Positive And Negative Effects Of Religion

What are the positive and negative aspects of a religion?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that one definite pro of a religion is the idea of belief in something larger than oneself.  In a world where there is so many who demonstrate so much of ego and self- glorification, religion allows individuals to subjugate their own sense of self towards a larger end.  This is a good thing in terms of being able to see oneself as part of something larger and not the end in its own right.  Along these lines, the idea of being able to do good for others in the name of something larger can only help to make society and the people within it better.  The con or potential negative attribute is when individuals believe that their form of religious worship compels them or drives them to interfere with others.  It is interesting to see that some of the worst in human behavior has been done due to love of religion.  Some of the very worst in actions and human behavior has been done in the name of religion.  The misreading of religion and the awful things that result from this is where I think that people have shown a potential bad side to religious worship.  It is here where some level of change is needed in terms of how people advocate for and show zeal towards their religious worship.

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rileyb | Student

Good things religion has done:

  • taught people that eating bread and wine and talking to their bed solves their problems

Bad things religion has done:

  • the slaughter of millions over different fairies and their corresponding fairytales
  • justified slavery
  • justified the cruel and unequal treatment of women almost everywhere in the world
  • brought the world into the Dark Ages
  • imprisoned some of the most enlightened minds of human history
  • brainwashed billions into living in fear of their all loving """god"""
  • brainwashed people into thinking that human decency comes from religious when it's human nature which is actually inherited and acquired
  • taught people to be satisfied with not understanding
  • made millions of people get up early on Sunday mornings

That wasn't biased or anything though.


gopikrishna | Student

Encourage morals and values, positive goals. in theory most religions encourage unity, tolerance, love, peace, hope, treating others as u treat urself..etc. Religions can create communities of people who support each other.  Religions can help people leave a life of crime and drugs and turn to a good life.  The families of religious people are more likely to stay together than the families of secular people.  Religious couples are more likely to have children than non-religious couples.   A religious belief in justice in an afterlife can resolve helpless debilitating feeling of unresolved anger. Comfort to those who lose loved ones, where their belief that those loved ones somehow continue on in an afterlife can give them immense inner peace.

Religion has been one of the biggest obstructions to scientific development and success. Medical science has faced some of the most disgusting attacks from religious fanatics hiding behind facades of morality and righteousness. Religious leaders have used their dogma to oppress, victimize and terrorize those who refuse to subscribe to their particular brand of bigotry. Religion has had more to do with human selfishness and greed than with righteousness, piety, compassion and spirituality. The evil, vicious, and greedy individuals enjoy success and prosperity from the exploitation of the weak.

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