I was reading this article, and became curious about this statement:

'"To say something along the lines of 'I'm an atheist; I think religions are not all bad' has become a dramatically peculiar thing to say and if you do say it on the internet you will get savage messages calling you a fascist, an idiot or a fool. This is a very odd moment in our culture. Why has this happened?"'


So, I was curious about the opinions of other atheists on this question. I won't reveal my own answer for now, to try to avoid bias, but I'd like to know the answer to this question. Feel free to reply in the comments.

Here's my formulation of the question.

If you're an atheist, do you think all religions are entirely bad?

Again, reply yes or no in the comments, and feel free to elaborate if you like. I'll tally the answers.



Views: 1089

Comment by Donald S. Chase on March 5, 2012 at 2:19pm

Yes, all religions are bad. They fail to deal with the reality of life. Life has evolved over millions of years to function in the natural world. The air was not made at 16% oxygen so we could breathe it. We are able to breathe because life evolved in this atmosphere. Volcanos erupting are natural. Hurricanes are natural.  The North Pacific gyre is not. Neither is acid rain. But there is hope. Ten million years after the rapture or nuclear  Armageddon, some little crawly creature will poke its nose out of the ocean and start the cycle all over. Hopefully, next time, it will be sans God.

Comment by Dustin WIdmann on March 5, 2012 at 3:11pm

All religions bad? No, not really. Certain ones are bad and those to varying degrees. I believe that dogma and supernatural elements of religions are mostly harmful, but connected philosophical elements can be beneficial (of course, religion is not required to convey philosophy, but if it's the medium pushing the ideas then at least it's doing _some_ good right?) That's my thoughts on it in a nutshell.

Comment by Patrick on March 5, 2012 at 5:11pm

But the hope, comfort, and security offered by these religions are all false. And the bit of actual good they've ever managed comes at a monumental cost. Any good deed performed in the name of religion can be done just as well if done in the name of a stinkbug.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on March 5, 2012 at 5:17pm

No.  I think some religions offer some benefits.  I think other religions cause more harm than benefit.  I weigh the benefits of a religion against how outrageous its theology/philosophy is and its potential to cause harm beyond the believer's delusion.  I am naturally suspicious of religion because it is based on spurious assumptions, but I accept that it can and does lead to good things. 

Comment by C Elaine Clark on March 5, 2012 at 6:07pm

I agree with Greg in some ways I think Buddhism is always being aware and trying to make ones self a better person You work on yourself , you don't tell others what to do  and think ,. Act the way you want the world to be, Just being a person who does not harm and cultivates  calm, and peaceful existence  with all of the environment and other beings ...... but I don't believe in any god .  buddah wasn't a god he was just a man .

Comment by matt.clerke on March 5, 2012 at 6:43pm

Religions are bad because they are based on false information.....if the information wasn't false, we would call them reality instead of religion, or guidelines instead of divine rules.

Comment by William C. Walker on March 5, 2012 at 6:50pm

Hi Mikey,  FYI,  the Golden Rule predates Xianit by centuries.     Considering that organized religion COSTS almost $ 100 billion a year just here in the U.S., it's no great bargain at a tenth of that.

Comment by chiz on March 5, 2012 at 7:05pm

No, all religions are not entirely bad.

Comment by doubtingSteve on March 5, 2012 at 7:48pm

Until the scientific community can completely explain why religion is central to so many people, I think you might want to consider an alternative approach. Religion seems to naturally fulfill a basic human need.  How it has evolved from that can then be debated good and bad

Comment by Ron V on March 5, 2012 at 9:27pm

I think your question is a difficult one.

All I can say is I think any ideology (religious or otherwise) that deems another human being worthy of death or eternal suffering is a horrible ideology. 


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