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JenniferP's avatar

Do you think that religion makes people more approving or less approving?

Asked by JenniferP (2103 points ) November 10th, 2012

I know that to be religious one has to disapprove of certain practices that they may have accepted before. But I think that in some ways people should become less judgmental and more understanding when they are religious. Jesus was very kind to the Samaritan women at the well, even though she had many different husbands and was living with a guy. He also defended the adultress and said “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.” How do you think religion should make people act?

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10 Answers

snowberry's avatar

How people “should” act is much different that how people do act. And it all depends on the religion (or belief system for that matter) as well as the individual person. I have met atheists here who become flamingly judgemental if they even have to interact or even talk about a person who follows a religion- especially Christianity. I could say the same about certain Muslims for example.

In general I try not to “should” on other people, meaning I make it a personal practice to NEVER tell anyone what they “should” do.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In general, less. Religion, by definition, teaches a less than universal view of the world. Religion teaches one belief system is superior to others, and disallows questioning of that religion, because it’s deemed to be the ‘word of the lord’ and has supremacy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would like to think religion would make people more accepting and more tolerant of others of all faiths and practices. Silly me.

wundayatta's avatar

I think religion, depending on how it is taught and expressed, can go either way. Some people interpret Christianity as meaning people should have empathy for others. Others interpret it to mean if you aren’t part of our way of doing things, then you are wrong and intolerable.

Overall, I think too much harm has been done in the name of religion. I think that religion has structural problems that will continue to cause it to create harm. In some religions, this can not change. They are locked in to these problems. It is something that needs to be dealt with, probably by adding a little humility to their teachings.

Sunny2's avatar

Is the religion inclusive or exclusive when it comes to outsiders? If you join them, do they include you; and if you turn them down, do they scorn you? Do they feel superior to everyone else and degrade non-believers? Not all religions are alike, obviously.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Well.

I know of one religion that disapproves of women showing skin or getting an education.

It also disapproves of me simply living my life, minding my own business, not going crazy and becoming completely impressionable by allowing myself acute relief in the form of bacon, alcohol or pornography and not having the ego to believe that my god is worth killing over, ETC.

thorninmud's avatar

People have a strong tendency to form tribes—in-groups and out-groups—based on the flimsiest of distinctions. It’s one of the most powerful human urges. Studies have been done that randomly assign people to groups, and even that random grouping is enough to cause people to favor those in their group and stigmatize those in the other group.

If, on top of that natural tendency, you tell a particular group that God has a special place in his heart for them and dislikes other groups, or that He can’t tolerate a particular sexual orientation or political stance, now you’ve got the makings of some really potent tribalism. Notions of “purity” will inevitably come to the fore. People will fear being seen as “impure”, and will assiduously squelch any “impure” leanings they may have. They may even become stridently antagonistic to those who fail to meet the standards of purity, so that their own purity won’t be questioned.

Not all religions take that approach.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Considering religion generally disapproves of more people than it approves of, I’d say less. Yeah yeah, thou shalt not judge lest ye be judged, but people tend to skip over that. Religion SHOULD make people more approving, but it unfortunately does not.

The Christian religion simplified would sound something like, “God loves all His children, unless you’re not a Christian (or worse yet, a homosexual), and in that case he’ll burn you in Hell for eternity!” Lovely.

Buttonstc's avatar

It depends upon the religion and the person involved and their interpretation of the tenets of that religion.

Ideally, it should make people less judgemental and more loving and accepting. Unfortunately, people don’t always measure up to the ideal. And some use the religion to justify what they’re doing rather than take personal responsibility for their attitudes.

Blackberry's avatar

Some religious people treat their faith like an exclusive club and are rude to outsiders. I’m not sure if they are the majority or not, but the labels religion have seem to divide people more than anything else, it seems.

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