Is the world better or worse off with religion?
I am agnostic and believe that everybody has a right to believe whatever they want. But I tend to think that, on the whole, religion brings more negative things into the world than positive. One of the biggest negatives is that it divides people. I know that individuals may benefit from having faith in their life, but I think society in general is more harmed by it than helped.
By far, the world is better off with religion.
Now, how can I support such a bold statement?
Every complaint you mentioned comes not from religion, but from ego. Ego divides people. Ego pits one against another. Ego seduces religious leaders into doing evil things in the false name of "righteousness."
When you strip away ego, religion is entirely beneficial and benign.
Here is religion without ego:
* Everyone is encouraged to find their own truth. Unless you're walking on water, you likely haven't made it, yet.
* People love and support one another, even in their insanities, not for the sake of those insanities, but for the sake of the person who clings to them.
* Everyone is encouraged to question teachings in order to find the deeper Truth behind them. Everyone has their own interpretation, but must strip this away with humility in order to allow Truth to come to them.
We are spiritual beings who happen to have Homo sapiens bodies. To get rid of religion is to ignore that more important part of us.
Even scientists have ego and they stand in the way of science!
Just look at N.American anthropology and the "Clovis first" dogma. Scientist were afraid to dig below the Clovis horizon for fear of jeopardizing their careers. Science by ridicule? Ego!
Excellent answer, well said. Although I disagree about the world being "by far better" because I believe that in the current state of affairs, there IS far too much ego involved with religion.
I used to consider myself agnostic, but decided I identified more with atheism. Most people of my (non) religious persuasion would agree that religion does more harm than good. I don't think I agree with those ideas, simply because of my grandmother.
She was devoutly religious and lived her life pretty much according to WWJD. When she knew she was dying, she also knew she was going to go to heaven and that gave her great comfort. I can't see religion itself as a bad thing because of her experiences. When people hurt, judge, or restrict others liberties because of religion is when I start having a problem with it.
I recently had a discussion with someone who argued that this country was founded on freedom of religion and I had to say "Right, as long as the religion you believe in is Christianity." Right now, the division between right and left is stronger than ever and I believe that religion is a big part of that. But, trying to tell someone "You can't have religion" is the same thing I've been told all these years, just in reverse. "You can't NOT have religion."
Good points, but isn't everything bad about religion that you mentioned really from ego, the same ego that makes people greedy, pushy, conniving, murderous, jealous and more? Too many popes have had mountains of ego.
I don't know if you can put that totally on religion. Lenin and Stalin were atheists, and look what they did.
I will never tell others what they must or must not believe. That said, my answer to your question is the world is worse off with religion.
Religion has impeded the search for truth and knowledge and has retarded the advancement of science and medicine throughout history. Religion has been a source of death and war and used as a tool to control men and subjugate women.
If humankind cannot cut the religious ropes that tether us to myth and fable, science will continue to limp along and the answers to (the truths) of the whys, the hows and the where questions of our existence will never be answered. When one stops searching for the truth, one never finds the truth.
I would like to point out that behind the supposed acts of "religion," ego stood urging individuals to do something that went against their religion. Religion is inherently about love and humility. Ego spoils all that.
lone77star: I appreciate your point about "ego" but what you miss is ego is what religion is based upon. A god in "man's image." And the "supposed" acts of religion, unlike the god, are real. There is no reality in god, but there is in history.
The world is definitely better off with ORGANIZED religion. you cannot apply a blanket principle on individual philosophy. The mob mentality that comes along with organized religion brings about a sense of superiority over others (ego as lone77star). When you have a group of people that believe exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, that group becomes a collective bully trying to either force others into believing what they believe or they ostracize them. religion in itself is not a bad thing because it is focused on one person's idea and relationship with the deity of their choice. It is the organized idea of religion that is causing the most damage to society as a whole
Well put, my friend. Too many want to blame religion for the world's problems, but ego is behind those problems in religion, government, banking, business, military and any other human endeavor.
OOPS.. I meant WITHOUT organized religion.
Thank you for the compliment lone.
There is no doubt about it, the world is far worse off with religion in it, than it would be without it. Look around at the world as a whole. The greatest problems stem from religious influences. We fool ourselves by believing in the delusion that somehow our 'blind faith' will rescue us from all the troubles of the world. And to offset that, those who have no answers, simply blame all the world's problems on satan.
We simply vacillate from one extreme to the other based on superstition instead of reality.
If organized religions were replaced with spirituality all these differences would simply disappear.
There is no doubt that all the worlds problems stem from the failings, and the frailties, of humanity, in that, when we promote greed and self-serving as a way of life, we create what we see around us today.
Religions simply add to those problems by pointing fingers and blaming them on their fictitious evil scapegoats, spreading fear, intolerance, mistrust, and guilt. So instead of helping the global problems they contribute to them exponentially.
It's tough to say. Our beliefs are our own. I don't think it's the idea of religion, so much as the beliefs and doctrines within certain religions. Not every religion adopts an open minded policy, and even some that do have followers who don't. It's a much easier question when you consider the possibility that religion is designed for us to make peace with ourselves, as opposed to unite or divide any groups.
Well, I went to a Methodist school quite young. I learnt grace before meals, morning assembly, a good sense of morals and etiquette or right and wrong. The Chinese state knew this, and that's why Confucius and Lao Sze was well loved.
There are about ten schools in London I know that are incorporating breathing exercises and a short period of relaxation, and the children are doing well. They call it Mindfulness.
While I know this to be a Buddhist term, I see the wisdom there, because if they started saying Meditation, it would create problems. Still, it is a form of focus or concentration akin to prayer. Call it what you will.
Same thing with religion. We avoid it through wisdom, because we are aware of its modern day connotations.
God is the life-tree and religion are its branches. The essence of religion is to fear God and obey God. The quintessence of spirituality is to know God and become another God. One follows the way of fear and the other love. Eventually they will all arrive at the same Source. Hope this helps. God speed!
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