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Organised religion is the source of much of what's wrong in society. Discuss.

(46 Posts)
cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:33:42

I'm an atheist. I like to think I am fair minded and without prejudice. However, I am coming to the view that I am disposed to think that people with strong religious convictions (of every variety) are deluded and dangerous. AIBU?

HerRoyalNotness Mon 13-Jun-16 20:35:12

Yes but of the billions of people with a religion, what percentage are out there committing atrocities?

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:36:15

Only a handful.

ThatsMyStapler Mon 13-Jun-16 20:36:44


What else would happen on a discussion board, except ignoring....

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:37:14

But they discredit everyone of their "faith".

JeremyHunt Mon 13-Jun-16 20:41:55

Not really. Humans, like other animals, always create problems in their communities. Cats don't have religion, but they still fight and hold grudges.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Mon 13-Jun-16 20:42:04

are you Buddhist?

They're atheists.

As the existence of otherwise of a god (or pantheon of gods) isn't subject to proof, it's no more logical or rational to be atheist, monotheist of polytheist.

Agnosticism OTOH does seem rational and logical and is the nearest to evidence-based available on such a subject.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Mon 13-Jun-16 20:43:11

'Discuss'?? How rude!

FuzzyWizard Mon 13-Jun-16 20:47:08

I'm not religious as such. I'm agnostic leaning more towards the view that god probably doesn't exist. That being said I work in a Catholic school and see every day that good people with faith are an amazing force for good. The majority of the children I teach have a faith, whether they are Catholics, other Christian denominations, Muslims, Hindus or Zoroastrians. Many of them are driven by their faith to be compassionate and to serve others.
Arseholes who have a faith (like our school chaplain) continue to be arseholes. Their faith reinforced their personal feelings of superiority and they fail to see their own selfishness, misogyny and general cuntishness.

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:47:13

I am not Buddhist. I am completely without religious belief. I do not need a deity to admire the magnificence of the universe or its intricacy. I enjoy the diversity of the world and the life in it, without needing a creator. I think people have generally added to the interest in life.

Hassled Mon 13-Jun-16 20:48:31

That instruction to "Discuss" takes me back to grim A Level days.

I'm an atheist too and yes, I agree that organised religion is the source of much of the world's troubles. But it's also the source of much comfort and the ease of suffering and charitable good works. Faith gives people a strength and a guidance in life that is valued - or else for thousands of years people wouldn't have looked for ways to have faith. Wanting some sort of structure, some narrative for the meaning of life and one's place in the world is a very fundamental need.

3littlebadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 20:48:36

I can see where you are coming from but there are so many amazing people in the world who are religious and make it a better place. I was brought up catholic but I think I was agnostic deep down.
Anyway DH is Muslim and is a lovely lovely kind man, who just couldn't fault, he puts everyone before himself and is so very gentle.

My next door neighbours are deeply spiritual Christians and have gone out of their way to support me through hard times.

Two of my children's teachers and a couple of the school mum friends again all religious and just genuinely kind people.

If the world was filled with people like them it would be an amazing place.

I think the actual problem is evil people hiding behind religion and giving it a bad name.

cheapandcheerful Mon 13-Jun-16 20:49:14

Do you not count atheism as a 'strong religious conviction'?

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:51:46

Compassion is not the prerogative of religious sects; we can all feel compassion. I dislike the notion of it being restricted to the deserving which is usually code for the somewhat gormless.

lavenderbongo Mon 13-Jun-16 20:53:00

I think there are also amazing people who are a great force for good who have no faith.

My hope is that the human race will evolve to a point at which every person will be a force for good in the world without the need for a religion or faith to prompt them to do so.

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:53:15

Apologies, that was rude of me.

lavenderbongo Mon 13-Jun-16 20:57:06

I also teach in a Catholic school and I am an agnostic with leanings towards atheism. I work with fantastic kids and staff but what I find frustrating at times is the reliance of faith in a higher being that will solve all your problems so don't worry about doing stuff to solve these problems in this life as it will all be fixed after death. hmm

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 20:57:27

Kindness is a great virtue, wherever it springs from. Enjoined on one by religion, or innate, I don't think it matters.

checkingthedetails Mon 13-Jun-16 21:07:37

If it wasn't for organised religion, we wouldn't have an nhs or a welfare state. It was the non-conformist Christian entrepreneurs of the late 19th century who set up Sunday schools which became schools, and hospitals which were later taken over by the government.

I live in a deprived neighbourhood right now, and the best work tackling inequality is being organised by the churches and the local mosque. People who have a passion for bringing the love of God into their communities are much more powerful and effective than folk employed by the council (although they also have their place, and some of them are great).

Only religious people seem to have the selflessness to carry on working with people who are difficult to work with when there is no reward except in heaven. We need those people! We are all stronger - society is stronger! - because of them.

FuzzyWizard Mon 13-Jun-16 21:12:06

The point I was trying to make wasn't that religion makes people compassionate but that ultimately good people use faith as a force for good and bad people use faith as an excuse for all sorts of evil. In itself I don't think faith is inherently good or bad. If everyone woke up tomorrow as an agnostic I don't think the world would be any better or any worse. Good people with faith are awesome and I respect them immensely and I'm respectful of their faith. Religious arseholes, bigots and nut jobs can fuck off.

FarAwayHills Mon 13-Jun-16 21:35:14

OP how would you define 'much of what's wrong in society'?

Here are some of the things that come to mind...

Excessive Consumerism
Drug/ Alcohol abuse
Sexualisation of women and young girls

So organised religion is responsible for these things?

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 22:32:11

Poverty, in the west, is somewhat relative. You may be destitute measured against a trillionaire with multiple super yachts, but if there is a welfare safety net, you are struggling but you probably won't starve though your diet may not be the most balanced.

Homelessness must be misery, especially if you are old, or ill, but again, there are safety nets. Not so crass as to claim that there are not people who do not need help, nor that the help and accommodation is always what we we would like it to be.

Unemployment... sorry but lots of this in the west is people thinking they are better than the jobs on offer. There is work, try an Albanian car washing service or picking vegetables in Lincolnshire. Hard physical and dominated by gangmasters, but paid.

Excessive consumerism... you judge this one.

Alcohol and drug abuse, down to psychological/physical tendency to addiction, failure of and in self-discipline, and criminal predators.

Sexualisation: criminal predation again, in an unholy alliance with media that celebrate physical appeal as the primary route to success, in preference to intelligence or educational application.

Organised religion has little to do any with these, but certain brands of religion do appear to connive at helping some to thrive. And others, by being so authoritarian, drive people who are reluctant to live by "the rules" into off the wall behaviour that takes them beyond convention. Sorry I don't have answers to all social ills.

StickTheDMWhereTheSunDontShine Mon 13-Jun-16 22:34:22

What if I don't want to discuss?

checkingthedetails Mon 13-Jun-16 23:40:11

cresset, your ignorance is so pitiful.

Roonerspism Mon 13-Jun-16 23:46:26

I dislike the Abrahamic religions for a whole host of reasons, not least their oppression of women and intolerance of gays....

However, I have a feeling that humans are just power hungry and motivated by greed and power and that if it wasn't religion, the same issues would arise but under a different guise.

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