Even as a Christian, one must admit that Organized religion can be a lot of good or it can be a lot of bad. If you have the wrong Pope or Pastor, they may lead people astray from what being a Christian is about. (Crusades) It all depends on your circumstances, sometimes it can bring good, but it can bring a ton of bad if some human screws up. (I am looking at you Westbouro Baptist Church :I)
Throughout the entire middle ages, people would consider others scum solely based on the fact that they were of a different religion than themselves. The entire concept of a Crusader or a Jihad is originated out of the belief that other religions are bad. In modern day, some Muslims have a similar ideology (i.E. Shia vs Sunni, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc).
Ricky Martin believes that adhering to a specific faith can impose limits on you and I agree with him. Organized religion imposes restrictions on very personal matters and churches attempt to control the beliefs of its members. One of the darkest aspects of organized religion that makes me mistrust its infrastructure is that people have committed horrific acts in the name of God.
When you have a group behind you to tell you to do whatever "good" you believe in, you can become invincible and rationalize that murder is perfectly fine. Alone maybe a subconscious debate takes place to not to do certain things, but within a group nothing "wrong" is off limits as long as some agree.
Religion has been the cause of many problems in the world, because there have been heavily indoctrinated, religious fundamentalists in governments making ridiculous harmful decisions based on Religious notions instead of Reasoned Logic. This has caused wars and such nations to enter into stupid conflicts where they did not belong, all because some idiotic leader considered such actions/decisions were for God or what God would have wanted. Much bloodshed throughout history has been caused by such religions and religion massacring it's opponents, which is how Christianity came to power in many sections of Europe, not by passive means as they try to pretend, but by conquest and oppression, fear our God or you will burn. Such are the Judaic based religions.
Throughout history religion claims to be all about loving your neighbor yet it's very foundation is based on hatred. Christians hate jews hate muslims hate homosexuals hate africans etc. etc. Even now that some religions are finally easing up on the racism and bigotry, it is still very visible and prevalent.
Almost every moral progress in the world has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. Like the diminution of war, every step towards the better treatment of colored races or every mitigation of slavery, almost every improvement in humanism. The list goes on. The more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. A lot of christians and other religious people believe that will come to know right from wrong on our own because adam and eve ate the wrong apple etc. so why do they want to screw that up with religion and tradition. If religion had its way we would still own slaves, we would still be misogynist, we would still burn torture and kill people for their beliefs. Secularism has saved a shi* load of people. So yes religion brings more harm than good.
Yes sometimes things like the Crusades happen. But that is our problem. We try to use God to further our own prideful purpose and that definitely has a harmful effect on humanity. But religion was made to be more than just a man made thing. It was made by God, and he knew what he was doing. Organized Christianity does a huge amount of good to the world in which it lives when it is directed by God, not man.It is when we try to take over that it gets out of control
There is no or very, very little harm. Let's not focus on the occasional moments in the gloomy past where organizations have been led astray by their own ideology, but look today. Most definitely the positives of a religious organization outweigh the cons of it by a massive gap. Who would explain the bible at sermons, other than a priest. People cannot learn from the bible all by themselves. There is a lot in it needing explaining that preachers, priests and religious figures aim to do. People look for support, help and clarification, and (e.G) the Christian Church aims exactly to do this, as so do rabbis and Muslim teachers. Where is the wrong in that? Without a moral organisation leading us to (what we believe) a rightful path Christians and other religious people would be scattered around the Earth like hermits with nothing to lead them, nothing powerful linking these people other than a complex and long Bible, Torah or Qu'ran which they could easily misinterpret and manipulate to their own liking. Don't forget how organisations like the Christian Church have spread the word vie missionaries, and their huge projects turn more people to Christianity.
Was made under theocratic rule and supported by theocratic funding in science, the arts, literature, and so forth and so on and most of the educated persons of yesteryear were under the tutelage of theocratic systems with many early ethicists coming from theocratic backgrounds I would think not. You cannot name any field that hasn't been touched by and furthered by theocracy and most of our modern morality comes from theocratic reasoning including concepts such as "All men are created equal" and "The right to a fair trial" and so forth and so on. Then Deism which sought to experience "God" through science and other such truth-seeking religions in the world if heading further East such as Taoism which also encouraged natural sciences.
A lot of people look at modern history but really fail to note the rich history of the world and it's belief systems and what they did for mankind yesterday and how they shape today.
Organized religion brings more good than harm. Christianity, the largest organized religion in the world by far, has done more good for humanity than yes, even science.
Christianity teaches love for all people, even enemies. So much good has come from this throughout history that it cannot be measured.
Atheists need to give up the blaming of evil done by individuals on religion. You are beating a dead horse. Those who reject or deny God are the cause of most harm in this world by far.