The Pros and Cons of Religion

Just occasionally religion can be used as a force of good. After all there are a lot of people who follow particular faiths so if their leaders say something good, or ask for something good to be done, then they carry a fair bit of ‘weight’ and something good may actually be done. Example:

Pope Benedict XVI has called on states that have yet to sign the UN convention banning cluster bombs to do so “without delay.” from

Cluster bombs are an horrific weapon that tend to leave lots of unexploded pieces behind, which are later found by the locals often with devastating results. So the Pope asking for countries that have not yet signed the agreement to ban these devices, is a good thing.


Religion can also be used as a force of evil. Some members of the faithful tend to believe just about whatever their spiritual leaders tell them, even when it’s a bad thing.

Iraqi police say the bodies of two gay men have been found in Baghdad’s Shiite slum of Sadr City after a leading cleric repeatedly condemned homosexuality. from and

It is even believed the two men were killed by relatives who were shamed by the gay men’s behavior. Shamed, I assume, because their cleric told them it was shameful.

I’m sure you could find hundreds more Cons against religion, instances where religion has been used as a force of ‘evil’.

This news story was mentioned on the radio today, but I didn’t find many “main stream” on-line media covering it.

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12 responses to “The Pros and Cons of Religion

  1. the chaplain

    Yeah, that’s the problem with religion. Being based on faith, feelings and the like, it’s sometimes difficult for the faithful to sort out the good stuff from the bad stuff. When things like reason, experiment and the like are the basis for action, the chances of weeding out the bad stuff improve substantially.

  2. Great post. I hadn’t heard of the gay men being killed because their families were told by a cleric that it was shameful?
    That’s awful! Hope you are happy and well. I stopped doing the Twitter thing….

  3. seantheblogonaut

    Which is why it is better that we educate people to think for themselves to question authority.

  4. Why do you Atheists agree with God?

    God said do not lie, steal, disobey your parents, use God’s name in vain, bear false witness, and commit adultery or murder.

    You don’t like liars, thieves, murderers and adulterers.

    The problem is your accuser/prosecutor knows that you have broken the very laws you agree with.

    “Satan the accuser” – Revelation 12:10

    Have you ever told a lie?……Guilty!
    Have you ever stolen anything at all?………Guilty!
    Have you ever used God’s name as a cuss word?……..Guilty!
    Have you ever looked with lustful eyes? Same as Adultery (Matthew 5:28)…….Guilty!

    • Ben Finney

      > Why do you Atheists agree with God?

      Why does a flower smell like perfume?

      The man-made edicts of the fictional gods conveniently happen to reflect the views of those men who wrote them.

    • Think things through, modelvolume!

      Oh, so you’ve never lied, stolen, used God’s name in vain, or checked someone out? You’re perfect?
      If you want to tell atheists they’re evil, why don’t you use something with a little more substance? In fact, why don’t you and I agree not to target anyone and respect other human beings because THAT is the kind of rule people should agree with?
      And why would atheists even agree with the commandment to refrain form using God’s name in vain? /We don’t even believe in God!/
      You see, Christians break rules, too. There have been Christian murderers before, and that’s breaking a commandment. So you could ask, “if you Christians believe in God, why don’t you follow his rules?”

    • Edd

      Did we really need “god” to tell us not to steal, kill, or do any of that other stuff? Do you think that we would allow that regardless if there was a god or not? Did you think that without god, now in the present, people wouldn’t say anything? Because god wasn’t there to tell us that killing, lying, and stealing was wrong? Did you think that the world would have been corrupt if it wasn’t for ”god”? Lady, it just requires common sense for these things! Why didn’t god say: You shall not rape. You shall not use child labor? Or more logical sounding rules? As for lust and disobedience, they are natural human traits! Just as Benn Finney stated, RELIGION IS FLAWED JUST AS THE VALUES OF THE HUMANS WHO CREATED IT. Religion and “god”, and the perpetrators behind it have caused catastrophic events: The Holocaust, The Salem Witch Trials, and etcetera. Don’t you think that a little “disobedience to your parents” could have prevented some major war, and senseless, tragic events that included mass death counts? It all takes a little common sense! Don’t accept “authority” as the truth, look for justice and a sense of logic, for that is the real authority. “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man”. -Albert Einstein

  5. Any action, based solely upon faith, not backed up by objective fact (that would be reality), has at about an equal chance of being bad as good. Yes, religion can do good in the world. By accident. Yes, religoin can do bad in the world. By accident. With no way to differentiate other than faith, religions cannot, as institutions, learn from their mistakes. When power politics is added to the equation, though (as in Iraq, and the GOP), the chances of anything good coming out of a faith-based decision is reduced dramatically.

  6. christmas tree

    this is titled pros and cons of religion, yet you only talk about 1 con, and 1 thing the pope did that shouldn’t really even be considered a pro for religion… its just something the pope did, it has nothing to do with religion in itself. but i guess i should’ve known better from an atheist weblog. You fail.

    • Chesire cat

      “but i guess i should’ve known better from an atheist weblog”?
      Whats thats supposed to mean?
      If you didn’t like it, why are you commenting on it? Butt out.
      Ever heard of the freedsom of speech? This is something not every christian has heard of. Sorry you’re not allowed to practise it.

      • Crow Airi

        “Butt out”
        You should stay out of the internet if you don’t want people’s opinion.

        “This is something not every christian has heard of”
        A very uninformed and unintellectual opinion.

        “Sorry you’re not allowed to practice it”
        This is either a temper tantrum or a severe case of PMS.

  7. second opinion

    Religion is not a force of good and evil, most religions are based on good values, and if followed correctly, would always have good outcomes. However Religion is often misinterpreted (even by religious leaders!) and can cause people to become ethnocentric, and do bad things in the name of their religion.

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