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A World Without Religious Organizations
In his 1971 single “Imagine,” John Lennon sang, “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.” It would seem in today’s world, however, that many of the general public would refuse to accept (or even imagine) a lifestyle void of some sort of religious foundation or backing. Imagining a world with no religious organizations seems almost impossible considering it’s influence on and shaping of society up to this point in the present, but if all of a sudden there were no more religious organizations, the change would be very interesting.
First, one might consider the change in human rights. For example, with no religious organizations, would anyone have anything to say against equal marriage rights for the LGBTQ community? Would marriage even continue to be so important anymore? Mitt Romney might even seem like a more palatable candidate without the title of a Mormon, and religious warfare in Darfur, Southern Africa, and all over the world for that matter would stop instantly with no religion to back it up. Conflicts caused by differences in religion and religious organizations in the past include genocides and tragedies such as the Holocaust, the persecution of Jesus’ followers in Rome, and even killings by the Ku Klux Klan.
Speaking of warfare and violence, it is also important to consider the effect removing religion would have upon many peoples’ moral fibers. It would not be unreasonable to assume that many peoples’ sense of conscience comes from their belief in a judgement or punishment by a supreme religious force. Removing society’s sense of religious accountability may have a drastic effect on the production or following of a moral code.
Imagine the differences in the way people would live their lives if they weren’t driven by an end goal of getting to heaven, or reaching reincarnation, or finding nirvana, or pleasing Xenu, ruler of the galactic confederacy. Perhaps people would live their lives more honestly, in true altruistic spirit; maybe it would cause the exact opposite. The point is that, whether or not every person is religious, organized religion and beliefs have collectively been one of the most influential forces to shape human history since it’s beginnings. While the thought and posed scenario of a world without religious organizations is certainly very interesting to think about, I don’t think such a scenario would ever be possible to create in “real life.”