Religion or Human nature, which is root of all evil?

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#1 Edited by indzman (17824 posts) -

I'm in confusion lately as religion getting blamed for many ills and as i'm religious myself. I think while religion has caused trouble everywhere for ages ( genocide, forced conversions and many other ills) but human nature is the ultimate evil over religion. Humans disregard religion in many cases and do exactly oppossite of what it says to do.Daily murder, rape, theft, arson are commited by humans, not dictated by any religion.Why blame religion only? I don't think being religious is wrong, doing wrong is wrong.

What you think on this matter OT?

#2 Posted by PurpleLabel (302 posts) -

Aggressive stupidity is the root of all evil.

#3 Posted by MuD3 (1277 posts) -

religion is human nature...

#4 Posted by TheWalkingGhost (5310 posts) -

Human Nature as it's humans who pervert religion for their own good.

#5 Edited by MrGeezer (56371 posts) -

I'm not gonna touch on the "human nature" thing yet, so let's start with religion.

I guess first we have to determine what it means to be "evil". But after we've accomplished that, the next step is to ask "are there any evil people who are not and never were religious?" If the answer is "yes", then I think it's fair to say that religion is clearly not the root of all evil. Otherwise there wouldn't be evil people who are not religious.

#6 Posted by HailtotheQueen (253 posts) -

@indzman said:

I'm in confusion lately as religion getting blamed for many ills and as i'm religious myself. I think while religion has caused trouble everywhere for ages ( genocide, forced conversions and many other ills) but human nature is the ultimate evil over religion. Humans disregard religion in many cases and do exactly oppossite of what it says to do.Daily murder, rape, theft, arson are commited by humans, not dictated by any religion.Why blame religion only? I don't think being religious is wrong, doing wrong is wrong.

What you think on this matter OT?

Because people actually ARE following their religion in many cases. The sad truth of the matter is that fundamentalists are usually the ones who actually are following their religion more accurately than moderate religious people.

#7 Posted by Iszdope (9990 posts) -

Nah, it's bronies & their ponies.

#8 Posted by lamprey263 (23960 posts) -

Religion can cause terrible shit, but get rid of religion there'd still be a lot of terrible shit.

#9 Posted by XaosII (16598 posts) -

I agree with a previous, religion is just another aspect of human nature.

Although if you look at statistics in the US (though i would be very surprised if they varied heavily world wide), something around 2% of all prisoners self-identify as atheist. There's a general trend, also, that the more secular a country is, the less the overall crime rate it has - granted, they also happen to be wealthier countries with lower wealth inequality which is realistically a bigger factor. But some food for thought.

Its not necessarily that religion is the source of evil. Its more like an easy excuse or tool to cause evil... But that can come from secular reasons too.

#10 Posted by l34052 (3198 posts) -

I would say money and religion are the 2 biggest causes of war and human suffering.

#11 Posted by SaintLeonidas (26277 posts) -

I think "human nature" is the very obvious answer here. Religions are established and driven by human nature - the needs for co-dependence, acceptance, power, etc. - when they do commit or promote some act of evil those actions stem from one or more of those things.

#12 Posted by MrGeezer (56371 posts) -

Anyway, the closest thing I can think of to being "the root of all evil" is the human tendency to view humans as not being human. Even when it comes down to something as yelling at the person who takes your customer service call, that's why. If my Sony product breaks, I'm mad at Sony. So I call up Sony's customer service hotline and some chick answers. In my mind, she's not a human being, she's just an extension of Sony, and that gives me all the justification I need to treat her like shit.

And that's just a mild example of "evil." Even with the more insidious shit, you'll have people murdering innocent people and justifying it on the basis of such things as "they deserved it because they are a part of western tyranny" or "they deserved it because they were part of a corrupt government." That's not to say that some people don't have what's coming to them. I'm just saying that if your dickish behaviour towards people is contingent on viewing them in a dehumanized manner, then that drastically increases the chances of you being "evil" too.

#13 Edited by MrGeezer (56371 posts) -

@SaintLeonidas said:

I think "human nature" is the very obvious answer here. Religions are established and driven by human nature - the needs for co-dependence, acceptance, power, etc. - when they do commit or promote some act of evil those actions stem from one or more of those things.

Here's the thing...even blaming evil on "human nature" is a bit tricky since the traits that result in "evil" are in all likelihood a significant part of why our species even survived. It's a result of the way in which human beings form associations with each other, but the way a species forms associations is just as "evil" as the way that two lizards will fight to the death over a mate. That's just nature. It only becomes "evil" for humans because humans have a concept of evil. And part of having a concept of evil is the ability to recognize the importance of context. "Human nature" isn't really the problem, the problem is the way in which "human nature" is applied by certain people in certain contexts.

#14 Posted by SOedipus (6814 posts) -

Idiots and nut-jobs. Sometimes a mix of the two.

#15 Posted by always_explicit (2905 posts) -

I think a lot of previous posters have summed it up nicely, an amalgamation of all of their posts and I think you as close as you are ever going to get to an answer. I think to an extent its human nature to bend and manipulate others to gain power. Sometimes religion is used to manipulate others sometimes its money. Look at Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, there we see the influence of politics and science entwined resulting in evil acts. Yet I dont suppose many people would call science the root of all evil. I would argue very few facets of humanity are totally incorruptible by evil.

If you really want to break it down...the definition of evil is profoundly wicked and immoral. Morality can be subjective, what I see as immoral could be absolutely justified in the eyes of another. The beautiful thing about humanity is we are all unique, adaptable and very much influenced by our surroundings, thoughts feelings and emotions. Some of the most wondrous achievements have been born through that uniqueness. Unfortunately the price to pay is horrific and unspeakable acts are also committed by others due to that same uniqueness.

Its easy to think of humanity as a collective but doing so neglects the fact that I cant control your actions any more than you can control mine.

#16 Posted by always_explicit (2905 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@SaintLeonidas said:

I think "human nature" is the very obvious answer here. Religions are established and driven by human nature - the needs for co-dependence, acceptance, power, etc. - when they do commit or promote some act of evil those actions stem from one or more of those things.

Here's the thing...even blaming evil on "human nature" is a bit tricky since the traits that result in "evil" are in all likelihood a significant part of why our species even survived. It's a result of the way in which human beings form associations with each other, but the way a species forms associations is just as "evil" as the way that two lizards will fight to the death over a mate. That's just nature. It only becomes "evil" for humans because humans have a concept of evil. And part of having a concept of evil is the ability to recognize the importance of context. "Human nature" isn't really the problem, the problem is the way in which "human nature" is applied by certain people in certain contexts.

Ahhh Geezer, I replied to the topic only to scroll up and read that beast of a post from yourself. Spot on!

GS needs a thumbs up button.

#17 Edited by SaintLeonidas (26277 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@SaintLeonidas said:

I think "human nature" is the very obvious answer here. Religions are established and driven by human nature - the needs for co-dependence, acceptance, power, etc. - when they do commit or promote some act of evil those actions stem from one or more of those things.

Here's the thing...even blaming evil on "human nature" is a bit tricky since the traits that result in "evil" are in all likelihood a significant part of why our species even survived. It's a result of the way in which human beings form associations with each other, but the way a species forms associations is just as "evil" as the way that two lizards will fight to the death over a mate. That's just nature. It only becomes "evil" for humans because humans have a concept of evil. And part of having a concept of evil is the ability to recognize the importance of context. "Human nature" isn't really the problem, the problem is the way in which "human nature" is applied by certain people in certain contexts.

Holy shit balls I actually sort of agree with something you posted! Of the two "causes" the TC listed, human nature is the more obvious answer I think.

I don't think human nature is inherently evil - I too think how we act upon it can result in either something good or evil; and even then what is good and evil is something that has to be predetermined - by laws, culture, individual morality, etc. When it comes to religion, I think they are established and driven by human nature - and often when they try to act upon it the result can often be something "evil".

#18 Posted by indzman (17824 posts) -

@TheWalkingGhost said:

Human Nature as it's humans who pervert religion for their own good.

Agree completely.

#19 Posted by wis3boi (31382 posts) -

ignorance

#20 Posted by Korvus (3840 posts) -

@XaosII said:

Its not necessarily that religion is the source of evil. Its more like an easy excuse or tool to cause evil

@MrGeezer said:

Anyway, the closest thing I can think of to being "the root of all evil" is the human tendency to view humans as not being human.

I'd say a combination of these two. Add some self-righteousness and a superiority complex and all of a sudden, in your own mind, you have the right to do anything to anyone because they deserve it.

#21 Posted by JimB (229 posts) -

@XaosII: The law in the US is based on the Ten Commandants so it comes down to human behavior not religion.

#22 Edited by Ballroompirate (22928 posts) -

Both

#23 Posted by Wickerman777 (1200 posts) -

In western countries political correctness is 100X the problem religion is. It used to be we had plastic politicians, now we have plastic everybody.

#24 Posted by Korvus (3840 posts) -

@Wickerman777 said:

In western countries political correctness is 100X the problem religion is.

Care to expand on that opinion? I'm curious.

#25 Posted by Brain_Duster (404 posts) -

Neither.

#26 Posted by foxhound_fox (88411 posts) -

Evil doesn't exist.

#27 Posted by YearoftheSnake5 (7409 posts) -

Religion? No. There have been atheist rulers, such as Joseph Stalin, who were absolutely brutal.

You could say it's human nature to an extent, as our behaviors are molded by our environment and upbringing. It's in our nature for us to be influenced by the world around us. Certain conditions breed poor habits and behaviors. Bear in mind that what one considers good or evil varies and can change as society evolves.

#28 Posted by foxhound_fox (88411 posts) -

@YearoftheSnake5 said:

There have been atheist rulers, such as Joseph Stalin, who were absolutely brutal.

Believing there is no God and believing oneself to be God are two entirely different things.

#29 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (7855 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Evil doesn't exist.

Isis seems pretty evil.

#30 Posted by alim298 (1421 posts) -

Everything has it's run-time. For now let people bash religion without ever realizing that most conflicts in the world didn't have anything to do with religion.

#31 Posted by comp_atkins (31432 posts) -

@purplelabel said:

Aggressive stupidity is the root of all evil.

ding ding ding

#32 Edited by airshocker (29695 posts) -

Human nature. Religion is just used as an excuse.

#33 Edited by RushKing (1777 posts) -

Blaming everything on religion is foolish. About human nature: of course humans have the ability to do nasty things. But the term human nature is misleading as it suggests snobbishness, elitist attitudes etc. are independent of social systems. We live in a class system, and in order for it to preserve itself these attitudes must be maintained. But this has nothing to do with a fixed nature, this is how the current power system functions. I'm not immune to it, after all it must effect my behaviour. But it isn't permanent.

If your really concerned about human nature, well then you really shouldn't offer some centralized body of other humans as a solution. As it can only make things worse.

#34 Posted by foxhound_fox (88411 posts) -

@speedfreak48t5p said:

Isis seems pretty evil.

They are just excessively violent.

#35 Edited by pariah3 (1000 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:

Evil doesn't exist.

Of course evil exists. What kind of comment is that?

It is also written in the Bible that the world we live in is a fallen world and is ruled by Satan.

#36 Posted by RushKing (1777 posts) -

#37 Posted by Jacanuk (4566 posts) -

@indzman said:

I'm in confusion lately as religion getting blamed for many ills and as i'm religious myself. I think while religion has caused trouble everywhere for ages ( genocide, forced conversions and many other ills) but human nature is the ultimate evil over religion. Humans disregard religion in many cases and do exactly oppossite of what it says to do.Daily murder, rape, theft, arson are commited by humans, not dictated by any religion.Why blame religion only? I don't think being religious is wrong, doing wrong is wrong.

What you think on this matter OT?

Human beings are the root of all evil.

Religion cannot cause anything its not a living breathing intelligent being.

#38 Posted by Jacanuk (4566 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Evil doesn't exist.

If you are trying get out on the metaphysical plan and debate the higher meaning of good or evil, i think you have the wrong forum for such a highly intellectual debate.

But to put it very simple, Evil do exist.

#39 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151093 posts) -

People is the only correct answer....

#40 Posted by comp_atkins (31432 posts) -

humans instinctively distrust those who are different. religion is just another way to identify the in-group from the out-group. if you're in the out-group, you have to die.

#41 Posted by wis3boi (31382 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@foxhound_fox said:

Evil doesn't exist.

If you are trying get out on the metaphysical plan and debate the higher meaning of good or evil, i think you have the wrong forum for such a highly intellectual debate.

But to put it very simple, Evil do exist.

evil is a label people put on things they do not like, it's not a 'thing'

#42 Posted by Daforsaken1 (71 posts) -

Evil doesn't exist. Just like darkness don't. Evil is the absolute absence of good. While darkness is the absolute absence of light.



3deep5you

#43 Posted by Pewbert (443 posts) -

All humans have the ability to be evil. Evil humans use religion as an excuse to be evil.

#44 Edited by torenojohn7 (315 posts) -

Yes the last one is PC MASTER RACE!

#45 Edited by Toxic-Seahorse (4133 posts) -

Isn't religion and hatred based on religious views a byproduct of human nature?

#46 Posted by Master_Live (14662 posts) -

Religion is a part of human nature.

#47 Posted by ferrari2001 (16932 posts) -

@MuD3 said:

religion is human nature...

I was gonna come say this. Does not only religion but all our personal beliefs stem from human nature? Therefore Human Nature being the primary cause while religion in this case would be secondary to human nature.

#48 Posted by foxhound_fox (88411 posts) -
@pariah3 said:

Of course evil exists.

Prove evil exists.

This will be fun.

@Jacanuk said:

But to put it very simple, Evil do exist.

Again, prove it.

All I know of "evil" is a label placed on people's behaviours by different people who disagree with what they do. Evil is merely a matter of perspective. It does not exist inherently (i.e. in an of itself).

#49 Posted by Jacanuk (4566 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@pariah3 said:

Of course evil exists.

Prove evil exists.

This will be fun.

@Jacanuk said:

But to put it very simple, Evil do exist.

Again, prove it.

All I know of "evil" is a label placed on people's behaviours by different people who disagree with what they do. Evil is merely a matter of perspective. It does not exist inherently (i.e. in an of itself).

So do you really want to have a philosophical debate on whether or not evil exist? ok lets have one then but you play out the first card.

#50 Posted by toast_burner (21673 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@foxhound_fox said:
@pariah3 said:

Of course evil exists.

Prove evil exists.

This will be fun.

@Jacanuk said:

But to put it very simple, Evil do exist.

Again, prove it.

All I know of "evil" is a label placed on people's behaviours by different people who disagree with what they do. Evil is merely a matter of perspective. It does not exist inherently (i.e. in an of itself).

So do you really want to have a philosophical debate on whether or not evil exist? ok lets have one then but you play out the first card.

You can't prove a negative. Seeing how you're the one saying that something does exist that means the burden of proof is on you.

You can't prove that there isn't a kettle orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. But since you can't prove there is one, we assume there isn't.