So, I've heard it said from many atheists that religion, particularly mainstream religion, is holding back society from making the next step forward. What do you think?

Would it be better if religion were discarded, embraced by science? Or are there redeemable aspects of religion that would greater benefit societal evolution?

Tags: society

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Even if it's not really holding us back, it's trying its damnedest to do so anyway.

Hey, if it worked in the bronze age it should work today, right?

Religion is most definitely holding us back...it stops people from thinking. Imagine if the other 90% of the world were free to ponder the workings of the universe and explore scientific advancement.

Humanity needs to embrace science at a much greater level. This scientific skepticism in our society is troubling to say the least. And I believe all of it, even the irrational thoughts like astrology, spirituality and religion are ALL based on a fear of facing the real universe and death. It`s this fear we need to end. People need to have FAITH (for a lack of a better term) in science. We need to come to terms with death being the end and the soul being the coping mechanism. We need a new coping mechanism... we need to appreciate that all we have is this one life. Our time here becomes more precious. Our goal becomes to care for the planet and humanity. Advancing our technology. Any obstacle holding us back could mean the ultimate demise of humanity. There will come a time where our earth ends. The only way we can prevent human extinction as well is by means of science and technology... whether it is the science to destroy asteroids, the science to live off of this rock, the science to create alternative energy sources, etc...

We all need to be on board.

All of this negativity towards science is all that scares me for our future. Being positive breeds positive outcomes. Being negative breeds negative outcomes.

We need TECHNO-OPTIMISM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyUMmpOXU4A

I say it absolutely holds us as a species and a civilization back.  Gods and religion served their purpose in explaining the unexplainable and bringing communities together.  I think that very small local churches serve to help the greater good and the communities they are in, but the large organized religions have been corrupted by power and greed.  Which is not to say that doesn't exist on the local level but is far more rampant and destructive otherwise.  I think it would be better to break up the large entitys in favor of the smaller churches, and for the teachings to not be taken literally, ever.  I think it can be argued that religion has helped us along the way in our evolution in various aspects but that time is done; I just see it as such a primitive concept I guess.  If people want to believe in fairy tales that's their business, but the decision making should be left to those who believe facts when they are presented and proven. 

I think it does. Whenever there's a set piece of values and opinions, of which no group is able to compromise, I think that splitting of opinion keeps us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. As long as we keep fighting eachother, we'll have a really hard time advancing toward future frontiers, be it scientific or social. I think this is also true to political parties too, if more people felt that there was more than two opinions on an issue, they may be more willing to step out of their comfort zone and maybe, just maybe change their opinions. Overall I think that any barriers that split us keep us fighting amongst ourselves and thus hold us back.

Yes, I believe it does. In order for society to advance we need to discard the "supernatural" in favor of logical and scientific reasoning. At their core, no matter how scientific a religious person may claim to be, at some point they are abandoning logic and reason for the supernatural.

The real problem is that the majority of religious people in the world abandon logic long before any 'liberal' religious person. And when they do, they use the answers they get from religion in order to inform their desicions that adversely affect others (i.e. Gay rights, abortion, stem cell research...). I would challenge anyone to pick any historical social issue that secular people were in, what is generally considered to be, the wrong (civil rights, gay rights, women's rights).

Obviously that's not to say there weren't religious people on the right side of those social issues too.

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