The Impact of Religion on Modern Society
It is very interesting to look at religion with a global perspective in mind. Unfortunately, most of what we read on this in the United States takes a mostly western standpoint. This leads to a logical and interesting, but biased view.
Though religion in ever present in our lives, it is becoming less of a focus. God and religion are a part of our national anthem, in our constitution and printed on our currency. Yet, religion is becoming more and more viewed as a private matter and not observed or discussed in a public setting. Despite this, religion has fueled many of the world’s conflicts.
Because of our western focus, the source of inspiration is from some higher power, as opposed to an inner source as in many eastern world religions. The mindset of many religious groups is to view their own text as the “word” and the ultimate truth. This leads to taking religious texts too literally instead of the messages they are trying to send. This makes people have very extreme perspectives and sets people opposed to each other.
Religion has always had a major impact on shaping worldviews. It is also the tool that many use when attempting to shape youth as well as understand themselves. From a young age then, people are influenced heavily and defined by a very one-sided set of views. It is understandable that other religions would have equally strong mindsets. These equally stubborn opposing views are what lead to violence. There are terrorists on all sides. Everyone, from all religions, is trying to prove that they are right.
This leads to the thought that someone obviously must be wrong. Does that mean that one side is wrong while the other is right? Are both sides wrong? Or maybe, both sides were right until they decided to prove it to themselves or each other through violence.
Religion will certainly have a strong influence on society for some time to come. The key to a balanced society is the separation between religion and government that modern government has tried to accomplish. There is no way to completely separate the two, and it is almost comical to the extent some pursue that goal, but the idea is the same; religion should govern our morals and ethics but be separate from how a country is run and how it interacts with other countries.