Does religion make people better or worse?

Townhall.com Dennis Prager September 5, 2006

I have devoted much of my life to arguing that religion is the finest vehicle for individuals and societies to become decent, good, moral (you choose the term you prefer). For example, in 2005, I devoted 24 columns to making the case for Judeo-Christian values as the finest system of values ever devised.

However, this advocacy of religion comes with two caveats.

First, the claimed superiority of Judeo-Christian values in no way means that all believing Jews and Christians are good people, let alone better than all other people. There have always been and there are today morally superior individuals in every religion. And there are morally superior individuals among atheists and people of no organized religion.

Second, there is no religion that has not made, or at least enabled, some of its adherents to be morally worse than they would have been had they not adopted that religion.

So our question is not whether there are good or bad people in every religion. The question is whether any given religion is likely to make one who believes in it a better or worse person than he would have been had he not believed in that religion.

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