Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why do we need religion?

Imagine there is no religion, just like what John Lennon said.
It's easy if you try... Well, maybe not as easy as John thought.

Religion is one of the most success entity that has survived human history for thousand of years and many to come. Communism has died (or at least in a state of comma). Capitalism? Well, it thrives now, but let see... But the religion has survived monarchy, feudalism, democracy and probably many things to come. Why is the religion so successful? What is the secret recipe?

Religion is a human creation that transcend its own creator. You may debate that it is not a human creation but delivered by God directly or at least divinely inspired. What I mean by human creation is that religion lives and grows among us in the same domain as ourselves. You might say also that there is a spiritual domain for religion, but that is beyond ourselves (at least for the time being) and separated from us, and the direct or indirect connect is debatable. Religion is created as something that rules from beyond, as the highest authority. So I will rephrase my question now, Why do we need a higher authority to rule ourselves?

There are plenty of reasons for that. I will explore only some. First, as scapegoat. It is easier to "blame" mistakes to the higher authority rather than admit our mistakes (on government for instance). We call it God-of-the-gap reasoning. Whenever we encounter something that we cannot explain or avoid, we say that it is from God. This is believed by majority of population in this planet. Ask the victim of earthquake, they will say that it is the will of God. Ask anyone who has just lost their loved ones, they will say it is the will of God.

The second reason is usually not spoken, that we cannot live without an authority. It might sound strange but it is the reality. It feels like we are left behind to take care of ourselves. We are so familiar with living under authority that we feel helpless without it. This phenomenon happens in animals within the cage, that choose to live in captivity even though the door is wide open.

Why religion as an institution survived is another discussion.


Blogger Retty N, Hakim said...

Religion is the way to invite God into me. It is the corridor of my knowledge about the Creator. Once He resided in my heart He became my conscience. We do need religion to bring us near to God, to remind us to do good deeds. It is human being who turned religions into reason for wars, into an authoritative power to judge other people, or even to punish or kill others.

5:22 am  

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