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View Poll Results: Is Religion a good thing?
Yes it is a good thing 10 31.25%
No it is a bad thing 15 46.88%
Other, please explain 7 21.88%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Is religion a good or bad thing?

Is religion a good or bad thing? It seems to me lots of conflict is caused by it.

Please explain below..
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Organised religion is a huge factor in human conflict, always has been. Whether this makes it a bad thing or good thing is another matter. Many organised religions have peace at the centre of their philosophy, but the conflicts often stem from those who wish to fight wars (over land and resources and so on) who appropriate a supposed religious philosophy, often in extremis, and use it as a basis to attack other groups. Thus we see conflicts and terrorism in the name of a certain religion, which is usually a fundamental strand of that religion, ie fought by those who take certain teachings of their religion too literally.
Of course from early times, way before organised religion started, groups of people have tried to explain the world around them with reference to a higher being, this is the way that early man made sense of nature. Imagine how frightening a thunderstorm would have been to a primitive society, before anyone knew the explanation. It is still imo this process of trying to make sense of the world that brings people together into religious groups. How they go from this simple method of attempting to make sense of society to bombing each other, well if we could figure this out then we could stop it perhaps. Maybe humans would always find something to fight about, religion is just a convenient banner perhaps.
Of course Karl Marx called religion ‘the opiate of the masses’, meaning that the population are kept in check by religion, in it’s simplest form Marx thought that we would never overthrow the state as long as we have a religion to cling to, to keep us happy and in our place. Of course we could argue now that for many of us, at least in the West, organised religion has been replaced in this statement by football, celebrity, tv, cars, whatever.
I could go on, this is the sort of thing theses are written on.
Personally I am an Atheist but organised religion fascinates me, and I respect others rights to belong to a religious group. Whether I think that is a good or bad thing, well that would be giving too much away..
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by norbert
Of course Karl Marx called religion ‘the opiate of the masses’, meaning that the population are kept in check by religion, in it’s simplest form Marx thought that we would never overthrow the state as long as we have a religion to cling to, to keep us happy and in our place.
I think you are right in saying religion keeps the people in place, but Marx was against religion, and I do not agree in the point you made about the State being safe from being overthrown. At least not any state. You could argue that the Protestant church with its stringent Work ethics collaborates with the capitalist State or rule.

But certainly the primary aim of Islam is to overthrow the governing rule and constiute a Caliphate. This is the very reason we have Islamic terrorists.
 
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Religion in itself must be a good thing.

It's when it's hi-jacked by the nutters to justify their own actions driven by greed, corruption and lust for power that the problems start. Here religion becomes the instrument used to rouse the rabble as it IS so important to so many people.

It's not religion that kills people, it's people.

Take away religion and they'll invent some other reason. There's plenty of corrupt, despotic and nepotistic regimes in Africa and South America to prove that you don't need to have religion as the excuse to throw out the old ruler and take over with your own "vision".

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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Other It's MUCH worse than bad!

The most evil, contolling, mind-virus to
ever hit this planet.

If you're never exposed to it, you wouldn't
say, "Wow, I need to believe in some 'other power'
to make my life complete."
So therefore it is a man-made construct used
to contol the docile masses.

e.g. Christianity. Just look at all the "Gospels"
that got editted out of the bible because they
weren't telling the story that Rome wanted.

If it's the "word of god" why did it need humans to
edit and proof read it!?!?

Grrrrr.




 
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter K
I think you are right in saying religion keeps the people in place, but Marx was against religion, and I do not agree in the point you made about the State being safe from being overthrown. At least not any state. You could argue that the Protestant church with its stringent Work ethics collaborates with the capitalist State or rule.
I think I mis-represented myself, it's a bit early in the morning! I know Marx was anti-religion, he believed that people would never throw off their chains as lonf as they were kept in check by religion.
Interesting point re Protestantism, this is a classic example of what Marx was saying.
Another interesting point relating to Northern Ireland, the Protestant/Unionist terrorists there ware fighting against the Catholic/Republicans and were siding with the ruling elite, it is rare, almost unknown that a terrorist organisation fights on behalf of the status quo like that.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev

If you're never exposed to it, you wouldn't
say, "Wow, I need to believe in some 'other power'
to make my life complete."
Hmm but anthropological and sociological studies of primitive societies have shown that things like 'Totemism' ie. the worship and representation of a higher being by use of a physical structure started way before organised religion. I think it was Emile Durkheim? Any Sociologists out there remember that from their A level?
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev
Other It's MUCH worse than bad!

The most evil, contolling, mind-virus to
ever hit this planet.

If you're never exposed to it, you wouldn't
say, "Wow, I need to believe in some 'other power'
to make my life complete."
So therefore it is a man-made construct used
to contol the docile masses.

e.g. Christianity. Just look at all the "Gospels"
that got editted out of the bible because they
weren't telling the story that Rome wanted.

If it's the "word of god" why did it need humans to
edit and proof read it!?!?

Grrrrr.





Well that is the reason Muslims are not allowed to change the Word of "God" in the Koran.

Yes Slavery , Discrimination and Retribution against others is the true, immutable word of "God"
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

I voted other...i dont believe in any religion but i am very happy for anyone that does

 
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by norbert
Hmm but anthropological and sociological studies of primitive societies have shown that things like 'Totemism' ie. the worship and representation of a higher being by use of a physical structure started way before organised religion. I think it was Emile Durkheim? Any Sociologists out there remember that from their A level?

We used to think the world was flat too.

You can track the evolution of religion, from primative
(sun, fire) through Zoarastrianism, Judaism,
Christianity (Manacheism, Catharism, Catholicism,
Protestantism etc. ) Islam.......

There are common elements which have evolved as one
meets/collides with the others, subsumed feast days,
the idea of dualism (goood vs evil) etc.

It's all very interesting as a historical investigation, but
nothing else. Like I said before, if they don't get their
evil hook into you (mostly at an early age) your not
very likely to go looking for it. (Indoctorination of
children is child abuse IMHO. )

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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Both.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev
So therefore it is a man-made construct used
to contol the docile masses.
agreed.
Being of strong mind, i dont feel i need to believe in something to feel complete.

I do think, without religion, the world may well be a safer place, in some aspects, although, for those who need to believe, it gives some an ideal to live to, thinking of others, not robbing their houses, etc, where as some of these docile masses might well have turned to a life of crime, as they just may not care about anything, they can care about god (etc) and have a reason to stay clean.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

As I've mentioned on a different thread, I think religion is just used as an excuse. If people weren't fighting over that they'd be fighting over something else...such as politics etc.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by symonh2000
Is religion a good or bad thing? It seems to me lots of conflict is caused by it.

Please explain below..

It can be looked at as good and bad TBH. I'm not copping out, but as a non-religious person per say, I can see both sides without being biased (I hope!)

It's correct that religion is often used as an 'excuse' to start wars which ultimately end in death, famine and the breakdown of a 'civil society'. (depending on your definition of a civil society in the first place!)

I think wars have been started in equal measure because of religion and greed. Two sources of potential conflict.

The otherside of the coin is that religion can bring hope, faith and another view of life to those that seek some religious/historical answers to their lives and those of others around them.

It's the fanatical extremists (on all sides!) in the US, Middle East and closer to home that scare the hell out of me....

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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Other as it depends on the context.

Religion per se is not necessarily a bad thing. Extremists and zealots usually are.

The blind following of books written by men of whatever creed is dangerous.

However, the basic structure of respect for others and basic behavioural codes has its place in a complicated society and religious laws generally came about before formalised laws and regulations were drwan up by cultures to determine what was legally acceptable/unacceptable behaviour within that society. This should be viewed differently to the previously stated controlling of the masses (in the negative sense it was apparently meant) except when it extends to the extremists and zealots who want to force a warped view on everyone else.

Not forgetting Alfa20v's excellent point that for the majority it offers a wholly positive outlook of hope, faith and belief in what is "good".


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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

would society..or man have progressed without it.

I personally think not....(would be interesting to see how the world would of ended up though).

The basic structure of religion, although in my opinnion not necessary is sound.

however the belief in an after life, is for me where it breaks down, and causes present day chaos.

I was told by a group of people this....

Heaven and Hell are actually on earth.
How you choose to live your life is determines where you will end up.

If you accept that when you die that is it, you would choose to live your life more fully, and live it to the most, and cherish every part of your life and all that is around you....and appreciate that you were born into heaven.

If you do not accept that when you die that is it, you will believe you can not really die, and choose to live your life less fully, and not appreciate that you are in heaven, you will believe there is a better place than this...and you will attempt to enter what you can not, and live in hell attempting to.


Would ther be suicide bombers if they knew for sure that they were to die, and that was it?

Its easy to carry out such acts if you believe that you will go to the afterlife, and worse still a hero...

But ultmately as humans we have to choose our own fate and destiny with or without religion...but we should all be aware we are only here for one point and one point only......I know what it is as do others....



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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Wow what a question! Don't think I could possilby answer properly in one post, so I'll be brief.

Overall yes, a good thing. There is no doubt that within every religion, individuals use it for thier own gain, or to harm others. However what a lot of people forget is that it can be used for good as well. I've met good people of many faiths (and none for that matter), who've used the teachings of their faith to do good and help others. Yes it has, and is, used as a motive for war, but oftn if you look beyond it is more to do with a dynasty, territory or politics than religion
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

I replied yes, because (faith aside) I think it's a good think not to believe our own ego is the centre of the universe, but that we are part of something within which we have to act morally and have accountability and responsibilities. All religions have some basic ground rules that promote good and social behaviour (while human nature is inherently dog-eat-dog).

All the latest fuss about religion... I think it's bul... religions are being instrumentalised to cover 'stuff' all aimed at.... Energy (OIL and GAS). If oil were not in the Middle East, trust me there would not be any conflicts of religion... and history repeats... even in the good crusades (in the name of God and bul...) religion was used to mask plain and simple expansionism... if it weren't religion, they'd find another dumb excuse...

my 2p opinion...

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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

No i believe it is a bad thing. I think it is naive for people to think there is a being taking care of us and that we must worship him for this reason.
And it goes to show that there are so many different types that how could anyone be correct?
I think this thread has focused too much on the differences that religion causes which is what causes wars and the like. I have no problem with people believing what they like but they should leave it at that. I absolutely hate sitting in the mall or whatever and having some guy/girl come up to me an say "Have u ever let God into your life" or something like that, one day i am gonna snap.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Romeo
I replied yes, because (faith aside) I think it's a good think not to believe our own ego is the centre of the universe, but that we are part of something within which we have to act morally and have accountability and responsibilities. All religions have some basic ground rules that promote good and social behaviour (while human nature is inherently dog-eat-dog).

All the latest fuss about religion... I think it's bul... religions are being instrumentalised to cover 'stuff' all aimed at.... Energy (OIL and GAS). If oil were not in the Middle East, trust me there would not be any conflicts of religion... and history repeats... even in the good crusades (in the name of God and bul...) religion was used to mask plain and simple expansionism... if it weren't religion, they'd find another dumb excuse...

my 2p opinion...
And again A_Romeo, you take the words out of my mouth. Nothing more to add.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman
I absolutely hate sitting in the mall or whatever and having some guy/girl come up to me an say "Have u ever let God into your life" or something like that, one day i am gonna snap.
Frogman, I once met two nice girls on the beach of Salou (I know, sorry, but I was 21 back then ) when they asked me "Have you ever let God into your life?"
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Uhoh...religion on an open forum...it'll end in tears

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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrinx
Uhoh...religion on an open forum...it'll end in tears

wrinx
WHAT DID YOU SAY!?!?!?!?!

Wrinx, it's always a rather "interesting" subject to talk about
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrinx
Uhoh...religion on an open forum...it'll end in tears

wrinx
he he he...
religion's easy... 'the other one' is a little trickier
Thanks Mel. You also posted v. wise words in 'the other one'.
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Re: Is religion a good or bad thing?

Bad, but you'll all burn in Hell anyway, so it doesn't really matter !
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