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The Negative Impact of Religion on Society
For as long as humans have had the ability to reason, they have attributed the natural phenomenon and the world around them to deities, spirits, and supernatural forces. Religion has played a huge role in the development of societies and civilizations throughout history. It has been a guide for morals and a shaper of principal. It has been a foundation of law for many cultures. The positive aspects of religion are well known and cherished among its followers, however there are other effects, some well known, and others ignored, that are not so positive. This paper seeks to research and describe some of the negative effects religion has had on mankind, and the world.
Certainly the most notable negative impact on society is religious wars. Throughout recorded history, more wars have been waged in the name of religion than any other reason (Teichrib 4). In this century alone, we have seen several wars fought over religion in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America. Much of the Middle Ages were dominated by wars such as The Crusades, The Thirty Years War, and the French Wars of Religion. Because these wars are already well documented, and their effects already established, I will not dwell on them much.
Another well known negative impact of religion is discrimination. Religious discrimination has been around as long as religion itself, and continues today in places all around the world. Directly after the terrorist attacks in 2001, religious discrimination complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in the United States rose 20% (Weiss 63). These complaints were mainly in the form of Muslims who felt they were being persecuted in the wake of the attacks. In Ireland during British rule the Catholic population was subjected to a great deal of discrimination. After the British relinquished control of the country the Catholics, who were the majority in the country, gained heretofore...