In this special edition of Let’s Talk About, the Newslaundry crew of Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, Shardool Katyayan, and Mehraj D Lone sit down for a freewheeling discussion about religion, its place and significance in our world.
Primarily, the theme is whether religion has done more good or more harm.
Abhinandan and Mehraj both argue that religion has done more good than harm while the rest of the panel express mixed views.
“Religion has done more good than bad historically,” Abhinandan says, “because until values were established religion was the only thing keeping us from being primitive beasts.” Mehraj argues that “religion has not only done more good historically, it will continue doing so”. He also notes, in the course of a discussion about whether science has made religion irrelevant, that “science is not a substitute for religion”.
Raman opines that while religion may be good for individuals, it has caused great harm on a societal level, what with all the wars waged in the name of faith and God. “Philosophically, it has done more good. But when it comes to rituals it has done more harm,” says Shardool.
Manisha thinks that religion is the man’s most fascinating invention. But she uses personal anecdotes to assert that religion has played a major role in holding back women for most of human history.
Anand believes that people believe in religion because it's a social habit, not because of a strong belief system. He hypothesizes that “religion could have been an antidote to moral anarchy”.
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