You are on page 1of 3

Prompt: Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our

world and explain why you chose that invention.


Let me preface this by saying I believe in God, I think that science
cannot account for all of the miracles our existence has to offer. The only
possible explanation is a higher power that I will never be able to
understand. However I also believe while Religion has many unifying and
beneficial qualities, due to its exploitative and divisive nature, it is the
invention that has had the most negative impact on our world.
Religion takes an individuals most personal and sacred thoughts, our
beliefs, and classifies them into different categories, monotheistic vs
polytheistic, Muslim vs Christian, etc... and forces us to choose. Not only
does it force us to choose, but also teaches its followers to convert others to
that Religion. I believe everyone should come by their beliefs through their
own experiences, and classifying something so personal, is demeaning, and
degrades the purity of our own individual expression. By forcing us to choose
between books, and styles of praying, we lose the individuality of our beliefs.
We avoid the specific values that we may not agree with, choosing instead
the Religion that we have the most in common with. But there is nothing
wrong with having slight differences in opinion with a set of beliefs formed
thousands of years ago. Not only does Religion force us to conform to a
certain discipline, now we see these believers being radicalized. We see
groups with similar beliefs, gathering to to eradicate those with other beliefs.
This pattern has repeated itself since our earliest recorded histories, and yet
we still dont learn, we only switch between victim and aggressor every
couple centuries. This shows the divisive nature of Religion. By classifying

beliefs into specific categories, it eliminates the middle ground that allows
for healthy discussion, and turns our differences in beliefs, into passionate
arguments where there can be no compromise. It is either one or the other,
and it is impossible to convince your counterpart otherwise.
Religion in the past has also led to the exploitation of its followers. For
example the practice in The Catholic Church of indulgence, allowed sinners
salvation through the purchase of an indulgence that pardoned their sins,
and set the precedent that sin could be erased with money. This practice
was protested by Martin Luther, and eventually amended, however the
damage had been done. This exploitation extends to human sacrifice, where
religious leaders somehow convinced their followers that they could please
their gods through the arbitrary murder of innocents. These victims were too
often children. Cultures around the world, and across time have believed
that their sacrifice of children would please their god, including the Eskimos,
the Polynesians, the Egyptians, the Scandinavians, Africans, American
Indians, and up to recent times, the Australian Aboriginals. Religion exploits
these beliefs by convincing people to do horrific things, of their own accord,
and in addition makes it culturally acceptable. This is particularly damaging
to our world because not only does it provoke these crimes, but it also
condones them, and allows them to become ritualistic. This adds another
level to the corruption that Religion brings because it changes the norm of
what is acceptable, even if it is the slaughter of innocent children. It is a
scary thought that not only can Religion influence people to kill those we
hold most dear, but it can also convince others that it was acceptable. This

shows that there are no limits in the actions it can make people commit, or
the ideas it can persuade people of. Since evil exists, it is inevitable that
people will find a way to harness this control, which is exactly what happens
when we see religious cults doing unimaginable things. Exploitation through
Religion is inevitable because it holds so much power over people, it is
impossible for there not to be instances where imperfect humans who hold
authority in the church abuse their power. While this can work in the
opposite direction, and people like Mother Theresa, and Mahatma Gandhi,
are able to enact monumental changes for good, the prevalence of
exploitation, shows how Religion is the invention that has had the most
negative impact in our world.