Are ALL religions really harmful to society? Is it possible that some religions actually benefit society?

Sodium Pentothal
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Are ALL religions really harmful to society? Is it possible that some religions actually benefit society?

I'm sure the pros and cons of certain religions are obvious, while other religions offer nothing but negative contributions to society (e.g. cults). To be honest, I'm too lazy right now to postulate an official opinion, but maybe some of you more limber and restless members can more confidently offer your opinions. Cool

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person

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I'd say that some religious

I'd say that some religious groups have more positives than minuses... the Jains, for example, can't be held accountable for much harm in the world, and their viewpionts inspired men like Gandhi and, in turn, Martin Luther King Jr. 

 Oh, I should add that I always find it quaint that King, a christian minister, felt the need to consult with non christians in order to better learn how to help his own people i.e. consulting with those in the Indian , non violent, active resistance movement.... but this irony is almost always lost on christians.... 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'

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todangst wrote: ... but

todangst wrote:
... but this irony is almost always lost on christians....

I'm sure they don't think it's very funny.  He was a great man, and I am hesitant to attribute any of his more public characteristics with his Christian background.

HC Grindon
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I suppose religion is good

I suppose religion is good for folks who can't deal with their own mortality and need the hope of a spiritual afterlife.  But when religion merges with mob mentality, any positives start getting cancelled out.  When the religious "mob" decides that their all-powerful imaginary friend not only judges & condemns the individual, but the community or nation as a whole, then insist that laws be inacted to prevent this wholesale judgement...well, IMHO, that's where the trouble begins.



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value of religion

There's a theory in evolutionary psych that religion has an adaptive function.  Knowing that somebody adheres to a known set of religious rules encourages trust (even if you're not a member of the same religion).  "If that guy is willing to wear that uncomfortable holy hat all day, I guess I can trust him with my donkey." Trust fosters cooperation, which in turn increases survival chances.

Of course, knowing this also leads to the idea that maybe we as a society can work out a way to get the survival/cooperation benefits of a religion without the superstition and intolerance?

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert