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Do you think the world would be a better or worse place without religion?
Race, Religion & Politics / 5:12 PM - Tuesday October 06, 2009

Do you think the world would be a better or worse place without religion?

Everyone would still be free to believe whatever they wish. I am not suggesting forced atheism here. Belief in a higher power would still be accepted and the majority world view.

But organized religion of any denomination would be outlawed. No religious entity would be allowed to collect money, have a say in politics, or try to convert another person to their beliefs.

Do you think things would be better or worse this way?

Why?

Update: October 06, 2009.
It amazes me how many people see a direct correlation between religion and morality. As if religion is the only thing holding the fabric of society together. What about the intellectuals that do not even believe in God? Why aren't they running around raping and killing everything with a pulse? Also all recent evidence shows that most non religious people are more open minded and compassionate toward those who are different. Yet, religion still holds the world together...even though it's been tearing it apart for centuries?

- Asked by vabyss, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Who Cares?

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I don't really know...
I would like to see churches taxed like everybody else though.
Its such a hypocritical scam when ppl like the Osteens talk about "help your fellow man" and then you see the mere pittance they actually pay forward with charitable donations. To me, with the exception of the makeup, they are really not much different that Jim and TammyFay.......



- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

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It would be FAR better.

SO many lives would be saved. There would be no terrorism. Some may say that religion does the world good, but on the other side of the equation it creates a lot of hatred AND segregation.

- Response by myndseye711, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35

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Wouldn't matter as long as government also existed. Government dictates how people act by the civil and tax laws.

- Response by castle5, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Chicago, Who Cares?

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It would be worse because a lot of churches do a tremendous amount of good in the world and people desire churches and gathering with people of shared beliefs. To outlaw that would be communist, oppressive and wrong.

- Response by newnumbersguy32, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Financial / Banking

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Worse. Anytime that one group of individuals decides what is right or wrong for another individual when it has nothing to do with "harming others" only causes the "underdog" to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Conflict because one believes that having a ceremony is their right, while another thought it was silly. That would be like telling me the roses in front yard had to go because the neighborhood didn't like the color. :)

- Response by txsewbunny101, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Student

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I think it does more to seperate us then bring us together...BUT "Outlawed" that is very Marxist of you... Voted Obama did you????

- Response by mscachick, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Minneapolis, Who Cares?

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I think religion exists to promote order. Without having some level of fear of consequence instilled into society, there would be chaos. If there was no religion, people would run wild, because they won't have any fear.

- Response by wudaddy, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 29-35, Dallas, Law Enforcement

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I don't think it would be since if you look at the basis of every religion being the bringing about of civil society. I ask this to people who push for no religion...name a civil society that didn't get its start with religion as a cornerstone... When you look at most religions, what is the main priciple. You don't kill me and I won't kill you...

- Response by juandontbeg, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, Self-Employed

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worse as then saten would have won

- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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If we weren't hating on eachothers religion there will always be something else we will have a problem with. Were human and it's in our nature to try to feel superior from others. Might as well keep religion since even though it brings alot of violence to fight over it also brings faith.

- Response by An Alternative Girl, Female, 26-28

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I dont think it would make much difference one way or the other. I'm an atheist, but I dont think its completely fair to blame religion on its own for many of the world's problems. I think its more accurate to blame ideology, and I include religion as a TYPE of ideology. Because Nazism and Communism have also caused the death of millions and millions of people - basically its the very human tendency to think "that person leading us is right! I will do whatever he says! Those who oppose us are less-than-human! They deserve to die!" I think its THAT mindset that causes all the problems (and it even applies to our invasion of Iraq, if Iraqis were not brown people who lived far away in a dusty place and spoke a funny language, but looked, spoke, and dressed like American midwesterners, I doubt we would have been so tolerant of "collateral damage" killing hundreds of thousands of them).

But I think that that mindset is very common in humans. So if the world had no religion, I still think we'd be killing each other over... whatever - land, water rights, we'd find something!

- Response by xerxes, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Washington, DC, Lawyer

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It's really hard to say whether it would be worse or better because religion isn't the ONLY reason that the world is the way it is today...when it comes to Churches and religion, they do tend to get a lot 'better' recognition when they donate to charitable organizations, but whose to know whether their donations are really as much as they are capable of donating or not...to be honest, I think that people are more likely to donate to a church because they are considered more 'trustworthy' than other organizations but it's hard to say whether the monies they donate is enough...religion is just another aspect of a world that tries to find more ways to make money off people...maybe if churches were taxed like other businesses, the churches wouldn't be as popular as they are...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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Hard to say, since I don't know the intent of your question. There is religion and then there is religion. I personally am a Christian, but I believe in strict separation of church and state, and as soon as you have sanctions against non-believers ("infidels" in the Muslim world), then you have problems. So, for example, I am against adultery, but I don't believe in passing a law that makes adultery a crime. It is sin, but not a crime.

I assume you are asking a hypothetical question, not asking if religion should be outlawed.

I have thought for a long time that militant atheism is in a sense another form of religion, and officially atheistic societies don't have a great track record in terms of how they treat people. Think of Stalin, Castro, Mao, Pol Pot. Not a very nice bunch, you will have to admit.

So, it seems that societies with officially sanctioned religions, and those with officially sanctioned atheism, both do a poor job in terms of human rights...those which take a live and let live attitude seem to do a lot better.

- Response by tomtomcat, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, New York, Teaching

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First of all, religion does not cause wars, people do. It is the intolerance of other people's beliefs that causes the conflicts, not the belief itself.
I am curious though about the "recent evidence" you mention that shows non-religious people to be more open-minded and compassionate.
I wonder if you replaced the word "religion" in your theory with "politics" would you feel the same?

- Response by hearmenow, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Other Profession

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I was brought up growing up the the catholic background. Now that I'm older, ive come to the understanding that there is no room for reasoning and doubts. There is no way you can do both, it has to be either or. I always doubted my religion and didn't understand may rules. Finally I just decided that religion was made and came about for the sense of control of the world. Yes, the world would be a much better place without religion. Its a shame but i've feel like i've just been brainwash. Religion is just a sense of control over humankind.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 29-35

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I've studied religions for over 60 years. I have not found one which covered my deeply held beliefs. I have to say, though, that when I hear the bells at some monastery ring for a prayer, I always turn toward the chapel. Must be a past life reaction.

After all that time of study, I have discovered that I am compassionate, open to ideas and act to help my fellow humans as quickly as possible.

I KNOW I am spiritual. I was deeply shocked when we found out who had committed those terrible deeds on 9/11. That behavior is not part of the Koran. As with Hebrews, compassion and aid to any who need it is part of those religions. I guess I'm in a continuous state of dread. I was just as unhappy when I studied American history, the deaths of so-called witches, the destruction of the native Americans, and the relentless claiming of the now American land.

There IS NO correlation between religion and compassion and 'good deeds'. All we need to do is teach our kids is 'do unto others what you would want them to do you'. That would take care of most of the Earth's problems. It begins with compassion and continues to understanding.

We are all part of God; even the heinous Hilter, Stalin, Pol Pot. We must understand what we are to do when incarnate and come to Earth. Life here is for learning about our connection to our Greater Power.


- Response by rholuc, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Retired

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I am 100% positive that there will be a day when we don't see religion like we do now.

Whether that means that it will be banned (their are petitions for this sent to the U.N. often) or if it will be required to be the same religion (the U.N. also has a temple and some sort of earth-y religion thing)

- Response by diamondsnrust00, A Thinker, Female, 26-28

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