Is Religion REALLY so bad?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Asguard, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    I am probably asking for it for posting this but here goes.

    I have spent most of my time here lisserning to people say religon is evil and how it has caused all the problems in this world but i was at mass today and they were talking about hope. This got me thinking. I came to the conclusion that religion's SOLE purpose is to give hope. Hope to those in bad situations that they will get better. Hope to the sick and dieing that there lives are not in vain. Hope to those left behind that there loved one is happy and they will see them again.

    I cant see anything wrong with this

    Then i thought that just maybe the problems in the world ARN'T caused by religion but by peoples fears and hatreds of those different from themselves.

    This means that if the world got rid of religion the problems would still exist but without the hope that religion can provide.

    Thoughts?
    (please i don't want this thread to turn into a debate on what religions better or wether god exists)

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  3. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    Good and bad depend on what you're trying to accomplish. Religion is counter-productive to the goals of some people, and essential to the goals of other people.

    People who have a goal of feeling hopeful and who find that death makes them feel unhopeful may find religion important in getting to their goal.

    I agree that many things attributed to religion would've happened without it, and simply latch onto religion for convinience. Also, there's a difference between saying that organized religion is bad compared to saying that belief in a god is bad.
     
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  5. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think there is because some people NEED a prist and comunity to help them through their lives
     
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  7. The-Hybrid Registered Senior Member

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    I dont think there's ANYTHING wrong with religion. In fact, I think its great. It gives people hope, and something to look forward to. Its saved many people from killing themselves, giving them something to live for. True, its caused many wars, but this isn't because of the religions, but because of the people that practice them. I think with a bit of thought, religion and science can happily co-exist. But we should, in no way, turn our back on science. Religion may give us a reason to live, but science keeps us alive. I'm a dork.:bugeye:

    PS- "something to look forward to" = an afterlife, usually...

    Edited for: inserted PS
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2002
  8. Aware watcher Registered Senior Member

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    i agree. of course it depends on what the religion teaches. if the religion teaches hope, prosperity and of morality or of things of this nature, than this religion of course can be good for people. however if another religion with the same concept exists but is taught that anyone found with a birthmark is considered demoniac and therefore should be burned at the stake, this religion may be giving off the wrong impression to society and i would give this religion and thumbs down hehe.
     
  9. xelius00 Registered Senior Member

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    I don't believe that religion in itself is bad. I've found that a belief in God is essential to building one's character: The majority of atheists I know are either "slow in the head" or just really shallow. I also believe that going to church is a good way to keep yourself in check, and develop some kind of relationship with your God, however you perceive him.

    What some people fail to do, however, is realize that they are individuals, and that there is more to life than religion. This is fanatisism. It causes people to accept the problems of today instead of trying to fix them, because "God wants it like that." It gives them a feeling of immense love, yet often leaves them stranded.

    My mom said the other day that, ever since I was born, she knew I wasn't hers, and that I was just on loan to her from God. I told her that was the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and I became pretty offended that she doesn't consider her only child to be "hers". Like, wtf, I AM her kid. Where else did I come from, you know?

    Religion would be more widely accepted by atheists and would not be looked down upon if everybody kept things on the level. Remember: Everything in moderation. It's these fanatic freaks of religion that screw it all over for the rest of us.
     
  10. pragmathen 0001 1111 Registered Senior Member

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    And to think ...

    Welcome, <b>xelius00</b>, to Sciforums!

    My brother once told me that I was the master of over-generalizations! Sheesh!
    I take it this does not include yourself? That statement is one heck of a blanket assumption about nonbelievers. Do you mean to say that all mentally retarded people are, by default, atheist? Or that all atheists are mentally retarded? You might be able to argue that atheists are religiously retarded, but not spiritually. Being spiritual and being religious are two different things.

    How do you mean shallow, though? Do you mean that it is impossible to build character without a belief-set grounded in God? Is it building character more by getting through the difficult times in life by acknowledging them and trying to work through them, rather than saying that God is punishing/rewarding according to the trial? For instance, say your house is devastated via tornado, would you be more apt to say that you were sinful or that you built your house in a section of land that's been systematically ravaged by the elements?

    If by "slow in the head" you mean that atheists just can't get the concept of a loving God into their respective minds, well then you could be right. Ever wonder why getting that concept into their heads would be a slow-going process?
    Unfortunately, it is precisely religion that breeds the freaks and extremists. Many fundamentalists see it as their God-given right to punish others that are wayward or are blatantly disobeying the commandments of God. Personally, I think they realize that God isn't lifting a finger either way and so they take it upon themselves to act in his behalf. Hence, homicidal zealots, charlatans, and various evil-doers.
    Why do you need someone else to keep you in check? Isn't self-mastery a basic tenet of most religions? Wouldn't being able to control yourself and keep yourself in check be much more courageous than allowing others to do so?

    Well, hope this didn't come off as derisive so much as just putting in my two bits.

    Thanks!

    prag
     
  11. Azrael Angel of Light Registered Senior Member

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    well heres my 2 cents worth. I feel religion is a good thing, as it gives a person something to believe in. Something that is bigger than they are and can create a sense of belonging to a community of people that feel the same way they do.

    But its what people do with religion that is the bad part. A good example of this is the middle ages, when the church was at its most powerfull point. Corruption and violence were rampant in the church, and even today people have used God and religion to justify murder, war, genocide and all types of crimes.

    So I do feel that religion in its purest form as taught by Jesus Christ, Muhamed and others is a good and inspiring ideal. Its what we do with those ideas that determines if its good or bad.
     
  12. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Please no judgements on any paticular religon (its done enough in other threads) i am only talking about religon as a generalistic no spacific religons, ok
     
  13. Xev Registered Senior Member

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    xelios:
    Not needing to believe in imaginary punishments hardly harms morality. Simply because you haven't the balls to live ethically without your imaginary friend dosen't mean that I can't.

    Of course, my imaginary friend Cthulhu is cooler.

    Haf'hrdn Asguard, et alia:

    I don't think religion is a bad thing per se. For instance, in medieval Europe, the Catholic Church subsidized orphanages and hospitals.

    The problem is when people like xelius use it as a crutch. Instead of living thier lives well, they spend life fearing an imaginary man in the sky. Instead of basing thier moral system on duty and rationality, they base it on the fear of a nonexistant punishment. I think this harms ones ability to live ethically, to truly live ethically.

    Religion gives many people a hope of an afterlife. This is a good thing. So, I think that religion can be good or bad, depending on what it inspires in its followers.
     
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Asguard,

    There is nothing wrong with having hope that things will improve. However, the downside to religion is that the primary mechanism proposed to translate hope into real solutions is to have faith in a deity or a second life. These are passive and inactive processes that we have seen from experience as being of little to no value.

    Quality of life has come through direct action not through prayer or wishful thinking.

    I have met too many religious people whom when faced with difficult situations simply say that their god will see them through it. When instead they could solve the problems themselves by making an effort.

    The essential danger of all religions is that they promote a fatalistic attitude to real solutions; that sense that they are powerless to make a difference and that only a supernatural solution is the answer.

    Having real hope based on actual directed practical solutions is fine. Hope based on fantasies offer only false hopes.

    Religions can have no long term value since too many people use them as an excuse to not make an effort to solve real problems for themselves.

    Cris
     
  15. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Cris

    What about situations they have no conrol of.
    Example: cote death, or a miss carage

    Some people can deal with these, some brake down and some chose to put there faith in a plan.

    Who are you to say they are wrong when it maybe the only thing that alows them to move on
     
  16. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,188
    Asguard,

    I agree that people can escape the effects of reality by believing in a fantasy, the effects are real. What is needed, and would be of greater value would be a support system based on reality. Unfortunately after thousands of years being dominated by religions the human race has not yet provided itself with any type of widespread support system that can replace the fantasy effects of religions.

    Cris
     
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Cris what i am asking for in this thread is for people NOT to push what they belive. You calling it fansy is as counter productive as Azrael or xelius00 pushing that god is real. You will notice i haven't said wether or not I belive in god because its iralevant. I want people to look are religon as an istitution with out judgements on its belifes. You can't prove that a god DOSN'T exist so either argument is still valid but please argue about it somewhere else.
     
  18. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Asguard,

    A noble objective, but it’s a fine line, and I think impossible. You may have a point, concerning hope, at a very superficial level, but whether religion is bad or not will eventually depend on whether the tenets of a religion are true or not.

    As social institutions religions can be seen as beneficial but despite your suggestion that is not their SOLE purpose.

    The hope issue comes down to being effective if religion represents a truth or dangerous false hope if religion is a fantasy.

    I think that there is a lot to this. It has been shown that couples who look like each other make the best marriages. In most parts of the world people are suspicious of different racial groups and different customs. But religious beliefs tend to be among the most deep felt and when such beliefs are combined with politics, as with Islam, then that will tend to polarize differences between groups of different religions.

    We could then argue that not all religions can be true and perhaps none are true. So we know that some conflict is going to be inevitable simply because of the existence of some religions. That to my mind makes religion bad, and in this case it doesn’t matter whether one of them is true or not, conflict will result regardless.

    A difficult hypothetical. Given that most religions are untrue except perhaps one then that indicates that humans need to create something in which to believe whether true or not. So I suspect that even if religions disappear humans will find something else to give themselves hope.

    Cris
     
  19. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    What about budast monks. Wether there religon is right or wrong they are the most peaceful and kind people in the world. you can't tell me that their religon isn't good for the world
     
  20. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

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    Buddhist monks are people just like anyone else. They are no different that Catholic priests. Or did you not see the news story a few months ago of a Buddhist monk in Thailand being arrested for raping an Australian tourist?
     
  21. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    I agree they are not perfect but they come closer than most institutions. They (for the most part) actually follow there Philosophy of peace. Which is closer than most Christans, Jews, Athists (i added you because you are no more peacefull), or Muslams
     
  22. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

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    Damn right I'm not peacful/pacifistic. Pacifists die. Violent people at least can save their own lives and other lives. Survival often requires violence. Philosophy is for survivors. You won't hear any philosophy from dead people.
     
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Adam

    what a sad situation when the world requires that. That is one of the reasons i wanted to die.

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