Religion does: More Harm or More Good?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by aaqucnaona, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If there is no such standard, then nobody, not even you, can rightfully comment on whether the Bible is wrong, right, or confusing.

    Surely you must be joking ...
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  3. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Not sure if you sincerely believe this or are still joking ...., needless to say, dawkins et al succintly illustrate examples to the contrary ....
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't know why that newspaper story was posted in this thread, or what point Spidergoat was trying to make by posting it.

    But it doesn't really support the idea that religion does more harm than good. There's already a presupposition that religion functions as a symbol of morality in these criminals' minds. (That would seem to me to be a good thing.) But in committing their crimes, the criminals have nevertheless acted in ways that they themselves perceive as violating their religious values. That's going to generate quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, so there's naturally going to be a motivation to rationalize. It's exactly what one would expect.

    I'm sure atheist criminals do exactly the same thing, except they will employ more secular rationalizations: Stealing is wrong. (The moral value.) I stole. (The behavior that contradicts the value.) Ok, so... the person I stole from was a rich asshole, so by stealing his property I was the good-guy striking a blow for the proletariat. (The rationalization that resolves the conflict in the criminal's mind.)

    Pretty much any violation of principle can be rationalized, if the person performing the rationalization is clever enough.

    I don't think that all of our atheists would want to argue that criminals' (and their apologists') common use of left-politics to justify criminality would therefore discredit left-politics.
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    We have two sides of the brain, with atheism and science more left brained, while religion is more right brained. If the goal is half a brain, religion can be bad for science and atheism since it keeps the whole brain in focus. The same is true the other way around. If one is only right brain religious, without concern for science, they too prefer half a brain. Science can spoil that.

    If you look at religion and the right brain, different religions approach the right brain differently. Christianity is fundamentally about love, which is a feeling that connects and integrates. If you loved everyone, you would be integrated with humanity. The left brain differentiates and divides and tends to reduce love to a differential group.

    Eastern religions are often different and take more of a left brain intellectual approach to the right brain. Kung Fu is body and mind. One learns to coordinate the body in 3-D (uses all the tools of the body) leading to right cerebral emulation of the cerebellum which processes body coordination and integration.

    Indian eastern mysticism is often esoteric, trying to use left brain language to express 3-D concepts of right brain. Once inside the right brain, since language is not processed within the right brain, language starts to break down; gets esoteric. The right brain uses a faster language that needs to be experienced. They also make use of procedures that allow one to enter and explore the right side of the brain.

    My interests in the right brain started with eastern mysticism, which was popular in the hippy years. It was about alternate states of mind, which meant departure from just the left brain. Because this is outside western science, it was an R&D process. The psychologist Carl Jung and his concept of the collective unconscious is about the right brain. This orientation is less popular than left brain psychology since the latter better cater to the needs of the left brainers.
  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    In 5000 or so years of our history, religion did not seem to do a lot of good. It probably should be given some credit for providing solace to those who were poor & overworked, which included most of humanity until 200-400 years ago.

    It is interesting that for 5000 years no religion advocated the abolution of slavery. I think the Quakers (Society of Friends) might have been the first to do so. It was the industrial revolution which abolished slavery due to its not being efficient in a technological culture. As somebody once said (paraphrase, not actual quote):
    While I am an atheist, I believe that the bottom level in religious organizations tend to be sincere & try to help the lay members. For Judeo-Christianity, I am referring to the local rabbai, priest, or minister. Those higher up I consider to be motivated by the power, prestige, & money due their position. The worst of them are those with TV/Radio ministeries. Some of these are outright charlatans who collect 5-10 million a month or more from people, some of whom cannot afford the contributions they make.

    BTW: The Vatican is one of the richest organizations in the modern world.

    In a Star Trek episode, Kirk asks:
    BTW: That should have been Spock's line. The writers had a bias toward Kirk & always had his decisons turn out to be right.

    Similarly, I ask

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