Religion Is Detrimental To Society And The Individual

1768 words - 8 pages

"For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action; it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts…Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless they exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determine the goals, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up.” - Albert Einstein (1940)

A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. As religion became a more personal matter in Western culture, discussions of society became more focused on political and scientific meaning and religious attitudes. Providing proof that religion has a detrimental focus on society and the individual because of its conflicting belief with science, conflicting belief with other religions, and its connection with political and economic instability; religion has the ability to unify people and divide nations. Religion is a gateway to eternal salvation and an incitement to holy war (Bakewell, 2007).

Charles Darwin believed that the origin of religion was established because of peoples need for understanding. With their imagination and curiosity, along with the power of reasoning man would crave to understand the world around him and would have speculated on his own existence (Cultotta, 2009). Although Darwin expanded upon his scientific theory of evolution, later to be assured by scientific evidence, people continue to believe in a greater power provided to them by religion. With general relativity and natural selection, science has provided an understanding of how we as human beings came to be. According to class lectures, religious knowledge is obtained by sacred texts or revelation and is absolute and infallible and therefore creates an accompanying religious cosmology. However, the proof is limited to the religious texts and revelations that form the foundation of their beliefs (Cultotta, 2009). It is often said that religion encourages or prescribes solidarity within the group, but there needs to be evidence that people actually follow their religions recommendations that cannot be provided based solely on religious texts or revelations (O’brien, 2014). Yale University psychologist Paul Bloom says that “we have a tremendous capacity to imbue even inanimate things with beliefs, desires, emotions and consciousness and this is the core of many religious beliefs” (Cultotta, 2009). This does not prove that religion has a historic reasoning. Many scientists argue that religion is ‘adaptive’ in an evolutionary sense for societies. In all cultures, humans pour resources...

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