Is Religion Useful?
The author argues that individuals have two general attitudes that discourage them from taking religion seriously or from practicing it. Some individuals have a “Ho Hum” attitude towards religion which means that individuals believe that while in principle religion’s teachings are the way we should conduct our lives, following every teaching is impractical. Other individuals have a “watch out” attitude where people think that religion is dangerous and can lead to bad rather good consequences.
Reasons for the Ho-Hum attitude can be found in society, the message of religion, and other religious people. Some people simply don’t have the time to practice or learn about religion because of the fast-paced lives they live. Others find religion to be impractical even though the principals that it teaches are in fact correct and can help humanity grow and advance. These people find religion to be impractical because of the selfish motivations of others which make following religious teachings impossible because they would suffer at the hands of others who do not follow religious teachings. Lastly, some people see church-goers as being hypocrites who may preach that they follow the teachings of the church but ultimately do not practice it outside the church walls.
Some people view religion as being a destructive and dangerous man made concept. According to these critics, religion and faith get in the way of being truly human and make it more difficult for humans to live a healthy life and for society to make the world a better place. Some people such as Freud believe that religion is a crutch and that religion is something that people have been led to believe they need but really don’t. Some have characterized religion as a drug or opiate. These people believe that religion has been used to control the weak and poor throughout history by telling them to give money and to believe in authority without a good reason to do so. These same people point...
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