Patti (whipartist) wrote,

Net positive or net negative?

I've had this conversation over brunch with friends a couple of times, and it's relevant to the discussion that's happening on the BARGE list right now.

It's clear that religion provides some positive benefits to cultures-- a standardized set of rules to follow, "opiate of the masses", etc. It's also clear that religion has some negatives as well-- intolerance of and sometimes outright persecution of nonbelievers, battles between religious factions, etc.

When the dust settles, do you think that religion is a net positive or a net negative for the world? (Note that truth or lack thereof isn't a part of the question-- I can imagine religion being a net win even if it's based on entirely fictional premises, or being a net loss even if they believe in something true.)
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