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The Goods & Bads of Religion

by Dylan George

In today’s society religion still plays a big role. There are many good impacts that religion has had on society’s social contracts, yet there could also be some negative effects that religion has had on social contracts seen in day-to-day life. I look to highlight both sides of this issue in this article.

To start, religious practices today seem to have enormous potential for addressing today’s social problems. Religious practices and church funded events are always going on for the betterment of the community and the people involved in it, while bringing those people together at the same time. Religion also helps establish that social cohesion by uniting people around shared symbols, norms, and values. 

Religious thought is known to promote things like morality, fairness, charity, and justice. For example, the 10 Commandments in the Bible are a set of rules believed to be sent directly from God. Many of these commandments match up with societal norms such as respecting your parents or not committing adultery. People tend to behave well not only out of the fear of their friends’ and family’s disapproval but also out of a desire to remain in their God’s good graces.

Religion can also be a source of division by entrenching existing inequalities, politically and economically. In addition, religion can be shown to have effects on gender and race inequalities. In fact, divine figures and their prophets in most religions are male.

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 Virtually all of the world’s major religions are patriarchal, with religious text often explicitly describing men in the image of God and women in subordinate roles to men. Furthermore, many religions position women as immoral beings and in need of male constraint. Religion has also been used as a way to control women’s behaviors, requiring them to dress modestly or not allowing them to be alone with other men outside their family.

In conclusion, Religion has the potential to create many positive effects on society by bringing communities together and promoting law-abiding behavior. While on the other hand, religion can also be harmful for society with the risks of dividing people by their beliefs, ethnicity, gender, and more.

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