Are religions good for societies?
What do you think are the pros or cons for religions? Which problems have they brought? and which ones have they avoid to happen?
Well it really depends on the religion and what the religion teach, people's interpretation of the religion and how seriously people take the religion.
I think that they are good for societies. We can see that people do harm to others in the name of religions. Religion can be used in a most negative way for society. But the premise and idea of religion is good for society.
It seems to me that at this time in our global society most people of thought recognize that wars and atrocities are really not about a religion. Horrible charismatic types use religion to obtain goals which have nothing to do with a religion. So one could say that the mechanism of religion is bad because it can be so easily abused. (pain medications are a good thing in medicine -- but they can be abused. It does not make the medication bad.) Almost any good thing can be used for evil.
Group activities are good for people. Societies - social. However a family is made up, family ties are good and important for human interactions. As with anything social there can be and will be bad interactions. But in whole the interactions are a good thing to have. A community celebrating a mutual religion is like an extended family.
We can pick any and all religions and find what we think are negative aspects. Things designed by humans are rarely perfect. But by a very large margin religion is a good thing.
A thorough analysis of history shows definitively that societies, cultures, art, law,ethics, theatre and science ALL stemmed from religion. Without religion humanity would have remained in the pre stone age state. Religions are absolutely essential for humanity to evolve socially. It is only in the last few decades that bizarre vocal cliques have been denigrating religions.
The general pros of religion:
* the family of faith extends the definition of one's tribe and allows it to extend past immediate kin / ethnicity
* religious faiths tend to encourage procreation and not killing children, so they had a higher birth rate; the fact that Christians didn't practice infanticide while Romans did is probably part of why their numbers grew so fast
* Christianity said there is a religious space and a secular space (render under Ceaser), enabling the true separation of faith and state; in contrast, there is no separation of religious and government law in Islam, so you have a religious mandate to create Islamic governments to enforce the Islamic faith and laws designed to further the faith and wear down those who don't convert
* many kings would seek religious backing to reinforce their rule, and those who did were able to rule much larger and stabler empires; compare Egypt with a God-King versus the many city states of Mesopotamia 3000 years ago; the Caliphate invaded India and the many kings there couldn't unite to fight back for centuries while around a hundred million died; religion to back the state led to more stable and larger states than those that didn't
the concept of religion is good as an idea to make people better. This works with or without the existence of a real God.
I believe the concept of religion should be good for shaping morality in society. How ever religious extremists 'kill' the whole idea of peace and morality.
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