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Richard Dawkins, in his book, ‘The God Delusion’, attempted to elucidate the fiery problems inherent in religion comprehensively. He scrutinises the religion and the process identifies significant problems such as the sexual abuse by the priests. He argues that the psychological damage inflicted upon the child is beyond repair and hence it can affect the child psychologically and mentality throughout its life. The arguments forwarded by Dawkins indicate his stand as far as religion is concerned. According to him, religion is the principal source of problems experienced by almost every society across the world.
The primary objective of this essay is, therefore, to explicate on this issue and hence provide a prove that Richard Dawkins was wrong when he said the of harms religion outweigh the benefits (Dawkins, 2016).
I agree with the critics of religion as far as its benefits and harms are concerned. Religion has many benefits and harms too. However, a closer comparison between the two reveals that the harms due to religion are significantly more than the benefits.
Discrimination, racism, murder, torture, terrorism and mistreatment, among other social vices, are generally perpetuated within the realms of religion (Schieman, Bierman, & Ellison, 2013). In most cases, belief is based on the interpretation of scriptures. Such scriptures are usually different depending on a religious perspective. Certain scriptures encourage prosecuting those who believe in a different religion.
The harms caused by religion are conspicuous than the benefits. Religious driven terrorist attacks where many people end up dead are usually an order of the day (Stark, & Bainbridge, 2013).
Presumably, ardent religious people are irrational, and they usually follow religious teachings blindly. This is a high level of irrationality and is inherently dumb. Most people who follow religion blindly have a strong belief in superstition and miracles. Such beliefs tend to complicate an individual’s life to the extent of committing suicide or even genocide. It is therefore advisable for everyone to apply rationalism in a bind to see and understand both sides of the same coin. This will enable them to make decisions based on knowledge and understanding of the aftermath effects.
Richard Dawkins believed that science and religion are incompatible. For anything to be true, it must undergo scientific verification that requires the provision of tangible evidence (Coyne, 2016). In contrast, belief is entirely based on religion (Dawkins, 2016). A critical review of the Christian book shows that there is existence of those who believe on seen and those who believe in faith. Because religion causes more harm than good, individuals should be advised to consider applying scientific methods before making any decisions. This is because science advocates for verification of evidence and use of rationalism (Sorell, 2013).
Religion is a way major way of providing answers to ‘why’ questions. Due to its untamed traditional capacity to instil sense of nature and the cosmos to human species, religion will continue to enjoy its continuity and prestige (Coyne, 2016). However, it should be noted that religion is normally based on faith and revelation. In the absence of those key aspects, religion is not bound to withstand its survival. Based on our knowledge and having assumed that pre-homo sapiens ancestors were equipped with deities, it is essential to conclude that they were able to seek propitiate (Schieman, Bierman, & Ellison, 2013). Ideally, religion attempts to explain the cause and existence of human kind and other living things. In a story perpetuated by religion, a certain divine guidance and intervention led to creation of the world and all things in existence. Religion, therefore explains to explain the man’s presence on earth inclusive of other natural occurrences.
Religion acts a cohesive force that brings the society together. Actually, religion can be understood as a binding fabric of a society and hence it provides objectives to individuals. A number of religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Christianity continue to thrive because their existence can be traced back to ancient times (Schieman, Bierman, & Ellison, 2013). A number of those religions have been actively participating in matters pertaining social welfare. Through religiously founded organizations, such religions usually provide assistance to the poor. They also establish learning institutions to ascertain that the poor and the underprivileged individuals in the society have access to education. In essence, religion promotes social cohesion through encouraging good will and brotherhood.
Religion has always been a vehicle for fundamentalism and intolerance. Despite the fact that religion applied to initiate war and persecute individuals, it provided major benefits to human kind. For instance, paganism has instilled a sense of beauty, purpose in life and a need for perfection. Through Christianity, charity and love must act as a vision towards a greater change. Buddhism has taught man to be gentler, more pure and wiser. Islam and Judaism fosters a need for action and unquestionable devote to God. Through Hinduism, man has found and learned about spiritual possibilities in its largest and profound form. Based on those key examples, it is evidently clear that religion has served to provide a purpose and hence foster for intolerance and fundamentalism (Schieman, Bierman, & Ellison, 2013).
Religion promotes ethical behaviour as far as political life is concerned. Based on the principle God’s image and equality among men, religious reforms usually arm themselves with this principle in their efforts to fight against injustices. For instance, during the slavery days, those who opposed the practice of slavery and racism premised their ideology on religion. Christians believed that slavery is completely incompatible with their teachings and hence it should be banned. Besides, religion has been a source of intrinsic strength. Religious faith has the power to instil courage to fight against human oppression.
According to the thesis of ‘The God Delusion’, authored by Richard Dawkins, generally religion has caused more negative impacts up on human kind and hence it’s bad. Despite the fact that the author agrees that religion has its own benefits, he further notes that certain religious actions such as killing and prosecution vehemently outweighs its benefits. Many atheists could not fathom how religion can be used to cause harm to other individuals who do not share similar religious ideologies. The argument is that religion has been, it is, and it will continue to be a force for bad (Dawkins, 2016).
The arguments provided above culminate into a need to embrace a synthesis of religion and science. Science and philosophy requires utilization of knowledge and rationalism to make amicable choices (Sorell, 2013). It is advisable for individuals to consider doing things they know they will accrue to a greater for everyone. Such knowledge will ascertain that evil deeds are not in existence.
The main objective of this essay was to prove that Richard Dawkins was wrong when he said the of harms religion outweigh the benefits. Based on the explanations, there are many benefits of religion and its application in the society. For instance, religion advocates for a greater good by fighting against oppression, it is a source of inner strength and major force for social cohesion and integration.
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