I would say that the evils we have seen in our society were because of a “religious mindset” created by organised religion itself. We have bastardised religion and the things it stands for – it is no longer (And hasn’t been for a very long time) the teaching of morality, happiness and tolerance. Instead, key people and leaders have, over generations, slowly twisted and turned small parts of the whole, but the constant small transformations have changed the essence of the whole.
And we have accepted it. We have accepted, encouraged, and partook in the false and twisted logic and reason which allows these people to take advantage of the various religions of the world. In doing so, we have basicly said, “I know, in my heart that this is strange and unnatural and wrong. But I can twist the teachings of my faith and make them work for me in this way that I want them to.” What happens is that then we lose faith in our own gods (Because they were not good enough to provide the strict guidence and answers we wanted), and we take their place. We become gods – us: sinful, dirty, selfish humans. And this one act, commited by thousands of peoples, has lead to a corrosion of logic and morality, all because the original religion was too weak and open to manipulation and interpretation.
So now we have come to accept false and twisted logic to justify anything. We have become unlikely to oppose someone, or to consider their arguments because we have become used to being told, “Because this is was I think god says. And therefore, it must be so”. And this mindset eventually leaked into other parts of our society, “Because this is what I think the government means, so it must be so.”; “Because this is what I think my parents mean, so it must be so.”
It was sort of a roundabout answer, but I hope you understand waht I was trying to get accross… And no, I don’t mind at all if you wish to share part or all of my responses.
That makes a lot of sense to me! I believe that there is a right way to be religious, and there are some people who practice religious in this (thoughtful, intelligent) way. But a great many people, in my experience, act more or less as you describe — they (mis)use religion as a way to justify behaving as they wish to behave or to exert control over others. It’s truly a tragic situation and, as you say, leads to corrupt thought in many areas of society.