Is religion important?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    it has existed in all human cultures throughout time.

    its still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.



  • allanon

    Posts: 63

    Dec 12, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    Depends on how you define religion...
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    Dec 12, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
    no and not all cultures, far east mostly had spirituality not religion in the sense of a 'god'
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    Dec 12, 2011 6:04 PM GMT
    Depends on the individual. I'm a spiritualist than a religious believer.
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    Dec 12, 2011 6:08 PM GMT
    SoroushBabak saidit has existed in all human cultures throughout time.

    its still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.





    No it hasn't, and that is changing.
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    Dec 12, 2011 6:12 PM GMT
    Religion provides a ...structure that some people find beneficial to their lives. I don't see anything wrong with that. Especially if it leads to a positive place, for the individual and those around them.

    As with most things, it's the extreme fringe that ruins the soup.
  • Suetonius

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    Dec 12, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    SoroushBabak said
    its still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.

    That would be really unfortunate if it were true. It is bad enough that relgion is important to so many in the world today. It has provided good excuses for the muslims to butcher the inhabitants of Constantinople when they invaded; for the protestants and catholics to engage in a 30 year killing spree in europe; for the hindus and muslims to go on killing each other in the inidan sub-continent; for the germans to exterminate the jews; for the jews to oppress the palistinians; for the iranians to kill off the bahais and zoroastrians when they could. Who knows how many perished at the whims of religion before we had history to record these events? And the world's major religons have done what they could to kill and oppress gay people.

    I have to give you that religion has done its share to keep down world population - so I guess it has not all been bad.
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    Dec 12, 2011 6:58 PM GMT
    Suetonius said
    SoroushBabak said
    its still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.

    That would be really unfortunate if it were true. It is bad enough that relgion is important to so many in the world today. It has provided good excuses for the muslims to butcher the inhabitants of Constantinople when they invaded; for the protestants and catholics to engage in a 30 year killing spree in europe; for the hindus and muslims to go on killing each other in the inidan sub-continent; for the germans to exterminate the jews; for the jews to oppress the palistinians; for the iranians to kill off the bahais and zoroastrians when they could. Who knows how many perished at the whims of religion before we had history to record these events? And the world's major religons have done what they could to kill and oppress gay people.

    I have to give you that religion has done its share to keep down world population - so I guess it has not all been bad.


    Excellent response. And sad, but true, that organized religion has probably done more harm than good. Even today.

    It seems that western (Christian-based) religions do an especially piss-poor job at guiding an individual through their spiritual journey.

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    Dec 12, 2011 7:05 PM GMT

    I think to believe in a higher power that you do not need to see, feel, taste, etc. is a very tempting motive - combine this with a limited ability to truly explain the universe's creation and religion forms the "perfect" explanation.

    Don't get me wrong, I am spiritual myself - that's just my objective thought on religion and its importance. I think most believe in the possibility of a higher power - hence why even those who claim to not be affiliated with a religion still say "Oh my god" when witnessing a tragedy or something unbelievable. It's more comforting than placing the cause of all existence into the hands of the school subject that might not have been so nice to your report cards.

    I could go on but I don't want to bore anyone with a novel about a 20 year old's
    thoughts on something that has been around for most of human existence.
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:44 PM GMT
    SoroushBabak saidit has existed in all human cultures throughout time.
    It has also been the basis for which many scholars and astronomers were killed or imprisoned because their findings challenged the teachings of the "all knowing, all powerful" church.

    SoroushBabak saidits still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.
    It's only important to those who haven't learned (or haven't fully accepted) the fact that it's just a fairy tale that was written by kings, for kings, to control large masses of people through fear of the unknown.
  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Dec 12, 2011 8:04 PM GMT
    Wouldn't want to find out too late that I sholuld have made it important in my life.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 12, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
    Jersey Shore is important to a lot of people too.
    Whether or not that makes it important is your call.
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    Dec 12, 2011 8:09 PM GMT
    The ancient Greeks, the founders of Western civilization, did not have religion in the sense that we have it. They did not run around with souls and did not recognize spiritual internality. The 12 gods were very much a part of their culture and ceremonies, in a huge way actually, and provided an explanation for how things came to be. But the Greeks did not spend hours in prayer, and did not have a personal relationship with deities the way Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus. They did not have scriptures that dictated how to live, nor did they have 10 commandments, only stories and philosophy.

    Their individual identities and their personal links to past and future history revolved around their city states, which were more or less believed to be eternal and noble places. The Greeks turned inward (in the religious sense) only after their city-states fell.
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    Dec 12, 2011 8:12 PM GMT
    If you are mentally weak then you probably need it.
    Otherwise, nope.
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    Dec 12, 2011 8:14 PM GMT
    SoroushBabak saidit has existed in all human cultures throughout time.

    its still important to the overwhelming vast majority of humanity today.



    Humans VALUE religion. That is not the same thing as saying religion is important. If you have no religion, will you die?

    Humans VALUE food. Without it we die, thus food is important.

    There are huge swaths of people with no religion, and they are not any closer to death, nor is their life any less meaningful than those who have it. Thus, it is not important. Valuable, yes, but not important.
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    Dec 12, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    Suetonius said
    That would be really unfortunate if it were true. It is bad enough that relgion is important to so many in the world today. It has provided good excuses for the muslims to butcher the inhabitants of Constantinople when they invaded; for the protestants and catholics to engage in a 30 year killing spree in europe; for the hindus and muslims to go on killing each other in the inidan sub-continent; for the germans to exterminate the jews; for the jews to oppress the palistinians; for the iranians to kill off the bahais and zoroastrians when they could. Who knows how many perished at the whims of religion before we had history to record these events? And the world's major religons have done what they could to kill and oppress gay people.


    This common rhetoric forgets so quickly that without religion, humans are still capable of horrendous evil. Hitler was not a religious guy and, believing that his theories on race were scientific, killed 6-8 million people in camps, and started a war that left 40 million dead. Stalin, an atheist and firm believer in science to lead the way, is estimated to have killed 5-10 million of his own people. Moa's accomplishments in the name of a scientific secular ideology is believed to have matched or exceeded Stalin's record. Global warming, which really does threaten to destroy more people and property than all of those other goons combined, is not the product of religion but of good old fashioned secular forces.

    It is too easy to cherry pick facts and to forget everything else that is relavant.

    I don't believe in God, but am sick of lame reasoning from the anti-religion crowd.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:08 PM GMT
    Many different things are important to many different people. Only a handful can be defined as universally important (food, shelter, social interaction and companionship, self-realization, sense of purpose and worth). I wouldn't put religion in there, which is not to say it's not important to a great number of people, which it is.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:14 PM GMT
    Ariodante saidMany different things are important to many different people. Only a handful can be defined as universally important (food, shelter, social interaction and companionship, self-realization, sense of purpose and worth). I wouldn't put religion in there, which is not to say it's not important to a great number of people, which it is.


    well well, look what the cat dragged in
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    I think religion is as important as someone lets it be. Plain and simple. Some choose to make it important enough to kill others over, or to go to war over, some make it important enough to disown family members over. Regardless of the religion, people decide for themselves if it plays a ruling part in their lives or not.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    Um I say yes, seeing as one of the biggest reasons for wars and unions is religion.

    Also to disagree with what someone said before me, but faith in a higher being (translated into religion) is human nature. It is a need, possibly not as important as shelter, food, and air. But vital to the well being of us as psychological, mindful beings. So I would say religion is universally important.

    And religion itself is subjective, in meaning, in everything. What is myth to us now was once religion to an older civilization, i.e. Greek Gods to the Greeks, Roman Gods to the Romans.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    RunintheCity saidReligion provides a ...structure that some people find beneficial to their lives. I don't see anything wrong with that. Especially if it leads to a positive place, for the individual and those around them.

    As with most things, it's the extreme fringe that ruins the soup.

    Almost agreed 100% with you until the last bit.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:44 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said

    well well, look what the cat dragged in


    Me posting again comments are so 2 days ago.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:51 PM GMT
    Nivek saidThe ancient Greeks, the founders of Western civilization, did not have religion in the sense that we have it. They did not run around with souls and did not recognize spiritual internality. The 12 gods were very much a part of their culture and ceremonies, in a huge way actually, and provided an explanation for how things came to be. But the Greeks did not spend hours in prayer, and did not have a personal relationship with deities the way Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus. They did not have scriptures that dictated how to live, nor did they have 10 commandments, only stories and philosophy.

    Their individual identities and their personal links to past and future history revolved around their city states, which were more or less believed to be eternal and noble places. The Greeks turned inward (in the religious sense) only after their city-states fell.


    Not true. Plato argued there was a soul which made up the essence of a person and matched his theory of the state. See Plato's Republic for more on this.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 12, 2011 9:58 PM GMT
    Squarepeg said

    It seems that western (Christian-based) religions do an especially piss-poor job at guiding an individual through their spiritual journey.



    Christianity is not a western belief system.

    To answer: I think religion is important for most people on earth. For me personally it is, but I don't care what someone else does with their life so I don't care if they don't want to follow a religion.

    To say religion has been unimportant seems inaccurate. Religion funded major scientific advances: the Catholic Church invented the western university, the modern hospital and irrigation science in monasteries; Islam rescued Algebra and gave a modern understanding of optics.

    In my opinion, most wars that appear religious are actually political and religion was used as a pretext for war. Men in power don't want conversion, they want money and land. Hitler didn't hate Jews because they were Jewish, he hated them because they were an easy target he could blame national economic and territory problems on, just like the Jehovas Witnesses, mentally handicapped and homosexuals that were part of the holocaust.
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    Dec 12, 2011 10:26 PM GMT
    i'm an animist...so i don't accept mainstream religion...is it important,no not especially.