The Pros and Cons of Religion

Updated on November 22, 2016
GoodBrains profile image

Since graduating university, Paul has worked as a librarian and bookseller. Born in the UK, he now works as a freelance writer in Florida.

At its best, religion can bring a sense of purpose and belonging to people's lives, as well as provide them with moral guidance.  At its worst, religion can bring irrational restrictions, war and persecution. .
At its best, religion can bring a sense of purpose and belonging to people's lives, as well as provide them with moral guidance. At its worst, religion can bring irrational restrictions, war and persecution. . | Source

Religion has both brought mankind together and divided them over the centuries. Generally speaking, religious faith is generally on the decline in Western countries, but growing in other places around the world.

Opinion is divided over the pros and cons of religion.

  • People who are for religion often portraying it as something that gives humanity meaning and purpose, as well as providing a moral compass for people to navigate by.
  • Those who are against religion, however, portray it as an irrational and restrictive force that historically has brought about wars, prejudice, and oppression.

I hope than you enjoy reading my pro and cons of religion and find it interesting. All comments are welcome.

Did You Know?

The word Islam means “submission,” it comes from the Arab word for peace, salaam.

Hinduism is the oldest organized religion and currently the world’s third largest religion.

The word "agnostic" was first used by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1860, although the concept of agnosticism is much older.

James, written around 45 AD, is the oldest book in the Christian New Testament.

A Buddhist should eat whatever food is presented to him, but never request that an animal be slaughtered for his meal.

Statue of the Hindu god, Ganesha.  Unlike Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which believe in one god, Hinduism is polytheistic, which means that there are many gods.
Statue of the Hindu god, Ganesha. Unlike Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which believe in one god, Hinduism is polytheistic, which means that there are many gods. | Source

Pros of Religion

  • Religion brings meaning to people’s lives. Without a sense of meaning, people’s lives can seem empty, causing depression, angst, or anxiety. Human beings need some form of motivating force. As Jesus said: “Man cannot live by bread alone.”
  • Religion can bring a sense of hope and inspiration to people, who otherwise might feel despondent, or desperate.
  • Many charities are run by religious organizations, providing essential help to some of the most needy people on the planet.
  • Religion can provide social coherence, with people sharing common aims, values, and moral systems.
  • Holy teachings and books, such as the bible, koran, or Hindu Vedas, contain great wisdom which is beneficial to all mankind and provide useful points of reference.
  • Religion has inspired some of the world’s greatest art, architecture, writing, and sculpture.
  • In a changing world, religion provides a sense of continuity and a reliable foundation stone. Rites and rituals provide comfort and structure for people as they ride the rollercoaster of life.
  • Religion can act to curb the worst excesses of man’s instinctive, animal nature.
  • Churches, temples, synagogues etc provide places for the community to meet, organize and socialize together.

Interior of an Islamic mosque.  Rather than showing depictions of prophets and people, Islam tends to use patterns and quotes from the Koran for decorating its religious sites.
Interior of an Islamic mosque. Rather than showing depictions of prophets and people, Islam tends to use patterns and quotes from the Koran for decorating its religious sites. | Source

Quotes About Religion

" Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." Buddha

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Napoleon Bonaparte

"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." Theodore Roosevelt

"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness." Dalai Lama

Statue of Buddha.  Buddhists do not usually worship gods, rather they believe that spiritual enlightenment lies within.
Statue of Buddha. Buddhists do not usually worship gods, rather they believe that spiritual enlightenment lies within. | Source

Cons of Religion

  • Religion has historically been a source of war on conflict between people ever since people started believing in it. Religious people tend to believe that their particular religion is the only correct one and all the others are false.
  • Religion is based on a fallacy that the universe operates according to “supernatural” rules and forces, rather than scientific ones. Stories of miracles and people rising from dead etc. remain unproven.
  • Religions can cause or encourage bigotry against minority groups, such as gay people, women, and racial groups.
  • Religion discourages free inquiry and restricts freedom of thought, by encouraging the idea that fundamental answers can only be found in a fixed and specific book or belief system. Preachers and religious leaders can also encourage a culture of unquestioning loyalty amongst their followers.
  • Religion holds back humanity from progressing. When the Christian Church dominated Western Europe in medieval times, scientific inventions and discoveries almost ground to a standstill and it wasn’t until the arrival of secularism that things began moving again.
  • Religion often uses fear to gain itself power, such as threatening people with Hell.
  • Some religions discourage people from living their life on Earth to the full, with the promise that they will get another, superior life after they’ve died.
  • Religion encourages an unachievable idealism and in the process creates hypocrisy, frustration, and disappointment.
  • Unscrupulous leaders use religion to enrich themselves.
  • Religion absolves people from personal responsibility, because they can say that God told them to do it.
  • Religions are essentially man-made, rather than divinely inspired. People are encouraged to live an illusion, essentially a form of escapism.

The Golden Temple in India, a sacred place for people of the Sikh religion.  Sikhs believe in a single god, and that the way to live a good life has been revealed through the teachings of a series of gurus.
The Golden Temple in India, a sacred place for people of the Sikh religion. Sikhs believe in a single god, and that the way to live a good life has been revealed through the teachings of a series of gurus. | Source

More Quotes About Religion

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." Desmond Tutu

"The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." Thomas Paine

"When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow." Anais Nin

The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a sacred place for religious Jewish people.  The wall is thought to be the last remaining part of the Jewish Temple, which was destroyed 2000 years ago by the Romans.
The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a sacred place for religious Jewish people. The wall is thought to be the last remaining part of the Jewish Temple, which was destroyed 2000 years ago by the Romans. | Source

Did You Know?

Sikhism is the 5th largest religion in the world, with around 23 million adherents. About 19 million Sikhs live in India, mainly in the state of Punjab.

Judaism has 613 commandments, with the 10 commandments forming only a part of them.

Out of all the religions in the world, Christianity has the largest number of followers.

The word Algebra comes from the Arabic "al-jabr", meaning: "reunion of broken parts" and came from in the Islamic world.

Your Opinion

Do you think religion is a good or a bad thing?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • I have a debate coming up on religion, and I'm on the pro side. What should my main points be?

    Religion has a positive effect in many ways, including giving individuals a sense of meaning and moral guidance. It helps to structure society, keeping it ordered and stable. It provides ceremonies for life's big events, such as marriage, birth, and death. Religious teachings provide insights into human nature and many of life's mysteries.

© 2014 Paul Goodman

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Anonim 

      13 days ago

      I really liked!

    • profile image

      Annie Mcfarland 

      6 weeks ago

      I really really like this is what I’ve been looking for... keep doing what you’re doing thnx

    • profile image

      bb 

      4 months ago

      I find that for me, I've only met people who use religion as a way to crush others. They use it as a way to say that they are better than someone else because they are correct, because they know how the world was truly created. I personally don't agree that you need some sort of book to tell you how to live your life. Why should someone need a creator to be a good person? Why do they need an ultimate reward for being a good person, to be successful, and kind? Why should your belief trump anyone else's? Don't you think it is time to stop asking who is right and start wondering what is the right thing to do, what is right to others?

    • profile image

      RAe the savagr 

      5 months ago

      thanks it really helped

    • profile image

      Child 

      8 months ago

      this sight was great for my report thank you, and all your information!!

    • profile image

      Helloooooooooooooooo 

      8 months ago

      That is a great website. Especially for kids that are researching this topic. Thanx!

    • profile image

      bhi h 

      8 months ago

      wow wow wow wow wow

    • profile image

      Gordon 

      12 months ago

      Women aren't a minority.

    • profile image

      ghhvmhtdjht 

      14 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      pooooo 

      18 months ago

      this is a great website hehehehehehe

    • profile image

      qfadsga 

      19 months ago

      Very biased cons..

    • profile image

      MArty sJ 

      20 months ago

      This is a great article!! Great read! Thank you

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)