What has religion done for us?

Religion answered the questions that confused ancient people, but it has also been the leading cause of death in human history; let’s explore the good and bad things religion has done for us. Of course I am using a generalized view of all religions in human history, but all religions are very similar. Most of them have one or more deities; they have holy books, rules, regulations and answers. But unfortunately they often don’t spread peace and understanding – the main religions worshiped today tell you to kill and discriminate against those who disagree with you.

In history religions were quite useful to everybody, they answered many major questions, (although somewhat inaccurately) told people how to live and work, and they provided a nice and easy way for leaders to control their God-fearing population. Religion was considered true by the public and useful by the rulers. But religion has been the leading cause of war and death throughout human history. I think the main reason for this is because many holy books, for example the Bible, claim that they are right and everyone else is wrong. And when people disagree you have to either convert or kill them. This aggressive approach is what led to their wars. Very few religions say: “you can believe what you want, but I think this is true”. No, they say: “believe what I do or burn for eternity.” This approach allowed rulers to keep control over their population, using the fear of punishment and the assertion that they are right and no-one else is.

Religion might not be all-bad, it provided us with interesting stories, mythology and artwork, it might have even inspired Science. The search for knowledge led the Scientists to different conclusions however. But a lot of the good things religion does today (like charity events) can be done without religion. But a lot of the good (or at least ‘not evil’) things religion has done is completely hidden and destroyed when compared to the evils it has caused. Christianity alone has been the cause of several wars, from the Holy wars to the Spanish Inquisition. Many native tribes have been destroyed by the missionaries going in and messing things up. Because the Bible said to kill witches that was at least one of the major contributing factors to the witch hunts, and Hitler believed that he was doing the work of a divine creator.

Let’s not forget all of the major terrorist groups and attacks from other religions as well. We don’t even have to focus on the major things, but the smaller ones that happen every day. The times when people are shunned from families and relationships for having different beliefs. Overall some of the bad things religion in general has given us: delusion, oppression, false hope, ignorance and terrorism just to name a few.

Religion itself is bad, the very way the holy books were written caused atrocities, and these holy books have not been changed.The exact same things and orders are contained within their pages. But hopefully people have – or will – grow out of childish creation stories and orders to discriminate against those who are different. We can only hope.

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6 thoughts on “What has religion done for us?

  1. If you eradicated all religion what would be left? Wars. Greed. Hatred. Bigotry. Etc. Why? Because religion doesn’t “cause” anything. People are the cause of everything you described. People have an amazing capacity to choose. They choose what to believe, how to act, how to respond, etc. Take away religion and everything you described will remain. Take away people, and all atrocities and ugliness disappear. People, humans beings, are and always have been the problem. And people have been pointing their fingers at anything other themselves for the world’s problems since the beginning. Religion is just one of a myriad of things for the inflated ego to latch onto. And it’s the self-obsessed, me-first, pride-saturated ego that causes the disgusting things we see in this world. We humans are the problem. Nothing more. Nothing less. And pointing our fingers at religion or anything else only proves the point.

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    • People use religion to hide behind. It’s so easy to say “gay marriage is bad because the Bible said so”, but without the Bible there really isn’t a good reason for it. Humans are a problem by themselves, and the ancient people wrote the religious books to teach and command future generations, furthering this problem. If religion only taught tolerance then perhaps the world would be different. I’ve never seen religious faith move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to buildings. What other motive to terrorists have than the verse of the sword in the Koran? would they do such a thing if they thought that life was finite?

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  2. Just look at the people who have no religion, who they also find enough thing to discuss and fight about. Not religion causes problems but how people misuse things and try to find an excuse to get their own ideas in front and get more power themselves.

    mclasper hits the nail with the hammer: ” Humans are a problem by themselves”. Everything starts in the mind of man and he is the cause of the problem himself, not religion, which by the way is something created by man himself.

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    • Has anyone been killed in the name of Atheism? I don’t think so. Has anyone been killed in the name of religion? Yes, hundreds of millions throughout history. Even if religion itself is not responsible, humans use it to hide behind and use it to provide justification for their acts of murder and immorality.

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      • Perhaps they are not killed in the name of atheism but killed for other secular matters. Remember also that water for example was (has been) an din the future shall be one of the strongest reasons to fight.

        Atheism as such is not considered one means of thinking and is also not one way of belief. In atheism we get all sorts of believes. You think there have not yet been killings for atheism, but than you better look at the facts. There have been already in several countries demonstrations and marches whereby there were killings caused by atheists for their ideas against other thinking people (atheists and religious believers). You also seem to forget the mass killings by the communists for their atheist believes. What would you describe the killings by the Khmer Rouge and by the Soviet Stalinists and Leninists? Did they not kill in the name of atheism?

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