Give an example of how religion helps society, and an example of how religion harms society. Overall, do you think religion provides more help or more harm to society? Give reasons to support your answer.
Historically, religion has both helped and harmed society. During the period of slavery in the United States, many religious bodies in the North strongly supported the abolitionist movement with some (most notably the Quakers) actively assisting slaves to escape northward. Conversely, the Spanish Inquisition in Europe was very harmful, with many persons killed or forced into exile after being charged with heresy. It is harmful when it is utilized as the rationale for harming others. Religion per se is harmless; it is the way it is used which determines whether it is helpful or harmful to society.