Disclaimer

Many of my essays are quite old. They were, in effect, written by a person who longer exists in that my views, beliefs, and overall philosophy have grown and evolved over the years. Consequently, if I were to write on the same topics again, the resulting essays might differ significantly from their current versions. Rather than edit my essays to remain contemporary with my views, I have chosen to preserve them as a record of my past inclinations and writing style. Thank you for understanding.

April 2001

Organized Religion

How it helps, how it hurts

Brief Description

Despite all the complaints, organized religion does some very good things. Religion in any form, organized or not, offers billions of people a sense of happiness, belonging, and purpose that for some reason they can't find elsewhere in their lives. Religion, as with any large organization, can come together as a unified group to perform astonishingly large projects. If those projects are ethical, then more power to them. Religion acts as a moral guide for many people as well. Personally, I believe it acts has a pretty bad one, but nevertheless, the intention is good. However, given these positives, the negatives are overwhelming. The most obvious negative point is that despite many religions' intention to do good, they almost invariably screw up this fundamental goal and end up hurting either people or a people's culture. This hurt can range from relatively benign arrogance to wholly oppressive discrimination, slavery, murder, and genocide. As a result of the confused moral compass by which most religions guide themselves, such mistakes in behavior are practically ubiqituous across religions. Organized religion cannot take credit for its ability to help its own members without taking fault for the inevitable harm it causes its nonmembers.

Full Description

Not completed yet

I would really like to hear what people think of this. If you prefer private feedback, you can email me at kwiley@keithwiley.com. Alternatively, the following form and comment section is available.

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Name:Keith Date/Time:2011/08/25
NOTE THAT ALL COMMENTS OLDER THAN THIS ONE PREDATE THE COMMENT SYSTEM. They originated as email feedback and have been retroactively converted to public comments to seed the new comment system. As such I have redacted them where appropriate for the purpose of preserving their anonymity.

Name:Anonymous Date/Time:2007/06/22
Hi, I read your mind ramblings post online and I thought it was interesting.