Is religion more harmful to a society than it is beneficial?

  • Goes against modern science

    Religious teachings go against modern science. It gives its followers a false view of homosexually or abortion. Society is changing and new medicine is found every day and people are day by day believing in more science based facts and not in their religious views. This makes people more accepting.

  • Religion hurts people

    First lets talk about children. You have to do A, B, and C, or you go to a place of torture for eternity. I think that can cause PTSD alone.

    Second, you don't really live your life because you are waiting for the better one. Sorry Charlie but this may be your only life so why are you making all these sacrifices for no reason (mormons won't drink alcohol, christians try not to have sex until married etc etc).

    Sex makes females feel dirty if they are religious.

    Religion makes people feel the need to apologize every single day for being human, insane!

    Maybe we wouldn't have so much misery and depression if people got off their butt and did things to actually help others instead of praying.

    Sudan cuts off females clits as a religious practice and many of them die as a result not to mention crippling them from ever being able to enjoy sex.

    Palestine says it is a holy war as they blow up a school bus of children.

    I think mankind has lost his mind and reason.

    Many religious people think they can rape kids and do whatever as long as they are baptised or believe in Jesus.

    99.8% of inmates in America are "religious" - that should tell you something right there!!!

  • It supports the selfish survivalist and doesn't have empathy. Lacks morals.

    From a moral perspective... Religion itself teaches us not to be truly moral. I've noticed truly moral people regardless of being religious or not will do good or the right thing just for the sake of doing it. Religion teaches the exact opposite... To do good and receive a reward or do bad and receive punishment. All in all, belief in what we don't know isn't the problem, it's making things up which we already know and continuing with the immoral teachings. Religion is no longer prevalent in today's society. There are better ways to become confident an assuage the anguish of death other than living in a false deceptive trance your entire life. Survival mechanisms are one thing, but self destructive & self fulfilling prophesies are another. Religion was needed at one point, but it's archaic and obsolete in a moral world.

  • Look around. Examine History.

    Try to name wars / conflicts which do not have religion as a root cause. There are a few, but the majority of conflicts in human history have for their genesis a difference in religious beliefs between the warring. This is exactly the same as one child hurting another because he perceives the action as one in which his invisible friend approves. Hitchens is right.

  • Encourages Ignorance and Discourages Knowledge

    When religious leaders are asked questions about the world, it is considered acceptable, within the world of religion, to answer "We can't know what God wants." Why is this acceptable? Religion tells people that if we don't know the answer to our questions, we have to be content in not knowing. We need to encourage people to find answers for themselves. We have a generation of people who have been raised to accept not knowing, and to just repeat what they are told. Religion discourages critical thinking, and encourages people to just believe what they are told. All the religious people I know are the most close-minded people I've ever met. If people want to find comfort in religion, that's fine, but to promote religious teachings as scientific fact, and to discourage all science as "fairy tales," is dangerous to the generations to come.

  • A moral guideline that we can do without?

    I´ve spoken with my religion teacher on a couple of occasions about religion in today´s society. He is a believing Christian and he stands up for his opinion, which I admire in a person. However, the fact that the only thing he could come up with that benefited his daily life, was his moral values... Oh you mean from the 10 commandments? Sure, fair enough. But if you´re an atheist and you look at the 10 commandments you remove the ones that involve faith, only 4 of them actually apply me, Don´t steal, kill, lie and/or cheat. And as an atheist I think we could agree that we don´t need "The Lord" to follow those simple rules. I think we could figure that out sooner or later.
    So, if these moral values are the ONE thing that benefits our society it just does´nt justify the amount of people who (ironically) have been killed in the name of religion, even WITH a god that is "Omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient" (the christian God at least). So the thing about religion in today´s society is the mass-delusion that children are exposed to since the day they are born and raised in a religious household. Horror stories about hell, fairy tales about heaven, sure a moral compass maybe, "if you´re good you get good and vice verse". But the fact that the completely submit to what is taught from a lot of non-God-people that does´nt really have anything to do with moral values, and also that the church collects money on the believers insecurity and delusional views that they have lived by since they lied in their crib. So it all goes in a dark spiral of delusion, faith and corrupt monopoly where the church is selling an invisible product that is salvation and false comfort.
    And that´s just the problems we have in our modern society... Think about science and REAL fact, none of you can find in the Bible because modern science did´nt arrive until the time of Galileo, have only been frowned upon by religion through history. As Galileo is considered to some to be the "founder of science", we can now look back and realize that sentencing him to death for discovering something that contradicted something in scriptures that were written 1.500 years before, the religious view that the earth is in the center of the universe. And Galileo said "No, it´s not"... *BAM* "YOU GON´ DIE!". The same can be said about the Black Death, where instead of working an a cure or preventing it to spread, the people relied on the help from God through priests to be cured. "Well, if I live God have cured me, otherwise it is His will" *BAM*, half of Europe died.
    And we let history repeat itself *cough* stem cells *cough*.
    Benefits from religion: Moral values that also atheists poses.
    Harms that religion cause: It is slowing down the evolution of humanity by rejecting science and the freedom of mankind.

  • Contention with ignorance and a waste of time

    People use religion as a scapegoat for things they can't explain; this makes them content with not knowing the answer. Were it not for this, we could have made so many more achievements as a species. Not only this, but people spend all tier time worrying about what's going to happen after they die rather than focusing on making the most of their lives.

  • Religion justifies every actions that are harmful

    This is not to say that religion itself teaches its followers to commit deeds that we deem harmful. However, religion allows any and everything that protects it and do not have a reality check. There is only a belief that those actions will ultimately be justified, with an invisible and unaccountable entity making that judgement.

  • I believe that it is

    Religion has hindered us for years from scientific achievements by telling us false truths for hundreds of years, for example, telling people that everything revolved around the Earth and that things can be created from nothing through God's magic touch. Not only that, it also creates religious racism and war such as the crusades.

  • Religion opposes freedom

    Religion is just as capable of encouraging discrimination and hateful behavior as it is to encourage compassion. Humanity has the perverse propensity to bond over ostracizing outsiders even to the point of violence, destruction, and murder. We have ideals for a free society, but there will always be religious leadership to influence and/or demonize choices people make. Most people are capable of making their own decisions. Submitting to religious leaders' decisions can produce great harm. The best authority on the course of an individual's life is that individual alone. Religious is very destructive and that force outweighs any positive contributions that religion can offer.

  • Not the religion itself.

    I see my Christian faith as a creed of acceptance, justice, and kindness, based on the teachings of Jesus. He died for our sins, so we don't need to face punishment. I don't see anything totally wrong with any faith, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, or atheism. Regardless of religion or lack of thereof, I automatically assume people are good, and what each believes is equally valid.

    That said, religion is bad when corrupt people use it to gain power and subsequently exploit those of lesser power. The Spanish Inquisition, 9/11, ISIS... I can't turn a blind eye to irrefutable proof of religion being used as propaganda for hateful purposes. What's especially problematic is doing my best to maintain my stance as someone who is homosexual, believes in God, evolution, and fully acknowledges the universe's scientific history when so many people, from all sides, tell me I'm wrong, betraying them, siding with the enemy, etc. I know some friends who are bisexual, and they've been hurt by the church in some way. I try my best to say how Christianity isn't like that, but when I turn to argue with more traditional Christians why homosexuality and bisexuality aren't wrong and they refuse to acknowledge why it isn't, I end up looking like a fool to both people.

    When my parents found out that I'm gay, they told me that God maybe wanted me to be this way. Maybe it was just a DNA glitch. Whatever the cause, they don't see me as any different, and as people who both came from Christian families, they made sure I knew that I'm perfect in God's eyes, not even despite being gay, but even because God made me this way.

    It's all too heart-wrenching when I see my faith, or any faith, used as a front for unspeakable acts. Yes, I'm aware that the Bible and the Koran (I'm sorry, I don't know hot to spell it) condone, and even encourage, murder in many sections, if not most of the books. So, seeing that killing people is inarguably wrong (urgent self-defense is the only exception, and the goal should be serious injury, not death,) I choose to ignore it. The bible and the Koran were written by powerful men, not Gods, in a time that was socially, scientifically, technologically, and in every other way, horribly backwards. I don't even think about the Old Testament because it's absolutely inapplicable to society today.
    I believe that extramarital sex isn't to be encouraged, and I have a slight issue with abortion, but I love many people who support both.

    So, while this may seem like a haphazard argument, which I apologize for, as I type this on an iPhone, sitting on a commode, I hope many will find this enlightening.

    I'm not someone who's nice to everyone, but I believe that God loves you, and he expects you to treat other people with JUSTICE, and KINDNESS.

  • A strong placebo

    I think if religion works with religion it will not be harmful as our society will grow but religion provides protection a placebo if you will. Buddhism is a very beneficial one. However it also depends how extreme they will take their faith. If people kill over their religion it is not worth it but that is a minority of the world

  • When you need help

    Imagine you hit rock bottem and need a hand up whos gonna be there. The church. Im not gonna bicker over all the mistakes people make in the name of religion but the moral values religion tries to teach is enough it shouldnt be written off. Why are most hospitals named after saints? Probly because when no one else gives a damb the church still does and it also want u to die with dignity not like a dog.

  • No, religion is a good thing in society.

    Religion is so much associated around families and neighborhoods. It gives people a central focus to their common lives. Without religion it would be as if all families and neighbors were on their own. Having a church to go to is quite a bonding experience. It is good for young children to have a place in the community where they belong, and where they are taught how to be upright people in their community, and where their parents can get a sense of solidarity and support.

  • Religion Is More Beneficial

    I believe that religion is more beneficial than harmful in society. It sets moral standards for millions of people. Religion also creates a community of individuals that share common goals and values. Religion has also been shown to have great effects on mental health as well. People being able to confide and communicate with church members is definitely a positive.

  • Garen is good

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  • Not fully harmful

    Religion has been harmful for scientific research and progress, but it has also bound people and given them reason to live. Reason has allowed people to maintain sanity, even if this sanity is in vain. In many cases, religion itself has also been a source for scientific knowledge and growth.

  • Anarchy and Helping the Human Race

    Without religon the common man would drop the morals they have and we would fall into anarchy. It is a lot more reasonable for people to think all that they do has an end and is not just something for them to do so they can get more things to keep them busy until they do more things again, pretty much religon helps people feel that life is not pointless and will help people overall aid the human race.

  • No it is not.

    Religion is beneficial under normal circumstances. People who are very religious tend to follow a certain set of morals that is outlined in their version of the bible allows them to act kinder, and think about others. I think it helps to encourage a warmer and more opening community when everyone can have their own religion.

  • Charities and the Counterarguments

    If the church wasn't there, You would over halve the amount of charities, Soup kitchens, And things along those same lines. The owner salvation army was motivated by their faith. While there were things like the Spanish Inquisition, That was centuries ago, And is frowned upon nowadays. With the exception of ISIS, Those things don't happen anymore. People like MLK, And Gandhi were motivated by their faith. Religious texts don't condone harmful acts, But it's the people interpreting them. As the times change, So do our interpretations of the words, So, As I said, Atrocities don't really happen like that anymore. Of the Seven wonders of the world, 5 of them were for religious reasons. Plus, It would be MORE scientific to believe that everything was created by something, Or that everything has a distinct cause, Rather than the big bang happened and all of this wonderful stuff was created by complete luck. Religions also provide a social glue, Countries such as the Holy Roman empire, Or the Papal States were held together almost exclusively by a common religion. Without religion, There would almost undoubtedly have been more war. Most wars were started for political reasons, Anyways. The crusades were in response to Ottoman attacks on North Africa, Asia Minor, North Africa, And Italy.

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