No religion = no moral standard
No moral standard = social anarchy.
Just look at Stalin's Russia. Hitler's Germany. Mao's China. Pol Pot's Cambodia. I could go on and on. All of them hated God, and hated religion. All of them, millions upon millions of deaths.
Of course religion is a good thing. It has had a huge impact on history. It advances civilisations, and unites societies. To say that religion is a bad thing is to be ignorant of history.
In a materialistic and consumerist society that we have today, many answers to a wide variety of questions are provided by spirituality, which is simply the art of finding the true nature of oneself.
Intuition and spirituality were there with man-kind since the beginning of time, and have even helped scientific progress.Even modern phycologists agree that we use less than 10% of the full capacity of our minds.Why do we need to give up on this approach when we have no evidence compelling us to do otherwise?
Also to call religion itself a bad thing because of a few wars is wrong.It is like calling science itself wrong because it enabled us to build the Nuclear Bomb.
Yes religion in a way is good. Research shows if an atheist has cancer and a Religious has cancer, the odds for the religious survival is greater then the Atheist. Religion also banded people together against certain causes. Religion also explains what can never be explained. ( Key word... Never)
Religion over the course of history has shown that it is potentially very dangerous, but also has shown it can be very good. Like all things religion is subject to extremism which has given birth to many atrocities (Crusades, Inquisition, Jihad, Human Sacrifice etc.) If religion was alone in being subject to extremism and guilty of horrible crimes I would agree with those saying Religion is a bad thing. However, I see it no different than everything else that can and has been greatly misused (politics, science etc.) An evil person will do evil, with or without religion.
Religion does not have to be something that limits but unfortunately for many people it is. A big part of why I am a Christian is because I love following science and learning about other people's beliefs. I am a firm believer that everyone should decide for themselves what they believe from their own research and experience. In the end, that is something that will not lead you astray.
Although religion may have some flaws, religion is good. Religion allows people to have faith and believe that they have a reason to be alive. Religion gives you an extra encouragement in tough situations. Religion helps satisfy some of the curiosities that people tend to have about the world, it answers the questions that seem to have no other answers.
Certain people have used religion as an EXCUSE to justify their violence, which actually had underlying political/economic/social motives. If religion didn't exist, just as much conflict would still be happening; people would just be using different reasons to justify their violence.
Take the example of Islamic Extremism. Terrorists aren't attacking USA because they truly feel a responsibility to convert or kill all non-Muslims in the world; they attack because they fear the Westernization of the Middle East. I bet they wouldn't be committing such acts if Western countries hadn't started encroaching on Middle Eastern culture.
Religion itself preaches love and peace, so people who think their violence is supporting their religion are actually directly going against it.
And by the way, most of the world's bloodiest wars and atrocities were fought for purely secular reasons (e.G. WWI, WW2, Cold War)
All the concept of ethics, morals, integrity, values etc good things came from religion or religious books ,it is possible to live without a basic math or science formula but not without the above given concepts, so to say that religion is a bad thing is really absurd to say.
There is no where to turn to when looking for complete peace and harmony in your life, except religion. In religion, you learn how to love your enemies and hate wickedness within them. This could also be translated to respect. Not to mention, religion is a guide to how to live in a productive way, rather than destructive.
If you haven't ever noticed. Atheist teach you to hate those who are religious. Not just hate them, mock them, make fun of them, and give them a hard time wherever they go just because of their beliefs.
Atheist teach those who are religious hate women and are sexist, racist, hypocritical bigots, to say the least.
Don't take this from me, just go look up the itgetsbetterproject.Org,. See what these people are trying to preach around the world. It's like any chance these people get, it's an all out effort to mischaracterize those of religious backgrounds. Especially those who are Christians.
Sadly enough, these people don't care how much harm is done to those people who are religious. They don't care even if they were publicly executed for everyone to see. They try to claim the exact opposite, but they always seem to contradict themselves. They may even tell you we are too "civilized" for that, then turn around and make some nasty comment to the extent of "there is no purpose for degenerates like you on this earth.
One of the biggest lies ever stated about religion, especially Christianity, is that it has generated so many wars. Though, this is complete nonsense.
One of the most talked about is the catholics ( roman crusades) which slaughtered thousands upon thousands of innocent Christians. Though atheist attempt to turn this around and say "Christianity has killed many people" which isn't even close to true. Those people that were killed weren't even atheist. On the contrary, you could say the roman crusades were protecting pagan atheist and killing innocent Christians.
As many in Ancient Rome were atheist too! Though it is no surprise to me atheist don't know these things. In fact, it's no surprise they'll go make something up in history and try to claim it as fact.
In my opinion, this opinion poll is worthless being there are more atheist out there than religious people. You may say this ain't true, but just because someone says "they believe in G-d" doesn't make them religious. As a matter in fact, majority of people in the U.S. Aren't practicing religious people, but more so agnostics, and don't even know it.
Of course this question assumes that we all agree upon what "good" is, something I highly doubt. Religion is good, if you think a, b, and c are also good - and bad if you think x, y, and z are also bad. Its status is conditional in a way few other things are.
I think religion is good from a personal and sociological standpoint. We'll start with society: religion is a common instructor of morality. Even if it is not logically necessary to base religion in morality, it remains true that most people receive moral instruction needed for civilized life from religion. Heck, even if you're going to argue that humanity has "outgrown" religion, it still wouldn't hurt to acknowledge the debt for services rendered to early humanity, bringing us out of barbarism and into civilization. I don't hold that view myself, but if I were a convinced atheist that would be my position. Religion would still rate as "good" even if I held no belief in God at all.
From a political standpoint, I welcome any institution that divides men's loyalties between it and the government. The power of the Papacy to excommunicate kings was one of the first radical checks on political authority. This is why totalitarian philosophers such as Hobbes and Rousseau hated the Church - it dared to say that men had to answer to God before it answered to the political commands of the sovereign. So religion can be a force for freedom and check the power of the state in many circumstances.
From a personal standpoint, religion helps us to discover meaning and order in a universe that seems rather impersonal and chaotic. Some religions are better at this than others, granted. But it is possible to have a religion that both a) provides a meaningful account of existence and b) does not contradict what we know to be true about existence.
Of course religion can be poorly practiced. But on the whole, I'd say the pros outweigh the cons.
Everyone going against is saying that religion is bad because of the crimes committed in its name. However, this only proves that the devotees will go to extreme lengths to prove that they're right. This need not be because of the religion itself! What about the crimes that have nothing to do with religion? People do bad things all the time. In fact, religion instills moral values.
Really, too many arguments to make here... So let's start with the obvious, religion has been the sole ground on which the worst atrocities have occurred. Religion is a catalyst for horrible people to accomplish terrible, immoral goals, and seem justified to their own 'in group' for having done them.
Also, all but one deity have been accepted as being mythology, only the Abrahamic deity remains, and in the face of all we now know about the actual workings of the natural world... It's a matter of time until we are finally, truthfully, and rightfully godless.
With religion you have rules to determine what you do, and what things are good and bad. Unlike a set of rules from the government that are there for your own good and keeping things in order, they are there to control you. They are there to scare you. They make believe things that are meant to change your way of thinking opposed to a person who isn't brainwashed by all these beliefs. They make you think that some people are bad people because of certain things that do not define a person, but what they are. Homosexuality for example is put down by christians because they believe that it is a sin, when in reality they are equals to everyone else. Religion brainwashes and chains you up to the point where you are a slave to the religion. You are afraid of what might happen if you don't believe.
Saying religion is good is a deepity. That means, to the extend that it is true, it is irrelevant. And to the extend where it would actually matter, it is false.
Why is this so? Because the good things that come with religion (a nice community, people getting together, helping each other, charity organisations, morals, etc.) can all be achieved by secular means and institutions or are part of human nature anyway.
And the things religion supposedly offers, that can not be achieved by non-religious ways (like an happy afterlife) are simply false, or at least, unprovable and different religions have different views about it.
Besides that, religion has many negative consequences. It usually forbids critical thinking, which is essential to scientific and cultural development. It often promotes bigotry and hatred and violence (non-believers are evil, women are inferior to men) and can lead people to do terrible and inhumane things in the name of their God/ religion. Like the Church saying people shouldn't use condoms, which leads to diseases and unwanted children, especially with the AIDS problem in Africa; punishing people to death because they have the "wrong" belief or burning them because you believe they worship the devil.
Aside from that, all other religions have proven to have had a negative effect on the world. I will name a few, in order of significance.
Salem Witch Trials - Islamic Radicalism - Heretic Torture - Crusades - The Holocaust - The Dark Ages
Now, if there is anything that has done more harm than all of those combined, please inform me.
Religion has caused untold ignorance, murder, torture, fear, poverty, unhappiness, wars, and has kept the world 10,000 years behind the times. It still does, while the millions support the priestly loafers in comfort and ease. For ages the independent thinkers have been murdered, ostracized, tortured, and suppressed and their writings destroyed.
Religion does not nothing but harm. The world would be much more peaceful without it.
Let's look back on our history. Reconquista, The Crusades, Thirty Years War, French Wars of Religion, Second Sudanese Civil War, and the Lebanese Civil War.
Wars were incited because of religion. There were fought because there was a guaranteed spot in heaven.
I don't think you need religion to have morals. I believe that every person is purely good at heart, with and without religion.
Religion seems to me to be a great way to understand yourself and other people better, not to mention helping you learn and having something go keep you going in times of trouble.
But religion also gets extremely bad press, and is branded a source of evil, an excuse, a lie, a way out, and oher nasty things.
So what I really want to know is, for the average person, is a religion a benificial thing to have in your life or not?
Religion may help us be a morally upright person, it may help us become a better person, but for most of us, it's something mandatory which is passed upon the family, whether we like it or not. We are forced to believe in one thing, without question. For some religions, we have to follow certain rules laid out, otherwise it would be committing a sin. We must believe in something that hasn't been proven, and in some places, whether it be within school or within the family, can lead to incidents. Religion may teach us to be good, because we feel compelled to such a thing, but isn't the same sense of logic taught in elementary schools? Take "Be Nice" as an example. We are brought up in a society where stealing is wrong, killing is bad, so why have a religion force that into our head, along with other things? Why be threatened into obeying such a thing?
Religion, at it's core, requires you to accept things without evidence. Evidence, however, is the way can learn things about the world. Progress and truth are rooted in studying the way the world operates - asking questions and searching for answers. Religion does not allow that, as it cannot stand in the test of proving actual evidence to it's stance on things. Unable to provide the necessary proof to it's claims, religion resorts to opposing the scientific method of searching for truth - and when truth loses it's value, humanity suffers.
While it is true that religion has resulted in some truly wonderful things, it does not mean that religion is a good thing. Religion gives us things that we could give ourselfs from other sources. Religion is a force of stagnation within society. It prevents people from finding new answers to old questions and more often than not keeps people shackled to old prejudices.
It divides people and gives them an enclave of ignorance to implant themselves. And dont get me started on the atrocities committed in the name of their Gods. I see a lot of people who like to blame all the communist countries purging of religious institutions but that is not a symtom of atheism its a symtom of being a power hungry dictator who were ruthlessly removing demographics to solidify their power.
In conclusion, religion creates artificial barriers between people, gives people false hope and direction, removes blame from large groups with a commom agenda that exploits other people and prevents progress.