplant Him.

      No man-made set of rites or rules or fig leaves will ever bring man to a place of contentment or equality with God.

    9. mishpat profile image59
      mishpatposted 23 months ago

      I would suggest if we told congress and the president to grab a gun and go do what they want the young folks to do, war, as a thought process would be greatly curtailed.

      It is always obnoxious to hear those in washington saying things like " the American people want...."  I suspect they haven't the slightest interest in what the people want, if the "people" are not politicians. 

      It is equally obnoxious to hear folks that benefit from this country, spitting on it with words of discount, that includes foreign as well as domestic.  (Hello, alice baldwin.)

      War has always been in spite of God.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Although I am certainly on your side when you mention our politicians, the final sentence is a trifle troubling.  Given the explicit instructions as well as examples of God's declared wars, it is a little difficult to understand how or why you would say that war is always in spite of God.  Can you elucidate here, with specific attention paid to God's genocidal actions as well as His instructions on how and when to wage war?

        1. mishpat profile image59
          mishpatposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Actually it was worded with your past comments in mind.  As well, I have comment in the past on the reasoning as I see it.

          God didn't just pick on folks He eventually had to put away.  Each society or nation which was destroyed either directly by Him or by the use of man's armies which He does control, were, at one time, give a choice who they would follow.  The destruction that followed did not necessarily follow the immediate rebellion.  And even those pagan nations He used for His judgements were given opportunities to repent.

          However, when God did "war," His methods were without rules as we see them, cruel I believe some folks described it.  He destroyed completely which is the only way to fight a war.  I believe history will support this.  Certain societies no longer exist, that is true.  But neither does their ongoing threat to peace.

          To be more succinct, the only way to treat a "mad dog" is to kill it.  (Probably hear from some PETA on this comment.)

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            ???  You're completely losing me.  Either God "did war" or He did not.  If He did, then the statement that "War has always been in spite of God." doesn't make a lot of sense.

            Unless of course you subscribe to the theory that "He made me hurt him because he didn't behave as I want him to" is a valid reason to kill.

            Nor do I think you will find much agreement that total annihilation is the best way to wage war; if that were accepted as true the A bomb would be the preferred method instead of being used just twice in all history.

            1. Oztinato profile image81
              Oztinatoposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              The "Blame God Paradox" rears its head again.
              How can you blame God but not believe in Him? Its impossible.

              1. BuddiNsense profile image61
                BuddiNsenseposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                He is talking about your argument!!

            2. mishpat profile image59
              mishpatposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              Note I used " " around war.  It is a well understood word for the subject at hand.  However, I don't believe or accept that God ever started a "war."  The conflicts and destruction in which He and His people were a part of in the Bible are judgements.  They are the end result of man's refusal to accept Him as the Creator, to use one of His titles.  God is long on patience but there is an end to it.  He put a stop to those things that were ruining His creation.  And it is too bad that some do not like His way of doing things (see the last line below).

              As to wars and how they are fought, the wars enacted by men are usually a farce, perpetuated by those in power for more power.  They have nothing to do with God.  It has been said that there is more money made during a war than during any enterprise in peace.

              Then, too, even though some will decry Truman for his ending the war and try to support the actions of Japan which began WW2, the end result was the way wars should be fought.  The Korean debacle led to the Viet Nam disaster.  Why?  Because Truman did the right thing in WW2, was chastised for it and did not repeat it in Korea.  So we, being the most technologically advanced armies in the world, end up the policemen of the world with no power to finish the job.  As a result, following Korea, there have been several more losses to less than modern "armies."   This has empowered groups such as al quaeda and isis.  So there are is only one rule in war, win while serving a lesson to others.  That is how God seems to work.

              God is the creator and who is man, His creation, to dictate to Him?  Those that tried His patience too much or too long, no longer exist.  And the next chapter is probably not to far in the future.

      2. Jane Err profile image77
        Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        It isn't so much as to what other politicians want but what the big donors want.  Money and only money speaks in this country.

    10. Jocelyn Rain profile image81
      Jocelyn Rainposted 23 months ago

      Here's a brief summary of my opinion on the topic. I'm not super educated on the topic so I can't heavily weigh in, I stopped going to church when I was 6 or 7. Now that i'm an adult I chose to believe that good morals over religion is more important. I do believe it does more harm than good based on the few things I am informed on and have based opinions around. First of all, religion has held back science and medicine since it's creation. I have no doubt we'd be far more advance in technology and treatment of various diseases if it were not for religion. A more specific example is stem cell research. Stem cells for you that don't know are cells that can take on the job of any cell in the human body, which is pretty amazing. They can be taken from umbilical cord blood after the birth of a child which doesn't even harm them, yet religion has tried to ban this research many times.
      Then there's the topic of gay marriage. I personally support it 100%. But whether you agree with it or not shouldn't matter, because there is supposed to be a thing called "Separation of church and state" which should prevent religion from holding back the union of two consenting adults.
      Another thing I don't agree with is that churches don't have to pay taxes. They claim money is the root of all evil yet send baskets around at church services for donations. If churches paid taxes like everybody else, we could house every poor person in this country...think about that! Religion has also ironically lead to a lot of wars. Back a long, long time ago when Christians were converting people, they didn't do it very nicely. They used scare tactics and violence and got the upper hand from the start. And it's still being fought over to this very day.

    11. Jane Err profile image77
      Jane Errposted 23 months ago

      Religion = violence

      People cannot quit using violence to settle their differences.  Too often, violence leads to more violence because people cannot seem to have an intelligent discussion without feeling offended.  Violence negates any good a religion might do because once violence is used in the name of the religion, the religion is forever viewed that way.  Islam has ruined itself in the eyes of non-Muslims.  Look at how the once embracing west has turned against Islam.  I don't want it in my country, not anymore because it is in the tenets to kill the non-believer and the fanatical nuts are drawn to it like flies to manure.  Sorry......until Islam cleans itself up, no one in their right mind will say it is peaceful.

    12. Shawn M Williams profile image77
      Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago

      Let's remember that everything human is used for both good and for evil.  Having said that I have had my problems with religion so long as I was looking for an outer organization, but when I found religion from within, then I became the happiest person in the world.  Now I'm back to square one as an animist who believes All are One as God and that this is the only true religion.  Everything to the contrary is falsehood and problematic.

      Shawn

    13. Jane Err profile image77
      Jane Errposted 23 months ago

      I'm sick of being compared to Islam; there is no comparison between Islam and Christianity or Islam and Judaism.  Islam has literally stolen the holy places of the Jews and Christians.....  No where in Christianity does it call for the murder of non-Christians OR even forcing non-Christians to pay a fine.  Islam is the most violent of all the religions.  They are the most unforgiving.  I resent the comparison!  The only reason Islam is mentioned with the other two is because it grabbed Jewish and Christian ideas and then vulgarized them.  Did Christianity and Judaism have a violent past?  Yes, they did.  Fortunately we grew up and left the backward thinking behind.  Islam has not!

      1. mishpat profile image59
        mishpatposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Applause for the thinking reasoning folks.  And so we see little "Err" in Jane's comment.

      2. BuddiNsense profile image61
        BuddiNsenseposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Christianity renounced violence hardly hundred years before. Islam is six hundred years younger and given time it too will renounce violence. 
        Meanwhile let them attempt to reach Christianity's score roll

      3. BuddiNsense profile image61
        BuddiNsenseposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Just like Christianity that has literally stolen the holy books and places of jews!

        1. Jane Err profile image77
          Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Jesus was a Jew, the Christian faith began as a Jewish sect....of course Judaism was incorporated into Christianity.  No comparison at all with Islam stealing Jewish and Christian concepts.

          1. BuddiNsense profile image61
            BuddiNsenseposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            That is the same way Islamic faith began and Judaism and christanity are both incorporated into islam just like Judaism was incorporated into Christianity.
            By the way Jesus is a myth and if anyone can be considered the father of Christianity it's Paul(or whoever was behind that facade). There were many sects in Judaism and one of them evolved into Christianity.

            1. Jane Err profile image77
              Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              That's right......

    14. Jane Err profile image77
      Jane Errposted 23 months ago

      Thank you Mishpat!

    15. Shawn M Williams profile image77
      Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago

      Why is everyone so defensive of their religion?  I mentioned the ancient Israelites not the modern ones.  Anyone can read the bible and see lots of violence back in those days.  Instead of taking offense why not simply state the facts as they are.  Nobody is condemning modern Judaism, but even Jews I think don't like some of the things in that book.  If we're fighting and hostile over this little statement there is no hope for religious people to ever find peace, and hence the need for forums like this one asking the question...

      1. janesix profile image61
        janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Because their God can do no wrong. Even when he's committing mass genocide, condoning slavery etc. etc.

    16. Shawn M Williams profile image77
      Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago

      Ok, I'm going to go all out on this one...why look to religion in the first place when even a baby knows what love is?  What if everyone threw away their holy writings and made friends of everyone else?

      1. janesix profile image61
        janesixposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Not going to happen. People just aren't like that. I would love to SEE it, but I doubt it will ever happen. People are too clannish and territorial.

        1. Shawn M Williams profile image77
          Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          I'm like that.  I would gladly give up my religious beliefs if it would mean world peace and prosperity, heck I'd give up my religious beliefs just to make a new friend.  Religion just isn't more important to me than people.

      2. Shawn M Williams profile image77
        Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Like stop making bibles and korans and plant a tree

        1. Jane Err profile image77
          Jane Errposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          I wish there was a "like" button here.

    17. aware profile image70
      awareposted 23 months ago

      Culture . government, color, idealism other than religion.will still keep us at odds. Language barriers also. Religion is just one blame

    18. aware profile image70
      awareposted 23 months ago

      Islam infighting  kills the most Muslims.  I fail to see Baptists killing Lutherans. .these days or Mormons killing Presbyterian. Or Catholic kiling Christian. These days..whats that tell us?

      1. CatherineGiordano profile image89
        CatherineGiordanoposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in Ireland for a really long time, centuries.. Hostilities may have subsided as of late.

    19. aware profile image70
      awareposted 23 months ago

      That conflict   is stale. And more over country not religion.it isnt comparison.  Chirstianity grew out of barbaric ways

    20. Shawn M Williams profile image77
      Shawn M Williamsposted 23 months ago

      Point well taken. I keep forgetting I'm from another planet.

     
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