Does religion cause harm?

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faithinware
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Does religion cause harm?

#1

Post by faithinware » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:15 pm

I think religion does cause harm, it's history is swamped with harm, destruction, bombings, burnings etc...

But also, I think provides other functions as well. Would life be good if we were rid of Religion? I am not certain of that. I am certain that it would be better if no extreme religion existed, and corruption wasn't rampant in differing parts of the world.

On the other hand, religion balances out with Christian Calvinism. And religion provides some good emotional and psychological value to the public as a whole.

Consider the facts of our historical religious wars. And where did the term Holy War come from anyway? I mean if we Die, we move to the heavens, why would we want to take anyone along with us? Is it that we are bored, and have nothing better to do than to kill for the sake of our beliefs?


Now consider the psychological damage that some religions have on others. I mean if your willing to blow yourself up, you have to have Faith in virgins. Otherwise, why would we want to blow up?

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#2

Post by Judah » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:42 pm

I would suggest that one digs a little deeper than this generalization "religion" and consider that those things causing harm, and that underpins any ideology that has detrimental effects, are more likely to be greed, self interest, indifference, depravity, arrogance, ignorance, etc.

If one and all were to simply obey the two great commandments that Jesus gave us, and do so in accordance with the example He set for us, then there would be no need to consider such a question as the one posted here - ever.

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Re: Does religion cause harm?

#3

Post by FFC » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:43 pm

faithinware wrote:I think religion does cause harm, it's history is swamped with harm, destruction, bombings, burnings etc...

But also, I think provides other functions as well. Would life be good if we were rid of Religion? I am not certain of that. I am certain that it would be better if no extreme religion existed, and corruption wasn't rampant in differing parts of the world.

On the other hand, religion balances out with Christian Calvinism. And religion provides some good emotional and psychological value to the public as a whole.

Consider the facts of our historical religious wars. And where did the term Holy War come from anyway? I mean if we Die, we move to the heavens, why would we want to take anyone along with us? Is it that we are bored, and have nothing better to do than to kill for the sake of our beliefs?


Now consider the psychological damage that some religions have on others. I mean if your willing to blow yourself up, you have to have Faith in virgins. Otherwise, why would we want to blow up?
Anything can cause harm when it's corrupted and in the wrong hands. This is why as Christians we need to heed the words of Christ and model our lives after Him. Obviously, as you seem to like to point out, this hasn't always been the case throughout history, just as it hasn't always been the case in secularism. As long as we have idiots there will always be idiotic acts performed regardless of what we "believe".
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#4

Post by faithinware » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:08 pm

I agree completely. Secularism isn't the best answer to this.

I like to point out this kind of stuff, to remind us, that we are human.

Those that think they are following "the way", aren't necessarily doing that. And I feel that we need to take care in what decisions we make as Christians.

And I am point out frankly, it isn't just Christians that have done harmful things, currently it is the Muslims. And another thing, I don't think Dawkins would have written God delusion, if today's world was free from "general religious atrocities".

I vote for more education. That has always been what I favor. As I hope my friends do as well.

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#5

Post by faithinware » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:11 pm

Dr Phil, would say "If you don't own it, you can't get past it."

I fully recognize and own the harm our religion has caused in the past, and hope never to have cause to repeat those mistakes.

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#6

Post by godslanguage » Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:10 pm

Does a gun cause harm?

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#7

Post by godslanguage » Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:15 pm

Does a tooth pick cause harm?

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#8

Post by faithinware » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:37 am

Right, religion use badly can cause harm. Just as a toothpick used badly does.

Good message. So why is Faith in virgins used badly? If we can answer\solve that, maybe we will have a spitting chance in some success.

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Re: Does religion cause harm?

#9

Post by Turgonian » Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:57 am

faithinware wrote:I think religion does cause harm, it's history is swamped with harm, destruction, bombings, burnings etc...
...building beautiful cathedrals, mosques, churches, &c...
The bombings happened in atheist wars.
faithinware wrote:But also, I think provides other functions as well. Would life be good if we were rid of Religion? I am not certain of that. I am certain that it would be better if no extreme religion existed, and corruption wasn't rampant in differing parts of the world.
Getting rid of religion would be bad for many souls...
Religion doesn't only have a sociological function.
faithinware wrote:Consider the facts of our historical religious wars. And where did the term Holy War come from anyway? I mean if we Die, we move to the heavens, why would we want to take anyone along with us? Is it that we are bored, and have nothing better to do than to kill for the sake of our beliefs?
Bored? No. Threatened by others. By the way, the 'facts of our historical religious wars' is that 89.2% of all the wars in human history were fought over matters unrelated to religion.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#10

Post by Judah » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:04 am

On this particular subject, I happened to come across the following article that may be of interest:

"Religion causes Wars" by Tom Price.
...{clip}...Much of the conflict and war in the 20th century was the result of atheist ideologues. Religion gets the blame but history tells us quite a different story. The critic of religion needs to be able to offer an explanation for why the greatest butchers of the last 100 years turned to atheism and secularism for their justifications. Hitler leaned[1] on the work of atheist philosopher Frederick Nietzsche and Stalin leaned on Karl Marx for support.

The Secular or atheistic beliefs, such as those of Stalin or Mao Tse-tung, who handed out the biggest share of destruction and pain in the 20th century need to be challenged every bit as much as the religious outlook.

To avoid being too simplistic we must look to the essential teaching of what a religion is. We should look at its abuses, but we should also look at its core principles. Is taking up the sword in the name of Jesus to promote Christianity consistent with what Jesus affirmed? We could ask the same of Islam or Hinduism. Do the core beliefs of the religion actually advocate violent means as a way of dealing with others?

It is not religion that perpetrates violence, but people. And specifically a certain mindset that seeks to use an ideology or a religious justification to control people's thinking and restrain the most fundamental freedoms.

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#11

Post by Shambler » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:51 am

Religion can and does cause harm and it does not need 'corrupting' to do so.

War is not just limited to religious reasons of course, many atheists have gone to war as well but his does not lessen in any way the facts that many people have died in religious wars or that people have 'used' religion as a way of justifying war.

Whichever faith you believe in whether Christian, Jew or Muslim you will find that it teaches intolerance of other faiths.

If you take the teachings of any bible literally then you may be compelled to carry out murder in the name of that religion.

Of course many people read the bible and are religious moderates; they try to interpret their bibles stories in a symbolic way and do not take it literally but moderation paves the way for fundamentalism.

I have that 35% of Americans DO take the bible literally and it would not surprise me that in the Islamic world the percentage would be much, much higher.

We are coming up to a very important time in our history, one which will decide whether the human race continues or destroys itself.

These are the days when weapons exist that allow one person to kill millions at the flick of a switch and these weapons are becoming more and more available, North Korea springs to mind.

Tension between Pakistan and India is down to long running religious conflict http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6187326.stm

I don't want to be a pessimist but I can only see a bleak outlook for humanity unless somehow we can learn to be at peace with one another, to put people before religion and to make this planet somewhere to be proud of.

Surely any 'God' would be more appreciative of that rather than the hell on earth we are heading toward?

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#12

Post by Canuckster1127 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:46 am

You contradict yourself.

You state that religion is inherently violent and then you state the followers can "use" religion to justify violence thereby indicating there is a another purpose or motive at work.

There's no question religion can and has been used to justify violence.

So the questions begged would be:

1. Is violence an absolute in your belief that it is never justified and therefore if violence occurs within any religious context, religion as a whole must be judged as lacking? If this is the case, then upon what basis (which would have to be non-religious by your definition) would you base this appeal to such an absolute?

2. Are you justified in making such a universal appeal against all religion or would it be more reasonable to take them one by one and factor in these other elements when you do?

3. Can you point to a secular country or system that has demonstrated more restraint and has a better history and track record than those in which religion has been involved or appealed to?

It would seem to me you should be able to give specific answers to all of these if you premises are correct and the logic you build upon them sound.

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#13

Post by FFC » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:42 am

Religion may cause harm, but true Christianity does not.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#14

Post by Turgonian » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:55 am

Shambler wrote:Religion can and does cause harm and it does not need 'corrupting' to do so.
Unsubstantiated. Where in the Bible do you see that uncorrupted religion will cause Christians to go to an unjust war?
Shambler wrote:War is not just limited to religious reasons of course, many atheists have gone to war as well but his does not lessen in any way the facts that many people have died in religious wars or that people have 'used' religion as a way of justifying war.
89.2% of all the wars in history were fought on matters unrelated to religion.
Shambler wrote:Whichever faith you believe in whether Christian, Jew or Muslim you will find that it teaches intolerance of other faiths.
Wrong. It excludes other faith as ways to salvation. 'Tolerance' doesn't mean 'agreeing with someone / seeing his view as equally valid'. It means 'putting up with him'. The politically correct view of tolerance propagated nowadays is nothing more than thinly disguised indifference.
Shambler wrote:If you take the teachings of any bible literally then you may be compelled to carry out murder in the name of that religion.
Which teachings?
Shambler wrote:Of course many people read the bible and are religious moderates; they try to interpret their bibles stories in a symbolic way and do not take it literally but moderation paves the way for fundamentalism.
There are more than enough balanced, educated inerrantists. If you hang around on this board, you'll discover that soon enough. ;)
'Interpreting the Bible in a symbolic way' is unhistorical and intellectually dishonest. As C.S. Lewis put it: Jesus was Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Not merely a good man.
Shambler wrote:We are coming up to a very important time in our history, one which will decide whether the human race continues or destroys itself.
It won't destroy itself. Take heart. ;)
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#15

Post by sandy_mcd » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:36 pm

Turgonian wrote:89.2% of all the wars in history were fought on matters unrelated to religion.
OK, this is the second (?) time this fact has been posted. Where can I find sources and more information? How many wars were fought? What are the won-loss-tie records of various countries or entities? How many different groups fought in wars? How many wars had more than two participants and what is the maximum?

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