Is there a place for religion in today's modern world
Just an observation - not an argument
Firstly, let me state my position here. This is not a criticism of religion or an attack on religious people. It is merely an opinion and an observation.
With science understanding more and more of the world around us, are religions taking account of these discoveries and is it affecting peoples faith. Does religion still have a part to play in today's modern society?
Being an aethiest, or more importantly not following any religion, I have always struggled to understand how religious people can follow a blind faith that doesn't offer any proof. All religions rely on the fact that they have been around for a long time and that's the way it is. It happens because it happens, we don't need proof....or that's the message portrayed.
It is my belief that all religions stem from society building a set of rules and morals that should be followed by all in order to maintain stability and conformity within that social group. Each religion offers its punishment for not adhering to these rules but also offers its rewards for sticking to them. An admirable notion and the foundation for laws.
We have moved on
So the bible's, Koran's and various scriptures detailing these "rules" have been passed down through the ages. Those heads of religion have at times altered the rules or which rules they wish to include as time marches on. Its a well known fact that there are hundreds of different versions of the bible and its writings and chapter contents has changed considerably through the years.
This is all well and good, but society has moved on and developed specific laws and punishments of its own to maintain that balance and now I believe we should question whether these old handed down stories still have a place in modern society, especially as there are many conflicting elements between religious writings and modern day laws.
The problem we now face is that of extremism. Every religion has its extremists. Those that take the relgious scripts and practise them to the letter, often with their own interpretations of any meanings in there.
Admiring the extremists?
Now there's a controversial statement. I do have a level of adniration for religious extremists. For someone to absolutely believe in something to such a degree they are prepared to be ridiculed or in some cases killed for their beliefs takes a very dedicated person.
If that level of dedication was aimed at something commercial for example, they would be the most successful people and deserving of everything they receive. I am presuming that it is the "rewards" of their religion, the promises of the afterlife that drives them to be so extreme in their beliefs. However, I must also balance this with the scientific and modern view points that would counter any of their arguments.
Blind faith is not a sufficient argument to counter scientific fact. Without wishing to ridicule any religion, it would be difficult to argue any reality with statements along the lines of "its (insert the name of any deity) will for it to be so".
Extremism in anything...sport...hobbies or religion is a very unhealthy thing. It blinds peoples perceptions and block out everything else in the world. It causes friction, it kills people, it causes wars. Nearly every war that has ever been fought in this world of ours has been beacuse of religion. With so many different religions out there.....they can't all be right can they? Consequently, is any of them right......is there one we haven't discovered yet? Can science help us out here?
To answer the question....
So to answer the question, is there a place for relgion in today's modern society?
Personally, I think there is. Mans desire to believe in life after death will always be there and if we can mould that belief around the basis that the afterlife is affected by your mortal life, then I think that will give us conscience.
However, take that belief too far and it becomes a dangerous weapon against society itself.
My take is...the religious scripts of your chosen belief are there to illustrate a point. They may be based on real or historical events but it is the underlying message the stories were trying to portray that is the important aspect and not the detail.
There are no hidden meanings....these are ancient guidelines for society. Please don't make them something that they are not. Balance them with scientific fact and we can all live in harmony.
Let each person believe what they wish to believe but do not force people to believe what you believe. I don't think there is a religion in the world that commands you to kill everyone else that doesn't believe what you believe. Let's stop the wars, let's have some common sense.