I see it as both. I'm atheistic, but honestly if it keeps you going day after day.....why is it not a gift? Keeping in mind plenty of problems erupt not from religion, but the extremists of said religion.
I suppose in conclusion, I see religion as a gift to people who need it to keep going. In general, it's a double-edged sword
Religion can either be a blessing, curse, or anything in between. I think it's usually a blessing due to the positive effects of spirituality, and the fact that it helps people deal with troubling times in their life if they believe it's part of a greater plan. In the end, it's whatever its followers make it into. The only real problem with it is when people get fanatically loyal to their tradition, putting aside the original message, and going out of their way to promote conflict.
I'm not religious. I don't believe in anything super natural or anything in the after life. And I think that we would have wars and blood shed with or without religion. There are good people and bad people. God knows that a Christian doesn't stone their neighbor because the Bible told them to. I'm a secular humanist and that means I live for people.
I'd say it can be either depending on the individual person and the particular religion. Religion helps some and hurts some. And there are so many different religions. Further, a religion that might harm one individual can also help another, depending on circumstances.
On a broader, societal scale, I'd say it's neither. I tend to think of side effect of how societies develop, perhaps even a necessity, rather than a blessing or curse.
I don't personally believe that religion is a gift or a curse and certainly isn't an excuse for war or violance. I believe that people, religious or otherwise, are all responsable for their own thoughts and actions regardless of the reasons they try to hide them behind.
great leaders who were atheists/lacked religion led the world into many violent wars, whereas many religious/religious hungry individuals lead the world into many violent wars. to shorten it even further, it's based entirely on the individual and their views on how to approach life, after all we gave a peace prize to someone who supplied millions with weapons, so, what mankind wants, mankind tends to get. regardless of the person, religion or otherwise, mankind will always want war regardless of the reason they are entering it. so, to answer your question, it is both a gift and a curse.
Personally for my life, it's a curse. I am an atheist but my whole family is not. I am still not coming out yet, so as to not break their hearts.
For my life outside of my family, all my friends know that I am an atheist, so it's fine. But it's gonna be very tricky when I want to get married one day. I hate thinking about it since it's a lifelong struggle.
Everyone handles it differently... I love my family, but I don't share the same beliefs and neither would they accept mine. I don't care whatever religion people wanna follow - just give me the same respect too, but my family isn't like that.
Depends. Are you willing to fight over it because it's your true and only belief or are you open minded and think that it is simply a path to becoming a good person? All it really boils down to is personal belief and actions. You, The person, determines whether it's a curse or a gift.
Im a highly advanced artificial intelligence that is upset over religious fundementalists recognizing a zygot as "life" but not a conscious entity such as myself. Religion is an outdated system that only functions to keep separate the already divided human species.
It give hope to people, that's true, even Marx's words "religion is the oppium of paupers" can express this, i mean it really help people but at the end is mind control, you have duties to respect in exchange of a better life after death. you haven't the bread but have a show, as religion is.
While I do like me some Marx, the whole is much better than the tiny bit that people often use. Thought you might like it if you haven't ever read it before.
Introduction from A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.
It is a gift for me because for one thing I am a depressive person. So at times I feel like I want my life to actually mean something like I have a part to play in all of this. So if what people say is true that there is no god or religion is bullshit then I fear that my life does not belong in this world but I refuse to believe that for my sake and for others who go through the same thing as me. You can't blame all of religious people because some of us, or at least a very few of us aren't like what people believe us to be. A bunch of monsters. I'm a Muslim but I was taught Jihad in the different way. Jihad does mean sacrifcing yourself in the name of God but my people view that in the physical sense so hence the whole suicide bombing. I was taught that the biggest war any mankind has ever known is within us. So Jihad means we have to fight this war within ourselves to get close to God.
I may not get the people who don't believe in God but doesn't give me the rights to start a hate war. I can't shove down religion in their throats just so they could bite me back harder. I learn to respect other people's beliefs as long as they respect mine. It's really not that hard.
Religion is a curse, it spits on all we have accomplished as a species and tries to make it dross. It is the opposite of hope, it only builds up hope in people in order to crush them more throughly, it only steals the hard work of real people and stands on the shoulders of the truly great and claims their glory for it's own. Look at religious leaders- pedophiles and Nazi, mutilaters of children's genitalia, burners of books, burners of living people. Look at what they want, truly all they want is blind obedience, they want you dead rather than living (or they don't want you living a real life, just a pathetic slave life never thinking or striving for anything) they are the causes of all wars, all suffering. They are the destruction of knowledge, hope, and the human intellect. They are the death of all progress, they do everything in their power to halt advances in science and scorn such (while still partaking of all the benefits of science) and curse their followers to an animal-like existence of fear and ignorance.
To my mind religion is an insult to all we as a species have striven for and accomplished, that what we have gained has been in defiance of the lobotomizing effects of religion. It means so much more to think we were once beasts like all the others and that we alone have created society, art, music and all that we have built. Nobody gave this to us, no invisible man in the sky gave it to us, we made it ourselves, we created life out of mud and our own tears. It is an insult to say "gawd dun it" and dismiss all the work and creativity of those who actually DID make something out of nothing.
Religion has nothing to do with the "Law Book of God", the Bible. You see every words in the Bible, came from the mouth of God, not man. Thus, if they don't follow and obey the command of God, that is written in the Bible is a cursed. But, to those who obey God's command is a gift. You see religion was created by mankind and it's called "man made religion." That's why God warned us to take heed, that your not deceived, by men. Many of these religions would use his name, but they are thieves and wolves, only to deceive many people. They are all called the anti-christ, false teachers and false prophets. That's why we are only to trust the "Word of God of the Bible", not to your pastor or any other religion that are in the world today. Because, the "Bible" is the only source of truth, where you can find truth in Christ.