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Religion does more harm than good - poll

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posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 07:47 AM
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Talk about topical.



More people in Britain think religion causes harm than believe it does good, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today.


- Ha!
If this poll is accurate then so much for those who seek to exploit religious divisions here.

The poll shows that an overwhelming majority in the UK see religion as a cause of division and tension - significantly outnumbering the much smaller majority who also believe that it can be a force for good.

The poll also shows non-believers outnumber believers in Britain by almost two to one.

We are, apparantly, a sceptical nation with huge doubts about the effect of religion on society.


82% of those questioned say they see religion as a cause of division and tension between people.
Only 16% disagree.


So much for us supposedly being a nation of 'many faiths'.

Most people polled have no personal faith, as few as 33% of those questioned described themselves as "a religious person" of any description (which is pretty vague).


63% say that they are not religious - including more than half of those who describe themselves as Christian.
Older people and women are the most likely to believe in a god, with 37% of women saying they are religious, compared with 29% of men.....

..... Only 13% of those questioned claimed to visit a place of worship at least once a week, with 43% saying they never attended religious services.

Non-Christians are the most regular attenders - 29% say they attend a religious service at least weekly.
Yet Christmas remains a religious festival for many people, with 54% of Christians questioned saying they intended to go to a religious service over the holiday period.

Well-off people are more likely to plan to visit a church at Christmas: 64% of those in the highest economic categories expect to attend, compared with 43% of those in the bottom group.


www.guardian.co.uk...

- It all depends on how accurate this poll is but it does seem to reflect the way we are IMO.

Even the C of E people quoted in the article only claim 1 million weekly Church goers now.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all.

[edit on 23-12-2006 by sminkeypinkey]




posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 10:20 AM
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I think its more than 1 million. Immigration has increased the numbers who attend Church, the Catholic Church of England and Wales has to bring in priest from Poland due to Polish immigration (BBC had a special on it).

I do feel it is increasing, mainly due to the paraniod right wing media shouting "its a war against Christmas" that is probably making the Christians more radical.



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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Many moons ago when I was at school, we held a debate on Religion, the question was "Does religion cause more harm than good?" basically the same as the poll, the results stood almost at a half way split, with the four or five who stood neutral (I was one
) having the ability to swing the vote either way.

Finally the motion was passed that Religion did cause more harm than good though only by a couple of votes, with those neutral remaining neutral, taking into account we had a theatre hall packed with students so there was a fair amount of people voting.

The practice of Religion is a hollow entity without people to follow it, and with the mainstream religions at least they can be corrupted and the words interpreted in ways which people believe validate their own corrupt beliefs.

Religion is what you make it and is open to interpretation, its down to people not the texts of the religion at the end of the day.






[edit on 23-12-2006 by UK Wizard]



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 10:33 AM
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Taking this poll the way most people interpret it, I'd say that I agree with the majority in that religion causes way more harm than good. However, we need to remember that "religion" is an ideal and that it's the people who practice the religion causing all the trouble. Religion is inanimate, it's the people who pick it up and run with it who do all the damage.

And of course, the damage is done to those who believe differently than the religion of the day. Far too many people who get seriously involved in religion think that the one they've chosen is the ONLY right way to be and they take on a crusade (pardon the pun) to convert the rest of the world and to defend their religion against all 'enemies' (non-believers). This is where it becomes a war zone.

infinite's right. Everything is a war these days. The war on drugs, the war on Christmas, the war on terror... I so long for a time when we can live and let live instead feeling it's our business, our right and our duty to tell everyone else what to do with their lives based on what we've chosen to do with ours.



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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Sorry but this old canard about religion and how much better the world would be without it doesn't convince me. We live in an age we're people kill each other over the football teams they support, gang colours, cultural differences...just about anything really. Two of the 20 centuries biggest mass killers were secular anti religionists Hitler and Stalin plus all those other communist or fascist regimes that did their share too.

It's simplistic social commentary of the fluffy bunny v blue meany variety, the fact that the more secular the UK becomes the more violent, immoral and anti-social it becomes too may be a telling fact that we actually could do with some kind of spiritual/religious grounding in our lives.



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 02:19 PM
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posted by ubermunche

Sorry but this old canard about religion and how much better the world would be without it doesn't convince me . . [religion] may be a telling fact that we actually could do with some kind of spiritual/religious grounding in our lives. [Edited by Don W]



I see religion claiming applicability in two very different aspects. 1) The origins of the Universe and everything in it, and 2) rules for people to live by on a day to day basis. Because religion is based more on astrology that it is on astronomy - Christianity is still pushing the “Star of Bethlehem” story although it is pure fiction. We know how the Church first denied then incarcerated Galileo after he disclosed his discovery - the 4 moons of Jupiter - which contradicted the Church's version and showed it was not true. And you know what something is when it is not true!

Just the other day I was writing here about Voltaire’s lampooning the Catholic Church over its eternal arguing over the symbolism of the Holy Foreskin supposedly a part of Eleanor’s dowry to wed Charles the Great. Fortunately the Age of Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation has more or less freed mankind of such inanities. But we are not yet free. Old customs die hard.


[edit on 12/23/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 02:29 PM
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I saw this poll too and found it very interesting, especially considering the time of year. Do I agree with it? For the most part, yes.

However, religion can have positive effects on people. It does encourage charity and people to help each other, but sadly this is far from universal. It also encourages separation (see Muslims living in apparent separate communities) and conflict (see the war on terror). A very double-edged sword.

I'm afraid I don't agree with what ubermunche says in that a more religious UK would be a better UK. Crime and nasty people have been around ever since the dawn of humans, and no matter how religious we are or we aren't it isn't going to go away. Part of the reason it appears to be much worse than, say, fifty years ago is because of the fantastic increases in technology and communication... there were no 24 hour rolling news channels, websites or anything like that back then.

Having said that, let me wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year whatever religion you may or may not be



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 01:56 AM
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I'm afraid I don't agree with what ubermunche says in that a more religious UK would be a better UK. Crime and nasty people have been around ever since the dawn of humans, and no matter how religious we are or we aren't it isn't going to go away. Part of the reason it appears to be much worse than, say, fifty years ago is because of the fantastic increases in technology and communication... there were no 24 hour rolling news channels, websites or anything like that back then.

Having said that, let me wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year whatever religion you may or may not be


That's not what I'm saying. I was brought up in a religious household, went to a faith school and religion permeated all or most aspects of my childhood years. I saw all the negative effects religion can bring about, the divisiveness, exclusion, the concentration on dogma rather than the broader message and a lot of hypocricy from the 'whited sepulchres' as Jesus would have called them. but I also saw people who's belief and faith were the cornerstones which enabled them to lead good, compassionate and productive lives, there seems to be less of that today and I find that sad, (and yes I think in many ways the UK is worse now than say fifty, thirty or twenty years ago) maybe I should substitute the word spiritual rather than religious but there's a fine line between the two. The point is if you take religion out of the picture things wont improve people will just find something else to use as an excuse. It's rather like saying we should ban all political parties because the political process can lead to extreme and oppressive ideologies and regimes. I certainly don't support the idea of theocracies over democracies, belief should be a personal thing, maybe when we get that straight in our heads we'll have achieved the right balance.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 06:41 AM
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What i think is really funny is papers like The Sun who are apart of this campaign to save Christmas and the Christian message but the material in their paper really does not appeal to Christians
. I really do not understand the term "war on christmas"
Am I the only person in the UK who does not see it?

I really do not think its long before this Country ends up like the American Christian right cause a lot of Fundamentalists are starting to become vocal.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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Well christianity is a cause for division, i do believe it say's somewher in the book of matthew that jesus said he has not come to bring peace but to divide people, a son against his father and a daughter against her mother etc

The muslims also cause division they also are not to mix with unbelievers (infedels or jins) and the other stuff we are familiar with.

The jewish religion is number one, only jews can go to heaven and the world (all other nations) are to be there foot stools. to be found somewhere in the old testament.

Does religion cause division? YES it is desighned for that purpose, to put one group of people above another ( better people) and to give those people absolute authority on right and wrong.

Belief is a powerful thing and absolute belief without daubt is even more powerfull, so religion will never go away. and who Knows for sure their may be some truth to it.

It's a scary thought as a scientist to climb the mount everest of knowledge only to get to the top and find a monk up there saying i told you so.

Good topic by the way. Merry christmas to all at ATS



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 08:57 AM
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I believe, that in time, we will all come together and tear down divisions. Religion will never go away, but there will come a time of peace when we finally see that we all share a common belief structure and that we are not different after all. Sadly, it seems that a major conflict will arise before we finally see the light.



posted on Dec, 24 2006 @ 06:06 PM
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If talk to un intellectual people they usually say “yes”. Images of Osama Bin Laden, “Ayatollah Nuclear” or the Cartoon Riots cross their minds; and then this balanced against the few times they’ve turned up to church and what this did for them.

I disagree because there would be a lot more people who would have lied, stolen, or even raped and killed in a world without religion. Nearly all religion drives into people the concept of an afterlife where you will one day be accountable for your actions on earth; and may even be set on fire forever if you’re a very bad person.

I think this is a pretty massive deterrent against being wicked and selfish; and knowing the human mind, we respond to deterrents (that’s why rules work for instance).
Furthermore almost all religion (with the exception of certain kinds of devil worship) tries to promote good, and is usually successful.

Islam…
The one time when religious people try to promote “good” and fail miserably (not just in the minds of most people; but possibly also the fact of the truth) is when they try to promote their religion using violence.
Other times is when a religion like Islam promotes violence.

What links Osma Bin Laden, Ayatollah Nuclear, the Cartoon Riots and too some degree even the Crusades all together? Oh plus suicide bombing
Compare these tributes of certain religions with other religions like: Buddhism, Ancient British Paganism, Hinduism (and various others) and how many comparisons do you get? With those I mentioned I reckon it’s a fat zero, with Christianity its 1 and a half out of 5.

It’s no secret that the British people are very politically correct. In my opinion sometimes it verges on the point of virtual Brainwashing. Go to some Middle Class areas and ask “Does Islam Do More Harm than Good?” then ask a different selection with a different poll “Does Religion Do More Harm than Good?”
I reckon (that due to virtual brainwashing) more people will say religion does more harm than good; than those who say Islam does. Yet it is precisely the things linked with Muslim Fundamentalism that flash across peoples minds when they reckon religion overall has a bad name.

And conceivably you could even get the same result nationwide.

How funny is that?

I personally believe that Islam does more harm than good because of its Muslim fundamentalists. This is not to say Islam without fundamentalists does more harm than good. I reckon that if most people where not so politically, where to afraid to share their minds with ether themselves or others; then they too would easily reach this conclusion. And I'm sure if Islam had never been founded there would not be nearly so many horrible things that cross peoples minds whenever you ask them to sum up the value of religion.

In the End…
Through paranormal research, into examples like how ghostly images, wearing period clothing can appear on CCTV, in locked down, high secure buildings; then we’ll be on our way to uniting all world religions; and it’ll the biggest insult Islam or Christianity for that matter; has ever had. The only people will refuse to believe are the religious fundamentalist (and there’s not much you can do about them anyway).

The Soviet Union did colossal amounts of paranormal research during the cold war for military applications; but produced some of the best reasons for believing in a afterlife and therefore a god(s) I’ve ever seen. And the only reason why we in the West did hardly any at all; was because of political fears it would ridiculed as a waste taxpayers money should the voting public ever find out about it.
One day these fears will reside; and we’ll have a government not only spending money on research into rocks on the moon; but perhaps 10% of that being spent into that truly amazing question “Is life after death”.
Because when that’s done not only can go about unifying world religion, but we can also access its worth.

P.S: I only believe Christianity will be diminished because like Judaism and Islam in particular I believe it to be mostly (but not necessarily completely) a false religion. So yeah I agree with most people on this thread like infinite that in the end there will be a time for peace and unity, and also that we’ll have a great war and more before that ultimate-due period.



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by reaper2
Well christianity is a cause for division, i do believe it say's somewher in the book of matthew that jesus said he has not come to bring peace but to divide people, a son against his father and a daughter against her mother etc



Actually,Jesus wasn't ordering people to divide themselves,as you imply he did. It was a prophecy about what would wind up happening,and it has. Although, the whole thing about not bringing peace but bearing a sword bit, is indeed true.

[edit on 25-12-2006 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 08:45 PM
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I see religion as a tool. Think of it as a hammer. Depending on what your needs are you can:
1. use it to build/maintain something
2. use it to destroy something
3. not use it at all since you don't need it

I choose #3 since I don't need it. When I was younger, and didn't know what I know now, I prayed for help. Now that I don't have religion in my life things have gotten so much better I can't begin to tell you. Having religion dictate how to live your life creates an atmosphere of fear and we all know what fear leads to. Figure out your own path but make sure you are helpful to your fellow man.

Results may vary from person to person, but I see religion as one of 3 things, hopefully you will see it as #3 and live an easier life.




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