Essay Title: 

Religion-has it done more harm than good in the world?(or good than harm)

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in religion and theology

Religion : Good Vs Harm Religion : Has it done more good than harm to society

The aspect of religion in terms of it benefiting or disadvantaging society can be examined in the context of three frameworks : an inherent belief system , motivations for conflict , and societal values

It comes as no surprise that we , as individuals , since the dawn of time have always felt the need to have an inherent belief system , and to have an entity that we can believe in , especially in to explain events and phenomena that rational science cannot verify [banner_entry_middle]

, and also as something to turn to , in times of distress . This inherent need for a belief system is perhaps a function of our need as human beings , to rationalize to ourselves that there is a higher state of consciousness that we may aspire to , in contrast to our physical , worldly needs – that is , there is something better than this world we have right now . The greatest benefit of a belief system in terms of religion is that it serves to unify people – people who would generally be fragmented in their beliefs (Boyer 67

Societal values have always evolved as people evolve . Religion provides context to this evolution by , in addition to prescribing the need for belief in an omnipotent being , also lending itself to creating and implementing values that are generally deemed `good ‘ for society . Many religions , for example , uphold charity and the service of one ‘s fellow man as a noble gesture . One cannot argue with this as being an integral value that society should aspire to . Thus , religion in its many forms also provides a source of values that if followed , actually improve the condition of working relationships and responsibilities of men and women in society (Dennett 102 . A code of conduct is developed where generally the values espoused include care of all people , honesty truthfulness , charity , etc . One can argue that if all of us follow these values in the spirit that they are intended , the world would be a much better place

We live in very volatile times . Many people refer to current world events as a clash of civilizations . One would , thus , be compelled to label religion as actually doing harm to society , where one religion is seemingly urging its followers to eradicate followers of other religions – and many people view this is a religious war (Harris 88 . While there could be some grain of truth in this , we de need to realize the fact that there may be other very valid factors that lead to this clash of civilizations , and which are rooted in cultural , economic , and social factors . The economic aspect of conflict cannot be discounted . Would it be a coincidence that one side within the conflict comes from an economically distressed society ? It stands to reason whether these economic pressures have more to do with creating and sustaining the resentment that motivates people to wage war against other beliefs rather than the belief system itself (Boyer 109… [banner_entry_footer]

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