Would the world be safer without religion?
Religious extremism seems to be a serious driving force for many atrocities happening around the world. Would the world be safer if there were no religious differences?
The society produces thieves. The same society produces policemen. The society produces the hungry, the homeless and the orphans. The same society produces philanthropists who take care of them.
The religion produces theists, believers and good-hearted people, people who try and follow dharma, nurture ethics, lead a life of peace. The same religion produces misguided elements and extremists. But look who are the minority. The extremists are only minority. The world remains safe still because, despite the evils enacted by extremists, a vast majority still believe in God, believe in the good aspects of religion and follow rightful path mostly.
No point in burning a house to get rid of bedbugs!
C V Rajan is right. The majority of people who follow any of the major - and probably the minor - religious organizations are good-hearted people. It takes only a very small minority of people to place the world in some sort of fear. As C V Rajan points out there are theives and honest people. If you have a community with ninety-five percent of the people honest and five percent dishonest the whole community suffers because of it.
With religions it is the bigots, those who 'know they are right and 'ours' is the best and only way to be - the intolerant and close-minded - in ANY religion that cause the problems. Some are even willing to kill others who don't have the same ideas in their minds as they do - incredible!
A widening trend, and I'm glad of it, is a down-playing of the tenets, mores, and dogma of organized religions towards personally-interpreted spirituality and interpreting 'the truth' and 'goodness' from one's own inner directive. The huge growth and popularity of New Age thinkers bears this out.
In the meantime the world is safe - providing those who are not intolerant keep a vigil and stay alert but, more importantly, remain loving - if they can - towards all humankind. For as it has been said, "Love is the answer...now what is the question?"
The word Religion is all encompassing, it even includes the way of life. Thus a "without religion world" is not practical because there will be no wise thoughts and good practices to follow. Now the second part of your question, it is a few people who mislead gullible followers and leverage their numbers and loyalty to achieve their goals.
I guess you can make out what makes the world "unsafe"
The vast majority of people are good regardless of a god believed in or such a belief shunned. Religion does however, provide a 'cause' and a 'means' for some to cleanse and purify others to their own purposes. Historically the gods have been rallying points for all descriptions of savagery and even today such brutality is carried out in the name of a god.
"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" was a WWII ditty that was justified because it was our god. The Germans and the Japanese felt otherwise. The fire bombing of Dresden Germany and the atomic bombs in Japan are justified
acts of brutality in the name of a god.
Whether one uses a god or a deified government, as in the case of Uncle Joe Stalin, aggression and too, defense against that aggression is best served by some form of 'higher authority'.
Would the world be a safer place without religion? I believe it would be a good start. I would think though that human emotions are the primary culprit, which is what religion and such beliefs are based on so, perhaps, it would be a good idea if we began to concentrate on the human capacity to reason. Battle cries are not an exercise in reason.
People create the religion because of their beliefs. In other words, beliefs are translated in religions. That's what I think. And with the advancing of the years other people started to know these religions and to really understand in what they believe.
But no, it would not be safer. People believe in God, believe in good things and fight and have faith to the good things.
I don't know for sure, but I tend to think if religion were to vanish from the face of the world tomorrow, the extremists that once practiced atrocities under the excuse of religion would just come up with another excuse to carry out their atrocities. And why? Because they enjoy hurting others more than anything else.
Trying to pin point the causes for humans abilities to commit atrocities towards one another is a noble cause of a social scientist. A similar question could be posed if we asked: "would the world be a safer place without corporations? Or national states?"
Truly, national states and corporations, along with a dose of religion, have all played roles in conflicts throughout the world. Mixed with ideology and perhaps nationalist fervor or a historical legacy which presupposes violence upon one another, all these things build a dark home where atrocities can thrive.
Without reverting to the idea that most or some of the people within religions, as well as within states or any other organization, are good or ethical, the more fundamental factor we should focus on is human beings.
How has war been wrought upon one another and for what purpose? Absolutely, Religion plays a role in many, but possible and perhaps just as strong motivators beckon from scarce resources, political turmoil due to historical and contemporary circumstances, as well as pressures stemming from inter and intra social needs, wants and desires.
Perhaps the world would be a safer place without religion. The world would probably be safer without humans and their pretensions towards groups and divisions based on perceptions of otherness as well.
The problem isn't religion. It's Ego -- self-concern. This is the selfishness that sets self apart from others and frequently says, "I'm better than you," or "I'm right and you're wrong."
Behind religious extremism is Ego. Ego doesn't care if it's religion, science, government, skin color, culture or how you break your eggs. Ego will find any reason to maintain separateness from others who are different.
The original purpose of religion was one of bringing people together, teaching humility and love. Ego corrupts all activities of man. We need to hone our ability to recognize the telltale signs of Ego.
Ego can pretend to be good and can do good works, but will always be self-concerned while doing them. Ego wants to be seen as good and powerful, but fears discovery of the truth.
The world will not be safer without religion. It will be safer without Ego.
The world will be safer when we love others as if they were ourselves -- when we wish for them everything that they desire. This is altruistic love, because it has no self-concern. And when you have no self-concern, you have no limitations. Dogma is no longer important. Live and let live takes hold.
Love really is the answer. It is the only True religion. Jesus Christ knew this. So did Gautama Siddhartha Buddha.
When we ask Christianity, relationship with God is the most important thing above all. No religion can save you, only Christ.
Islam has different doctrine too. Religion is the important thing for them.
Religion is helpful in some way and nuisance at all times
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