Without religion there would be nothing holding people back from crime, murder, rape etc,. There needs to be a form of morality in the world whether you believe in a higher power or not something needs to affect the general population decision making process.
It is true that religion helps people from, for example, turning to crime by forcing them to consider the 'wrath' of an almighty entity and the repercussions that that would bring about.
At the same time it is true that people will use the excuse of religion to commit acts of violence, among other things, to further their cause and provide some amount of 'mental reasoning' for their actions, either because they actually believe in the religion or to seem 'better' in the eyes of others.
Either way, if religion didn't exist nowadays the roles would either reverse or everything would remain the same.I choose to believe that people are good or bad based on either their own unique personality or from their childhood learning which can play a fundamental rule in our process of growing up, especially ideals picked up from parents and teachers (Social Learning Theory), instead of it being the cause of some religion.
I am gonna add a note here and say that religion has and is being used for therapeutic reasons as well nowadays, such as in trying to bring about the good in people and make them forget a past thing they may have done and aspire for greatness through pure-of-heart means (fairytale style)
Nevertheless, I am not against religion, as I am a follower of a religion myself, but neither do I completely adhere by it. In the end not much would change.Good people would be good,bad people would be bad.
People.People never change.
The question presents a false dilemma. Religion arose in early humans and primitive societies as an expression of the need to make sense of the world, explain the unexplainable, provide assurance about the future, and to provide a common basis for cooperation to make life better. Religion is a part of both human and societal evolution. The process of natural selection does not reward what is good or bad, but what works.
Thankfully, human evolution includes the capability of reciprocity, empathy, and altruism to balance self-interest, anger, and vengeance. Early in human history it was found that when people restrained their violent and selfish interests so others would not retaliate they could cooperate to make societies that were safer and made life easier for all involved. The better the cooperation, the more that could be accomplished. These principles were expressed in theistic religions, non-theistic religions, philosophies, and governments. In many societies, religion and government were indistinguishable from one another.
So the question really is, “Can humans create a better world without a basis for cooperation?" No.
Does it matter what that basis is? Only insofar as the vast majority being willing to accept it.
Is religion the best basis for cooperation? Well, that is the crux of the matter.
Given the many varying religions, theistic and non-theistic, and the growing number of people who have no religion and who lack any belief in God or the supernatural, I would say the best basis for cooperation is human values upon which everyone can agree. Archeology and history both indicate that the common ethical elements of all religions and governments are reciprocity (treating others as you would be treated), empathy, and altruism. Reciprocity motivates people to treat others decently, and governments make laws to prevent its citizens from being harmed by those who violate that principle. Reciprocity also promotes cooperation: if we all agree to drive on the right side of the road it helps everyone travel more efficiently and safely. Empathy involves understanding the situation and needs of others. Altruism motivates people to help those in need and to help improve living conditions within a society.
So, I would say that the best basis of cooperation on which the world can become a better place would be founded upon reciprocity, empathy, and altruism, regardless of anyone's religious beliefs or lack thereof.
I said "It would be the same" not because I actually believe that but because I think that, on balance, religion's influence is exaggerated and where religion has effects they tend to be a pretty even mix of positive and negative.
It's very easy to look at the people yelling homophobic ideas, misogynistic beliefs, out-dated and closed-minded concepts, ignorance, and bigotry as a result of religion. But there are millions of practitioners who quietly work. There are thousands of services churches provide. Just today, I was reading about how religion helps women cope with intimate partner violence. The Catholic Church is a vital source of assistance for these women. Moreover, many of the most impressive social movements have had a strong religious membership, from the civil rights movement in America to the solidarity movements that helped carve out a little safety from dictators and death squads in Latin America in the 1980s.
Religion's causes of negative behavior are overwhelmingly through the institutions and biases we already have. I think that people are homophobic because of culture and they sublimate the idea through religion. From the Crusades to today, what has looked like clashes between religions or civilizations has almost always been straight power politics in disguise. The Crusades did far more damage to the Byzantines than they did to the Muslims. And as much as Samuel Huntington might protest otherwise, America has often opposed Christian governments and peoples while backing Muslims.
I don't too quickly want to dismiss the idea that religion can itself be an institution that contributes to harm. These factors are cyclical: Homophobia may not have had the pedigree it did if religion didn't sublimate it and protect it. But I truly believe that, if we dealt with our moral paucity and our unjust institutions as a species, religion would be benign.
All religions are man made control systems. Sad to say even the so called Christians make up their own rules and regulations and require their followers to obey these manmade doctrines. I personally love the God of Jacob. And I believe James 1:27. It says that 'pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. The first part of that definition is fairly easy to do...but that second part (boy o' boy)...that one will sure keep us minding our own business and tending our own affairs.
Personaly, I'm Asatruar, the religion of elders nords gods (Ases), but I don't take it serious, I see this more like a game and a way of life than a really serious thing. I do some rituals and festivities, but always for fun, it's never a constraint. So I think religion is a good thing when it's just an occasionnal hobby, it can be a work, but like a games seller : you do it because you like it, and you don't dedicate your ENTIRE LIFE for it. I also think that religion must be forbidden before a certain age, peoples must choose their own faith.
There is a slight but important differentiation to consider with this question. If the question is, "would the world be better if religion had never existed," then I think the answer would be unequivocally yes. A lot less people would have died, and humanity as a whole would probably be quite a few centuries ahead in terms of progress.
But if the question is along the lines of "would the world be better if religion just suddenly and spontaneously disappeared" then the answer would be no.
In the past, religion has done more harm than good. In the present, it does far more good than harm.
Yes, you could point to Muslim extremism, but we all know the (valid) argument: Muslim extremism isn't motivated by Islam (anyone whose read the Quran knows that). It's motivated by other factors: lack of opportunity, desperation, want to fight for a cause, etc. Those factors would exist with or without religion, so sans religion in today's world, there would still be terrorism.
Yes, you could also point to a sort of Christian extremism here in the states, a set of Bible-motivated views that puts the US far behind other developed nations in terms of social progressiveness. Remember, we have Kim Davis.
But consider that the vast majority of people on the globe are religious. What does it bring them? It brings them hope. It brings them a sense of cause and self worth. It gives them structure and community, and motivates them to do good in the world and have empathy for others. For the average global person, religion is a valuable part of life.
These are things that obviously cannot be quantified, but by any measure far outweigh the harms when you consider the billions that it helps.
In my opinion - religion is for those with weak minds. I'm not trying to imply that these people are inferior or superior - but religions haven't done anything else other than causing the wars & segregations/splitting of our communities, and humans.
Religions can go from "this is not allowed" to "this must be eliminated/terminated". Religions infact do hold people back from commiting crimes and from doing bad deeds; as they believe they will go to heaven and that if they behave good they'll live prosperously in heaven. But it can also drive people into some of the most horrible things; inducing racist/sexist/criminal-like behaviours or else you'll burn in hell. Dying in war could mean going to heaven for some religions; being homosexual could mean death and a straight path to hell for others.
In my opinion, people should be taught that everything should be neutral or good - no religion. Everyone should be equal and respectful to one another. With care and appreciation, trust and coexistance; we'll have a better world. People shouldn't be judged, exiled; or executed for being different, having different beliefs or acting in certain ways. Every person should be allowed to do as they please - but have in mind the saying that I've always kept with myself; "Everyone should be allowed to do as they please, as long as they do not hurt themselves or anyone else in any way".
Religions make people behave good in the name of god, just as it makes people kill in the name of god. Believe it or not, I am almost guaranteed that ever since religion existed, everyone's been a fool in the name of their god - whether it was a prophet, or someone who claimed having been "sent by god", god himself; or what we read in ancient texts. If we advanced, why don't we move on from this ignorant way of thinking that after many many years, it hasn't advanced or evolved.
We can all agree with ourselves to settle down and think of our rules so it's better and fair for everyone - why believe in god when you can believe in yourself, yourselves, or ourselves?
There's only one truth, and that truth can be only be found inside of ourselves. We would make it a better place.
Religion makes people happy. It makes people feel not as afraid of dying. Even though I don't believe in any gods, it makes other people feel like there is always hope. Without hope... There is no people to even HAVE a religion to begin with.
Lemme tell ya something, it should be removed at all costs.
I did my research as a good boy :3 and i found this.
The Syrian war is caused by religion, why? Here's the answer.
Saudi arabia are the Sunis, and Iraq Iran and Syria are the Shitas. The sunis always wanted the control of all arabia but that would be going through eliminating the Shitas. But they possed resistance against them.
Saudi arabia is supporting ISIS because they know that if they take out Syria, they would have advantage over Iraq and Iran. Now, that plan was pooped up. Because the Russians know that if they have the ISIS dominating Syria, they have Chechenya, Georgia and the other countries down below in danger of a Islamic revolution. Since there's a hate amongst the muslims against Russia, because Russia was supposed to be a Islamic country, but the funny thing that they knew about the rule of islam against alchohol, so they throwed islamism and they added the Orthodox church.
Now. What's the reason of the war. Sunis and Shitas are 2 divisions of the Islam=Religious war.