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The World With No Religion

Updated on June 29, 2016

What It Is

Religion, or some form of the concept we know as religion, has been part of most major civilizations of the world for millennia. Peoples have been worshiping deities and practicing some forms of spiritual rites and rituals in every corner of the world. Religion even developed in several locations independently of one another, meaning that it did not have to spread. Different people came up with it all on their own.

Religion is a powerful thing and holds a lot of influence in peoples' lives. Religion provides a framework for historical record keeping, it passes on the customs and culture of the practicing people. Religion teaches the youth about life. Religions provides many answers to complex and difficult questions. It outlines basic rules of morality and how to live ones life in a meaningful and just way. In all these ways religion provides a valuable service. It gives people hope, gives people meaning and direction in their lives, and it maintains order.

However, the power of religion does not stop there.

What the World Would Be Like

I don't pretend to know precisely what would be different. No one can know for certain. However, it could go several ways for several reasons. What I AM saying is that the world would be radically, monumentally different without religion. It has been an enormous part of various peoples, cultures, and civilizations. Without it and what it provides people there would be a lot of gaps to fill.

The differences are ones that you may have thought of already. But are they correct? Which way would the world have turned out without religion? Would it be worse or better off? Would evil run rampant through the land? We can start by looking at some of the history of religion itself.

What Religion Has Caused

Being a large part of life for many people for many generations, religion became ingrained in many. Providing answers and hope, religion powered people to do great things. It gave people direction in their endeavors, gave them something to fight for,and something to believe in. It inspired millions of people.

However, not all of that inspiration was good-natured. Many wars have been started and raged on over religion. Ideological differences and passions running high have been the cause of much bloodshed throughout the history of the world. There has been fighting for control of specific lands and fighting just to dominate or eliminate a people for not believing in the same thing. In the Crusades, all of which were fought over religious lands and dominance, children were subjected to the horrors of combat.

People have been persecuted and sent into exile, put into slavery, and much worse because of religious principles. Entire populations fled and created new nations just to have the freedom to practice what they believe in. The Puritans in England fled to the New World because they weren't accepted based on their beliefs.

Religious differences, and other cultural differences stemming from religion, have also been the cause of genocides many times. Jewish people during World War II, Sudanese Christians, Catholic Croats, and Orthodox Serbs were all slaughtered because of their religious beliefs.

Looking at it in this light, it would seem that without religion the world would be a kinder, more peaceful place with less violence. No one religion is at fault or to be blamed, but religion in general and the entire concept for the most part. Also, Donald Trump wouldn't be able to target an entire group of people because of their faith and get support because of it.


What Else Religion Has Caused

The previous part of this article shed a very dark light on religion. That was my intent, yes, but I did not mean to offend anyone or call attention to any religion or group in particular. I was just highlighting some of the negatives associated with religion.

However, religion has also brought much more into the world than violence. Religion has, as I said before, brought millions of people something to believe in. It has brought hope and answers and a reason to drive on and continue even through perils. Religion has created core community and family values in many societies (excluding women's inferior status part).

Religion has inspired amazing works of art and feats of architecture and engineering. The temples of southeast Asia and the pyramids of Giza, the Sistine Chapel, the great works to come out of the Renaissance were all inspired by religion.

Religion also aided in the spread of literacy, written communication, and knowledge in general. Monks and other religious figures were responsible for writing, recording, teaching, and spreading knowledge to any who sought it. Monks had the first schools and taught a great many to read and write, as they were the only ones maintaining the practice in many areas.

Religion also may have played a hand in many scientific innovations and discoveries. The Muslim world, generally thought to be very devout, was a large center of art and science in the ancient world. Some of the earliest principles of mathematics came from the eastern world. Galileo and Da Vinci both lived in societies dominated by Christianity and gave us great inventions and scientific principles still around today. Religion may not have been directly involved but it laid the groundwork of the society those two lived in.

Religion has inspired many to do great and charitable things in the name of helping others. Several charities around today are part of religious organizations or were founded based on ideals taken directly from the religious principles of the founder.

There are enormous pros and enormous cons of religion as a concept altogether. It is very hard to say the world would be or better or worse without it.


A No Religion World

So what might it be like? Well all the wars, conflicts, persecutions, enslavement, and genocide would be gone. So would the scientific advancement and cultural achievements. That puts the world a couple thousand years behind.

Now I'm sure science and art could find other sources of inspiration and could have expanded and advanced without religion. We could still have great architecture and art and technology, maybe more. It would definitely be different than what we have now because what we have now was definitely influenced and shaped by the church and its needs or its iron grip on the world for several hundred years. People also would have most likely developed general guidelines for life and how to get along in a general sense. Community development may have been a bit different, but the family structure would be relatively familiar. However, emphasis may not be on elders anymore but children perhaps.

If all this can be accomplished without religion, so to can hate and discrimination and atrocious acts that accompany them. People can and do discriminate for many reasons other than religion. the LGBTQ community is discriminated for sexual identity/orientation. Some of that is religious based, but not all of it. African-Americans and Africans were discriminated against because they were thought to be inferior scientifically. Genocides and other hateful acts against groups of people can also stem from physical differences and parts of their culture not tied to religion. Native Americans were treated horrible because they were 'savages' in their ways of life. Religion or no, hate still exists and can still find a way to thrive.

I am not saying that the world is just evil and hateful by nature. I am saying the world is what it is and people are who they are. There is good and bad in the world and it all depends on what parts are encouraged and how you treat people. Religion is not required for the world to be where it is today, but it is how it got there. Good or bad, religion is here to stay. Given its history I would say it has come a long way. Today there is more freedom than there ever has been. There is still a lot to be done to end the hate and violence in the world but progress is progress. And religion isn't the only thing out there influencing things and it should not be blamed for all the bad in the world. One religion in particular should not be targeted either because it takes two sides to make a conflict. We should accept everyone for who they are, regardless of their beliefs or background, and make a difference in the world we live in.

You Decide

Would the world be better off without religion?

See results

I would welcome and love to read any comments or discussion below. I hope no offense was taken from this writing. It was not meant to target or single anything out. It was merely a philosophical piece on what religion is and has done for the world. Obviously it is not all encompassing and any further inputs or insights would be appreciated.


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    • Krish rama profile image


      7 months ago from Mauritius

      And the number of sub-sects within each, would be cause to question if religions are actually fracturing and maybe, about to cancel themselves out anyway.

      I ponder the same question that the author of this article, has asked. To consider a world without religion, is to question whether or not the modern versions of the original concept, bear any likeness.

      Does the word religion, actually mean now, what it meant then ? Would it also be right to ask if today's versions', are actually true religions ?

      Rules, can easily turn into doctrines and it does not take a stretch of the imagination, to see them being manipulated into a religious belief.

      I personally disagree with those who say that a side effect of religion, was science, art etc. To me, thousands of years ago, art was cave people recording their exploits on cave walls. Looking at science, people wanted to know 'how and why', rather than 'and God created man in his own image'.

      What if the Tower of Babel had been completed and the builders found no God ?

      'For the greater good' is the only doctrine that I subscribe to and this is how I live my life.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      2 years ago

      Jonny my mind is the reflection.

      I am happy with that.

      A human is limited and will always be

      But to peer into the wonderful things of God or our Heavenly Father is a journey to live as long as he lives and continue life education under his authority .?Man has can not compare to that.

      My own mind exist as a granted .we can do many things with our gift of life why not learn more about who gave a wonderful gift of life and how to keep it.

      He tells us. But people box it up as religion.

      It not that way at all.

      You see knowing Jonny is to your likes and dislikes .some times to know what we love and care about .

      Our creator is the oldest in our universe

      He existed before we were thought of.

      We are made with his attributes and wonderful design and intellect.

      I love my creator the more I learn how much he loves me. And he loves you too

      That is why we exist.

      So I love who he loves and I do care very much !

      Even though I might get on somebody's nerves

      If I did not care that would not be a problem.

      Thank you Jonny for you nice statment.

    • jonnycomelately profile image


      2 years ago from Tasmania

      So impressed that you know the mind of God, K&T. Awesome.

      What about your own mind? Do you understand that? If you did, you might even find the source of God.

      Expressed with love, of course, and not for one moment a voice of criticism.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      2 years ago

      All things already have been tried and tested . that is why we are in this condition. Man has had centuries to prove he does not need God or his creator to direct his steps in goverments and other divisions .

      God almighty has not intervene basically to the point that people doubt his existince.

      A good reason is if he did interfere and help how would we know the difference ? . he certainly is not going to help satan prove we do not need his support and help

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      "So what might it be like? Well all the wars, conflicts, persecutions, enslavement, and genocide would be gone."

      Well, I don't think so. The idea is to uplift the thinking of Man so wars, conflicts, persecutions, etc. do not occur.

      One way of uplifting our thinking is for religions to recognize they All come from One God! Once this is done we can see that all religions are a manifestation of the same Source. All prophets may be accepted as sent from the same Source. The various prophets may be flawed, but they tried to lead people to a better world.

      Recognize that all religions are a gradual unfolding of one religion and prejudice, war, fighting, etc. will end within your own mind. Transfer this thought to the majority of people and we will have a better world.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      2 years ago

      Johnny we all continue to comment our own beliefs as you are doing right now. And you do on many as you said people are animals . I disagreed and expressed why .but I never attack another saying thats why this on HP.

      I do not follow you and say what you continue to do here on HP. Because you have a right to a freedom of speech

      Now you say I don't have the same right or freedom by your statment.

      Not true. First when a comment is made it is made from my heart in care and interest of human life and to my Hp community . I have come to love many here including you Johnny . So I speak to let everyone know that we have a future not visably seen but spitually seen of better things to come.

      We are living through the storms of life and the storm will soon reside death and old age will be a thing of the past.

      So if you want to get mad at something that is good news you can for yourself .but others have the right to know . again I always seem to hear the worse in people who can say what you wish .but I do not hear attacks and unpolite statements it does not bother me.

      thats why I continue to speak.

    • jonnycomelately profile image


      2 years ago from Tasmania

      Kiss&Tales, you continue to make the assumption that your beliefs and understandings about "god" are paramount and the only "truth" to be considered.

      It has been said to you time and time again, that your beliefs are yours, and you are entitled to them. But can you not see that to presume others must take on your beliefs is, err.... erroneous? This is the one big reason you never get anywhere with your arguments here in HubPages. I would love to discuss with you, but know full well where any discussion will lead. A brick wall!

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      2 years ago

      I certainly believe we already have the results of religion not existing in many families .many today do not allow the thought of prayer in schools

      And many other religious connections.

      But the world is not better .We have people who do not believe in God period but you are right they do manage with out the choice of God in their life.

      But that is because he allows them their free will to do so . just as I have a free will to accept his Authority.

      There is one great thought here that never should escape no one , people must consider we did not appear on planet earth by our own power. neither if we leave it we have no control of coming back.

      Humans do not have all the answers and when they do get some discoveries any its centries. and generations people who have come and died.

      What this means is that the earth is not totally under mans control who can just decide to get rid of something.

      Just existed a the Sun and moon man can not touch at all.

      So realistically

    • J Hunter 42 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree with your notion of religion being corrupted, at least in part. But your idea that morality could not or would not exist without religion is inaccurate. Religion is not the thing that prevents people from committing all those heinous crimes, robbing and murdering, or at least not the only thing. It is one way a code of ethics and morals is standardized and passed on but not the only way to create those ethics and morals.

      Morality is some part innate and some part from culture and environment. However, if that environment is devoid of a religion they can still develop.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      2 years ago

      The world without religion would be a world with out laws. Morals , order,

      Who could live next door to someone who has no morals about theft , sex, business practices, life in general of the right to live in peace.

      When you take these out of the equation then your neighbors will rob you .kill you,

      Sexually assault you and your family members, steal from you in business practices .

      Take your hard earned money . Or just take your life because there is no law that says they will be accountable for it or Inforce it.

      True religion is corrupted but taking it out is like a body with a heart. Just because it has a bad rhythm or maybe it is diseased it still keeps the body going .to say remove it is killing the whole body.

      So that does not make much sense.


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