I think we have to remember that the purpose of religion is finding the truth. In the words of C.S. Lewis: "Christianity is that odd thing, where if it is true it is of all importance, if false, it is of no importance. It cannot be of moderate importance."
Obviously this is not the point of the discussion but to my mind it is the degree of truth in a religion that determines how much good it does. Religions tend to spring from revelation from God, and then over time deviate from those original revelations, and teach falsehoods. After a generation or ten of things like that we end up with truly terrible results.
True religion is ultimately a force for good.
I don't think it's correct that the only metric of how much good a religion does is tied up in whether it is true or not. In fact, I don't even think that's a very good measure. Let's just say that tomorrow the whole world found out the one true god was Morlock the Soul Eater. I don't think that would make any cannibal cults founded in the name of praising him any more good than they were yesterday. And I don't think that would invalidate the work of any missionaries who built schools in foreign countries in the name of a false god. Since we cannot ever actually know the truth value of a religion, I think all our definitions of good or bad have to be derived from the earthly consequences of that religion.
We do actually, just because a certain religious leader said that the people should do something it doesn't mean it's right. A lot of them did things (such as Crusades) because of their personal benefit.
It's quite hard for me to tell what I mean,since English is not my mother tongue. :/
in Nazi Germany the Church backed Hitlers campaign up
Which campagin was that? The church began openly criticisng the nazis before they rose to power. Since the "Brethren in Christ" group along with the confessing church and Jehovas witnesses were persecuted under Nazism, I'm also curious which Christian groups your refering to.
According to the Straight Dope he did in fact authorize the killing of priests and nuns. And the way I've been taught the history is that Hitler was not a religious leader. He was against organized religion. On the other hand, Mussolini was backed up by the Italian church in his rise to power. Is it possible you were confusing the two of them?
Ignorance is bliss... I think religion has helped a lot of people die happy because they think there will be something else for them. It has also made many people do nice things, although it's a little sad human beings require any type of 'push' to help their fellow human beings. At the same time though, I think it's terrible how many people in the world don't realize that this life is all you have, and they start wars and genocide over something that man merely invented to make himself feel better about the things he has done.
Anyways, that's my opinion. No offense meant, and sorry that it's a bit hard to understand. I'm terrible at putting thoughts into words. =/
Modern religion is outdated and unnecessary. Our need for religion to have a stable, structured society has long since passed and now the blind faith that is instilled on most people at birth is obtrusive to scientific and cultural development to the point where is risks countless lives every day.
"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one in toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites."
You act as if Christians themselves haven't been persecuted themselves by other religions, and that other religions don't persecute others. Not to mention that in most cases the faith had been perverted to achieve an agenda. At least be fair when condemning religion.
(I don't mean to sound like a jerk. Honestly. c:)