There is nothing that religion can provide that can not be achieved through secular means. When religion is present it can prompt conformity, bad moral practices, loyalty to an unproven belief over laws or others, can prompt uncritical thinking, violence, and unnessary segregation and judgment. When religion is present people tend to be less concerned with this life and more with the next and people don't take care of each other as much because they believe there diety will take care of them. Religion is capable of doing good and there are many good people who are religious but ultimately religion does more harm than good.
People need to know that religion caused the period of confusion (there is a name). We'd by more advanced. Some wars were caused by religion. For example, the holocaust, 9/11, etc. Without religion, the world may just get along a little better. Due to religious fights like these, we may never get along again with religious diverse countries. Also, many government people seem to depend on their god.
Catholic church spreading lies about condoms spreading aids, leading to who knows how many deaths.
Catholic church molesting kids, protecting pedophiles.
Muslims killing apostates, and woman, and unbelievers.
Christians not bringing their kids to the DR when they are sick so they could pray, and their kids die as a result.
Christians forcing their myths into science classrooms, leading to an uneducated youth.
LGBT youths committing suicide because of religious doctrine.
These are only a tidbit of the evil/harm religion has caused throughout history. Just because there are good people at your local church does not mean in the big picture religion does good. It is in fact the opposite.
A quote "not perfect because I'm looking it up" Name one moral act a theist does that cannot be completed or isn't completed by an atheist. So, I would say we are pretty even there. Name one immoral act that is done theists but wouldn't be done by an atheist. I'll give you a few, blowing yourself up just to kill infidels, oppressing the rights of other people because "god said gay people are bad and women are simply vessels to give birth", and miss educate children because my Bible said we were created, not evolved.
Religion can blind people from good behavior because well, "god" told them to. How do we know if god really spoke to them? WE DON'T. That is where the evil comes from. Fraudulent people taking advantage of uneducated masses.
Islam is the perfect example of evil, because of "jihad" and apostasy, which is punishable by death.
Look at Westboro Baptist.
The evil of religion never sleeps.
Religion always demands service. When a person follows a religion, they serve and act the way the religion demands it. Pick any, and you will see. The thing is though, in essence, the problem not truly the religion, but the person making the decision to follow it and act according to its rules. All religions reflect a person's actions. If religion didn't reflect a person's actions, it would not be a religion, but truth. That is the very fine line that must be drawn. It is very noticeable, but to find truth to compare it with is extremely troublesome. You must have truth to condemn religions; they end up dead in the end because they are condemned by truth. Truth is an axiom, religion is not. Truth is true because it's true, religion is true because man says so. This gets rather deep, I tell ya.
The overwhelming majority of mankind believes in some form of religion. Yes we can all point to Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc, but these, in a comical way I suppose, only serve to show us that most of us have an overwhelming desire to believe there is something more. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant, and is not the point of this question, but instead, look at the sheer incredible effects of what religion has brought. Much like an art gallery, variety brings simply wonderful and enlightening experiences.
You arnt talking about religion you are talking about the people who hate religion and tried to kill everybody who had one. I don't understand how that makes religion a bad thing... If you believe in something you should be willing to die for it don't you think? I know I do
While many cultures in the past have used religion as a form of control, it can also be a force of good. It induces creativity, gives people peace of mind, and teaches morals and ethics. In the middle ages, the only form of art was religious art. Music, paintings, and sculptures would not have been created if it wasn't for Christianity. Though Medieval Christianity was controlling, it created the foundations of European art. Cultures all over the world have used religion as an excuse to create art for centuries. Also, religion can give people peace of mind and hope. Believing that God will take all your worries away can be comforting. Finally, religion teaches us to have good morals and ethics. Though people have historically used religion as a form of control, the same morals that have been used as excuses for immoral behavior can and should be taken in the way that they were meant. They are guidelines, not rules. Christianity teaches people to be kind to people. Jesus didn't tell people to be kind because he was being a dictator. No, he told them to be kind because kindness is the most logical and effective way to get along with people. In conclusion, religion can be used for evil, but it can also be used for great good. When a society's religion is not corrupt, that religion can provide some important things.
Religion reminds us that there is someone up there that loves you beyond measure. It's hope for everyone who has it. It gives us a purpose in life and strengthens us. And let's look at those people who have done so much for our world through religion. Those people who share God's love with everyone. Mother Teresa: started an order that saved thousands of lives and helped to end poverty. Pope John Paul the II: Stopped communism in Poland and many other countries. Pope Pius the XII: Saved hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust.
How do we measure good and evil? Also, wasn't the harm caused by religion necessary to moving us toward some of the good we now enjoy?
Perhaps the darkest of religion have been during the dark ages and the sort of fundamentalism we see today. But from the dark ages emerged the renaissance and Lutheranism. And from fundamentalism has emerged moderates.
On the good side, religion has given us moral teachings. It has been loud on humanitarian issues. It has contributed to our academic and legal institutions. It has been very charitable.
Therefore, overall, religion has done more harm than good.