View Poll Results: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good

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  • YES! More Harm than Good

    22 38.60%
  • NO! More good than harm!

    21 36.84%
  • Other / I dont know

    11 19.30%
  • Shut up Noodle! I AM God!!!

    3 5.26%
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Thread: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

  1. #21
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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Bear in mind, the category of obviously good or bad religious actions has a much smaller pool of examples than the uncertainly good or bad religious actions. That's what makes the answer to this question indefinite.

    This is the anthropological equivalent of asking, "If humankind's sense of smell was 30% more acute, would that have had good or bad results for our species?"

    Answer: a civilization produced from a species more reliant on smell and less reliant on sights and sounds would have produced completely different kinds of arts, technologies, and values. For one thing, there probably would be more insistence on the rudeness of farting in public. The broader results are unimaginable in any concrete form.

    The question here isn't even, "Is religion best for humanity's future?" It is, "Has religion done more harm and good in history?"

    Religion is so pervasive that it has had its fingers in everybody's pie.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 08-15-10 at 02:17 AM.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Imagining what would have happened in the past without religion is just pointless, because there always would have been something serving a similar role.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Too true.

    Think about this one...

    Afghan claims explosion causes more damage to Buddha statue RAWA News

    The net effects of religion are probably a wash in the civilized west. But what about the net effects in someplace like Afghanistan or Uganda? More negative than positive, I'd suggest.
    then you look at New Zealand, and see it was religion that stopped the Maoris from eating "long pig", and inter-tribal warring, but just next door, in Australia, it was religion that rounded up the Aboriginal people, causing many of them to die from just being removed from the land their tribes had lived with for hundreds of thousands of years.

    the pro's and con's could be listed indefinitely, and it is also an entirely subjective view, as in New Zealand, it destroyed a lot of Maori culture, and in Australia, they got moved to lands where they wouldn't succumb to western diseases
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  4. #24
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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    I have very few problems with small groups of believers that meet in homes with unpaid clergy.
    I have one big problem with them, which is that they tend toward exactly the kind of uneducated fanaticism that you don't seem to like. Religion is like any other subject. It takes study to understand it.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Do you have any evidence to support this or are you just making it up?

    Moreover, even if we're just talking about monetary donations, there are plenty of charitable donations that are made in part because of a person's religion that aren't specifically given to the church itself.

    edit: As an aside, you presume that money spent on pastors, music, the building, etc. is just wasted as administrative expenses. Why on earth would you assume that? One of the main purposes of a church is to provide religious services for its members, so it makes perfect sense that a substantial portion of donations would be spent on those things.

    If a homeless shelter spent 75% of its revenue on its building and staff, would you consider that to be "administrative costs"?
    If a suicide counseling hotline spent 75% of its revenue on its phone lines and operators, would you consider that to be "administrative costs"?
    Does your church house homeless people or spend 24 hours a day counseling suicidal people?

    As far as pastoral work goes, it's a good gig for someone who can find a gullible herd to support him/her. Most of the pastors in my area, with a decent-sized congregation, make far more money than I do.

    For the record: I'd have similar problems with a teen center whose building was only used 10% of the time.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 08-15-10 at 02:18 AM.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    I'm 50/50 on this one. Religion has done its share of tremendous harm. But the practice of religion can be a path to spiritual growth and a healthy spiritual life.

    I think it's that vocal minority (like in politics) who give certain faiths a bad rap--the extremists of any faith tend to be violent and justify evil deeds with their book of choice.

    Spiritual writings like the bible and the koran are meant to be metaphorical and allegorical not necessarily historical... That is why they can be easily twisted into meaning what ever a certain leader/teacher wants. For example, reading Revelations as prophecy is the equivalent of reading Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe as non-fiction. That would screw up anybody's thinking.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    Religion is like any other subject. It takes study to understand it.
    Only because humans have made it infinitely more complicated than it needs to be.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 08-15-10 at 02:19 AM.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Only because humans have made it infinitely more complicated than it needs to be.
    Human is what we are. That's what clergy have to deal with.

  9. #29
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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Does your church house homeless people or spend 24 hours a day counseling suicidal people?
    No, it provides religious services to its members.

    Sort of like how a suicide counseling line provides counseling to its callers.

    And sort of like how a homeless shelter provides shelter to the homeless.


    Like I said, it's a good gig for someone who can find a gullible herd to support him/her.
    Right, anyone who runs a church is just out looking for a gullible herd to support them.

    Look, we get the point - you have issues with religion. It doesn't mean you need to take every available opportunity to demonize everyone who doesn't share your fervor. It doesn't reflect well on you and certainly doesn't do much to convince anyone of the validity of your position.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Religion (not spirituality) has Done More Harm than Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    Human is what we are. That's what clergy have to deal with.
    Psht. It's not that hard to figure out how to avoid treating people like crap. The clergy are the ones who've made it so complicated with their theological disputes.

    Of course, if people focused on the simplicity of acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly before the divine, most of the clergy would be out of a job. They have a vested self-interest in perpetuating the system.

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