Religion has been as documented throughout time as a destructive force. Morals can exist without religion.
Certainly - this can be said of religion. However, it certainly has an (overwhelmingly, I think) positive impact on the world. It also depends on what you mean is being "destroyed." People and/or property? A sense of self? I think most people's views would vary wildly based on the definition you are intending.
The real issue I suspect you are nudging at is the role of belief as a force in the world, and belief is quite separate from religion. All perspectives on reality - normative or otherwise - have at thier core, a belief.
Can morals exist without religion? Absolutely. But they can never exist without belief, regardless of what standard to which you look to measure them.
Just my 2 cents - not sure if we're on the same page ;-)
I don't know how you can say religion is overwhelmingly a force for good? While on a personal level religion might offer hope and comfort, it's also a potent political force. The major hotspots of violent aggression around the world today are entwined with religious conflict. It's the moral certainty which religious belief entails that is the problem...it's a loaded hand-gun in the political struggle for supremacy.
Then there's the Catholic church.....
pls enumerate the "positive" effects religion has had on evolving man. Ty
Morality is a biological instinct for survival. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. I don't raid your winter food supply, you don't raid mine. The two of us together will be better hunters than the one of us alone. Together we can protect our children better from predators than we fare alone.
Morality existed before religion, and continues to exist in secular societies without it. But morality is not absolute, it is subjective, and situational. Every religious war certainly proves that.
Morals DO exist without religion.
Morality is cultural.
I can see it both being positive and negative.
The Positive: Helping people from starvation, giving to charities, establishing morale codes, etc.
The Negative: Crusades, jihads, inquisition, other wars in the name of deity, witch trials, etc.
There is a certain amount of violent people in the world.
Take religion out of the world and these violent people will find a diffrent "Cause" to support and vent their violence through..
I'm going to correct you.
Humans ARE violent!
You are right, if it wasn't for religion we'd be fighting and killing for some other reason.
Then, that cause is removed, which is what happens when people seek to find a cause for their violence.
Of course, they probably wouldn't be violent in the first place if it were not for their gods demanding they be violent.
I think we have to consider human nature here rather than religion as the result of violence in the world. As has been pointed out many times it is human nature that seeks religion as a means of defining conflict and there are passages in religious works that support this theory...for example.
Our Savior's words in Matthew 10:34 are undeniable: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." The wording in Luke's account is different, but the potent core remains:
The scripture I believe, refers to God requiring seperation for the sake of true worship.
Those who are causing division are doing so because they are serving their own hearts, that is, their own interests, ideals, and perspectives.
When violence is the intended outcome of conflict excuses such as God said do this and this are out the window as is common sense.
I think a particular line from the movie "Shutter Island" which I saw the other day seems appropriate here. A prison warden converses with the main character of the film:
"God's gift...His violence...God loves violence...Why else would there be so much of it? It's in us. It comes out of us. It is what we do more naturally than we breathe. We wage war. We burn sacrifices. We pillage and tear at the flesh of our brothers. We fill great fields with our stinking dead. And why? To show Him that we've learned from His example...God gives us earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes. He gives us mountains that spew fire onto our heads. Oceans that swallow ships. He gives us nature, and nature is a smiling killer. He gives us disease so that in our death we believe He gave us orifices only so that we could feel our life bleed out of them. He gave us lust and fury and greed and our filthy hearts. So that we could wage violence in His honor. There is no moral order as pure as this storm we've just seen. There is no moral order at all. There is only this - can my violence conquer yours?"
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