11 2

Does religion do more harm than good? I know religion has helped some people in positive ways, but it can also be completely destructive and bad. I appreicate the good religious people out there. They do exist. I have met a few. But, I personally believe it does more harm than good, overall in the world.

vjohnson51 7 Nov 19

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


I have to say that not all religions are like christianity and islam. I was a southern baptist then an atheist then an anti-theist then a buddhist and now a secular hindu (advaita vedanta). Those who follow the vedas ... it's more a community-building thing than just religion. I believe that's how it all started - church was them laying down the rules of their community. Religion became an off-shoot of that as people shared beliefs and conflicts arose. I believe in hindu because the upanishads make for a nice skeletal framework that seems to encompass modern theoretical physics. I won't ever cater to mysticism again - but I'm going to know my epistemology and history and physics and science while evaluating these things and not always just dismiss everything for "no physical proof". Physical evidence isn't the only method of proof and without some "faith" in your learning and depth of knowledge we'd never make advances. Look at how Einstein developed his ideas.

The point is you can't classify all these things as simply "religion". Many are much more social than theological and they still withstand the test of time because they allow for development and growth - unlike christianity and islam. The vedas were the very first "holy" books on the planet and they were just wisdom by a bunch of dudes. No one special in particular. Just intelligent observations collected over thousands of years. Literally. The different communities interpreted it their own ways as a means of social order and the great synthesis basically put all those groups together as the "Sanatan dharma". All the diversity of all those communities still exists in sanatan dharma today - known in the west more as Hinduism. Some of them follow gods, some are secular, lots of different beliefs under one main heading basically. And all referenced from the vedas and providing social framework. So it's not all bad. Some of it's rather beneficial.


Without a doubt - more harm than good..

It’s forever inhibited tolerance & exploration of the sciences (and that’s only two). Humanity needs each - not Religion ~

Varn Level 8 Nov 20, 2019

Religion teaches a chronic dependence upon something that does not exist. It teaches sane people to make life decisions on the basis of pretend. That not conducive to healthy behaviors or decision making. Yep its toxic.


Yes, more harm I think.
Action by religious groups; the sense of community created; having a local community centre; having a familiar group of friends to do activities with; have an open forum for talking about morals and meaning; serving your community; networking: these are all good things. These are not religion though. We’d probably all like these things, but community centres tend to want money from groups and it causes start up issues.

Having a belief because you were indoctrinated by others that stood to gain by it; accepting ideas that are not based on any evidence or reality; learning to think of some people as other and outsiders and thus treat them differently and sometimes harm them; not working on self improvement because God made you how you are and you’re perfect; that it’s ok to be a tosser because if you repent you’ll still be ok with God?
Not so sure about all that stuff and to me that’s religion 🙁


it can do god, but it creates the structures to generate harm and the structures are there just waiting someone with greed and understanding of this structures.
It is like the detention camps there in USA, the structure was created by Obama, but Trump weaponized it.

In ancient times religion was a social glue and an important point of contact between different groups, it helped to stabilize societies and allowed development and cooperation.

Now we have other tools for this like science, commerce, complication, global culture, human rights etc. Religion becomes a neutral player with structures in place just waiting a psychopath to use them to harm society.

It can do 'god'? Wow they're just too many directions to take that. Lol😊


Nobody sees themselves as evil.

Theists try to do good and seem to usually think they are. And sometimes they're right.
Two phrases come to mind -- 'It's an ill wind that doesn't blow good somewhere' and 'even a broken clock is right twice a day'.

It's just a massive shame that there is so much ignorance and so many misguided goals wrapped up in the religion package. Their selfishness and mistakes undo so much of the intended and potential good they could do.
It's terrible that the 'do more harm than good?' question even needs to be asked.
(And of course theists think the same thing back at us. Mike Huckabee said Chick-fil-A shouldn't have surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups.
Life is seldom simple.)


The harm gets a lot of press. The good is more often personal and private. It would be impossible to measure.

skado Level 9 Nov 20, 2019

It exacerbates xenophobia and intolerance, nowadays.....


Religion... is helping widows and orphans in distress and avoiding worldly corruption. James 1:27

I would think those are good things to do.

Word Level 8 Nov 20, 2019

Nonreligious people do that too. So it isn't about religion. Thing is, nonreligious people don't start religious wars or try to convert each everyone. So it doesn't balance out.


@genessa The French Revolution initially began with attacks on Church corruption and the wealth of the higher clergy, an action with which even many Christians could identify, since the Catholic Church held a dominant role in pre-revolutionary France. During a two-year period known as the Reign of Terror, the episodes of anti-clericalism grew more violent than any in modern European history.

@genessa in the name of atheism. exiled 30,000 priests and killed hundreds more.

@OwlInASack atheist/agnostic Jim Jones kills over 900 people to save them from religion?

@blahblah i don't thinkthat reaction, albeit violent, to religious abuse is the same as starting a war to promote a particular religion or persecute a particular other religion.


@blahblah when did i do that? and why would i pick on priests? i've never been christian. i have nothing against which to rebel there.


@genessa I do not know when you did it and I have no ideal why you would pick on priest.

@blahblah i must have been sleepwalking.



I’m not sure religion is what is harmful. Their faith and church helped my son and daughter in law save their marriage. I say helped, because they did the work, but they chose to believe it was mystical inspired. The problem is the leaders that they choose to follow. That is where the hatefulness and and misdirection comes from. From the batshit crazies like Jim Jones and David Koresh to the scammers like Olstein to the dominionists like Graham and Robertson. All of them have agendas; self enrichment, political control, or their own personal power trip. And they are very good at mind control of masses of people.


I found religion helpful until my early 30s. When I started to question the b.s. and my sexuality. There were a few times in my 30s I considered suicide. I'm a happier person since i have been Atheist. If i end up marrying a man. Than so be it.

If you marry who you love then so be it, and good luck!

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:428808
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.