Do you think religion is rational or a hindrance to progression of modern society?

William Bernstein’s formula for human progress went in depth to articulate the meaning of scientific rationalism. Douglass North devised theory based constraints that allocate into political structure, economic, and social interactions (formal and informal) …would you consider religion to be a restraint? If you answered yes, do you believe it impacts both sides of the spectrum of formal and informal? Do you believe a ground set of values is needed with capitalism to work and is religion the answer to that?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I believe religion served its purpose when it came into circulation from a societal standpoint. It gave everyone a certain set of written moral codes as well as other useful incentives such as population control and even dietary control - it was created for the sole purpose of establishing social and economic stability.

    Nowadays I feel, personally, that we have progressed to a point where the archaic concepts of religion simply cannot keep up with modern society and it serves little purpose. We laws that support a nearly universal human moral code (thou shalt not kill, am I right?) and there are other resources being used to try and keep our economy running smoothly (though it clearly isn't a perfect system). I guess we also have to factor in that we're no longer so impressionable to believe in the concept of a man living in the sky, no more than we believe Santa Clause is a real guy who kisses our moms and leaves us presents once a year.

    All in all, I feel religion truly holds no purpose in modern society outside of providing people with a sense of something to believe in.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • No not really, religion formed the modern world and expanded it, our morals, laws and traditions stem from it. Our code of laws is based around being Christian. And our greatest artistic, architectural and musical achievements stem from religion.

    If you're not religious that's entirely your choice but claiming it's holding us back is a mistake. Closed minds hold people back and that's just as true to scientists who are 100% sure there isn't a God (just as they were sure of many disproved things) then it is for those that see God's hand in all actions.

    And religion will never go anywhere if you ban it people will practice it in private, in the shadows. Only way to destroy it is to kill everyone who practices it. Which means committing a mass genocide dwarfing every genocide ever committed beforehand and becoming the greatest mass murderer who ever lived.

    Religion is what it is, a choice and neither a advantage or hindrance to progression of modern society, the hindered to progression of modern society is the people of modern society themselves. As well as the corruption, greed and selfishness that associates with them.

    Besides with the horrible way society is progression and the direction it's headed in do you really want it to progress any further in that direction in the first place?

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What Girls Said 6

  • No I don't believe it's a hindrance.
    The 3 main hindrances to progress are:
    - Corruption
    - The ignorance of people in a certain country ( No educational system or poor educational system).
    - And to a lesser degree than the 2 previous ones, authoritarian regimes.

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  • A lot of religious folks are going to hate me and downvote me but I think it's a hindrance.

    In the past sure it was useful when a ruler couldn't watch his subjects all the time. So they needed something to kind of scare people into being good. Religion kind of did that in the past but now it does nothing in that sense. Which it ends up hurting more things than helping.

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  • It's rational, all societies have some form of belief system that helps them get through hard times. As soon as you feel the effects of war, natural disasters, famine, things like that; the first words out of people's mouths are usually prayers to god... even if they don't believe in him.

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  • Religion especially Christianity formed the modern world. Our morals, laws and tradiitons came from it,

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    • 3mo

      Religion isn't going anywhere. Plus, even the non religious dont believe in scientific findings. If they did acceptance communities wouldn't exist. Religion isn't evil people are. So unless you eliminate the "people" or free thinking you will always have destruction.

  • Religion is insane

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  • Religion is doing nothing but hurting and setting us back. I think religion was started to control others to do certain things and put fear into them for being a certain way. Now while some still do that there are a lot of Atheists and countless others who are shutting down religion by stating the obvious, we are not going to hell or heaven when we die based on how we are in life. We go in the ground or we are cremated. can't scare people into being straight, sexless and whatever else because a lot of people dont believe in such an awful being. I mean judge people for being gay? Wtf? So how do they feel about serial killers? They forgive them. What a crock.. I dont get it. Id think if there was a god who was so caring he or she would be disappointed in how so many followers act and treat others. Wanna be a good person? Keep your closed mind to yourself. Be a decent person who cares instead of puts fear and hate in the air.

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What Guys Said 14

  • Rational? Certainly not.
    But it indeed helped capitalism by promising people 'later' (if they go to heaven) what they miss because of capitalism: it kept sheeple obeying for centuries with the promise of happiness in their afterlife (and hell if they revolted).
    I do NOT think it was religion's first aim wen it developed long ago but...
    Read this: http://www.openbible.info/topics/slaves
    And: http://www.openbible.info/topics/masters
    And: http://www.openbible.info/topics/taxes

    Which master or king would not like that religion?

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  • Religion made modern society. Our code of laws is based around being Christian. People in the west forget that.

    If you're not religious that's entirely your choice but claiming it's holding us back is a mistake. Closed minds hold people back and that's just as true to scientists who are 100% sure there isn't a God (just as they were sure of many disproved things) then it is for those that see God's hand in all actions.

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    • 3mo

      I agree with you 100%. Closed minds are what holds us back.

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    • 3mo

      The question was rather open ended. By modern society are we talking about the west, the world as a whole (so I'd include religions such as Islam and Buddhism in my answer) or the way I see my country affected by it?

      In the world as a whole the biggest problem is people hiding behind it to do evil things. That's always been the case - justifying themselves through faith or even claiming the ultimate moral high ground as some in politics do, is dangerous. It leads to minds unwilling to fact the prospect that something can be different. Often it leads to very strict and totalitarian practices.

      How religion affects someone in China, Japan, and America will vary greatly over those in the middle east, Africa, or even places Northern Ireland.

    • 3mo

      i mean its kind of the same thing. Closed minds will always hinder progression. I think people who believe in god and think science based are open to all things and able to think outside the box-Which is important for progression.

      I myself struggle with the whole religion thing so i think its very impressive when those people believe we developed by both science and god. It takes a pretty open mind to believe that.

  • All human ideologies, whether political, religious, moral, or otherwise, are only a hinderance when people become too fundamental about them. There are millions of progressive people who are religious and at one time during the medieval ages the only educated and progressing people were the monks. It all depends.

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  • all "organized" religions are control methods all based on a fictional character no one will ever meet. The worst thing is laws and morality are judged based on some kind of religious principle. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE should be a reality in all respects.

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  • new age religions will replace the old ones. religions will adapt to fit into the more modern world. i consider religion only a hindrance to the progress that is made in society if it becomes too authoritarian and attempts to change society or recruit new followers through authoritarian means. or if they start wars or something.

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  • Religion is the most important thing to those like me that believe. Without God, nothing matters in that it does not matter if you live, love, die, hate... it has no relevance. Society, accomplishments, science, family all means nothing. You are no more relevant than bacteria on dino shit from millions of years ago. Sad world that you inhabit.

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  • Restraint.

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  • It's a hinderance as of now, but in the past it helped people have hope and continue instead of giving up.

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  • a hindrance to progression of modern society, of course

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  • Progression many religious places give to the poor and the community

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  • i dont know what half those words mean, so im gonna go with all the above.

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  • Hmmmm tough question because it very much depends on the specific beliefs of a religion and how seriously a group of people take the religion. Some situations is can be helpful and some situations it can be a hindrance. I think that there's value in spirituality and that spirituality can be achieved with or without religion. As for the last part of the question like most systems capitalism works best in culturally homogeneous societies. Shared cultural values obviously make things a little smoother. People like John Haidt argue that religion as a unifier COULD be an adaptation for more prosperous coexistence. So if you buy that argument then religion would definitely have an active role to play in modern society.

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  • depends on which religion...

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  • The biggest restraints on societal progress and civil liberties have consistently been government and religion.

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