On Religions

My boyfriend and I were having an impassioned debate the other night about which religion is the “worst.” With this vaguely defined requirement, we of course, ran into a misunderstanding. He was referring to the ideology of the religions, while I looked at the amount of violence that was spurred from the religions. To avoid the risk of offending anyone, I’m not going to mention what specific religions we brought up during our conversations, but the conclusions we drew from the debate are what was most important.

The difference in what we each interpreted as what makes a religion “bad” illustrates perfectly what can go wrong with a religion. Religions begin with an ideology, and this, for the most part, is well intentioned. Most religions have texts that describe the moral way to live and give stories with a theme and a lesson. Many of them preach of love, peace, and forgiveness. This is wonderful and there is something to be learned from these texts, but that is not all there is to religion.

What goes beyond the original intention of the religion is how people interpret it and choose to act on it. There is no religion that is excluded when speaking of whose to blame for the horrendous violence in the world. Some are more harmful than others, but over the history of time, determining that becomes very blurred.

Religion is something that gives people hope, a sense of purpose, and peace in their own lives. This can be very positive, if it remains in their personal lives, but people can become very defensive of it, so defensive that they will resort to killing. We did not determine which religion is the “worst,” and it does not really matter, because all religions boil down to the same thing. They can have positive influences, but overall have had an atrocious impact on the world as a whole.

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2 thoughts on “On Religions

  1. An interesting topic that my significant other and I have discussed as well. Recently I have come to see religion as a crutch for those who cannot think for themselves. I’m not talking about day to day decision making thinking, but a deeper level of thinking that just doesn’t happen for a lot of people.

    Maybe it’s just a reality that most people need others to tell them what to do. Some people don’t want to or cannot interpret deep beyond spoken and written words. This is also exactly why I think our educational system is exactly the way it is – teachers telling students what to do. I’m not saying that kids don’t need guidance, but generations of adults who didn’t think deeply about anything have shaped the mainstream society.

    I’m off on a tangent. Anyway, just wanted to join in on the discussion. I don’t deny the benefits of religion as a way to keep the masses in control – doing mostly good things for the world around us. I just have a hard time understanding why it’s necessary so many people, and that stream of thought can be scary because what if without religion, the masses would all be terrible human beings with no sense of morality? What if without religion, people cannot get hope, nor purpose?

    Hopefully that’s not the case based on observations in my own life.

    • Personally, I have found non-religious people to be more peaceful. There are always exceptions. But, since they are able to think for themselves, as you were saying, and make logical, levelheaded decisions, they are less likely to harm others. Religion is good when it is telling others to be peaceful, but when you have a group of people that will do whatever a religion tells them, it becomes dangerous, as we’ve seen with so many wars throughout history.

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