What impact has religion had in history?

Posted by: UtherPenguin

*waits patiently for flamewar*

39 Total Votes

Mostly Negative

17 votes

Mostly Positive

11 votes

Somewhat Positive

5 votes


5 votes
1 comment

Somewhat Negative

1 vote
1 comment
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(Maximum 900 words)
triangle.128k says2015-08-20T18:11:38.9254377Z
Inb4 flame war
walle_ras says2015-08-20T18:27:41.8260101Z
I am saying positive because without religion we would not be here due to killing each other.
Discipulus_Didicit says2015-08-20T18:39:39.5398108Z
"I am saying positive because without religion we would not be here due to killing each other." Uh... Huh?
Donderpants says2015-08-20T18:42:27.8336896Z
@Walle_ras We still kill each other, there are plenty of religious wars. Right side, wrong logic. I say it's good because it was a major aspect of the cognitive revolution, one which put as at the top of the food chain 70,000 years ago. If not for that, we'd still be dodging predators.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T05:52:22.1059726Z
Hmm... It seems the people voting "Mostly Positive" love lying to themselves. Religion has been detrimental to the world since earliest of recorded human history. It caused and justified war, oppression of various groups of people, the enslavement of various groups of people, genocide etc... The negatives overwhelmingly outweigh the positives.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T05:56:57.1825359Z
"I am saying positive because without religion we would not be here due to killing each other." - Religion surely didn't stop slavery, the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the constant destruction and conquering of thousands of civilizations throughout history. If you really think religion is keeping humans from destroying one another you're wrong, because according to history it only makes it easier.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T05:57:26.2299221Z
@briantheliberal As much as militant anti-theists argue about the negative impacts of religion, how do you know that Religion wasn't just an excuse for some actions done? Sure, some people may do crazy things in the name of their religion. In other scenarios however, religion could have easily just been a way to excuse immoral behavior.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:00:00.7190619Z
The holocaust wasn't really a result of religion. Hitler just wanted to create a "master race" and establish his "perfect" world. I don't see how religion caused him to do this.
Wylted says2015-08-21T06:00:13.4473940Z
It's a mixed bag in my opinion.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:02:23.7862295Z
Triangle, Does that somehow make it better? Think about what you just asked me, repeat it to yourself. If religion is, can easily be, and/or has been used as justification for any atrocity committed in the world, then it plays a role in the destruction of human kind. If it excuses immoral behavior, it is also immoral.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:03:52.1535863Z
Because religion was important to people, it was used as an excuse. People could have easily found other ways to justify genocide and other things.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:04:09.4613069Z
Also Hitler expressed many times that his Christian views played a role in his hatred for Jews, and that God was in favor of white Germans being the "master race". I would suggest reading his book.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:05:03.3355437Z
I know that he's made references to God. But it's pretty obvious that his intention for his "master race" was political.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:06:07.0236605Z
But they still used religion, again it makes it easier.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:06:37.2254541Z
Doesn't matter if it was political, he still used religion as justification.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:07:36.1926156Z
Exactly what I meant, it's easy to justify immoral behavior with religious purposes. That doesn't mean no religion would have stopped people like Hitler. I don't think Stalin used religion to justify mass genocide against Ukranians.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:08:29.6106433Z
Mao didn't use religion to justify being responsible for deaths of millions of chinese people either.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:09:31.4456044Z
I agree there's negative impacts religion has caused, but others might find positives from religion. That's why I'd say the impact as a little neutral.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:11:22.4576825Z
"it's easy to justify immoral behavior with religious purposes" - Exactly and that is what makes it detrimental in history and to mankind today. Also bringing up Mao is a deflection, I never mentioned him.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:12:40.8793852Z
I say the negatives outweigh the positives, because history has shown that. I don't make excuses for thing that are clearly wrong with the wrong. However, I also don't deny that religion has been used for "good" things, just not as much as it is used for bad things.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T06:12:42.5925503Z
You could still justify it with other reasons, which was the point I made with communist genocides comitted by people like Mao or Stalin. People would have found other reasons for immoral behavior if they were less religious back then.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:13:10.5975757Z
Things that are clearly wrong with the world* - sorry I am exhausted.
briantheliberal says2015-08-21T06:16:27.7516395Z
But it's still technically a deflection. People finding other reasons to justify atrocious acts do not someone how justify people using religion to justify atrocious acts. That like saying, "Yeah rape is bad but it doesn't matter because people also murder, steal, and assault". It isn't relevant to the topic of discussion.
tajshar2k says2015-08-21T18:32:42.9728703Z
Religion is the root cause for nearly all military conflicts.
tajshar2k says2015-08-21T18:32:57.9801665Z
In the middle east*
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T18:34:02.7467086Z
@tajshar2k True, it's also the cause for the idiotic theocratic governments.
triangle.128k says2015-08-21T18:34:34.1485586Z
Though I'd say that the negative impact of religion comes from religious zealots or fundamentalists.
58539672 says2015-08-21T20:37:25.4516346Z
The whole "religion is the cause of most wars" thing is a bit of an incorrect statement. The Encyclopedia of Wars, published in 2008, recorded 1763 major wars in human history and only found 123, or about 7%, to be religious based. The reason religion is blamed for causing wars is because it is often used as a coverup for the real reasons after the fact. People call the Crusades a religious wars, but if you delve deeper into its causes and you find land, resources, dynastic influence, and power as the real causes of the conflicts. A correct statement would be that religion is implicated in many conflicts, but isn't the cause.
Donderpants says2015-08-22T13:32:20.2817194Z
@Briantheliberal- As the only person who commented from the mostly positive side, I thought I should just mention that my argument is actually scientifically backed up, and is about how we got to power before recorded history. I'm not lying to myself on this. I thought it worth mentioning, I imagine you assumed they all voted mostly positive because they thought religion in recorded history was good. That's probably false. It only helped us in getting to recorded history- pretty quickly after that it started being bad for us. Here's my reason- "Well before it, we were in the middle of the food chain. Afterwards we were at the top. Cognitive revolution. We wouldn't be here without it, so while it's done a lot of bad, unless you want humanity and yourself dead, religion has done quite a bit of good."
Huntress says2015-08-22T14:27:19.9170544Z
While I voted mostly positive I'm aware of the possible negatives, but religion hasn't started most wars. The morality it brings to the average believer has probably stopped a lot of violence and injustice in the past. Of course a minority of people have used religion to justify their actions in achieving power. Constantine is a great example. The idea that an objective higher power is on your side can look great on your resume.
harrydz says2015-10-23T23:44:27.6971250Z
Think of it like this. Without Christianity, what would have happened to people? Jesus preached loving your neighbors and respecting life and gave people the hope of eternal life, which gives people hope and security in a cruel world. Wars are often started due to the desire for money or land, not from any desire to live Jesus' teachings!
UtherPenguin says2015-10-23T23:46:37.8192273Z
@tajshar2k Not even close. Most of the conflicts were a result of borders drawn up after WW1, If religion were the "root cause" of violence, then that would make the Soviet invasiom of Afghanistan, the Syrian Civil War, the Iran-Iraq war and the Iraq war all rligiously motivated. Even though the slightest information of these conflicts would show that is definitely not the case.
harrydz says2015-10-23T23:48:26.8341237Z
Jesus told his disciple to put down his sword and not defend Christianity with violence. It's the love of money that is the root of evil. Wars are often started due to the desire for money or land, not as obedience to Jesus.

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