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Started by bossab2 on Oct 31, 2018 7:44:18 AM
Is religion evil ?

An awful lot of suffering around the world seems to stem from it...

Eg:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-46040515

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pranzingfrogg - 04 Nov 2018 12:27:46 (#1 of 174)

It isn’t evil in itself, but some evil people use it as a smokescreen.

Verdigris - 04 Nov 2018 12:39:23 (#2 of 174)

10 sanctimonious points.

TrouserFreak - 04 Nov 2018 13:12:06 (#3 of 174)

What is evil?

mingmong - 04 Nov 2018 13:14:27 (#4 of 174)

An awful lot of suffering around the world seems to stem from it

As do most of humanity's civilising influences

Pentecost - 04 Nov 2018 13:21:15 (#5 of 174)

Man's inhumanity to man comes from man, and nowhere else.

FleurDuMal - 04 Nov 2018 13:44:50 (#6 of 174)

Probably not in itself, but it’s frequently used as a justification for evil.

Eligelis - 04 Nov 2018 13:49:14 (#7 of 174)

And people who make such justification, would simply use something else if religion wasn't available.

FleurDuMal - 04 Nov 2018 13:54:31 (#8 of 174)

True enough.

bailliegillies - 04 Nov 2018 14:40:51 (#9 of 174)

I've always thought that it was invented by some smart arse who wasn't big enough and strong enough to rule the tribe by the sword, so came up with the stories of the gods to assert his control not just of the tribe but also the chief of the tribe. Problem is it worked too well!

TrouserFreak - 04 Nov 2018 15:14:25 (#10 of 174)

In some ways it's a way of undermining tyrants by giving basic rights in environments and eras where there is no state and no physical way of enforcing laws.

How do you convince people that incest, murder, theft and poor hygiene should be avoided for a healthy life and community in an environment without schools, radio or written histories?

Verdigris - 04 Nov 2018 16:16:44 (#11 of 174)

Is religion not just a branch of politics for men who like to wear frocks?

bailliegillies - 04 Nov 2018 17:06:00 (#12 of 174)

How do you convince people that incest, murder, theft and poor hygiene should be avoided for a healthy life and community in an environment without schools, radio or written histories?



Normal way everyone learns, through experience. They would have been understood and forbidden by our nomadic ancestors long before religion raised it's head and tried to dominate the laws. Our laws weren't based on religions but religious laws were based on the life our ancestors lived.

If you live in a small nomadic community it's not a good idea to have sex with your own sister, or your cousin's wife, nor steal from them or murder them. It will lead to distrust and break up of the tribe.

TrouserFreak - 04 Nov 2018 17:27:54 (#13 of 174)

Normal way everyone learns, through experience.

Every tribe learns at different paces and there is no guarantee that a lesson learned stays learned with each new generation.

Pre-Christianity, there were all sorts of wacky practices, such as human sacrifice, which got ironed out through a policy of religious education.

I'm not a believer btw, I just recognise that religion was more than men in fancy dress stealing from the community and abusing people.

invicta - 04 Nov 2018 17:28:56 (#14 of 174)

Our laws weren't based on religions but religious laws were based on the life our ancestors lived.

True, but the idea of God/gods is a constant in societies across Earth through all societies.

Richard Dawkins explains it as a spurious misfire of a useful human evolutionary mental trait (the tendency to look for explanations of the unknown rather than simply to live with them) but the idea's persistence (even in the ages of science and reason) suggests some deeper resonance.

Personally I think that the idea of an omnipresent, uncontactable deity who holds non-negotiable behavioural standards is a fairly useful one when it comes to persuading people to check their own behaviour... God (or gods) cannot be hidden from, cannot be bribed or argued with, and are automatically everywhere. There's no form of human justice or societal standard which can have such an influence (at least, not without becoming a surveillance state along the lines of East Germany).

Pentecost - 04 Nov 2018 17:30:26 (#15 of 174)

Political movement, then..

FleurDuMal - 04 Nov 2018 17:40:24 (#16 of 174)

Or bad science.

AlanII - 04 Nov 2018 19:00:43 (#17 of 174)

Man's inhumanity to man comes from man, and nowhere else.

As does peoples's humanity to people.

Pentecost - 04 Nov 2018 19:07:34 (#18 of 174)

Exactly. Religion isn't the source of either, just one of the political movements through which both are delivered.

FrankieTeardrop - 05 Nov 2018 10:22:36 (#19 of 174)

"Pre-Christianity, there were all sorts of wacky practices, such as human sacrifice"

Christianity is predicated upon human sacrifice.

Hilary - 05 Nov 2018 10:50:25 (#20 of 174)

Divine sacrifice surely? The crucifixion would have effected nothing, and been pointless, if Jesus were not God as well as man.

(I'm not saying he is, or that it did; the point is a pedantic logical one)

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