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Is religion a good or bad thing essay help

Apr 7, 2018

Let's be very clear: Strong men - men who are truly role models - don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.

‘Religion’ is a merely a dressing applied to the salad that is human conflict.


I will attempt to answer the question. But before I do, here are some things you should bear in mind while reading it: -

  1. I will focus on the indirect aspects as well. Gayle
  2. I will not be revealing my belief (or lack of it). If you define yourself by a label like atheist, Muslim, Christian or Hindu etc, you will get attached to it and will go to extraordinary lengths to defend it. I will avoid this by choosing not to disclose my religion. I want to keep it personal.
  3. In this answer, I will talk about events I don’t have much knowledge of like slavery, civil rights etc. So correct me if I’m wrong about any of them.
  4. Don’t read my answer if you’re one of those new-age atheists who thinks all religious people are beneath you in terms of intelligence. Debate cannot be reasonable if you’re convinced you’re superior to others.
With all that said, let us begin with the answer.

Religion and Science
In recent days, there is an unfortunate and misguided attempt to pit religion and science against each other. In history, these two have operated hand-in-hand or have stayed neutral with respect to each other. I use the following historical facts to prove my point.

  1. Ancient Indians did not abandon Hinduism or Buddhism when Aryabhatta discovered the positions of the nine planets.
  2. Bhagdad was a paradise of Islamic heritage and was a great center of art and science.
  3. Many catholic priests openly supported helio-centrism when Galileo put forth this law. Read this Tim O’Neill’s answer to What is the most misunderstood historical event?
  4. Only recent Christians oppose evolution whereas during Darwin’s time, the catholic church actually stayed neutral.

Religion and Morality
We now know that killing, stealing and lying are wrong, but what about our ancestors? You really think that humans intuitively knew that harming others was wrong? Religion helped restore order to chaos and established the first reasons for morality i.e. “fear of divine retribution”. Many things we take for granted like equality and freedom is because of religion.

People like Salmon P Chase, used Christianity as an argument against slavery. Thousands of Clergymen like James Reeb answered Martin Luther King’s call for equality. Lord Buddha and ancient Hindus advocated vegetarianism and even today, India is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world.

It is not a coincidence that many poor countries are religious. I could elaborate more on this, but one of my favorite quorans already explained this point in great detail

Religion and Unity
In Gayle’s answer, she regards religion as the evil that propagates “us vs them” mentality. But this assumption does not stand historical scrutiny.

Millions of Christians, Muslims, Confucians and Buddhists were equal citizens of the Mongol Empire. Millions of Hindus and Buddhists lived in peace until the Islamic invasion. Despite Auranzeb’s terrible administration and the British Empire’s “divide and conquer” policy, Muslims, Christians and Hindus are living in relative peace.

Emperor Ashoka used Buddhism to unite India about 2,200 years ago, Adi Shankara used Hinduism to unite India 1,2oo years ago. Religion was a force of unity, not enmity.

 Crusades, Jihads and partition may have an element of religious fanaticism, but the bigger reason always has been geo-politics. This is something people like Christopher Hitchens (the most overrated journalist in history of mankind) can ever understand.

Furthermore, many times people from both sides of a conflict were of the same religion. Axis vs Allies in WW1 and WW2 etc.

Religion as a tool for empowerment
Religion was used by those who were suppressed for courage, hope and happiness since centuries. For example, B.R. Ambedkar used Buddhism as a tool for the untouchables and other castes to fight against upper-caste oppression. Martin Luther King used Christianity as the weapon against inequality etc.

Many people are under the misapprehension that Religion is used for violation of human rights. North Korea is an atheist state, how good a record in human rights does it have? What about Cuba? Soviet Russia? Or China under Mao? Contrast that with the US, one of the most religious countries in the world but has done a pretty good job (for the most part) in defending human rights of its citizens. This proves that religion does not matter much when human rights are concerned.

Religion and culture

Even the most ardent opponents of Hinduism cannot help but concede that the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are indeed epics. Many people who don’t believe in Poseidon and Zeus nevertheless respect the Illiad.

Make no mistake, religious contribution to culture is immense and worthy of respect. An atheist may point out that such great works of art may exist even without religion but I could say the same about 911, the holocaust etc.

Conclusion: - Religion is an ideology. And like all ideologies, good things were done in its name and so were bad things. Blaming religion for social ills like sati, dowry, crusades, sharia law etc is like blaming democracy for the farce called “war on terror”. Like blaming science for Josef Mengele’s experiments.

I apologize to people who consider my answer to be unduly harsh in its tenor. It wasn’t my intention. I am just tired of all the bullshit that goes on¬† quora in the name of “reasonable debate” between atheists and religious people.

[1] Andy is very quotable. Someone must read his answers and make a wiki of his awesome quotes.

[1]I will attempt to answer the question. But before I do, here are some things you should bear in mind while reading it: -With all that said, let us begin with the answer.In recent days, there is an unfortunate and misguided attempt to pit religion and science against each other. In history, these two have operated hand-in-hand or have stayed neutral with respect to each other. I use the following historical facts to prove my point.We now know that killing, stealing and lying are wrong, but what about our ancestors? You really think that humans intuitively knew that harming others was wrong? Religion helped restore order to chaos and established the first reasons for morality i.e. “fear of divine retribution”. Many things we take for granted like equality and freedom is because of religion.People like Salmon P Chase, used Christianity as an argument against slavery. Thousands of Clergymen like James Reeb answered Martin Luther King’s call for equality. Lord Buddha and ancient Hindus advocated vegetarianism and even today, India is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world.It is not a coincidence that many poor countries are religious. I could elaborate more on this, but one of my favorite quorans already explained this point in great detailIn Gayle’s answer, she regards religion as the evil that propagates “us vs them” mentality. But this assumption does not stand historical scrutiny.Millions of Christians, Muslims, Confucians and Buddhists were equal citizens of the Mongol Empire. Millions of Hindus and Buddhists lived in peace until the Islamic invasion. Despite Auranzeb’s terrible administration and the British Empire’s “divide and conquer” policy, Muslims, Christians and Hindus are living in relative peace.Emperor Ashoka used Buddhism to unite India about 2,200 years ago, Adi Shankara used Hinduism to unite India 1,2oo years ago. Religion was a force of unity, not enmity.Crusades, Jihads and partition may have an element of religious fanaticism, but the bigger reason always has been geo-politics. This is something people like Christopher Hitchens (the most overrated journalist in history of mankind) can ever understand.Furthermore, many times people from both sides of a conflict were of the same religion. Axis vs Allies in WW1 and WW2 etc.Religion was used by those who were suppressed for courage, hope and happiness since centuries. For example, B.R. Ambedkar used Buddhism as a tool for the untouchables and other castes to fight against upper-caste oppression. Martin Luther King used Christianity as the weapon against inequality etc.Many people are under the misapprehension that Religion is used for violation of human rights. North Korea is an atheist state, how good a record in human rights does it have? What about Cuba? Soviet Russia? Or China under Mao? Contrast that with the US, one of the most religious countries in the world but has done a pretty good job (for the most part) in defending human rights of its citizens. This proves that religion does not matter much when human rights are concerned.already did a phenomenal job covering this part, but I will add a bit more. How many Indian dances are of atheist in origin? How many festivals? What about ancient Indian architecture? Imagine a world without cathedrals, temples and mausoleums and contrast that with the world we live in now.Even the most ardent opponents of Hinduism cannot help but concede that the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are indeed epics. Many people who don’t believe in Poseidon and Zeus nevertheless respect the Illiad.Make no mistake, religious contribution to culture is immense and worthy of respect. An atheist may point out that such great works of art may exist even without religion but I could say the same about 911, the holocaust etc.: - Religion is an ideology. And like all ideologies, good things were done in its name and so were bad things. Blaming religion for social ills like sati, dowry, crusades, sharia law etc is like blaming democracy for the farce called “war on terror”. Like blaming science for Josef Mengele’s experiments.I apologize to people who consider my answer to be unduly harsh in its tenor. It wasn’t my intention. I am just tired of all the bullshit that goes on quora in the name of “reasonable debate” between atheists and religious people.[1] Andy is very quotable. Someone must read his answers and make a wiki of his awesome quotes.

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