TED Conversations

Paul Kirhagis

This conversation is closed.

Where do organized religions go wrong?

I identify with the idea that humans are built to transcend themselves to contribute to the group as a whole. Organized religion is a bridge that allows those who have similar values and morals to come together and to help others grow. But how would we explain things like the crusades or the Spanish inquisition in this context?

Does the transcendence that a group experiences fall apart at an individual level then rebuild itself into a mutated version of the original? or does some other process occur that twists the collective masses into behavior that is clearly against the original purpose of the group?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 11 2013: Ethicalist religions which teach you to find your spiritual path within tend to be much less prone to abuse. Theistic religions which have en externalized locus of morality tend to be prone to having a person or groups of persons claim that they and they alone can interpret the will of "god". Having an almighty powerful, invisible and otherwise silent deity on my side allows me to command people to do all sorts of things they would not otherwise do.

    Religion serves a valuable series of social purposes. But, we need to encourage a more ethicalist take on them for them to avoid doing more harm than good.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.