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In light of recent posts on here- I am aware that this question will come off far more confrontational than it is intended but...

I am confused:

in some threads people say everyone is responsible for their own actions (I agree) and that you can have morals without religion (I agree)
in other threads the same people say religion is the cause of the evil in the world(or vote up answers that say this or a variation)- how come when it comes to good actions people are responsible but when it comes to bad actions-its religion and not the people that are responsible-

Does it show a bias when you believe that religion is the root of bad actions (violence, evil) but its the actions of people for good ones (strength, morals)?


Asked by soyousay at 5:38 PM on Jun. 28, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 26 (27,669 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (25)
  • It's kind of a conundrum, isn't it


    Answer by adnilm at 6:38 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • I kind of agree with you. It can't be both ways. Either the individual is responsible for both the good and bad, or not at all. Religion is what each of us make it - some use it in a way that brings forth love and peace and some use it in a way that brings about discord and disharmony. Whatever the result, the credit or blame is on the individual, for interpreting and applying the faith (which is really just a system of ideals) in whatever way they do.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 5:46 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Religion is run by people...people are responsible for using religion as an excuse for their horrid behavior.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:59 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Lots of things push people to do bad things. Race, nationalism, sexism, any other ism you can name. Group think is more the culprit than any one thing. It does not take away from the personal responsibility you carry for the things you do.

    Answer by adnilm at 6:43 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • There's a sort of mentality that comes with "group-think" that drives people to discriminate and cause harm to people who believe differently than they--and it can be political as well as religious.  All we have to do is look at Nazi Germany to see that otherwise good people can be convinced to do horrible things to other good people--in that case because of political ideology--but we see it happen with religion, too.  In that sense, it's both--the people and the religion--responsible. By the same token, that influence can be used to benefit all people in the form of encouraging volunteerism and charity. I think it's both in both cases.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 7:38 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • I'm pretty sure I've said that people are responsible for their actions, and while I've never said religion is to blame I have voted up answers in that line of thinking on occasion-the reason- because I see religion as a tool. A tool that people can use for good or bad, beneficial or detrimental, and that often it is a tool that is used for the less than desirable actions. So in that sense it is "responsible" for much evil in the world, the same way politics, etc are.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:07 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • It's not that religion causes people to do evil things, but rather the influence religion can have on human beings that makes it a source of evil. Like sahmama said, it is used as an excuse for people to do awful things.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:36 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Perhaps people say religion is to blame, because believers are so emotionally identified with their beliefs, that separating the person from the belief is difficult when they take actions that they believe are a direct result of their faith. The individual who takes the action is always to blame for the action, but the information that builds the belief is also responsible. Had that mom not believed judgement day was May 21st, she would not have slit the throats of her 3 daughters. Truth matters.


    Answer by clarity333 at 6:49 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • More like had that mom not been unbalanced...

    Answer by adnilm at 6:51 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • ..had that mom simply left a note saying she couldn't handle the kids, without mentioning anything related to a religion..truth wouldn't have entered the equations, whatever that truth is. she would have been a 'simple' suicide, most like brought on by mental unstability. (which in no way diminishes the fact she killed her kids)

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:06 PM on Jun. 28, 2011