Throughout thousands of years, there has been one main topic of war until very recently: religion. Religious wars throughout our history have been bloody, as is examined in this article about the wars of religion from 1562-1598: This is a common theme throughout all of history; when you have a topic that people are insanely passionate about, they will be willing to put their lives on the line when it comes time to defend their choice. When different religious groups first began to meet, they began fighting almost immediately because they saw anyone that wasn’t with them as being against them.

Despite war being violence that many religions say that they are strongly against, many don’t hesitate to take up arms in the fight for what they believe to be true. More people have been killed in the name of God than almost any other topic, and I find that to be massively shameful for the religious community. Practicing what you preach should absolutely not include war because that is literally the opposite of what you preach.

Think about it: The Crusades, The Inquisition, Northern Ireland, and everything that is going on in the middle east. I am not saying that everyone that is religious should be ashamed by this. Many churches throughout the world do fantastic work, such as donating time and massive amounts of money to charities that do really good work. However, in the grand scheme of things this will never be enough to take back what most of the world’s major religions have done to harm others throughout their history. For no good reason, the holiest people of the most fantastic religions have often times commited the most heinous crimes of war.

One doesn’t even need to look at war to see some of the negative impacts religion has had on some people. The level of discrimination that we have experienced as a result of hating other religions for almost no reason has become out of control. Just look at the middle east; there are only a select group of people that commit crimes of terrorism within the muslim faith and yet for some reason everyone in America seems to think that all Muslims are responsible for these acts of terror. As a result of this, thousands of people are continually mislead about the intentions of the Islamic faith. Islam is a religion of peace, and the vast, vast majority of members of the faith don’t want anyone hurt, much less killed. That said, the perception of the entire faith has suffered as a result of the actions of only a small group of members, and that is not right.

This leads me to the broader point that I am trying to make: throughout the course of human history, religion has hurt humanity as opposed to helping it. People of faith are supposed to be accepting of all, and yet as a result of thousands of years of tension people are being ostracized as a result of the faith that they are a part of. Not to mention, people of religion follow rules that have been in faith for a very long time, despite them being outdated and in dire need of an update. For evidence of this, look no further than some Catholics’ view of gay marriage. It is obvious that the right thing to do is to allow all people that want to be together to be together. However, it says in the Bible that gays are not meant to be with one another and so many have been barred for years and even tried to be “healed” of their “ailment.” The world would be far less polarized and a far better place to live if religion had never surfaced.

  1. […] Throughout History, Religion Has Harmed Humanity More than it has Helped It by Zach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. […]

  2. Andrea 2 years ago

    I thought your post was interesting and your stance was unique. I agree that religion has lead to persecution but in a way I think it’s beautiful and is a true test of faith. Religion has been around forever and when things go bad, it gives you something to believe in. I think faith has done more good than harm. Everyday someone is discriminated against for their religion but also gives countless people the strength to not give up. Here is a source you can use to strengthen your argument on both sides

  3. Simon 2 years ago

    Hi Zach, this is a great topic and on that is very interesting to me. I see what you are saying and I do believe that religion at times has hurt people, however I believe that on a personal level many people have been helped by it. The cost of religion is the fighting and need to be dominant over another people however some would say that we even do that in the increasingly secular world today. If there’s something one has and other doesnt there will be fighting. That’s just human nature.

  4. Jessica 2 years ago

    Hey Zach! Reading this the first thing that caught my attention was this line “More people have been killed in the name of God than almost any other topic, and I find that to be massively shameful for the religious community”.As horrible as it is, this is a true statement. We see people doing harmful and shameful acts on the name of Allah and pretend to be okay. We see that almost everyday in Africa, Nigeria, where Boko Harams use religion to justify their evil acts.

  5. Adelle 2 years ago

    I agree with your position that you take in this essay, but I think there are a few ways to improve it. Your largest section of writing has to do with war, and I think there is an imbalance between the evidence and thought given to the war side of religion as opposed to the other detrimental effects of religion. Additionally, I think it was a very strong statement that you finished with. Your audience may have followed you until the very end and then been thrown off by the dramatic, unjustified words. Saying that it would be better for everyone if religion never existed while also not addressing any positives of religion makes it easy to counter your argument. Also, I would like to thank you for including the comment on the affected perception of Islam. Very interesting piece!

  6. Ben 2 years ago

    I love your point about how it is against the rules in religions to fight yet they do it anyways??? It is funny to see this because I think many read religious texts and then pick and choose what they want to believe. With this tendency, people can “justify” themselves to do anything. To sum it all up, I think religion can be good but as you said about a few Muslims, some don’t see it for what it should be.

  7. Anthony 2 years ago

    Dear Zach, I found your article compelling and I am intrigued by what you said regarding “The world would be far less polarized and a far better place to live if religion had never surfaced.” With my faith I have never felt like I needed to be healed because of my sexuality and insted I have felt a magnitude of love and support to embrace my sexuality. From an article from the Huffington post George Carlin said to loud applause, “More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.” And he talks more about how more than 35 million soldiers and civilians died in the senseless, and secular, slaughter of World War 1 alone. I would agree with you that the world would be less polarized if we had one commong ground in our beliefs. Hope this helps and I do find your research compelling!

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