Is Religion Useful? Essay

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.

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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 out that in addition to taking advantage of the weak, religion also divides people into clubs and groups and these clubs end up believing themselves to be superior to others. According to the author these ideologies has lead to wars and have in general made the world a more disagreeable place.Although what these critics have pointed out for the most part is true they seem to focus primarily on the negative aspects of religion without mentioned the positive things that religion does for mankind.

While the pace of modern society is definitely faster, more complex, and filled with more distractions than any other period in history, there is definitely time to experience, contemplate, and practice religion. In fact there are moments were individuals should just take the time to stop and meditate on their lives.This would definitely have a positive effect on everyone’s life. Religion allows people to escape their everyday tiring lives and to devote their energy to helping others while helping themselves. Practicing all of religion’s teachings would most likely be impractical in today’s modern society just as it was in history. However, that does not mean that religion should be completely gotten rid of. Individuals can choose which teachings they would want to practice that will not end up putting them in an economically or socially vulnerable spot.People are also more educated about religion and more informed about how they can be taken advantage of and because of this they can choose which teachings to follow and can practice more teachings without any negative consequences.

Just because an individual might not need something does not mean they don’t want it or crave it. Religion provides a way for individuals to satisfy their craving to help others and feel appreciated. Also it cannot be disputed that people have used religion to manipulate others and to profit from them. However the same can be said of other organizations and clubs that are not religion.

Religion should not be singled out just because it bases it beliefs on a something that cannot be directly seen. These critics also do not mention the positive influence that religious organizations have had on the poor and the disadvantaged. Religion has also provided people with the hope and support they need during bad times regardless of how well off they are economically or socially. While religion has been the cause and reason for several wars and progress, the critics fail to point out that it has often been individuals using religion for their own selfish reasons that has contributed to these acts of violence.