Why do I classify Religion as a PROBLEM ?
On the one hand :
Religion provides much-needed support to many millions of people on this planet. This support is both psychological (eg. spiritual and counseling ) and frequently physical ( eg. food and manual assistance ). This is the good side of religion and I respect and appreciate the HUGE benefit that this is to the planet. Every religion is fundamentally good. Probably most cults also start off with a basis of good intentions.
However, on the other hand:
a) Problem 1: Religion is used (mis-used is probably a more realistic term?) to justify so much of the hardships that we are forced to endure on this planet. And this goes back to times imemorial through to present times. Wars, retribution, torture, chastisement, ostracism, penance, victimization, just deserts, judgment, conflicts, fighting, enmity and strife can mostly be attributed to religion at some level or another. Most of these are inflicted on “other people” in the name of religion in one form or another.
b) Problem 2: There are many, many instances of good being done in the name of Religion and Religion takes many forms. Whenever a level of fanaticism (when the religion starts to believe that it is the one and only valid one) is where the trouble starts. Where RESPECT no longer has a place. Cults fall into this realm of influence in the same way. The most prominent example of this mis-use of religion is the imams who preach that all unbelievers must be destroyed and set about actively doing this. 9/11 is probably the most significant example of this practice. And this all stems from the moment at which fanaticism is applied to ANY religion.
c) Problem 3: When any Religion goes into isolation mode. When a Religion becomes so completely all-embracing that they remove themselves from any involvement with society other than their own group they are not a problem as such but what happens here is that a number of people who could be contributing to the greater good (a higher level-of-responsibility in terms of TheCode) are taken out of the battle to resolve the crises facing the planet. In many instances these groups also become more and more converted to fanaticism as they need to expand their group. This expansion starts off as providing help and support to people who need it, then expanding this support to conversion to the cause, then conviction that it is THE ONLY true cause and then this all gets fueled by the GREED of the elders or leaders. A significant example of this process is Scientology. And unfortunately, I believe that most Religions go down this path at one level or another. It is NOT my intention to say that all Religions should therefore stop what they are doing and disband. But they do need to broaden their outlook and start contributing to solutions for our planet based on TheCode and not limited by their doctrines.
Time to consider the SOLUTIONS.