Religion. Good or Bad?

I am formerly Catholic and I can distinctly remember things being said about the immoral actions carried out by the church. These things were quickly dismissed as I concluded as most do, it’s the radicals.

The issue is that the majority of religious people see the good that religion does, while rejecting the bad. The bad are usually just attributed to radicals. Although it can be reasonably argued that the problem with radicals is that they are following their holy book too closely, there is another issue.

The good that comes from religion can be (and is often) done without religion. There is no act of good that a religious person can commit, that I could not. On the other hand, evil acts committed by religion are almost entirely predicated by the belief in the supernatural.

Think of an evil action committed by a religious group. Whether it be suicide bombing, genital mutilation, or the denial of contraceptives, such actions lose place when taken out of a religious context.

What this means is that if religion is taken out of the picture, we could recognize kind actions previously attributed to religion, simply as humanistic values.

If you believe that you or others would give up your actions of kindness as a result of losing your religion, then I believe your moral character is suspect.

-AB

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  2 comments for “Religion. Good or Bad?

  1. July 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I agree with everything you put here and I’m glad you wrote it. Religion is detrimental to humanity on many more subtle levels too, such as the belief in delusions, the interruption of human rights and progress – treatment of women and homosexuals for example, Jehova’s witnesses denying blood transfusions for their children on religious grounds etc. When you said a lot of people see the good in religion while rejecting the bad, I would say that this is mostly true for the modern, western, democratic free nations. For many in the world, people cannot distinguish between what we consider good and bad, as their attitude and behaviour is so heavily invested in their holy teachings. I believe that the concept of good, equality, fairness and justice to name a few, is heavily compromised and differs greatly from those of the western free thinking world. This of course can be seen in some cases even in Britain and the US, but it is relatively rare and most certainly not mainstream.

    thanks for the post and opening up the discussion on such a touchy subject.

    • July 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      I think that you’re largely correct that many non western nations don’t have a common ethical/value system.

      Although, one exception that comes to mind is the countless Muslim groups that you hear whenever an act of martyrdom is committed or something of kind.

      Muslim men and women seem to step out of the shadows to make known the radical influence (although I would argue that the Muslim faith is inherently radical).

      Thanks for the comment!

      -AB

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