I was just washing one of my favorite animations on this subject and I was wondering what everyone elses' view on this question.
Aha! What a juicy subject!
Despite what religious fruit-loops would have you believe, religion actually offers very little towards the development of society.
True development of the human mind can only come about when it's challenged in a way that makes it feel uncomfortable. Religion is not good at doing that. Religion toes the party line. It's too accommodating of weakness, prejudice.and narrow thinking. Religion seeks to provide too easy answers when things go wrong : You lose your job, dont' worry God can help you. A loved one dies, don't worry God is looking over them in heaven. You contract cancer and have just 6 months to live, don't worry pray to God and he'll extend your life. These are pap answers that religion proffers in our most testing of times. None of which truly serve to help the individual develop beyond the limited concept of who they are, which has been defined by the particular bogus religion they follow.
The funny thing is that this might be the role of religion now but in history it was responsible for the further-mint of human knowledge. Islam was the force that discovered the concept of zero for petes sake, now look at the public image of Islam. I guess it could be said that sometimes religion helps society and sometimes society hurts religion, remember that religion is what its followers make it.
Why, was your animation so dirty that you needed to "wash it" ?
No seriously, religion only serves as a tool to control people - a power vehicle. Religions are institutions built around a particular idea of how things are. When those ideas become hardened and set in stone, they are called dogmas and doctrines. They then become largely unchallengeable. Organized religions require you to believe in their teachings and do not tolerate dissention.
Just imagine if science was dogmatic like religion. Imagine if no-one was able to challenge scientific beliefs? We would all still be told by the scientists that the earth was square, and would have to believe it. Does this answer the question?
Your comment on "if no-one was able to challenge scienticfic beliefs"
Schools today teach evolution which is a belief system. Most schools are not allowed to teach religion in the classroom. In my opinion religious beliefs are being challenged and science/evolution is being unchallenged.
"Religion" does both.
But Faith in the One True God, and following our consciences on that, helps society.
Without it (without some moral consciousness and accountability) our society would be uncivilized and would collapse.
Religion only serves as a tool to control people - a power vehicle. You are quite capable of proper morality on your own (as is every other human being on the planet) without a book or a priest spelling it out to you.
PS. Religion has very little to do with God and more about the psychology of mass control (in my humble opinion).
I'm agreeing with you!
Because I define Religion as much different from Christianity.
Ah, I guess I read your comment the wrong way.
Yes, If God did not exist, we would need to invent Her/Him.
Sceptics say "we did invent God, and look where it got us."
To which I say - we did not invent God (because we did not need to) but we did invent religion - and yes, look where that got us.
Sorry Brenda but I'm going to have to disagree, but that's only because I'm an Anarchist. I believe that human nature itself is good and that people would do good if only we didn't believe in different religions and if there was no scarcity in the world. With no scarcity in the world, there would be no need for competition. With no competition mankind would help each other out because mankind is good in nature. Which is kind of funny because, if you believe that God is indeed "good" then wouldn't he make mankind good?
"Mankind made the robot and for a time, it was good" --The Animatrix.
there's one thing holding man down it aint religion its a piece of paper .every scientist out there will say that mankind can accomplish anything we put our minds to accept one thing . that thing is funding. what a shame
There is difference between Jesus Christ and religion. People need hope, and faith to believe life worthwhile, yes, but religion does hold all nations back. Especialy 3rd world nations, who use it to enslave.
What kills, a gun, or the person holding the gun? Beliefs do not cause harm. The action taken because of the belief is what causes the harm. If human-beings have half the intelligence we claim, then we have the ability to choose the actions we put forth.
Depends. I tend not to favour religion. The incredible amount of misery and destruction it has caused convinces me that it is a counter productive. However, I am a Christian but I like to call myself Christ committed because that insinuates I practice my faith in my actions and not just attend church to appear righteous. Face it, many people are religious because they fear hell. It mostly is fear based.
I am so glad that religion exists, that way I can make sure I know the difference between God and it.
Both. Religious institutions have historically funded the arts and various kinds of scientific research. Religious organizations have established hospitals, free clinics, relief efforts, food banks, orphanages, and schools from preschools all the way to universities- that have often outperformed secular institutions.
And unfortunately, all too often religion has been misused not to guide human progress but to slam the brakes on it altogether.
I find this claim for religion's social value to be somewhat problematic. Religious institutions would not fund scientific research that they deemed contradictory to their own teachings, even if it meant progress. Isn't it also possible that the research they are funding may yield results that would "legitimize" its sponsors' moral codes? Construe a simple scientific experiment a certain way and you can "prove" anything.
While I disagree with Play Free Games' example of Evolution as an unchallenged concept (its been overly challenged with far less legitimate theories), I do agree with the sentiment that science, in many ways, has become dogmatic. Science is not wholly objective (though it certainly should strive to be). Money, after all, can easily bend the truth.
I do think that religion, from a societal standpoint, did have its value in the past. It helped construct a moral code that us westerners continue to live by, almost unknowingly at times. Our ethics are so deeply rooted in religion it feels like they've existed forever. Going back to ancient cultures (mayan, egyptian, etc), it was mythology that lead us to primitive understandings of the way the world works, and eventually to scientific inquiry. Think about how much time must have been spent stargazing, and how that simple act lead to so much creative and intellectual discovery.
That said, we shouldn't need religion anymore. We have a basic understanding of how to maintain social order. We now have a new goal outside of God and the abstract concept of eternal life: progress. Religion now holds us back more than anything, because, more often than not, it is afraid to look forward.
she took the words right out of my mouth. except i woudl add that a lot of people find comfort and solace in religion.
All that assumes that progress is helping society, which is not necessarily the case
If religion didn't exist, humankind would explode in areas of research/development, science would drive forward faster, diseases would have cures developed faster and YOU as a person wouldn't be bothered by supposed "judgements" ahead of your life.
We would all put our life into a different perspective and change our approach toward working together, as a Race.
We shouldn't be battling amongst ourselves about "religion" of any form. It's all fake. The text is compromised by greed of the church and Jesus Christ's messages/teachings are out of context.
If you had NO GOD in your life, you would seek a real purpose for our life on an individual perspective. You would have to make sense of your life, because right now- you are relying on a misconception/mistake to give you purpose.
As for me, there is no god and never has been. My purpose in life is to help others realize their full potential. Religion and the message it brings, puts too many burdens on your life, creating so much stress and allows others to control you.
Plain and simple.
wow... I was actually hopping to find someone who would argue for religion. I wrote this question out of curiosity and because I wanted to write about it (on hubpages.com/hub/ThePowerofChaos2). But I've decided to write use this information to write a paper for my Philosophy class and I need someone to help me with the other side of the argument.
It's all to easy to say Religion holds society back.
There IS no other side to the argument. You have had it from one of the religionists here:
"Religious institutions have historically funded the arts and various kinds of scientific research. Religious organizations have established hospitals, free clinics, relief efforts, food banks, orphanages, and schools from preschools all the way to universities- that have often outperformed secular institutions."
That is it. Quite happy to ignore the fact that the money for this came from persuading the sheeple they needed to give their lives to serving an invisible scary monster who will let them live forever if they do so. And the ulterior motive was to keep the "knowledge" gained within the priesthood.
Religion clearly holds us back. Who knows what advances we could have made if we had not been pretending to love each other?
Prove your omnipathic abilities, then. Prove that you know that every religion encourages development of the arts, social services, schools, et cetera out of fear more than love. You can't because you would have to know and be able to prove every motive of every beneficial religious organization's founders and members.
"you can't because you have to know and be able to prove every motive of every benficial religious organizations's founders and members"
To describe their motive: deceit and greed, and control.
Plain and simple and nothing more to it than that.
And it is always the religionists that are asking for proof. Why is that? Any look back through any history book is proof enough. But no - the one who believes in the invisible being with utterly no proof whatsoever is the one that will poo poo something for "lack of proof."
That is the sheep like behavior induced by religion.
That is a pretty big accusation to make against a very large and quite diverse group of people, and still unsubstantiated.
I have read history books. I'm also aware of the present reality, in which religion still plays a role in providing food, shelter, medical care, and superior options in education to all who need it. In the United States, religious hospital systems are growing faster than their secular counterparts.
bg jojo - I believe that the answer to your question depends on the society. If the goal of the society is in harmony with the dominant religion that exists there, then I would say that the religion is "helping" the society to move toward it's "goals". If the dominant religion and the society come into conflict over the ultimate goal of that society in general, then I would say that particular religion "hurts" that society.
Of course, we must allow for variations on a theme. If the ultimate goal of the religion is to overthrow a repressive regime, then that religion is hurting that society for it's ultimate good. We also know that religion can be repressive as well. Think Catholic oppression of the Protestants, or the Taliban in Afghanistan, to name a couple of examples.
Then there is the issue of pluralistic societies. Many religions allow for a variety of beliefs and this spurs intellectualism and differing philosophies.( think Rome, Greece) However, as what people believe in their hearts ultimately trumps what people believe intellectually, then eventually this pluralism becomes a destructive force that denies that society unity. Then comes the possibility (probability) of one religion (or philosopy) emerging dominant in order to control the citizens of that society. Ultimately, the people view that religion as oppressive and throw the yoke off their necks, and that society becomes more tolerant, allowing for the breeding of various religions once again.
On an individual level, I am a Christian. From an empirical standpoint, it is better for me to live in a pluralistic or christian nation than say, a Muslim dominated society. Therefore, I will most likely gravitate to a Christian nation if I do not already live there. Thus, societies tend to draw to them like minded individuals, even if they do not realize that they are taking their beliefs into account when they move. This would be the stabilizing factor in most societies.
I said all that to say this; The question is too broad, and invites knee jerk reactions like the ones you've already seen from folks confusing spirituality with religion. This is an empirical question and a complex one at that. So, maybe to narrow it down would be a good idea, such as being specific about the kind of society or the type of religion or government involved.
Just my 2 cents.
I think both... I believe in God and I am faithful. I haven't always been faithful... I am also not one of those people that try to force what I believe on others... But I say both because I think somepeople usue religion as a means to get ahead. There are some out there using religion and church congregations to make a dollar. In the Bible Paul says whether God motivated or self motivated, at least the word of God is being preached. So this can go either way. For those that don't believe in religion it really doesn't matter to them anyway.
The question is broad because it is to make it easier to write about for my Philosophy class.
John Z- I actually think it to be more improbable for society to join under one dominant religion as opposed to giving it up completely. More and more religions are popping up and branching off making it more difficult to join together in a unified religion.
So hopefully one day we could just drop religion in it's entirety and stop all the religious wars and join together in sociological prosperity.
Bg - I must disagree since history, and present day society, is replete with examples of religions that dominate their respective nations. History points to:
The Holy Roman Empire, Israel, Catholic Kings and Queens in France, Spain and England, to name a few.
The Taliban in Afghanistan, Israel, India, most Muslim nations,to name a few others.
The "dominance" of a religion does not exclude the existence of other religions. It simply denudes them of national influence or governmental power.
Since we have religion, it plays its role, whatever its role is.
lately poor people have been turning to the church for assistance instead of the government. they do good works in that regard...
Some churches have fantastic structural support too. In my city they get council grants and tax relief.
A lot of non religious people like me support the churches because we see what they achieve. Fellowship or brotherhood of like minds usually put religious views to one side and just help when we can I reckon.
We must remember the Dark Ages wherein Europe was kept behind for close to 800 years because of the Church and religion.
We are still in the dark ages. Religion in politics is still holding learning back.
There's a whole lot becoming enlightened everyday so the learning does continue! With the hope of a new day
filled with righteous equal people! All the same! Think, you could stop at any home and have your meal because the collective tells us what to cook and everyones having the same before our evening call to 'Enlightenment'. We're all taught to be sexually neutral so we can fill in for anyone! No on has to be lonely! No more marraige and in some new subdivisions there's a manditory partner rotation. Just to make sure no one gets a bad deal! Since we are now cleansed of a consious, sex is mandatory by age 15 and everyone must have at least 10 partners before settling down. Schools are tasked with sex training that way it will be done right and they can be moved to active stage. Sounds good?
Let me pose a question for you people.
I posted this question on the questions section of religion and beliefs, but let ask...
What would you do if you were to learn that you were not meant to die?
Remember, religion teaches Life is eternal.
So, if Life is eternal....then why is it that people die?
Last time I checked....Life was the last thing to evolve in the Universe, wouldn't that tell you that life is a continued circle, forever going?
You know....the circle of life. This old cliche is the only thing I can use, as a tool for explanation.
But, in all seriousness. What would you do?
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless."
3 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.
I believe that if mankind was half as smart as he thinks he is he would be twice as smart as he is.
It should help those who are Christlike. It should not hold back anyone that wants to believe in and follow the way of Christ.
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