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Do you believe...

Black Dog

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Religion is the source of most of the worlds ills?

Do you think if it were to disappear tomorrow, the world would be that much better?


Religion or better yet in the name of a god or gods, has done many evil things in the world since the beginning. It has also done many good things. It also gives those who have nothing faith and hope for a better future.

The problem as I see it is even it it did disappear, we would find something else to fight and argue about. Race, ethics and land to name a few. It is decidedly human to form groups or tribes, and this is where the trouble starts.

So I feel it would make no difference at all except most hope would disappear, and life for many would become meaningless.
 
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Jetboogieman

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Religion is the source of most of the worlds ills?

I'll answer the rest of your post later Black. I have to go out now.

In short no.

We'd find something else to fight about if not religion.

Have you seen the Empire vs. Federation thread :2razz:

(In short, no) :)
 

Psychoclown

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People who claim the world would be better off without religion are usually either very naive when it comes to human nature or have an axe to grind with religion (or sometimes both). Yes, terrible things have been done in the name of religion throughout history and even to this day. That's because people have a tendancy to want to lump people into groups. Us v them. Religion is just one factor used to define people into opposing groups. Race, ethnicity, tribalism, and political affiliation can all be used to do the same thing. People will always find differences with other people and use those differences as an excuse for horrible acts. Sadly, it just seems to be part of our nature.
 

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Religion has done both good things, and bad things to the world. And if religion didn't exist, I don't think the world would be better or worse, because the people who use religion for good, would have found another reason to do good, and people who use religion for evil, would have found another reason to do evil.
 

Black Dog

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Very thoughtful and excellent responses.

I agree with all of you up to this point.
 

Zyphlin

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Like many large groupings I think religion is one of those things where, on an individual level, probably has done more good than ill but on an organizational level it may be a bit more hazy.

That said, I don't think religion being vanquished from existance would necessarily make the world a better place. I think most religions, at their core, are things that promote good virtues and good things. I think its only when you have people that manipulate it to do ills that you start getting problems, and those type of people would most likely just latch onto something else to go about it.

Really, the best take on this...like so much for politics...in a unserious and base means of discussion is simple....South Park.

Allied Athiest Alliance go!
 

Black Dog

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Like many large groupings I think religion is one of those things where, on an individual level, probably has done more good than ill but on an organizational level it may be a bit more hazy.

I don't even think it's hazy. On an organized level it is or has shown time and again to be an absolute failure. Hence I am non-denominational.

That said, I don't think religion being vanquished from existance would necessarily make the world a better place. I think most religions, at their core, are things that promote good virtues and good things. I think its only when you have people that manipulate it to do ills that you start getting problems, and those type of people would most likely just latch onto something else to go about it.

What I don't understand is why highly intelligent people like Dawkins etc. think it would. I don't think I will ever understand it.

Really, the best take on this...like so much for politics...in a unserious and base means of discussion is simple....South Park.

Allied Athiest Alliance go!

+1 For South Park Reference!

Unified Atheist League go!
 

digsbe

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I don't believe all religions are equal in their teachings, and thus some of them are contributing to the world's ills. I believe the core issue though lies in humanity's innate evil nature and acting upon that nature to produce atrocities. I think if religion disappeared tomorrow the world would be in a far more evil state.
 

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I don't even think it's hazy. On an organized level it is or has shown time and again to be an absolute failure. Hence I am non-denominational.

I'm right there with you on this one. I am also non-denominational.

What I don't understand is why highly intelligent people like Dawkins etc. think it would. I don't think I will ever understand it.

He has a bone to pick with religion, and only sees the bad, and makes too much money off of those views to even consider changing them.

+1 For South Park Reference!

Unified Atheist League go!

Yes, anyone who makes a South Park reference is okay in my book!
 

Psychoclown

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What I don't understand is why highly intelligent people like Dawkins etc. think it would. I don't think I will ever understand it.

Dawkins is really no different than the most obnoxious athiest posters we have here at DP (or really any partisan extremist who demonizes all opposition), except he's more articulate and intelligent. Basically, I think its clear he has an axe to grind with religion and it blinds him.

Unified Atheist League go!

Infidel! Only the United Atheist Alliance has the answer to the great question!
 

Redress

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As an atheist, I think it is amusing that I probably have the most positive view of organized religion of you all. Historically, organized religion has done some pretty terrible things, but today, in the modern world, I think that it is mostly a positive force. While there are some horrid things still done in the name of religion, I think it is more than balanced out by the good done in the name of religion. While some of that good would still be done, I think that churches bring a built in organization to help.

Best example: The catholic church in my hometown, at basically no cost, organizes rides for the elderly and handicapped who cannot drive, collects and distributes meals for homebound people, ensure elderly people living alone get visits 2 or 3 times a week, and many more things. All are small things, but added together, that is a whole lot of god done by just one church in one small town that would not necessarily be done if not for the church.
 

tacomancer

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Religion is the source of most of the worlds ills?

No, I think some of the lesser human traits that people use religion as an excuse for is the source of most of our ills.

Do you think if it were to disappear tomorrow, the world would be that much better?

Any harm that is done in the name of religion can just as easily be justified in the name of any ideology.

Until people improve, we will always have the problem of evil.
 

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I'm in the Redress camp of atheism. I generally have a positive outlook for what religion provides in a communal and social sense. Whether or not the most ardent atheist who hates religion believes it, religion has shaped the morals of this country and the world and its impact can never be forgotten or downplayed. I actually think the world is a worse place without religion, in that religion is a vehicle for spiritual exploration. While I don't believe in a god, I believe that exploring ones spirituality is an important aspect of their being. Religion can be a vehicle for that exploration.

In the end, the good things religion has done, and the bad things religion has done is actually the product of actions of man, not religion. Religion is just a tool or vehicle through which we achieve our goals.
 

Goshin

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Like many large groupings I think religion is one of those things where, on an individual level, probably has done more good than ill but on an organizational level it may be a bit more hazy.

That said, I don't think religion being vanquished from existance would necessarily make the world a better place. I think most religions, at their core, are things that promote good virtues and good things. I think its only when you have people that manipulate it to do ills that you start getting problems, and those type of people would most likely just latch onto something else to go about it.

...


Very good points, I largely agree.

Most people as individuals, dealing with other people as individuals, are fairly decent. It in when we "mob up" that we tend to get out of hand... and we do have that human tendency to form groups, clans, tribes, ethnicities, nations and so forth, and declare "us versus them".

On the whole though, religion has done more good than harm. While a person can certainly have ethics and morals in the absence of religion, it is also true that most ethics and morals had their origins in religious thinking; were chiefly spread by religion; and that most religions' have as one of their chief messages "be good to other people".

That message gets muddled when opportunistic leaders use it as an excuse to villify some other other group... but as individuals were are more prone to heed it in relations to other individuals.
 
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