On Avoiding Church Religiously
I’m not Christian. I’m not Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu. I’m Sikh, a religion that not many people in the Western world are familiar with, but one that I’m extremely faithful to. However, just because I happen to strongly identify with the culture I was born into doesn’t mean I disregard or antagonize other religions -- or any beliefs at all, for that matter. In fact, I find every belief system that exists to be intrinsically interesting, and therefore deserving of my respect.
As a religious person myself, discussing the topic of God (or gods) with atheists/agnostics is an interesting and eye-opening experience. The more I talk to people who don’t identify with a specific religion, the more I realize just how diverse the opinions of society have become. It is interesting to see the unpopularity of growing up in a household with two parents that are extremely committed to a certain faith, and who train their children to be this way as well. Of course, one can name a plethora of areas just in the United States where religious families are extremely common, but the rise of science has certainly taken over the minds of many, and is influencing the validity of religion itself.
In ancient times, religion was completely inseparable from daily life. Civilizations such as the Egyptians wove religion into their government, their daily routines, as well as their free time. People would recognize each and every coincidence that occurred during their day and consider it a symbolic message from the gods: a falcon passing over the sun meant that Horus was watching over them; a black jackal running across the desert at night meant Anubis was present. For them, religion not only served the purpose of having a belief system, but it was a way of life.
Nowadays, our way of life is science. We have science to explain how humans came to be. We have science to tell us why the sky is blue, or why leaves change color in the fall. We have science to tell us how to cure the human body, or how to build a bridge that can hold substantial amounts of weight, so humans can cross it safely. We don’t need religion to guide us anymore -- we already have all of the answers.
With this in mind, the reason why people would turn against the idea of a supernatural being like God watching over all of humanity is completely comprehensible: because science simply hasn’t proved it. People are beginning to abandon religion because they do not believe any of it, much less identify with it. Logic and reasoning is the new religion.
While science is an asset in making life more functional and sensical in today’s time, I personally believe that a combination of reason and religion will lead our society to a place where life is both logical and substantive. What science serves us today are answers, but religion gives these answers depth. It tells us that there is a purpose in the way life works, and gives substance to our monotonous daily lives. I personally think that whether or not you believe in God, simply believing that there is more to life than insipid scientific explanations makes living much more worth it. You’ll have something to look to in times of trouble, and something to explain what science cannot. The combination of science and religion have the ability to create a life of color: one with practicality and depth.