This isn't about war or anything, Islam's roots are violent and discriminative. I can't bring Nazism up right now and claim it has changed and we no longer want the Jews to die, it's something like that.
a religion is not defined by its religious texts, it's defined by how people interpret it. compare it to grammar - the rules of grammar change based on how people use it. "correct" spellings of things or punctuation uses are based on what the majority does, not on set-in-stone rules.
Quran says: "Kill non-muslims if they don't convert." and "Women are inferior to men." And Quran is Islam, Islam is violent and discriminative.
i can't speak for the quran as i've never read it, but the content of the old testament isn't meant to be taken literally. most of it is essentially a collection of stories that were originally passed on through word of mouth and written down by various authors (if you read genesis, for instance, you'll notice that there are two versions of the story of earth's creation and noah's ark that completely contradict each other: this indicates the story has been related by two different authors). while there's no way of finding out what their original intent was, it's quite likely that many of these stories were intended as allegory and not to be taken at face value.
as such, there are tons of rules in the bible that have been swept under the rug, while the christian community instead opts to place emphasis on a select few. for instance, leviticus states that one should never mix wool and linen garments. this was possibly due to pagans wearing clothing made of these materials at the time. a rule like this would not be relevant in our current culture. while the main ideas behind a religion, such as the figure being worshiped and how worship is performed, will remain the same, many aspects of the religion will adjust over time to suit the current culture.
But still, there is a lot of discriminative and violent verses in Qur'an. It's also the same in our daily life Qur'an, the same rules remain. They're enough for anyone to consider Islam to be a violent and discriminative religion.
It's an interesting debate.
Religion has in my opinion has been too domineering in their regards to science by their constant attempts to answer scientific questions from the school of thought of faith.
By the same token, science has strived so fiercely to discredit questions of faith with scientific research.
I think it's important that both parties realise that they belong to different schools of thought and have different questions and methods. This in no way means that either is superior or lesser: just what they've always been, which is different.
I can only answer from a Christian perspective but I believe organised religion was intended to give a structure that people could go to for help in life, much in the same way that people go to hospital if they're ill or hurt. Of course power, greed and hatred got in the way and personal agendas became the agenda of the church and ostracised the people in society it was supposed to help.
I think more modern churches though are getting back to those original principles with some of the ones that actually do things in the community and genuinely help people rather than just take care of their own.
many theists today have beliefs in god and science which exist side-by-side. while we have scientific evidence that a large part of the bible could not have happened, it's still possible to believe in the existence of a god in spite of this as we have no real way to disprove its existence. the problem arises when religious texts are taken at face value and the time period they are written in is not taken into account.
It existed at first to explain the unexplained, so in a way it was science in its earliest form, but later on people figured out the power religion can have over them, so they became popes, priests, rabbis, muslim priests, and used religion to rule over the people. They even got the dumb to fight their battles, to die simply to satisfy their kings. That is why anyone who said anything different got slain. New Age Science was a way to break down the walls and provide a real view of the world, of the truth. Some still require religion in their lives, and that is Ok as long as it's their beliefs, not beliefs forced into them.
Maybe people need something to believe in. Something beyond human understanding.
People are afraid of death, other peope realized that and used it to control them and get money.
Religion exists because people are afraid of death. It's simple.
Religion was created so that people could have something to believe in, to live by and to have a meaning in life. Life doesn't have a meaning, we are simply elvolved beings. Humans destroy planets like virus spreads in a human body, from body to body etc, we go from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy.
Yes indeed, it is simple.
Check again in 100-100000 years. It is obvious what we are doing to our planet. But that wasn't real point here. I am just saying that there is no real meaning, we are simply a creation of random events.
better question is why is this circlejerk still going
anyone religious will have one answer to it, anyone atheist will have the polar opposite answer, the only way to 'debate' this would be to try to convert the other side and that's never going to happen either way
psst, it's procreation
Let me properly explain evolution while I'm at it. Evolution isn't random because natural selection, the means by which evolution evolves species, is not random. Natural selection makes the most adapted specimen of a pool of randomly mutated specimen survive. The pool to select from is random. The selection is everything but.
I think it initially came about as a way for people to justify controlling others.
Why should I do that? Oh God said so, why didn't you say?
I think the perspective most posters have is not the essential point of religion. Yes, of course, people can use it to control other people, but religion itself isn't "created", in the sense that some guy says "hey, I'm going to make a religion!" and 'creates' it (except with modern hoax-religions of course).
Religion is something deeply rooted in man. If you analyze ancient religions you see an obvious projection of humanity on the world (anthropomorphism, gods talking human language, 'eternal' moral rules, etc.) However, even modern religions and some positions towards existence that claim to be not-religious have this sort of 'projection'. This projection helps people feeling more 'secure' towards the universe and existence itself, it gives them the feeling that "everything is figured out": God or whatever has all the answers already. You just have to be good to God, do what he tells you to. (This is also why it is so 'exploitable': giving a person that feeling of security about life makes them more controllable.)
It's more of what I talked after that quote. An single man saying that he has figured everything out doesn't make a religion. For it to be a religion there needs to be people who believe that it is all figured out in that particular way, and that 'urge' to do so is part of us.
Not sure why religion exists today, except churches that do good for people struggling in developing countries.
But as for modern folk in developed countries who would yell at their kids for simply not believing in God (almost like as if that held ANY meaning) it's simply stupidity at its stupidest.
Guys, another thing to debate about. Does religion makes a man rich with morals but poor in cash, financially?
justification of certain things, I think originally it wasn't meant to be so harmful just so much as people wanted reasons for the unknown but as time progressed lo and behold we're all just competing. :(
Religion made sense back when the earth was inhabited by stocky men with bushy beards that sodomized anything.
Because it is a coping mechanism for the complexity of the world - think about it.
When all of life is horrid, it helps your morale to think that there is some divine machine nodding over your shoulder as you go about your day. It makes things simple - it defines good and bad so you don't have to. It creates a sense of community - nothing says togetherness like being raised against a common enemy, like people who are looking to change the religion-established status quo or the classic 'sinner'.
It protects you from cognitive dissonance by telling you everything in absolutes.
In my own personal opinion, I believe religion started as a way to explain the odd world around the early civilizations. A way to describe where the ants crawling up my arm came from, why they exist, and where they started. Later on, people started realizing those who knew religion and its doctrines the best, the ones who understood all of it and possibly amended it to greater expanse; were the ones who should have the authority. People began giving authoritative positions to the studious, thinking that their higher connection would somehow keep them in good hands. Even in indigenous religions like in africa, for example, they would look up to the shamans, coming to them in their time of need. They believed that his massive understanding of the world around them, and his understanding of their religious explanations of said world would bring them fortune or healing.
Thus many centuries later, people stopped being nomadic, indigenous religions ceased for the most part; cities became common. Once cities become common, people move close together, when they move closer, they tend to chat more. Various evolutions in ways of life gave people some more free time and time to discuss their explanation of the world around them. People argued, listened and created their own stories. They then found some common ground and started compiling their understanding, again giving the authority to those who understood each story best. They then formulated a compiled belief and organized religion was thus born.
Afterward, as cities grew larger, people sought out to explore the unseen world. They found other cities, wanted their goods because they hadn't been able to produce them on their own. And while this trading was going on, small talk was passed between people, they began talking religion. They argued their differing explanations. Some gave in either by self-understanding, where the losing arguer would find that the opponents argument made more sense; or they gave in through force, which was displayed quite grandly by the Crusades.
Each major religion in the world today has written somewhere in it's doctrines, that it's followers should have a will to continue the expansion of the religion. The writers and thinkers of said religion most likely didn't think of the obvious consequences and contradictions of using force or persuasion to expand their grasp. Most missionaries probably thought that their opponents were going to immediately accept their beliefs and convert. Other missionaries just said "fuck it, let's make 'em listen" and resorted directly to using contradictory violence to get their point across.
And finally, my view on modern day religion: I do not believe the world should be rid of all beliefs of any God figure, creationism, or organized religion. I do, in fact, believe that people should just left it be. I do not hate religion, I hate the people who shove it down each others throats. Take for example, the current surge of homosexual equality rallies, as well as the unfortunate surge in homophobic acts. In the United States at least, the Christian population is using their beliefs to attempt to rid the area of homosexuals or at least prevent them from marrying or voting or whatever. That's what I have a problem with, feel free to practice the shit out of your religion, but don't come smashing down my door, shoving a bible up my ass telling me I'm going to hell for aiding the homosexual community.
Personally, I am so sick of people using their religion to infringe upon the rights and ways of life of others. Again, I will use the States as an example. We have a Bill of Rights, in that list of rights, we have 10 original amendments (27 total amendments). The first of those 10 is the Freedom of Speech right....
It reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
That basically states that you are free to establish and practice your religion, not use it to shove it up people's asses and restrict the shit out of their lives and make them miserable for being alive.
In my honest opinion, Religion was originally created to explain the big questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? As it grew, it eventually spread to answer questions such as "why does this happen" or "why does this happen".
As time went on, religion was also used as a buffer for comfort. For example, the fear of death was aided with tales of an afterlife. It kind of gave you something to look forward to. The afterlife was typically some kind of paradise.
I'd write more, but I figure that I've summed it up in a nice, easy to read package.
Some of the responses in here really remind me of how shortsighted a hell of a lot of people can be. If your answer to "Where did life come from?" is "The Big Bang, and Evolution" you need a bit of a reality check. Where did the Big Bang and Evolution come from? There's just flat-out not an answer for that. Why is the speed of light 3*10^8 m/s? Why not 4*10^8 m/s? Why is there a speed of light at all?
Again, there just aren't good answers. It's not surprising that religions that can answer the questions of our very existence... exist. Especially so when we assume that there's actually a point to it all, other than just living, then dying.
Perhaps radical Islamists are right? Perhaps we're all heathens who need to die? Hell, they've found a lot more purpose in life than I have, and I certainly envy them that, though are definitely religions out there that align more closely to my current world-views. (And I'd prefer to go on living, just the same)
Which really just makes me thing that's the whole of it. There are a lot of people out there looking for a reason they exist. If religion can give it to them... Why not?
At least, that's why I think it exists. I'm sure people join for other reasons as well. Just dismissing it as "old habits" though, would be a mistake.
Religion exists so people can find answers that our society cannot explain. It offers explanations for things like death and the afterlife, but also the creation and origin of our people/universe.
Science has answered a lot of these questions legitimately, but there are questions that it will never be able to explain, and that's why there will always be Religion. Mankind's defining feature is curiosity, an inner desire to know and understand the world around us. We are frightened by the unknown, and so we make up stories to explain what we cannot explain.