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Is religion good or bad?

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Messages: 1 - 33 of 33
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Saturday, 19th May 2012

    'Religio' is Latin for 'to bind', but is religion really that restrictive? Or can it encourage imagination? Is it the cause of wars, religious separation, and racism, or does it bring people from around the world together? And, most importantly, does it help to discover the true meaning, and aim, of life? You decide!

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Hiza (U14875141) on Sunday, 20th May 2012

    I think the latin meaning is the basic idea of religion - 'to bind'. However, yes we do have wars, religious seperation and racism not only between religions but within religions, e.g Chirtianity- Catholicism/Anglican or Islam- Sunni/Shia. It is simply due to different beliefs.

    Wars do start on conflicting beliefs. But to answer your question as to whether religion helps discover the true meaning and aim of life, I think it does in a way. I feel religions should accept each other despite their different beliefs and learn about the other religions to understand the world we live in better. So in a way religion can develop understanding of the world but only if people are willing to accept we are all different and have different beliefs.

    HIza

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by U15060256 (U15060256) on Sunday, 20th May 2012

    'Religio' is Latin for 'to bind', but is religion really that restrictive? Or can it encourage imagination? Is it the cause of wars, religious separation, and racism, or does it bring people from around the world together? And, most importantly, does it help to discover the true meaning, and aim, of life? You decide!  Meh. Religion doesn't really have a grave use in modern society. Nietzsche was famous for saying, "God is dead." A larger proportion of people would agree with that saying nowadays, as opposed to when his ideas were published in the 60's-the early stages of the modern world we see around us. You may argue that religion does have a number of positive uses-it gives us a sense of morality, judgement etc. For example, the ten commandments sets the 10 basic laws of Christians. However, you can also look at the negative things religion has given us-division, ignorance and a reason to be intolerant. "I and I alone am God, no other God is real"-Deuteronomy, provides evidence for these points. Even though these monotheistic religions are considered to have the same God, conflict still arises, disproving the point that religion is a symbol of unification. As for the aim of life, in my opinion, it is up to philosophers to figure that one out, and not in hands of religious thinkers, who should keep themselves to themselves.

    Be honest guys-tell me if I came out a bit too strong!

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Hiza (U14875141) on Monday, 21st May 2012

    not strong but frank i have to say but good arguments.

    just one question, philosphers try and find the aim of life. dont religions do exactly the same?
    and philosophers have been trying to find the aim of life for donkey's years. surely it is better to fond your own aim of life and fulfill it and that is where for some people religion comes in as an aid.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Old Bean (U12315333) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    That is, assuming there is a 'point' to life, or that there is a universal point to life and it's not different for each individual.

    To answer your question -

    Is religion the cause of wars? No, people are the cause of wars; some do it in the name of religion, some for power, and so on. But most religions teach something along the lines of 'love thy neighbour' and peace, so I personally can't understand how people claim to start wars in the name of religion. :/

    Rose x

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    That is, assuming there is a 'point' to life, or that there is a universal point to life and it's not different for each individual.

    To answer your question -

    Is religion the cause of wars? No, people are the cause of wars; some do it in the name of religion, some for power, and so on. But most religions teach something along the lines of 'love thy neighbour' and peace, so I personally can't understand how people claim to start wars in the name of religion. :/

    Rose x 
    Well, I'll assume that for now, but good point smiley - smiley

    Yep, you pretty much summed it up. Unfortunately, there are too many people who believe they are right about pretty much everything in the world, and that's where religion comes in :S

    Anyway, thanks for the comment!

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by U15278634 (U15278634) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    Crusades? what caused them. It's religon.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    Crusades? what caused them. It's religon.  I believe the Crusades were not caused by the religion (Christianity), but by the followers of that religion (the Pope, other political rulers etc.). Christianity itself has never said to fight for religion, and therefore it is the followers who are at fault in my view smiley - smiley

    Thanks!

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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Oliver (U14753185) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    "But most religions teach something along the lines of 'love thy neighbour' and peace,"

    Yes but then many of these religions then also have passages suggesting to kill people. So in my opinion religion isn't a particularly good force in the world.

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  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

    "But most religions teach something along the lines of 'love thy neighbour' and peace,"

    Yes but then many of these religions then also have passages suggesting to kill people. So in my opinion religion isn't a particularly good force in the world. 
    Name a religion that has passages to kill people, and give a quotation from one of the passages. Also, it is the practicer (follower), not the practiced (religion), that is at fault here - people can use any excuse to fight, be it race, gender, or religion.

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Oliver (U14753185) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    Christianity, Juadism and Islam all have passages in there respective holy books condoning violence.

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    Christianity, Juadism and Islam all have passages in there respective holy books condoning violence.  Could you give a quotation of a passage??? Just saying a quotation is "a piece of speech or writing quoted somewhere, e.g. in a book or magazine", in case you didn't know :P

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  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Old Bean (U12315333) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    The Crusades are a perfect example of people fighting in the name of 'religion', but were they the fault of religion itself or the people who practised them?

    'Yes but then many of these religions then also have passages suggesting to kill people.'

    Yeah, it does - apparently, 'There are indeed, certain times in the Bible when God had the Israelites go into an area and completely destroy any remnant of the indigenous population, including women and children, even buildings and artifacts as well. Most biblical scholars explain that this is because often times these pagan, indigenous cultures were so wicked and depraved, they would have been unable to be redeemed and would, therefore, have been an ungodly influence on the Israelites.'
    ^ Which some people might agree with, but I don't.

    Anyway, the Bible contradicts itself often, which is why a lot of people don't take every word of it literally. Most of the pro-war verses are Old Testament, but the New Testament [which is probably far more relevant to modern times] does not condone violence.

    An individual could use parts of the Bible to condone their violence, but that wouldn't mean they were really doing it in the name of religion - they might *think* they are, or they might be trying to justify actions that are blatantly wrong.

    Rose x

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  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Old Bean (U12315333) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    In the Bible, there's 'The Lord is a warrior' - Exodus 15:3 and 'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword' - Matthew 10:34.

    But then there's also 'all who live by the sword will die by the sword' too. I think what you have to do is look at it from a wider perspective - if the number of verses against violence outweigh those condoning violence, then violence is probably wrong.

    Rose x

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  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Oliver (U14753185) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    It's in the bible it says " A man who lies with a man like he lies with a woman should be put to death"

    There are numerous other passages I could quote that encourage violence as well.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    In the Bible, there's 'The Lord is a warrior' - Exodus 15:3 and 'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword' - Matthew 10:34.

    But then there's also 'all who live by the sword will die by the sword' too. I think what you have to do is look at it from a wider perspective - if the number of verses against violence outweigh those condoning violence, then violence is probably wrong.

    Rose x 
    It is possible that there sentences are metaphorical

    'The Lord is a warrior'

    For what? For good, I'm assuming. And being a warrior does not mean you fight physically e.g. 'He was a warrior for his beliefs' may mean 'He fought (verbally, physically etc.) for his beliefs').

    'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword'

    Who is this? Is it Jesus? This may just be showing the traditional idea of the 'Messiah' at that time...

    Thanks :P

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Oliver (U14753185) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    "but the New Testament [which is probably far more relevant to modern times] does not condone violence."

    There are parts of the new testament that encourages capital punishment and violence.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    It's in the bible it says " A man who lies with a man like he lies with a woman should be put to death"

    There are numerous other passages I could quote that encourage violence as well. 
    I think that this is just to state that homosexuality is a crime, again it is metaphorical in my opinion :P

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  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Thursday, 24th May 2012

    You really must give quotations (parts from the related text) to back your points up - otherwise your arguments are not supported and remain theories :P

    Thanks smiley - smiley

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  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Oliver (U14753185) on Friday, 25th May 2012

    It's in the bible it says " A man who lies with a man like he lies with a woman should be put to death"

    There are numerous other passages I could quote that encourage violence as well. 
    I think that this is just to state that homosexuality is a crime, again it is metaphorical in my opinion :P  


    Well firstly even if it was a metaphor to say homosexuality is a crime, it is still saying homosexuality is a crime, which in my opinion is homophobic and wrong.

    Secondly I don't see how it can be a metaphor, it doesn't mince it's words.

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  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by U15267228 (U15267228) on Friday, 25th May 2012

    "Well firstly even if it was a metaphor to say homosexuality is a crime, it is still saying homosexuality is a crime, which in my opinion is homophobic and wrong."

    This is a matter of opinion, and different parts of the Bible have different views on this.

    "Secondly I don't see how it can be a metaphor, it doesn't mince it's words."

    Yes it does - it says 'should be put to death' rather than 'MUST be put to death' (many metaphors are quite subtle in this way), an metaphorical example similar to this one is the phrase: "He's going to kill you for that!"; this statement appears to not 'mince it's words', but it is still metaphorical.

    Thanks :P

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by U15267223 (U15267223) on Thursday, 7th June 2012

    Have you read the bible?
    There are interesting passages regarding wars and invasions in The Old Testament, mostly involving God telling the Hebrews that the holy land should be their land just because he says it should, and that they should go and kill everyone else who lives there. There is a perfect example of war caused by religion.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by U15267223 (U15267223) on Thursday, 7th June 2012

    yes
    Of course, in fact the whole bible is metaphorical, in fact it is just a metaphor saying that we should all love each other, rather than being a book that tells us stuff about the universe.

    If that is metaphorical, how much else in the bible is?
    If you can just pick and choose things in the bible why don't you just live by what you know is right, not by what the bible says?

    [Edited by moderator]

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  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 21.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Tuesday, 12th June 2012

    But then it is also important to consider the impact of violence. Fair enough, it's all well and good to fight and defend your beliefs. But when violence affects the lives of populations, the environment around them, the lives of children, is that really a justification of religion?

    And in the case of Christianity, there is one example I can think of, the murder of hundreds of Egyptian children and babies. Done by God himself. The children had nothing to do with the enslavement of the Israelites, but were killed for their parents transgressions. You may argue, that the Pharaoh could've easily prevented this by freeing the Israelites, but "...the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart..." against such an idea. If God threatened this punishment, but emotionally changed the opinion of the Pharaoh, then how is there meant to be any other outcome?

    Religion can be good, if the practice is put forward to a good outcome. Harmony within a neighbourhood, respect and understanding.

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  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by U15307590 (U15307590) on Thursday, 14th June 2012

    It was a little frank, but I don't think you can cause real offence.

    However, I have to disagree with you. Religion was the first Philosophy, and much of the philosophy we have today is based on religious beliefs- eg. 'treat others as you would yourself'- that belief was first thought by many religions- before then, we didn't have any reason for moral dilemmas.

    And yes, religion has caused a huge amount of bad things, but so has EVERYTHING. even science and technology and the bad points of religion like religious war is more, I think about the people than the religion. Many would say that those who hurt others to have their way are not truly religious at all!

    the fact that there is so much controversy and (non- violent) conflict is one of the beautiful things about religion and the human race. the wonderful thing about religion is that no- one can be entirely sure who's right... one of the few mysteries still left to us. Life's no fun if you know everything!

    and look at what religion has done! It was a large part of winning WW2, and destroying Apartheid in SA!

    think of religion as a tool. When a workman uses a tool to make something evil, like a weapon, no- one blames the tool- it is the workman's fault. In the same way, there is nothing wrong with religion itself- only those who manipulate it.

    I appreciate that people may not want to be religious, and I hope I haven't offended anyone!

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  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Old Bean (U12315333) on Saturday, 16th June 2012

    and look at what religion has done! It was a large part of winning WW2, and destroying Apartheid in SA! 

    Can I ask, how did religion win WWII and end Apartheid in South Africa?

    Rose x

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  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Old Bean (U12315333) on Saturday, 16th June 2012

    The children had nothing to do with the enslavement of the Israelites, but were killed for their parents transgressions. 

    This reminds me of the Original Sin, and all of mankind being punished for the actions of two people millions of years ago.

    If God threatened this punishment, but emotionally changed the opinion of the Pharaoh, then how is there meant to be any other outcome? 

    And that reminds me of God forbidding Adam and Eve to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and expecting them to know it is wrong to eat from the tree even though they would not be able to tell wrong from right unless they ate from the tree.

    Rose x

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  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Sunday, 17th June 2012

    But the Nazis were Christians and during that time the Jews were killed because they were 'Christ Killers'; most of the segregation beliefs were based on the Biblical story of Ham.

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  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by U15307590 (U15307590) on Sunday, 17th June 2012

    The religious leaders of the Allied Forces such as the Archbishop used religion to stir the troops- you know, God wants us to win, etc. and there were regular prayers and a church for the troops to continue their faith which probably gave them the strength to fight when they knew they were fairly likely to die. also, many of the Jews who were hidden in Nazi Europe survived because of people like Corrie Ten Boom, whose religion told her to look after them, even though she would be punished for it.

    And as for apartheid, Archbishop Desmont Tutu, who was then only a priest, used the Bible to show the white people that God loved everyone equally- it was either him or Martin Luther King ( american civil rights campaigner) who said

    ' We are the rainbow people of God'

    but I can't remember who. He stirred the black people to non- violently protest, using the Bible to encourage peace and based everything he said on Christianity because this was the one thing that united the Black people and the White people.That also reminds me, religion helped to destroy racism in America, through Martin Luther King!

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by U15307590 (U15307590) on Sunday, 17th June 2012

    yeah, that's one of the places in history where people use religion to justify humanity's natural hatred for anything different. Other people in Nazi Europe used religion for good- the Old Testament says clearly that the Jews were the chosen people of God, so some people realised they were meant to protect them- Corrie Ten Boom for example.

    the Nazis were never Christians from the moment they killed the first Jew.

    and yeah, I guess the story of Ham could be interpreted that way, but I think the main reason for racism is from the Slave trade, where people just did not understand that black people were humans. Back then, they honestly thought they were animals, and I'd say that's where most racism came from.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Han Ban (U14706661) on Sunday, 17th June 2012

    "the Nazis were never Christians from the moment they killed the first Jew."

    That's just your opinion on the matter, the killing of Jews, in the name of Christ, has gone on for centuries before that. During Elizabethan times from example there were the equivalent of ghettos (where Jews were forced to live) and Jews had to wear a yellow badge. Most of the Nazis genuinely saw themselves as good Christians.

    It's not just my interpretation, Noah placed a curse on his son Ham, who then had the curse placed on his son Canaan. Although it does not specifically say black people, the name Ham was closely associated to those with dark/black skin. So Canaan was condemned to be a "servant of servants", e.g. a slave. That in effect meant that slavery was deemed as acceptable, as the black skin of the slaves was the mark of Noah's curse. This excuse was used especially during the 18th and 19th century when the slave trade boomed and was seen as a way to punish Black people for their sins. Racism stems way far back than the slave trade though, read Othello to get a real hint at Elizabethan racism!

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by U15307590 (U15307590) on Monday, 18th June 2012

    well, I think you have to think about it in perspective: the Bible was written by loads of different authors and then some Roman Emperor chose to put certain ones all together while discrediting others. the result: not all parts of the Bible can possibly be correct.

    In the Bible, yes there are referrals to killing people, but there are far more proclaiming peace- it's even written in the Ten Commandments and told by Jesus, which I think is much more important than what some other obscure parts read. I'm pretty sure this is the case for all religions, though correct me if I'm wrong.

    And granted, some people may interpret Ham's curse to be racist ( bear in mind that Noah was either drunk or had a severe hangover when he called it) but there are far more parts of the Bible which show that no- one should be racist- The Parable of The Good Samaritan, The Sermon on the Mount and Jesus Talks to a Samaritan Woman are just some of the many examples as well as the fact that Simon of Cyrene, who helped carry Jesus' cross is thought to have been black.

    By the way, I just wanted to make my meaning clear on one of my previous posts: when i said ' I guess the story of Ham could be interpreted that way' I didn't mean that you were the only one who interprets it that way! many people have and I'm sorry if it sounded like that- i just don't want people to get the wrong impression. anyway, back to the debate.

    Christians are CHRISTians- they should follow Jesus' teachings way before any other part of the Bible, no matter what. Jesus is completely clear that he will not stand prejudice or violence. therefore, those who do not follow these rules are not CHRISTians, they are OBSCUREANDPROBABLYWRONGPARTSOFTHEBIBLEians, if you understand what I mean.

    I repeat: I do not believe for one second that all of the Bible is correct. therefore, those who follow parts which seem morally wrong are using these parts of the Bible to justify their conscience. God gave us the ability to see what's right and wrong ( well, kind of), he wants us to use it! It is not Religion's fault that the Roman emperor dude got some of his books wrong!

    Report message33

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