Is Religion a Net Positive or Negative?

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by Bevo Incognito, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Bevo Incognito

    Bevo Incognito 5,000+ Posts

    Has the impact of religion upon mankind been a net positive or a net negative in your opinion?

    On the one hand, given the carnage that has been committed in the names of various religions over the years (and the carnage that continues), it might seem like the impact of religion upon mankind has been negative.

    On the other hand, it's likely that what we know as liberal, Western civilization would not exist as we know it without, for example, the Catholic Church.

    And, of course, religion offers solace to the individual in times of need. There are no athiests in foxholes, as they say.

    So, religion: plus or minus?
  2. Nordberg

    Nordberg 1,000+ Posts

  3. pevodog

    pevodog 1,000+ Posts

    Depends.If it is used as a tool of politics , no. If religion is used for individual faith, yes.
  4. LonghornCougar

    LonghornCougar 1,000+ Posts

    Negative Infinity.
  5. general35

    general35 5,000+ Posts

    religion as it relates to an individuals faith is always a good thing. do unto others as they would do unto you is the mantra of all religions, not just christianity. you can make an argument of the sorrow religion caused for many but in a historical context, it does not compare to the deaths and murders that have occurred in godless societies where religion was forbidden. so the sword cuts both ways. religion teaches ethics and morality, something our public schools do not even bother teaching today.

    faith is a personal thing and for true students/theologians of a particular religion, you will find the best forms of humanity. ironically, the deaths as you say that were caused by religion were instituted by governments that warped those religions for their purpose of obtaining power, it was not the religion per se. the crusades are always brought up but in real numbers only a few thousand were killed. compare that to a nazi regime that tried to exterminate a religion and 6 million people. then compare that to the genocides that have occurred throughout the world. those were totalitarian regimes and if a peaceful religion had been present in those societies, the genocides would not have occurred.

    although atheists disagree, science and religion can co-exist. you spend enough time around death, like in a hospital, and you will see many unexplained happenings. these occurances as i will call them mainly go unreported and are not spoken about. now, whether it is God or another form of human consciousness is unknown, but a person that lacks some form is spirituality is lacking in a form of humanity imo.
  6. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts

  7. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

    I think you're going to get a lot of predictable responses to an impossible question. See above.
  8. general35

    general35 5,000+ Posts

    What genocides have occurred without the blessings of clergy?

    that statement is completely rediculous. what genocides have occured without the blessings of the ruling governmental power. the genocides in vietnam, laos, cambodia, various african genocides, stalin, nazi germany. those were performed by governments not clergy.
  9. general35

    general35 5,000+ Posts

    Absolute nonsense.

    you should probably get to know some teachers of faith before you blindly call these people bad. you really dont know what you are talking about. there have been other groups in history that blankly labeled groups of people. welcome to their club, you should be proud.
  10. Kerbouchard

    Kerbouchard 100+ Posts

    Net positive.

    The philosopher and historian Will Durant said, "There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion."

    Fanaticism of any stripe can lead to bad things. Whether that fanaticism be religious fanaticism or national fanaticism, etc.

    Religion is not going anywhere. Belief in God and religion are not the same thing. But they will always be here. To paraphrase something else from Durant, as long as we have disease, suffering and death, Church steeples will continue to rise.
  11. MaduroUTMB

    MaduroUTMB 2,500+ Posts

    You're asking people to evaluate religion in terms of material benefit, such that your question precludes any meaningful answer from a religious perspective.
  12. it's really tough to tell seeing as how religious people probably comprise 99% of the entire human population ever. (no link [​IMG] ).
    it's too hard then to try to imagine how humans would have behaved without it.
  13. LonghornCougar

    LonghornCougar 1,000+ Posts

  14. NickDanger

    NickDanger 2,500+ Posts

    Durant's quote would be more accurate if it read: ""There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining its existence with or without the aid of religion."
  15. fratboy_legend

    fratboy_legend 500+ Posts

    im no philosopher, but doesnt this question presuppose that the concept of an afterlife is ********? Im just saying, the calculus changes a bit if heaven is real and its awesome.
  16. CrazyFoo'

    CrazyFoo' 250+ Posts

    If it wasn’t religion, it would be some other ideological battle. East Timor, Vietnam, and Iraq all come to mind. Wasn’t the entire Cold War (the one that almost destroyed all life on earth) completely based on political ideology? We didn’t want the Soviet’s land, and I don’t think they wanted ours. It's odd to think about. I can't think of a good reason for the Cold War other than protect the rich folks from the threat of a lower class motivated to vote for communism in the USA.

    The cause of evil deeds is not religion. Religion is a tool used to manipulate, motivate, and pacify. The cause is greed, lust, arrogance, pride, and ambition.
  17. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  18. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  19. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

    I quote the philosopher K, "A Person is smart. People are dumb, panicky and dangerous animals".

    Which is to say, you put enough people together and something stupid and likely deadly is going to happen if you give it some time. This is true regardless of what those people are gathered around, religion or otherwise. A great amount of evil has been done in the name of the church, but if you think that evil could have been averted by removing the church you are fooling yourself.

    The question on the table is misleading, as it presumes causation from correlation. The better question would have been is society (the mass collection of people) been a net positive or negative.
  20. Bevo Incognito

    Bevo Incognito 5,000+ Posts

  21. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts


  22. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  23. Hornius Emeritus

    Hornius Emeritus 2,500+ Posts

  24. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

  25. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  26. Dionysus

    Dionysus Cocky + Relaxed Admin

  27. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

    In reply to:

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    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

  29. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

  30. groverat

    groverat 2,500+ Posts



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