Would the Earth be more Peaceful had Religion not existed?
I recently was asked a question by my wife. The question was “would the earth be more peaceful had religion not existed?”. I could not answer her then and there. So I asked her to wait for the answer while I “Googled” it.
Interestingly enough Google came up with the following results.Here I am quoting blog writers (with name) from the internet.
Discussion: Would the World be Better without Religion?
By Austin ClineMarch 26, 2006
A forum member writes: I really don’t think so. Even though many atheists are rational (at least most on this forum are, to my knowledge), their rationality was the means of them becoming atheists and not the other way around. For those people who are relatively irrational (at least when it comes to religion), I think religion is actually a boon. It provides them with comfort and hope, which helps them keep good mental health, which then leads to good physical health. As well, religion provides a reason to do things and a purpose for people to fulfill, and this helps them make more morally correct decisions even though morality is not based in religion. Even if it isn’t accurate, it helps people move through their lives.
Chirag Chauhan from Australia writes:
Do you think world would be more peaceful place to live without any religion ?
From childhood I have learned and heard one thing from different people, books, religious and spiritual people, teachers etc. that there is only ONE GOD ONE CREATOR. But this question always bugs me, why we have so many religions so many rules to pray the same GOD. Why we sent and still spending billions of dollars in building different religious worship places or performing different ceremonies. I think if we have use that money to help miserable and needy people world we live in today would be better place to live !!
If you look back in human history, I think at any time, with a great regrate I have to say, that we have shed more blood on name of religion and God than anything else.I think world would be more peaceful place to live if we didn’t have any name for the faith (which we call religion) to believe or pay the God without any name .I’m not in favour or against of any religion and I defiantly don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiment.
So, can we all please make sure, while commenting, not to mention any particular religions or God’s name? My intention is just to discuss and see if whatever I’m saying or believing is right or not?
Fábio Nunes writes:
May 27 2011: Religion is one of the best things we, as humans, have invented, yes it has been invented because we all know that the holy books haven’t been sent from the sky by fax or e-mail. So, i feel like I should explain how religion first appeared.
Religion was invented so that humans could find an understanding for things they didn’t understand. When we recognize that science cannot answer all our doubts there will always be room for religion and for belief. For example, 3000 years ago we didn’t understand or could predict the rain, so we turned to religion and begged the gods for rain. Nowadays we don’t understand yet if there is life after death, and because of that we still turn to religion. Humans have an attraction for knowledge, and if we can’t get it through science, then we will get it through belief.
Now, is religion important for keeping peace? Of course it is. In a society that is torn apart, where there is no solidarity and no respect for some specific people, such as the eldest, religion acts like a glue. Religion glues us together. For example, millions of Catholics from all over the world join in the Vatican to closer to their God’s representative on earth, the pope. They forget all their difference: the language and cultural barrier and pray together, because religion glues them together. Also, in a time of crisis, the church, at least in Portugal, helps the ones who have almost nothing – they are a society’s column. We can disapprove the pope’s response for the most recent scandals but we can’t forget that the church isn’t a demoniac creation. It helps the society and makes peace more possible.
However, when we talk about confrontation between different religions, the case changes. People make war because they want to prove they are right, that their god is the only one. But know it all begins to change, because we recognize that war is futile when everything that separates us is a holy book written by people.
Fábio Nunes writes:
May 28 2011: Religion acts as glue, as it gives a certain consistency to the company. Our values, whether we are atheists or religious, come from religion. Take the example of Christianity: the vast majority of the Ten Commandments are generally accepted by all, whether we are religious or atheists. And why does this happen? Because we recognize, as people, as social beings, that the rules and values made explicit in the sacred books are important for life in society. “Thou shalt not rob” thou shalt not kill, “these are some of the values we adopted.
Whether we are religious or not, we accept many of the values of religion. To summarize, religion functions as a speed limiter – sometimes, as in the case of science, we move too quickly, go over ethical boundaries, and religion, although it may seem retrograde, raises the debate over these ethical issues, puts us thinking about what we do and what we really want. I used this example to explain that even though religion and science are not exactly friends (for this case let’s think that science=non religious person), science “hears” what religion says and “thinks” about its actions and if we should something just because we can, regardless of the consequences.
Similarly, a non-religious person, even if she do not identify with religion, she will be affected by it : the person will take positions on the different issues that torn apart our society , and those positions will be consistent with religion, and thus society will respond in unison – religion is the glue of society.
I believe that some of the commandments – respected by all regardless of creed – are the probably the oldest “law” known to man and we all know that a stable society needs rules and values and religion gives us some of them and we, as persons, believers or non-religious, respect them because, as I said, we recognize its usefulness for a life in society.
Leonardo Boff a famous Theologist of freedom once asked Dalai lama :
“Which one is the Best Religion?”
To his surprise Dalai lama said :
“Whatever Religion gets you closer to God, and whatever Religion makes you a Better Person”.
Than Leonardo asked him :
“What is it that would make me a better person?”
Dalai Lama replied :
“Whatever makes you more Compassionate, more Sensible, more Detached, more Loving, more Humanitarian, more Responsible and more Ethical.”
Your religion is not important but who you are as a person is very important.