Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?

Thailand
May 17, 2008 1:24am CST
My own personal view of religion is that it is a disease, inflicting untold misery upon the human race. It is extremely contagious and very dangerous. I am hard-pressed to think of anything useful that it has done. The word religion today is used rather loosely. It has come to mean any belief as to morals or the nature of the universe. This is not what it is meant historically. Most churches or religions were founded by teacher with strongly held beliefs. Upon the founding of the church the first thing that has happened is that a group of men have reinterpreted and misinterpreted the teachings to serve their own ends. The two predominant religions in the West today, Islam and Christianity differ only in their interpretation of their original teachings. Christians tend to ignore the original teachings and much mischief is done by this. Muslims try to adhere rigidly to the original teachings and the result is additional mischief. Neither one benefit the society in which they are predominant. If you can think of any benefit provided by religion please let me know.
3 people like this
8 responses
@santuccie (3375)
• United States
17 May 08
This discussion is highly offensive, and violates myLot's terms of use. Even if you refuse to believe in a Higher Power in spite of everything you've learned, you are out of line to disrespect others' rights with such derogatory comments.
3 people like this
• United States
17 May 08
I applaud you santuccie. You too Maggiepie.....Thank you both for standing up for what you believe. It's your comments I'm responding to, not the discussion.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
17 May 08
Whats so offensive about it and how does it violate Mylots terms of use??
@santuccie (3375)
• United States
17 May 08
You're joking, right? Calling religion a "disease" that inflicts "untold misery" on humanity is not only inaccurate, but outright bashing on a very sensitive issue for many people. Polls usually reveal a much higher percentage of believers than non-believers, although not all believers are actively involved in organized religion. In any case, it goes without saying that there are many religious people here in myLot, and to slam something that means so much to them is an indirect form of "flaming" (indirect in that it is not directed at a singular individual). This is one of the DON'Ts in myLot's discussion guidelines: "Post to “flame” other users! Being mean to others is just not fun. Anything derogatory that is directed at a myLot user is strictly prohibited. Just be nice and have fun!" I must correct myself on one point: I said "ToS" rather than "discussion guidelines," but I knew what I meant. And please don't try making a case of "guidelines" vs. "rules." That's not a case at all. I'm more "spiritual" than "religious" myself, but if someone is particularly offended by these remarks, they can and should report it. Atheism in and of itself is one thing, but to go around, peddling atheism with attacks of wholesale condemnation on religion is a "disease" that inflicts "untold misery" in its own right. This is rude and socially unacceptable.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
17 May 08
Oh, let's see.... Libraries, hospitals, child welfare, an ethical structure, a set of beliefs that lift the human spirit, beautiful music & architecture--are you seriously blind to all that & the countless other boons faiths have brought us? Or do you have a mind which focuses ONLY on the misfires most religions eventually make? Hardly a balanced (or even defendable) view. Something tells me you were hurt personally at some point, & have shut off all the GOOD religion brings. You need to be a bit less close-minded, for your own sake. Maggiepie
3 people like this
@santuccie (3375)
• United States
17 May 08
I think he is angry with me, because he couldn't beat me in a debate.
1 person likes this
@santuccie (3375)
• United States
17 May 08
BTW, Maggiepie, I applaud the insight and maturity in your response, especially given the offensive nature of the original post. The OP says he is agnostic, but I think he is atheist because he is constantly starting discussions and responding to discussions about God, claiming an open mind and then dismissing every argument as "nonsense" and "pseudoscience." But since he is asking for examples of benefit from religion, if I were him, and indeed had an open mind (I rather doubt it), I would give you BR. Kudos!
2 people like this
@santuccie (3375)
• United States
17 May 08
ClarusVisum: What's your point? The question is: "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?" The answer is yes. Whether or not it has been religion exclusively that made these contributions is not the answer to the question that was asked. It looks as though you are so deeply antagonistic toward religion that you are compelled to run around myLot and take cheap shots at its proponents. Perhaps this anti-religion fanaticism of yours may bear some connection to the recent progressiveness you've been noticing with regard to your nail-biting habit.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
18 May 08
For me I'll not put the blame on religion but rather to people who tries to interpret it with bias and to people who follow it blindly. As far as I'm concerned religion teaches people to be good, it's the reading between the lines that causes much despair to humanity.
3 people like this
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
18 May 08
Although I'm the first to admit that religion has been used wrongly by some to oppress others, I believe for most of it's practitioners it provides a moral starting line, something we can grow from and improve as we grow and mature as people.
@dartman2 (124)
• Canada
17 May 08
Religion as I see it so far in my life is a personal concept. I have difficulty with organized religion as it seems so much a compromise for each soul. I believe that our "religion" should be constantly evolving within each of us as we grow in knowledge, experience, love and compassion. If we truly believe in the "good" of humankind, then each act of kindness will build a little bit of our individual "religion" into society. No organization nor reference material needs to guide us there, we just need to believe. However, where there are enough like-feeling individuals coming together to share the common parts of their religion, I see nothing wrong or harmful in this. With each year that passes, I see the world from a slightly different perspective, still true to my feelings, but usually with more emotion.
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
18 May 08
Some folks here have misunderstood my position toward you. I was not trying to condescend. My sincerest apologies for making it seem so to you. It's just that it makes me sad when people are bitter toward God & His work & his people, & find nothing good, only evil, to see. I truly do cry for atheists & agnostics, but I pray for them, too, as I want EVERYONE to feel the joy God intends us to feel! You see, I know what it is to believe -- sincerely! -- that God has abandoned one, or that the religion in which one was reared proves to be phony, & how that makes one feel! When I finally had my eyes opened to the true nature of God, all I COULD feel was joy, then! And the nature of joy is that it wants to be SHARED. So when I see a sad individual whose heart has somehow been injured by false teachings, what can I do? Please forgive my clumsy attempt to open your eyes. I only wish you the best. You see, we're all -- whether we know it or not -- on a spiritual journey. Some of us are further along than others, but that doesn't give anyone -- especially ME -- a right to look down on someone just because they haven't come as far. Others are FAR ahead of ME! There are as many ways to approach God as there are people, but, according to Christ, only one ROAD. Him. Therefore, I leave you with a traditional E.O. Christian farewell: God's blessings on you. Love in Christ, Maggiepie a sinner
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
17 May 08
Its not the story of one or two religions specifically. Sadly al religious teachings have been twisted and misinterpreted from time to time by people with their own vested interests. Either ofr power or for revenge or just to impress others we twist the facts - I guess its human nature. So why religion will be an exception in our hands.
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@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
17 May 08
I also think that religion is a disease and causes more trouble than its worth without a doubt...BUT..you said Christians tend to ignore the original teachings and much mischief is done by this. Muslims try to adhere rigidly to the original teachings and the result is additional mischief I honestly think that NEITHER have it right...I think that both are TOO arrogant and self righteous and thats a HUGE part of the problem...
1 person likes this