This has been discussed before, but I believe it can't hurt to bring it up again.
asks if religion is "the root of all evil". Do you agree (watching the movie before replying is encouraged, but of course optional).
What are the arguments for religion being good, besides from myths such as "Christians invented the democracy"? One is that it helps people. It aids millions or even billions of people out of suicide, self-mutilation, depression, hatred, grief, violence, isolation, self-loathing, and other "dark places".
But does that make religion necessary? You say that you were saved from suicide by hearing that God loves you? I say bring psychology into schools. Educate on suicide, depression, and all these other important things as early as possible. Teach coping skills, encourage seeking of help, and educate students on what that help is like so that they won't developed skewed misconceptions about psychiatry, preventing them from getting the said help (as it were with me
). What I learned about suicide in school (and it was not until middle school, either) was not only so limited that it's a joke, but also for whatever reason in religion class
, which in Norway is a subject from which you can be excempted from with a note from your guardians at home.
Chances are that real education, rather than the belief in the love of some mythological entity, will save at least as many lives. Likewise with education on marriage and divorce, drugs, alcohol, safety, grief, and the list goes on.
You say there's wisdom in religion, and I agree, there is. I wasn't a Buddhist for a period of time for nothing. Some advice is sound, some is unsound. It's the religious religion I have a problem with.
What I mean to say is this. Which is better of these two pieces of advise?
Originally Posted by The Buddha
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
Don't have evil friends, it makes God cry.
The first, while spoken by the founder of a religion, is an agnostic advice backed up by good reason. The second is purely a matter of "this entity doesn't like it, so it must be avoided". A shallow rationale at best. And while there is community in Churches and Mosques, there's often just as much community in your local animal shelter, pub, Red Cross facility, or community center. Religion is not needed for belonging and community, or for that matter charitable projects (I dare say Amnesty is accomplishing more good things than Vatican City).
Another argument is that of teaching morals and educating children on right and wrong. Yes, religion does that. Just like atheists, religious parents pass their morals on to their offspring. Anyone who says that religious people are more prone to do good things as they got their morals from a Holy source is living in a fantasy world.
That's just some of the arguments. I personally believe that religion is obsolete, while I'm not sure if it does more harm than good.