Religion has been foundational force for our educational, medical, legal and governmental institutions we have today. Studies have shown that those with religious affiliations dramatically give more to charity then those who done.
I'm sure someone will bring up all the wars started in he name of religion, but more people have been killed at he hands of atheistic dictators.
I think that every religion has good people and that no single religion is particularly bad in the modern world. We all believe differently, so to take a few people from a religion and say they represent it's entirety is not right. I believe that the general way religious people view religion is wrong. We don't try to be good because we want to, we try to be good because we feel obligated to. Even in our good deeds we might not even have the heart to see the importance of these acts. We show how hypocritical we are to everyone around us. We tell them to act a certain way and we fail to make that example ourselves. We try to act high and mighty in front of them, telling them that they have to believe in what we believe or there is something wrong with them. Let me straighten this out: I can not find a way in to people's hearts. Making people convert doesn't mean anything. Forcing them to agree only shows them why they shouldn't. We tell people to live this certain way, but we fail to actually live up to that expectation. I try to love all people and it's not because I feel obligated to do so because Jesus would have it that way, it is because I genuinely want to be a good person. I have grown to be this way because God has put me on this path. Nobody has lived the exact same and because of that we can't expect people to think the exact same way that we do. I want to be understanding of how people feel and think. I want to accept people of every religion and even the people that don't believe in religion at all. I think the biggest problem is that we lead a bad example, of course because of our hypocrisy and because we don't hold onto what we believe in. We try our hardest to be good people when we find God, but after awhile it becomes watered down and we lose our want to love and help others. I realize that religion is seen as a bad thing now because as a whole we persecute all of these people when we should be trying to help them instead. To have patience and understanding. It's very hard to put all of my thoughts on paper here, but let me tell you that Jesus Christ has helped me in ways that most people wouldn't understand. I think that there are bad people of every religion. People have a tendency to be evil no matter what group they belong to. Sadly, even in my religion there are countless examples of people who continue to make a bad example. If there is anything I want in this world, I want us to all love each other and that is the example that I want to lead.
Religion is the most effective way in providing morals to a society. Atheists claim they don't need morals but even atheists get their morals from religion, they simply reject the religious morals they disagree with, while the religious are forced to accept all them. Many institutions such as marriage have their founding in religion. Opponents who believe religion causes division and anger fail to realize this is an aspect of human nature. Humans will always find a way to divide themselves with or without religion. Many secular ideologies such as communism and fascism proved to be extremely brutal despite not having religious elements to them
I would say yes, it was originally supposed to be a cause for good in the modern world. However, the results weren't very pretty. Witches and warlocs (and pretty much everyone who went against the churches word or the word of "God") were burned alive at stake, or hanged, or tortured until they agreed to change their beliefs - all because they were different from Christianity. It's not as drastic today (well, save for all the wars caused by religion), but discrimination and bias are still very much alive. Today, homosexuals and bisexuals are "going to hell" because their sexual preferences go against what we've been taught. See what I'm getting at here? If it's not part of a controlled system, it's wrong - it's unholy, and devilish, and considered unacceptable. While most religions are set on making the world a better place, fear, individuality, and control are making it worse. (I say individuality not because it's at fault, but because it instigates discrimination)
To accept the answer 'no' you don't need to be 'against' religion, or believe that religion is detrimental. All you have to do is accept that religions don't do anything that people wouldn't do without religion. Atheists and other seculars can donate and help people just like the religious. The only difference is, a higher percentage of our donation actually ends up going to the benefitees, rather then church overhead.
Religion has given people false hope. It has also destroyed individual and critical thinking since it was conceived. It has destroyed scientific advancement. Most dictators (Like Hitler) are Christians. Religion also caused 9/11, The Crusades, ect. Religion also for the most part oppresses people like, Homosexuals and Females. Studies have also shown people without religion (wither it be Agnostic or Atheist) have higher intelligence. Nonreligious people also make up most of the scientific front/community. For example, if all Nonreligious people left America, it would lose about 93% of the National Academy Of Sciences, but less than 1% of prison population.