Religion Does More Harm Than Good

Bear with me here. I just want to ask the question: Would our brains and intelligence evolve all the more once religion is eliminated from the world? I have noticed that most religious people are hindered from accessing their critical thinking skills. You see, when everything is all laid out for you in a book, reiterated to you over the year from your pastor and sunday school teachers, then you no longer feel the need to consider a lot of things, as important as they are.

John Lennon put it pretty well in his song “Imagine.”

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

I hear a lot of non-religious people (Those who have not yet subscribed to atheism) say that they are not personally religious, but they still think it is a good thing for people to have something to believe in. A few weeks ago now, a coworker commented that it’s scary that the percentage of Catholics is dwindling. All fired up due to my new agnosticism, I argued, “No, it is a good thing. Religion hurts people!”

I don’t just mean violence in the name of religion (A.k.a. Suicide bombers, bullying gays, “Christian” crusades, etc.). When I say that religion hurts people, I am thinking of the day to day self worth of individuals and the future of our world. Essentially, I think that religion hurts the world as whole. It forces people to put their thoughts on their eternity rather than very real, pressing issues happening right now. It encourages people to forget about what they are doing to destroy the natural world we live in. It focuses on the differences between men and women, and almost always degrades women to a lower status. It feeds prejudices. It subjugates people to silly customs and practices that may seem harmless, but it really hints at the bondage that the person is in.

I want to do a series of blog posts about why religion does more harm than good for people. I hope you, my loyal blog readers, will follow along and offer your opinions and comments! I do this not with the intent of being a crap disturber, but I really think that we as a people can improve by eliminating beliefs and traditions that are keeping the world in a subjected state.

Stay tuned!

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10 thoughts on “Religion Does More Harm Than Good

  1. I only have a very simple thing to say about this:
    It isn’t religion that is bad, it’s what people do with it.
    If I supply bricks, and I supply them to persons x and y: x builds a school and y builds a nuclear bomb shelter and then it all explodes, killing millions of people, am I to blame? (the brick supplier)

    • Hi there! Thanks for replying.

      If you study certain religious documents, you will see that there is soooo much evil going on within their passages. (I.e. The New Testatment tells women not to preach in front of men. The Old Testament says to kill children that disobey their parents, among so many other things!) Now, this is one document, but I think you see where I’m going with this.

      Religion was created by people, for people. It always involves people and it has almost always been created as a means of control or because of fear. Therefore, it’s going to have some fallibitliy in it.

  2. Religion itself is harmless, just like science, it’s all in how people use it. Anyone who uses religion to justify violence or discrimination or hate of any kind does not understand their religion. No religion in the world condones violence, only certain followers of that religion do. Religious organizations bring food to the hungry, house the homeless, and provide support to their communities, but you don’t hear about those on TV and the internet. You only hear about the Westboro Baptists and the bible-bangers and the hatemongers and the creationists and the anti-gays and all that because that’s what people want to hear about. Think about it: The Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Red Cross, and countless others help the needy worldwide, but that doesn’t make the headlines. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, international relief organizations, most are spearheaded by some kind of religious organization or individual.

    On a personal level, religion can be restricting to some, but it is very liberating to others. Alcoholics and drug addicts often cite religion as the main force behind their recovery. Now did the person need religion to do that? No, but it helped him or her realize his or her own potential or self-worth or whatever. Some people simply need a reason to wake up in the morning, and if religion provides them with that, then it can’t be completely harmful.

    • Thanks for stopping by and for replying. 🙂 I agree that no one should use any idea – religion, science, culture, etc. as an excuse for violence or degradation. Sadly, the Old Testament in the Bible condones violence. Now, Jesus wiped that old law out in the New Testament, according to the writers. I can’t speak for other religions, but I do know a lot about the Bible and I’ve read some passages in the Mormon’s “Bible”. I know that hardcore Muslims will kill homosexuals and will stone adulteresses – but that might be more of a cultural thing than anything to do with what the Koran says. I will have to do some research soon on that!!

      My argument of religion is not just that it perpetuates violence. As you said, few religions condone violence at the core. What I am concerned with is prejudice and that many religious people are concerned and angry with all the wrong things. Coming from Christianity ( I was a very strong and passionate Christian up until a few months ago…), there are several verses that tell women what to do and degrade them to a status lower than men. Going even deeper, many of these verses have been edited and re-written (i.e. The word “submit” was added to the Bible verse in Ephesians about wives when it was translated to English… ugh!)

      You are correct that many religious groups have started charities and causes – yet so have non-religious groups. I admire anyone who tries to do good for others – you can do this with or without religion. I went to churches that helped charities and did some good, but at the core, the scriptures said I was meant for something that I do not want to be – simply because I am female. There are also New Testament verses against gays. Of course, there are many good lessons within the Bible or it wouldn’t have been around for as long as it has been (Well, that and fear), but it is still a document written by people looking to control others.

      It’s very true that many people have been “delivered” from alcoholism, drugs, etc. after turning to a religion. Yet, I am concerned about this because they have now used a crutch in order to escape something without likely dealing with underlying issues. With religion, you take the good with the bad, unfortunately. It’s like a strings-attached way to deal with problems and issues.

      Christianity and Mormonism are two offenders of having Scriptures that degrade women. Oh, I tried to hard to skirt around those verses in the Bible, being a Christian feminist, but the reality is that it is what it is. It says what it says. And it’s wrong if you believe in equality and a good quality of life for everyone.

      Then there’s Catholicism. Now, that’s just one big cult!

      Bottom line, religion was created by people, for people. It always involves people, so it’s going to be messed up at some point.

      Wow this is gettting way too long. I’ll divide my reasons up into blog posts lol.

      Thank you again for your input! 🙂

  3. I like your blog. I am very open to different view points on religion. I believe in God because I had a personal experience with God but I am not religious and I don’t expect others to understand my experience with God because that’s my experience. I also agree with some of the things you said.

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