Is religion a good thing ?

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Just branching off from the 'existence of God' topic....
I often think about how much good religion actually does- having had it shoved down my throat for most of my childhood all it seems to do is cause alot of problems.
My mum is a strict Catholic,I was made go to mass all through schooling, I attended a private boarding school for 6 years and had more of it shoved down my throat.
It makes me sick when I see 'brothers' and 'priests', driving around in the latest vehicles (which were updated each financial year) smoking all they want, drinking all they want, going to jail for touching up kids, belting the **** out of students, having sex (which they swore off when they took the job) and generally living a pretty good life.
Then we move onto the Vatican....jesus christ indeed- when you look at all those poor starving people that the good catholics pray for and how well they could be fed on one rooms riches.
Now its not just the Catholics- its spread accross all churches and beliefs bar one (which I will mention later). Fighting between each other, looking down at people 'not good enough' for your church, mass suicides, guilt, guilt and more guilt- hardly bodies worth devoting your life towards.
Now I was brought up knowing what's right and wrong but all the fear and crap that gets installed into you when learning 'the teachings of the church' - is that really necessary ???
I recently had a corker of an arguement with my mother re. what good it did to go to church for an hour when you could be out reading a book to a blind old person for an hour- she ending up chucking her coffee at me which led me to suggest she chill out and make the move to become a Budhist.....
Now I'm no do gooder but seriously, if you look at the Budhists and what rules they live by, surely more good can be achieved by having these sort of beliefs than those of any of the other religions put together. I'm not a Buddhist or anything at all for that matter- I was just thinking about it after my little discussion with my loving mother and thought it did made some sense.
I'm also dirty on the Catholic religion for not answering my prayers regarding Manly as a kid- surely if God knew the pain I was going through in 95 he would've done something about it ????
Anyway now I'm throwing it to you guys- I hope I haven't offended anyone !
This i going to make things fly.

I think the basic idea of religion is good. the problem is people using religion for their own purposes and reasons.

For mine it can be a good thing, but has been made into a bad thing by a mere few
true- but unfortunately the ones turning it into a bad thing are the ones running the show.
I agree.

A lot needs to be made up for by a lot of organised religions.

Whats with no sex till your married, that ****s just crazy :D
true- maybe if they changed the rules regarding no sex they would get less weirdos just in it for the kids.....
Im probably gonna get flamed for this comment , but as far as my opinion goes ,Religion is for People who cant think for themselves , Ask yourself what has caused more Wars, Death ,Carnage ,abuse in this world than anything else ???

as i said thats only my way of thinking , you are welcome to your own
and i was christened Roman Catholic
This i going to make things fly.

I think the basic idea of religion is good. the problem is people using religion for their own purposes and reasons.

For mine it can be a good thing, but has been made into a bad thing by a mere few
In many ways I agree with you Zap, though I don't think religion per se is a good idea. However, the history of the world is littered with examples of people that have used and abused many good things for their own ends.

This doesn't begin and end with religion. Anything can be made "evil" through exploitation for selfish purposes.

Here's a question though, and it's one that I had to answer at some point. Of all the great religious "figures" which were the ones that actually lived in the way that they taught? Surely that consistency between word and deed would be the first thing you'd look for?

Secondly, were there any of those that did achieve consistency between word and deed that were preapred to die for what they said?
It gives people hope and confidence in their lives. It preaches the good treatment of your fellow man and peace.

Religion is a good thing, but some of the people who preach and follow it are ****ed in the head.

*For the record im somewhere between a non-practising Christian and Atheist.

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