Organized religions such as Christianity and Islam has seriously damaged society. Most religions do not teach peace and to do good to others, contrary to 1dustpelt.
Christianity especially has injured the development of science and has supported slavery
A religion is a faith followed by those who grow up or chose the environment of that faith. Unfortunately, the prejudices and stereotypes by that religion carry over into the environment, which is so sad, because those of that faith grow accustomed or to or follow the narrow-minded thinking, like sheep too afraid to stray from the group. And on top of all this, the church of that faith also tends to condemn certain ideals or practices, hindering the free minded thinking of individuals. It's truly a sad thing.
Islam is against polio vaccinations in the Middle-East, Buddhists are conducting holy war in Burma, Catholics do whatever it takes to stop Birth Control and condoms in spite of the AIDS epidemic, Christian Fundamentalist in the U.S. spend millions of dollars trying to destroy science, and almost all religions except for some are violently opposed to Women's reproductive rights and Gay Rights. We also can't overlook the countless religious persecutions that occur around the world by all religions. So yes, I say that religion is holding society back from it's full potential.
Organized religion is the worst thing for society. It has always and will always try to hinder the progress of science and technology. It also forces or manipulates people into believing all kinds of fallacies and fantasies.
Organized religion is largely based on old laws, mores, and beliefs, and I believe that it hinders society because of this. As many aspects of the world change, society should do its best to keep up with it. However, organized religion only encourages people to cling to the past. Without organized religion, I believe people would evaluate old beliefs more critically, and we would progress more rapidly.
Since I have to put this in a nutshell, organized religion has a tendency of not being flexible. If the society in which you belong is primarily in an organized religion, then there is not harm in the inflexibility, as the dominant religions of the West and East maintain social and moral guidelines which both contribute and reinforce these internal societies. It is the external societies that are harmed the greatest by organized religion, especially in the case of Christianity and Islam. Outside societies are seen as the enemy to these two religions. If you do not belong to either one of these religions, you are part of the problem to them. The history of both are filled with violence against people who do not wish to become a part of their society. Members of these societies are encouraged to violate their own moral and ethical standards when dealing with non-believers.
Religion attempts to solidify people, as one culture does. However when there are conflicts in ideas, religion or not, there is only social conflict gained from it. The bright side to religion is that it helps people deal with stresses in life, but when it comes to social relationships it causes unrest, even when tolerance would make us think otherwise.
More often than not, organized religion influences the creation and passage of civil legislation. Legislation passed in favor of arguments brought forth by organized religion are not based in fact. These laws and decisions are a product of passion and faith. They are not based on good sound judgment or research. For example, the addition of "under God" in the U.S. pledge of allegiance was lobbied for by the Knights of Columbus; however, many U.S. citizens believe it was part of the original pledge. In addition, the words "in God we trust" on currency did not originate with the founding fathers. These are cases, in which organized religion directly influenced daily life. Many politicians cite these examples as "proof" that the U.S. was founded on Christian principles. Forced prayer in schools in another example. Should a Muslim be forced to recite a prayer to Jesus? Organized religion can hinder many aspects of society, ranging from scientific inquiry to sex education.
The Abrahamic organized religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are readily seen to be a force hindering society. These religions attempt to maintain outmoded and harmful social norms. They are, as a whole, extremely sexist against women and propagate ideas that keep women (and everyone) down, like banning abortion and contraception. To varying degrees they reject scientific knowledge such as evolution. These religions are generally close-minded and hinder society's advancement with their reactionary mindset.
I do feel that religion hinders society, to a certain extent. While I feel organized religion is very helpful and fulfilling to some people, I feel, as a whole, it causes too much division among people. There have been too many wars started over religion. There has been too much bloodshed in the name of religion.
Most every "religious" problem is also about secular causes such as land, politics, wealth, power. How religion gets involved is that the war-makers hide behind a mask of religion just to get the believers on their side. Take religion away, and they have every other thing they can think of to justify a war. Some of the best and most peaceful people in history are religious, such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and MLK, even Einstein and Darwin believed in God. Not to mention church-sponsored welfare groups also benefit people.
Society hinders society, people live for the world and themselves instead of living for one another. The sad reality of our society is we as the people are failing to understand the importance of Love. The Bible tells us the truth of things and people want to spin it to their own beliefs. Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose? These questions can be answered if you want to find them. The truth some times isn't easy to accept. To everyone that answered yes except responsibility for yourselves and grow up! Enough is enough, the rights that our forefathers put in the constitution were Faith based and right. God bless and know Jesus!!
This statement implies that if organised religion were to disappear, the world would, over time, become a better place. Why should that be? Will countries stop waging wars in the absence of religion? Will people stop being greedy? The fact is that the problems due to, say unfair economics, which have nothing to do with religion or faith, heavily outnumber those due to organised religion.
A united belief in a religion has been the catalyst of many of the great movements in history. The creation of the United States began by a belief in an organized religion, which caused its followers to be persecuted so they looked for a place where they could be free of that persecution. When they found that place they created a great, free society that has prospered for centuries. Now that that belief is declining so is the prosperity of that society, a telling way of arguing in favor of organized religion.
Organized religion can give people hope and order in a society. Organized religion allows people to believe in something even if it is intangible. That belief will make them move forward in rough times and ensure that societies are not standing still and not making progress. Organized religious centers like churches can also be used as community centers and other functions (like safe voting places) which also provide an important benefit to societies.
Since all groups have their own culture, beliefs, customs, and rituals, some kind of religion will always emerge.
In this day and age as children we are exposed to things all around and religion is only a portion of it. Because of this organized religion does not hinder a society. It is great that we live in a country that allows us to have the chance to be raised with the values and morals of organized religion, but also be able to be exposed to various other things that allow us to learn all about the world and allow us to be well-rounded.
Every society faces challenges which hinder a natural and moral progression almost every second. However, it is not religion itself which prevents this, for it is the misinterpretation, lack of understanding and intolerance which manifests itself into hatred, violence, prejudice and discrimination thus causing it to hinder. It is not religion.
From my previous reading, I acknowledged that many people consider religion as one of the main reasons behind human racism and racism brings trouble to societies. This is not true. Religions do not provoke people to become racist. The truth is people are likely to put up racist actions and demand that they are doing it for religious purposes. It has no differences with the acts of a child. As a student, I have witnessed numerous actions of finding false excuses for their immoral act -- not doing their homework.
Putting it back to the topic, Religion is only an excuse that people commonly use for their racist actions. Religion do not hinder a society.
Religion has brought about its fair share of damage yes, but true religion free from mans interpretations and pure in execution is meant to bring about good. I cant fault religion for mankind's choice to use it and twist it for personal gain. Religious organizations have done just as much good in the name of faith. Religion itself is not the problem, it's the people executing it with hidden addenda's.