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Does religion do more harm than good?

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Does religion do more harm or good to society?

Religion harms society
12
18%
Religion is beneficial to society
9
14%
Depends on the particular beliefs of the religion
15
23%
Depends on how extreme a particular person may take the religion
30
45%
 
Total votes : 66


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Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:07 am
shiney1 says...



No Hayden, you are awesome.
"If you ever have a problem don't say 'Hey God I have a big problem.' Rather 'Hey Problem... I have a big God and it's all going to be okay."

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Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:53 am
Nate says...



Inkwell, you demonstrate a tremendous amount of ignorance about what religion is and what it means to people.

A number of people have now come forward to share what their faith means to them. Far from engaging in any sort of knee-jerk, dogmatic discussion, not one person has said that they believe that atheism is illegitimate or that those who believe differently from what they believe are wrong. Instead, they have tried as best they can to share how their religion is important to them.

The problem that I frequently found with outspoken atheists is that they are among the most hypocritical, obstinate, and ignorant people I have ever met. That is why I refer to their brand of atheism as nothing more than anti-religious bigotry. It is anger that they have become so accustomed to that it has now become comfortable. Indeed, they purport to hold themselves in high-regard, lecturing others on what is best for them and labeling others as "ignorant" without any concept of individual liberty.

Now, you say that you are not dogmatic. And yet, you said have said the following:

Inkwell wrote:I do not respect the faithful. Tolerate, yes. Not respect. I will not enable extremism, or fein admiration for ignorance.


Inkwell wrote:I do not think you're an extremist, or an idiot. Ignorant, sure.


Without knowing anything about my religious beliefs, or about how I view God and the universe around me, you have come to the conclusion that I am ignorant merely because I do not share your lack of belief in God. That is extremely dogmatic of you.

Dogma is something to be avoided in all its forms. I believe that we should question our beliefs regularly, and test them by willfully engaging with others who do not believe the same as we do. That includes not only discussions like this, but also reading the works of those who are the leading thinkers on the other side.

Often times, one will come to the same conclusion as they did in the beginning, but they will nonetheless have a fuller understanding of what other people believe. That in turn enables cooperation and fosters a more compassionate society.

From what I can tell, you, Inkwell, have never done this. It does not appear that you have once sought out to find anything that may cause you to question your concept of what it means to be religious. Instead, it appears that you have merely stopped at the writings of Dawkins and of Hitchens, and have concentrated your intellect at mocking childish concepts of the great skyfairy, without realizing that for many, religion is far more nuanced than that. I myself find the idea of a "god of the gaps" or of a "skyfairy" as utterly pagan.

If you have not begun reading Hitchens, then you really should. His writing style is absolutely exquisite. On the other hand, Dawkins is a bit of a fool.

However, in addition to Hitchens, consider reading some of the philosophies of men like Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo. For modern thinkers, "The Convergence of Science and Religion" by Charles H. Townes (winner of the 1964 Nobel prize for physics) is an excellent essay. If you would like more, I'd be glad to recommend a number of works. For a non-religious work, look into reading "A Conflict of Visions" by Thomas Sowell.

Religion is not what you imagine it to be.

By the way, I notice you have a quote by Epictetus in your signature. Here's another good one:
All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way.
Epictetus
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:14 am
Pigeon says...



Guys, guys, lay off Inkwell.
Everyone seems to want to redefine the question so they can get offended by it. So, just to remind everyone, the question is "does religion do more harm than good to society".
People seem to have been answering different questions like "would the world be better without religious people", "does religion help individuals".

The question is: does religion (institutions, dogma, not faith, not religious people - religion) do more harm than good (not, does it only do harm or only do good, just does the harm outweigh the good).

There also seems to be some confusion about tense. The question is in present tense, not past tense. Listing the good or the bad things religion has done in the past does not answer the question unless you can link it to the present. Inkwell made an example relevant by using as an illustration of how religion affects the way people think. Hayden's own testimony was also relevant as it shows how religion continues to provide comfort to people in the present day.

What people consistently seem to miss is that this is not about your own beliefs, it is not about removing people who are or are not religious. It is not about individuals, it is about society, which actually leaves no room in this debate for personal offence to be given or taken, so long as people actually answer the question which has been posed.

I could tell you that my own life got infinitely better when religion was removed from it, and someone else could respond that their life is only good with religion, but that would all be irrelevant because the question is not about me or any individual, it's about society. Through history, I think that religion probably has caused more harm than good, but the question is not about history, it is about now, and in the present day i, personally, think that religion does more good than it does harm. It still does harm, and it's done harm to me, but I think it probably does more good.

As for what the future will be like, whether or not we need religion, whether bigotry can be justified, whether removal of religion can be enforced or whether or notsociety would do better without religion, they're all intriguing questions, but none of them have anything to do with this debate.


I hope that makes sense and that I haven't repeated myself too much. I'm writing on my phone and with a lot of distractions around me.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:20 am
shiney1 says...



Nate, you said what I could not and more.
"If you ever have a problem don't say 'Hey God I have a big problem.' Rather 'Hey Problem... I have a big God and it's all going to be okay."

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Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:24 am
skwmusic says...



Damn this has gotten hot! Good time for me to jump in! :D

First I'll address why getting rid of religion is different from getting rid of "group X"

1)Religion is a choice. Being black, white, asian, ethnically jewish, is not a choice. People are able to change their minds about things, but they can't change their physical appearances (without the help of medical science).

2)Religion is unnecessary. What function does religion serve in our society? Is it so people will be good? But can't people be good without religion? All they have to do is put their mind to it. Does it serve to give people hope? But don't advances in astrophysics slowly but surely show that that hope is based on a false premise and ignores reason? Can't we base hope on something more realistic like trying to benefit mankind? Any function religion supposedly serves, a secular organization can do just as well.

3)Religious extremists overshadow the good that religious moderates do. This is primarily because most religions are dogmatic. Just look at history, the witch hunts, the crusades, mandate of heaven, oppression of women, slavery, abortion hospital shootings, the recent Norway bombing, Al-Qaeda, Westboro Baptist Church, the Nazi party. Of course we can argue that these were not caused by religion or other factors played a significant role, and I would agree with you. But to say that religion was not an obstruction to solving these problems I say would be ignorant of history. Religious extremism has set us back hundreds of years in possible scientific and social advancements.

4)Religion can be removed without genocide. Simply educating people on how to be skeptical thinkers will reduce the amount of religious in the world and as science advances, more people will see that a god is not really necessary nor feasible.

Of course I agree that we should not force this upon the world simply because one group believes that it would make it a better world. I believe if the world is to be eradicated of religion, it should be done so through individual reasoning, not a mandate. If we force people to become atheists or agnostics or whatever we are no better than dogmatic religions.

What gave people hope when those around them were just as hopeless? The news of a wonderful afterlife.

What helps the Untouchables keep on living? The hope of reincarnating to move up in the caste system.

What is a trait that the Chinese are famous for? Their little Buddha statues and customs derived from Buddhism.

Who was mentioned and used as a reason to revolt against King George the Third in the Declaration of Independence? The Creator was. God was.

What inspired millions of poets, writers, artists, and musicians? Religion.


What made institutions condone the massacres of millions of people? The hope that they would go to heaven.

What kept the untouchables from advancing in their own lives? The Hindu Caste system they are trying to climb.

For the 3rd and 4th I'm just going to assume that is just ignorance of history.

And yes while religion did inspire much art, you'll find that art of the same quality easily comes from secular sources. The main drive of art is not religion, it is ideas and experiences and thoughts, including, but not exclusive to, religion. Also many historical art eras were mainly secular such as the Renaissance.

I was suicidal when I was thirteen. The reason I am still alive today is because I became a Christian, because I found something worth living for, worth fighting for. And you are going to call that--my saving grace--ignorance? You cannot compel yourself to even respect that?


No offense Hayden, but who isn't suicidal when they're a teenager? Part of growing up in your teens is learning to accept that you don't control the world. I don't know why you were suicidal and maybe something serious did happen but for most teens it's just dealing with things they can't control.

As for why you are alive, let's take your situation and replace it with another. Someone is about to kill themselves. They somehow derive some hope from the belief that the flying spaghetti monster is out there throwing meatballs at sinners and since it still has not rained meatballs, everyone must be good, and he is at rest. Is this belief not irrational or of ignorance? Can you respect that reasoning? And I guess if you're feeling generous you can say the flying spaghetti monster did save him but that does that make the belief any less irrational? Any more respectful? I don't think so.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:30 am
XxMattxX says...



No offense Hayden, but who isn't suicidal when they're a teenager?

*raises hand*
I'm quite happy, actually...
*is a happy teen*.
Let's not start generalizing here. That's why this turned into an argument in the first place.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:44 am
shiney1 says...



XxMattxX wrote:
No offense Hayden, but who isn't suicidal when they're a teenager?

*raises hand*
I'm quite happy, actually...
*is a happy teen*.
Let's not start generalizing here. That's why this turned into an argument in the first place.


I second this motion, and those of my close friends as well...

And honesty, I wish anyone who tries to eradicate religion without force the best of luck.

All I am seeing by reading your post over and over is, you are speaking from just one side. You know a life without any religion. And I guess that makes you happy. But that means you cannot really say religion is unnecessary.
Oh wait, of course you can say that, but that doesn't mean you know it to be absolutely true.
Many people's lives revolve around their faith. Social order, daily routine, and many other day-to-day essentials.
So maybe you don't pray and don't need it and don't feel empty without it.
That's fine.
But that does not mean that hopeless child, or that hopeful parent, or that believing teacher does not need a prayer to get their spirits up.
Raw science and facts are not always enough for everyone. When the Depression hit, people may have seen the charts and facts about the economy. They may have seen that they would get out of the slump in due time.
But the churches began to fill up once again. The people needed more than numbers and statistics. They needed much more. They wanted to feel that Someone was there, watching and helping them. Hearing their prayers. Wrapping His arms around them.
Things science and math could not provide. The needed to believe in a divine power.
People need that. We do have an emotional side, and numbers can be quite heartless.
Some people can stick it out without a higher being. Good for you. But for many people in the world, not so much.

If you choose to look at only the harm religion has caused, then that's all up to you and no one else is to blame. Either the glass is half empty, or half full.

And speaking for those people and saying they can do without that faith, or safety net, or way of life, or whatever religion is for them, is down right wrong and one-sided.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:49 am
Griffinkeeper says...



Religions clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, and give medicine to the sick; globally. They've been doing this for millenia. From a materialistic stand point, this is quite impressive and easily counters the ill that has come from it.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:39 am
inkwell says...



Nate wrote:Inkwell, you demonstrate a tremendous amount of ignorance about what religion is and what it means to people.

If you don't mind I'm going to insert my response with bold lettering. I always rely on my dictionary, which I've already quoted previously. So what religion is has already been laid out. There's no way you can say I am ignorant about its definition, when I've clearly shown it to everyone.

A number of people have now come forward to share what their faith means to them. Far from engaging in any sort of knee-jerk, dogmatic discussion, not one person has said that they believe that atheism is illegitimate or that those who believe differently from what they believe are wrong. Instead, they have tried as best they can to share how their religion is important to them.

Your point? I don't see how this relates to me.

The problem that I frequently found with outspoken atheists is that they are among the most hypocritical, obstinate, and ignorant people I have ever met.

Ironically, that's what I find with theists! XD

That is why I refer to their brand of atheism as nothing more than anti-religious bigotry. It is anger that they have become so accustomed to that it has now become comfortable. Indeed, they purport to hold themselves in high-regard, lecturing others on what is best for them and labeling others as "ignorant" without any concept of individual liberty.

Yes, I would consider myself an active anti-theist. I do get angry with stupidity. I do consider myself better than evangelists. I do label superstitious people ignorant. I don't see what it has to do with individual liberty, and I don't see your point.

Now, you say that you are not dogmatic. And yet, you said have said the following:

Inkwell wrote:I do not respect the faithful. Tolerate, yes. Not respect. I will not enable extremism, or fein admiration for ignorance.


Inkwell wrote:I do not think you're an extremist, or an idiot. Ignorant, sure.


Without knowing anything about my religious beliefs, or about how I view God and the universe around me, you have come to the conclusion that I am ignorant merely because I do not share your lack of belief in God. That is extremely dogmatic of you.

I don't have to know if you believe in post-tribulation or not, because what I reject is religion itself. It's ridiculous to claim I find you ignorant simply because we don't think the same. It's instead because I find your superstition to lack any intellectual worth.


Dogma is something to be avoided in all its forms. I believe that we should question our beliefs regularly, and test them by willfully engaging with others who do not believe the same as we do. That includes not only discussions like this, but also reading the works of those who are the leading thinkers on the other side.

Often times, one will come to the same conclusion as they did in the beginning, but they will nonetheless have a fuller understanding of what other people believe. That in turn enables cooperation and fosters a more compassionate society.

From what I can tell, you, Inkwell, have never done this. It does not appear that you have once sought out to find anything that may cause you to question your concept of what it means to be religious. Instead, it appears that you have merely stopped at the writings of Dawkins and of Hitchens, and have concentrated your intellect at mocking childish concepts of the great skyfairy, without realizing that for many, religion is far more nuanced than that. I myself find the idea of a "god of the gaps" or of a "skyfairy" as utterly pagan.

If you have not begun reading Hitchens, then you really should. His writing style is absolutely exquisite. On the other hand, Dawkins is a bit of a fool.

However, in addition to Hitchens, consider reading some of the philosophies of men like Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo. For modern thinkers, "The Convergence of Science and Religion" by Charles H. Townes (winner of the 1964 Nobel prize for physics) is an excellent essay. If you would like more, I'd be glad to recommend a number of works. For a non-religious work, look into reading "A Conflict of Visions" by Thomas Sowell.

Good for you, Nate! Cut the condescension and focus on the substance of the debate, which you have yet to address. I've read much of the atheistic and theistic literature, because I agree that we should be open-minded and fair. For instance I'm reading a book by Greg Boyd right now that a friend of mine recommended. I attend a weekly Bible study. Does that make you happy? Why must you turn this into an ego-driven pissing contest?

Religion is not what you imagine it to be.

As I've said before, I don't like to use my imagination with definitions.

By the way, I notice you have a quote by Epictetus in your signature. Here's another good one:
All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way.
Epictetus


Considering I've already said I tolerate religion, I don't see your point.


If you want a free pass, I'll pretend the last post didn't happen, and you can actually say something about the topic.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:44 pm
Nate says...



Nate wrote:Inkwell, you demonstrate a tremendous amount of ignorance about what religion is and what it means to people.


Inkwell wrote:I always rely on my dictionary, which I've already quoted previously. So what religion is has already been laid out. There's no way you can say I am ignorant about its definition, when I've clearly shown it to everyone.


http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondef ... _old_2.htm
http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/org ... gunn.shtml
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:18 pm
inkwell says...



Nate wrote:
Nate wrote:Inkwell, you demonstrate a tremendous amount of ignorance about what religion is and what it means to people.


Inkwell wrote:I always rely on my dictionary, which I've already quoted previously. So what religion is has already been laid out. There's no way you can say I am ignorant about its definition, when I've clearly shown it to everyone.


http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondef ... _old_2.htm
http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/org ... gunn.shtml


I'll take that as a free pass.

I understand that there are different definitions. If you didn't want to use the common definition you should have said so when it was relevant. (i.e. when I gave a definition). But I don't mind changing it for our discussion. Which definition do you want to use from now on?
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." — Einstein




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Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:24 pm
Nate says...



Inkwell wrote:I'll take that as a free pass.


How kind of you. But, you missed the point of those links Inkwell.

What you said earlier is a bit like saying:

quan·tum me·chan·ics
Noun:
The branch of mechanics that deals with the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles.


I understand quantum mechanics.


Of course, religion and quantum mechanics are hardly alike. Religion is more complicated!

When I said that you don't know what religion is, you responded by saying that you do indeed understand what religion is because you rely on your dictionary. That's a wholly illogical statement to make, but it did nonetheless help me to understand why you believe that others who do not believe the same as you do are ignorant, and why you further believe that religion is harmful.

Unfortunately, nothing in our culture can be understood by simply relying on a dictionary. If humanity was that simple, things would be so much easier. But by having such a point of view, you are only naturally going to view many aspects of humanity as simply the actions of ignorant fools.
______________________

The reason I participate in these kind of discussions and very few others is that they greatly sadden me. There is no reason for harsh words between the religious and non-religious. Diversity does not weaken or harm society, it strengthens it.

Those who believe differently from you (I use you in the general sense) are not ignorant; they have simply come to a different conclusion. To be atheist is not to be ignorant about God, and I personally greatly enjoy reading the metaphysical arguments that many atheists bring to fore. Likewise, to be religious is not to be ignorant about the workings of the universe and the underlying structure of the world around us; it simply means that they believe there is a spiritual aspect to life.

History is replete with those who have sought to argue that there is only one, rational explanation and that all other explanations are not only wrong, but also ignorant and extremist. Almost invariably, when the ideology of such people were adopted by a larger group, great acts of brutality followed, often despite the best intentions of those who first led society down that path.

At any rate, I have already invested too much time in this discussion. If anyone wishes to discuss further, I'd be glad to over private message, although it may well take me substantial time to respond. I've unfortunately allowed myself to fall behind on many projects, and I can't continue to do that.

Inkwell, you once noted me as being condescending, and I greatly apologize. That was not my intention whatsoever. I did not offer my words to be condescending, but merely in the hope that you would come to a better understanding of religious people and not automatically brush every single religious person aside as being ignorant. I thank you for taking the time to read all that which I have written.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:57 pm
Cole says...



I said I was done with this debate, but Skwmusic, you've completely ticked me off.

No offense, Hayden…


I am very offended. But it's not like you care, right?

Don't you dare assume that you know what I have gone through; blowing off my testimony as just "another suicidal teen story" is blatantly insensitive, heartless, disrespectful, and thoughtless.

I was an atheist and my life was a wreck. It was not until I became a Christian that I realized how miserable atheism was for me. I had nothing to live for until I discovered faith. You do not know how personally it has changed my life. You have no idea how unbelievably happy and joyful it has made me to know Christ. You do not know how dramatically my life was transformed because of faith, because of religion.

But you don't care. You just spat at my testimony like it was some joke. "Well the flying spaghetti monster" --No. Don't even go there. I am appalled at how totally ignorant you are. It has nothing to do with your atheism. Not at all. Your ignorance comes from your bigotry, from your hatred of religious people. Your prejudice of people, human beings. You are completely blinded by arrogance and intolerance.

But, hey, it's not like you even care what I think, how I feel, or what I have to say. I'm just some nobody, some loser, some random suicidal religious teen who is as uneducated and foolish as the rest of the religious community.

Go ahead, call me a hypocrite, call me a "bad Christian" for the way I've responded to you. I don't care. I am done with you and done with this argument.

* * *

I mentioned this before, but it seems like you guys wanted to ignore it. Maybe because you don't want to admit that religious people can be intelligent and good people, too. Good night:

You have no respect for people of faith, as you have said. I guess men like Jesus Christ, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. were just idiots, absolute raging lunatics. They are so ignorant, aren't they? They had no clue what they were talking about.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:51 pm
XxMattxX says...



HaydenSmith wrote:I said I was done with this debate, but Skwmusic, you've completely ticked me off.

No offense, Hayden…


I am very offended. But it's not like you care, right?

Don't you dare assume that you know what I have gone through; blowing off my testimony as just "another suicidal teen story" is blatantly insensitive, heartless, disrespectful, and thoughtless.

I was an atheist and my life was a wreck. It was not until I became a Christian that I realized how miserable atheism was for me. I had nothing to live for until I discovered faith. You do not know how personally it has changed my life. You have no idea how unbelievably happy and joyful it has made me to know Christ. You do not know how dramatically my life was transformed because of faith, because of religion.

But you don't care. You just spat at my testimony like it was some joke. "Well the flying spaghetti monster" --No. Don't even go there. I am appalled at how totally ignorant you are. It has nothing to do with your atheism. Not at all. Your ignorance comes from your bigotry, from your hatred of religious people. Your prejudice of people, human beings. You are completely blinded by arrogance and intolerance.

But, hey, it's not like you even care what I think, how I feel, or what I have to say. I'm just some nobody, some loser, some random suicidal religious teen who is as uneducated and foolish as the rest of the religious community.

Go ahead, call me a hypocrite, call me a "bad Christian" for the way I've responded to you. I don't care. I am done with you and done with this argument.

* * *

I mentioned this before, but it seems like you guys wanted to ignore it. Maybe because you don't want to admit that religious people can be intelligent and good people, too. Good night:

You have no respect for people of faith, as you have said. I guess men like Jesus Christ, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. were just idiots, absolute raging lunatics. They are so ignorant, aren't they? They had no clue what they were talking about.



Oh, the irony...
Spoiler! :
I'm with Hayden on this one. It seems as though people just want to argue to hear their own voices, and won't even *listen* to the other side. Nate's apologized if he caused any offense, but it seems as though you all just blow off your own offensive behavior because you hold some sort of false sense of superiority concerning people of faith.

I do not respect the faithful. ... I will not enable extremism, or fein admiration for ignorance.


Good day. Shucks...I guess this is why God says in the bible to avoid arguments on faith with those who understand nothing about it...
Point proved. Check and mate.

Furthermore, arguing with someone who already has their heart set against religion makes for an impossible quest, seeing as even if you say something with the utmost in reason and sense, it will be shot down as 'ignorant' just because you believe in something higher than yourself.

I don't consider that ignorance. In primary school, they called it purpose.
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Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:55 pm
Kamas says...



HaydenSmith wrote:I was an atheist and my life was a wreck. It was not until I became a Christian that I realized how miserable atheism was for me. I had nothing to live for until I discovered faith. You do not know how personally it has changed my life. You have no idea how unbelievably happy and joyful it has made me to know Christ. You do not know how dramatically my life was transformed because of faith, because of religion.


However marking your personal experience with religion has been, your outburst has in no way whatsoever progressed the debate. I hate to see a good debate interrupted with angry rants.

Why has it contributed nothing? Because we're looking to define the effect of religion on society. And as an individual the benefits you have been granted through religion is meaningless. I don't believe society can function without established belief systems, law being one of them, because it drives many things. However, if somehow, the many interpretations of a higher power/deity were to be eliminated (whether you recognize a higher power or not) society certainly wouldn't suffer.

What does religion offer to us as a society that isn't available elsewhere? Very little aside personal and most importantly individual enlightenment or however you want to phrase it (which doesn't effect society as a whole). And even then, if religion were to suddenly disappear, people would latch to other methods of directing their energy to allow them to fulfil some sort of purpose in the world. Religion isn't a guide for morality, which can exist parallel to religion, in fact it can be seen in the most unfortunate events that religion has caused people or groups to stray from what would be defined as moral. Law certainly wouldn’t, (though some laws that are based off of certain religious foundations would have to be modified or reworded), nor would medical, economic and environmental fields.

However, what I do think is that strong belief in something can drive society to accomplish or destroy something completely. And it's not something we can destroy, ever. So it we were to cross out all religion, equally dangerous belief systems can still happen as it has before. Nationalism and pride in ethnicity pushed for the Yugoslav Wars and other atrocities of the late 20th century, more famously during the Second World War where the Holocaust can't be put much to blame on religious beliefs despite the persecution of religious groups. It’s rather centered on the belief of an Aryan race, which is a concept rather than an institution and a moral compass that was is not a standard we see. (Not to say it’s not a moral compass that’s rare, it’s seen from the collaborators during the Second World War to the modern day Neo-Nazism and in many other religious or conceptual beliefs)

Belief in something can cause the exact same effect as religion has, but without it we’d live our lives in nihilism, not ever progressing very far since life is meaningless. (It would also be a painfully boring existence in my own personal opinion). Progress would become even further burdened and slow down to a snail crawl in my opinion, without the people or groups motivated to pursue certain beliefs. In which case society would suffer.

Basically, if we could eliminate the skewed perspectives that transform belief institutions into jokes, or if there was some way of resetting everyone’s moral compass to the same thing, life would be easy. But as imperfect beings it’s never easy and though I believe without religion society most certainly would not suffer and could do a nice chunk of society a bit of good, I think that the foundation of religion (and a lot of other things) – that being the belief in a certain idea – cannot be abolished and would utterly destroy the development of society as a whole.

tl;dr – Sure, we could get rid of it to the benefit of society, but it wouldn’t have the effect people would be looking for and the same problems would propagate themselves elsewhere. And realistically, we can’t zap religion (or any belief system) out of the minds of each and every follower for each and ever religion so attaining it is completely unrealistic. The process by which we would eliminate any particular religion, let alone all, would come at the price of completely wiping an entire generation of followers to a certain faith, and that in itself is equally detrimental to society on par with any other genocide or war provoked by religion.
"Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles." ~ Charles Chaplin

#tnt