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> 'Religion does more harm than good', This Haus believes....
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Religion does more harm than good
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HausAlone
post Mar 27 2015, 06:03 PM
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Hello all, and welcome to a new regular feature in the Lounge *.* we will be holding BIG QUESTION debates in the Lounge penned in the style as above. This is to get us all discussing some of the bigger issues facing us right now and will range from as global as this one to very local and specific issues as we move on. What this also means, is that if there is a burning question you want to ask the Buzzjack population, then you are MORE than welcome to set up your own big question thread and see how it unfolds (and are strongly encouraged to).

--x--

First up as an extension of some discussion in the 'teaching evolution in primary school' thread: This Haus believes.... 'religion does more harm than good'.

General points FOR & AGAINST include: religious organisations acting in opposition to societal developments and reforms (homosexuality, extremism, equality) / religious organisations as large charitable providers of charity (and encouraging charitable deeds) - just to get us started~

So what are your opinions? Obviously it's sometimes impossible to make a concrete decision so do not feel inclined to vote in the poll straight away, but do express your opinions in the thread, whatever your stance! And we are aware that a lot will have strong opinions both for and against this question and future ones, but if you were to choose one stance, what would it be and which do you feel more inclined towards? Discuss~

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liamk97
post Mar 27 2015, 06:11 PM
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I don't really pay much attention to religion so I haven't really got any personal opinions to make but I do think that, like most things, it's more to do with the attitudes of religious people rather than religion itself. You get people who follow it literally by the book and don't question anything and you get people who look at the views of their religion and make a personal judgement as to whether they think it is right or wrong. If you misuse religion, it will do harm; if you have the control and not totally depend on religion, it's not going to be religion doing the harm if any.
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HausAlone
post Mar 27 2015, 06:13 PM
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I have voted 'FOR' (tentatively) based only on my own experiences of religion. Religion has created barriers for example, between myself and my family. Although Sikhism does tolerate all and equality is a huge part of it, that is not always practiced by followers. Sikhism also still holds on strongly to barbaric traditions such as the caste system which is really played out in horrid force throughout India and locks families and individuals into boxes, from birth. I value a lot that the religion itself has taught me, but it is religious people that i think do the harm.

Religion has however also been very rewarding as i've grown up. It is a big part of my immediate family and especially my grandparents. When traveling to India i have never felt the sense of spiritualism that i got when venturing up mountains to remote Sikh temples. That is all refreshing and makes me really consider my place in the world - but is so removed from organised religion which we hear all too much about. The focus on the spiritual side away from customs and traditions is the way forward for religion, but that is an idealism and not necessarily the way things play out.
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NellyEverySundae
post Mar 27 2015, 06:13 PM
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This might be a real stupid question but are we saying For or Against to religion or to the quote?

This post has been edited by Nelly. S: Mar 27 2015, 06:13 PM
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HausAlone
post Mar 27 2015, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE(Nelly. S @ Mar 27 2015, 06:13 PM) *
This might be a real stupid question but are we saying For or Against to religion or to the quote?

Not stupid! I should have clarified this. The for and against is based on the question and whether you support that statement or not.

So FOR: religion DOES do more harm than good
AGAINST: religion does NOT do more harm than good.
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Slade
post Mar 27 2015, 06:19 PM
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I guess religion can sometimes create social solidarity, especially in places where there is a lot of non-religious negativity going on. It can also be very comforting during tough times. Then again on the other end of the spectrum, you get the radical groups like New Christian Right ones such as Westboro Baptists, that clearly spark outrage with their extreme views on homosexuality etc. I'm very much into society developing though so I'd probably sway more to the fact it does more harm. A lot of conflicts are caused because of it.
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LexC
post Mar 27 2015, 06:20 PM
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I will post my full thoughts later on but a few tentative openers:

a) I don't think 'religion' in it's broadest sense is responsible for the global ills it gets attributed with more than 'people acting IN THE NAME of religion'

b) I'd be wary of generalising all organised and unorganised religions together because there are differences between religions (an even denominations of said religions) in terms of attitudes to things like war and social justice
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Colm
post Mar 27 2015, 06:34 PM
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I would say that it has caused a lot of harm and continues to do a lot of harm.

I'm almost certain that it has caused MORE harm than good as only 51% of it's consequences would have to be bad and 49% good for that to be true and I believe that 49% is adequate to take into account the good that religion has done.

Some of the good things that organised religion has been involved in - education, hospitals, charity, guidance, art, architecture, music.


This post has been edited by AntoineTTe: Mar 27 2015, 06:35 PM
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Yuki On Ice~
post Mar 27 2015, 06:35 PM
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I'm going to go in on this one and say that, despite my constant thoughts that religious extremism needs to be put to death before this world will ever see peace, I'm against the statement, religion has done more good than harm for the world.

Taking this all the way back (because that's the way I like to do things), religion at the very beginning allowed cultures to have a central driving force to revolve their lives around. They had very little conception of the way the world worked and it was a way to guide and build societies around. And then it was the questioning of the stories that they had been told as kids that gets people like the earliest philosophers thinking about the world and wondering even more how it actually works with no evidence in front of them for the supernatural.

Further on into history, for every Crusade or Jihad there are more examples than that of religion stopping wars or bringing peoples together, the medieval Church for one discouraging violence between Christians (well, it does depend on which pope you're talking about), and that becomes more common as you approach the present day, and lots of religions actively preach non-violence and love as good ways to live. The extremism and harm and forced conversions are the exceptions, and well-publicised exceptions. On a day-to-day basis, religious people, actively religious people are, in theory and in general, nice people trying to actively help others through love and kindness. And for those who are lost with regards to what to do with their life, or want to fit in with a community it provides a way to build this structure and meet people.
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Rooney
post Mar 27 2015, 06:39 PM
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Very controversial subject, however for me religion does more harm than good. There are lots of different religions, but they can't all be right?

The prose that defines religion can easily be manipulated to define a thought/ideology, which is very dangerous in the wrong hands. The world would be a better place without religion, I mean look at all the unrest that happens over in the Middle East & Africa. It's all driven by religion, and the thought that one religion is greater than another. I feel strong that the world would be a better place if there was no religion.
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dancember
post Mar 27 2015, 06:54 PM
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For.

Obviously religion isn't all bad but it's certainly done a lot of bad, like being the cause of many wars/terrorist attacks and using it as an excuse to hate on other groups. Plus I don't believe religion is required to have moral standards.
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Winter Wombatlan...
post Mar 27 2015, 07:01 PM
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It's a tough question, but I'm gonna say Against. I don't think it's religion itself that's the problem, it's fundamentalism and obviously extremism that's the problem and drags the name 'religion' down with it. After all, religion is a way of life for some, it brings hope, sanity and love into a lot of people's lives and, in the best way, can create communities and promote a good way of life. In the worst way, it can also start people thinking religion is THE way of life and others are deluded for not believing/following, that is the huge problem, no one should be brought up like that. Obviously the wars of the Middle East are tragic and a real example of things going wrong in religion, although I do think the worst sides are emphasises all too much these days with little focus on the good points.

This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Mar 27 2015, 07:01 PM
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Liаm
post Mar 27 2015, 07:22 PM
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In a lot of cases, religion definitely does more harm than good. I mean there's ISIS for example right now, who might be a tiny tiny minority within the population of Muslims but they're doing so much damage with all the deaths but they're also damaging the reputation of the whole of Islam. And then there's all these extreme/radical fundamentalist groups opposing homosexuality, divorce, even women's rights! All of those things are basic human rights, everyone should be able to be who they are when it doesn't harm anyone - especially when it's something they can't help such as their sexuality. Most religions are fundamentally too conservative imo, society can't just stay stagnant and not change when we live in such a fast paced world.

Social solidarity is a good point of religion, but "civil religion" (events such as deaths of public figures who bring society together in mourning for example) can do that too. Then there's stuff like big sporting events and other public events, they bring people together amazingly too. I think a lot of the benefits of religion are also covered by other institutions in society anyway, so it's not as if the harm it does tpis counterbalanced by the amount of good it does. Obviously not all religion is bad and it does help so many people through things but the amount of harm it does do is too much to ignore in my opinion.
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Yuki On Ice~
post Mar 27 2015, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE(► ▲ N @ Mar 27 2015, 06:54 PM) *
For.

Obviously religion isn't all bad but it's certainly done a lot of bad, like being the cause of many wars/terrorist attacks and using it as an excuse to hate on other groups. Plus I don't believe religion is required to have moral standards.


People use lots of reasons to hate on other people, if they have hate in their heart they'd find a way, religion or no religion. Like I said, they are the minority (so technically, responsible for less religion potential harming/good-doing power magic.gif) and a blight on all that good people doing charitable work and bringing people together, in that religion's name have done.

I'm sure that had Islam not existed, ISIS would still be doing what they're doing, they hate the West and the West's culture being imposed upon them and that justification for them to do evil things would still be there in a religion-free world.
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Popchartfreak
post Mar 27 2015, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE(Iz~ @ Mar 27 2015, 08:20 PM) *
People use lots of reasons to hate on other people, if they have hate in their heart they'd find a way, religion or no religion. Like I said, they are the minority (so technically, responsible for less religion potential harming/good-doing power magic.gif) and a blight on all that good people doing charitable work and bringing people together, in that religion's name have done.

I'm sure that had Islam not existed, ISIS would still be doing what they're doing, they hate the West and the West's culture being imposed upon them and that justification for them to do evil things would still be there in a religion-free world.


True enough. People with hatred use anything available to justify and promote their evil, even religion, and especially they love quoting God being on their side, when of course their actions suggest the opposite.
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Joe ho ho!
post Mar 28 2015, 12:08 AM
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I don't wish to offend anybody as I'm sure religion causes nothing more than peace and positivity for plenty of people but I have to say I'm strongly for Bal's statement.

The thing is homophobia, sexism - lots of it comes from religion, not to mention terrorism and wars. I just can't get my head around how people of 2015 can logically believe that the things written in these old storybooks. And to a point that it can dictate their lives so much, often in negative ways. A lot of it seems to be hatred disguised as love and faith.

It's not my place to say that I don't think their are any benefits from religion ever. Obviously lots of them do a lot for charity etc. And though I can't see myself ever assigning myself to a faith (Unless Jedi becomes a viable option), I have friends who are pretty much Buddhist and its done nothing but help them.


This post has been edited by Joe.: Mar 28 2015, 12:12 AM
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Nadolig Llawen!
post Mar 28 2015, 11:08 AM
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Against. Religion means a lot to some people and actually keeps then at peace. Of course, it is used as an excuse for wars and death time and time again but other things such as money and power is just as strong a motivation. As has been mentioned, some if the most horrific acts I've seen have come from non-religious people as well.
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