Did religion hold society back?

There has been interesting comparisons about the Americas: the rising of North America as dominant and more progressive compared to South America is more than religion. It has been put down to the tendencies of the Spanish and Portuguese to have more hierarchy; there were definitely rules and classes. Where, on the other hand, North America benefited from the contributions of all in society. When talking about religion it is possible to always look at the fanatics but it has also enabled some to do the most amazing things. There is a type of educated person who embraces the commonality of the world religions in a spiritual way. This has a lot of benefits and actually deep down I think it strikes the cord of nobility. If a person is to be truly a king among men he doesn't try and argue people out of their beliefs. First of all it's bad politics and second he illustrates he's not the leader. The relationship between those in power to religion is different from the average churchgoer--- there is a relationship between humility before God and power. It is a very useful political device; I do not doubt that politicians do believe. But it’s also useful to them.

Just because some truths have been discovered, it doesn't mean that people ought to exterminate all illusions. Natural systems, biological systems have a lot of variation. Perhaps it’s a similar issue to removing biological variations in people. It seems to me the big issue is ID in schools, now I don't think this is too much of a problem. The learning of a subject does not make a genius or an idiot— it's what people do with knowledge. I'm actually more worried of a more fundamental problem with schools in that they often don't meet the needs of most of the pupils. What we have learnt about the nature of knowledge itself could help us redefine how people are taught. Solutions to fundamental problems are also left untaught; particularly dealing with emotions— death for instance. Schools across the world pay debt to the Victorians and others. But there ideas of what it meant to educate are different.

One thing that multiculturalism can teach you is, rather than looking at the groups in terms of their most visible attributes, to get a more complete picture of people and their role. If you were to believe for instance in the east's idea of balance; orthodox Christianity produces movements which are it's polar opposite. It might have even created men like Dawkins, Russell; something in their background about these groups incenses them to much that you end up far better productivity in the counter-culture. The proposed teaching of ID has caused an explosion of evolution sites for instance and has created massive amounts of interest in the theory. I don't know how the politics in the states works but it is done in politics in England all the time. ID is a gift for evolution.

I think it's easy to forget when faced with fanaticism the other side of religion as well. People like Mother Teresa rather than get embroiled in righteousness live their life by their belief. Also what I wonder about is if some of the evangelists of evolution where born 300 years ago is they would probably (perhaps ironically) be evangelising about God or something, as most feel compelled to preach also. Perhaps the most important thing is that religion and evolution can inspire and motivate people of the world to do a lot of good, and hopefully not bad. Like any act of evil I don’t think its sufficient just to blame religion; any large crowd can be stupid. More important to teach people to question and not loose that childlike inquisitiveness.

It's possible to be religious and not righteous. Perhaps it's not really an observation that religion can be an excuse to persue power or the unethical.


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