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Jazin Kay's avatar

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Early man was not capable of understanding the universe he dwelled in, so he created placeholders to substitute as definitive knowledge. Placeholders such as gods, to explain what was then a mystery, such as rain or lightning, or the origins of life itself.

Because some of these questions (like the life one) are still pretty deep questions not fully understood, religion prevails as the continual placeholder.
Religion can give hope, and fill a void that people see as "bad". It can make ordinary events seem more special, and gives us all different perspectives.

There are some people that have an emptiness that is hard to fill. Why are you so different OP?

What makes you different from those people?
The New Wineskin's avatar

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Why is Religion important?

Is holds a deep influence in our history, culture, society, politics, and beliefs. It might just be one of the most important ideological principles of civilization.

Quote:
Dating back to ancient times, why do humans always seem to have the need to establish a belief in a higher being?

To explain phenomeon that, back then, there were no explanation for. (i.e. Zeus was the Greek peoples' way of understanding the phenomeon known as lightning.

Quote:
As if people long for something to believe in…

They do. You do as well.
il-Lashtavar's avatar

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Religion is important because people give, and have given it significant importance in their lives. People should be important to you because you're a people. That's a syllogism explaining why religion is important.
AvenirLegacy's avatar

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Why is Religion important?

As if people long for something to believe in…


In a modern sense, IS religion important? Most would disagree, what with the advent of technology and science spearheading the general populace with electronic devices, most people won't bother picking up a book. Or come from atheist background. Still, some people still hold on to religion for whatever reason they may have, many of them very numerous. I would imagine that most kids today are more interested in Games, Art, Facebook or other things that occupy their minds. Some kids are also raised in culturally intensive environments, ranging from Church activities and Social groups to just lounging around at their leisure.

Is it important? That would depend on the Individual.

As for longing for things; that has been mankind's history best summed up.
Religion was and still is great for establishing order, and people like order more often than not. During the ancient years, science and technology was lacking. Answers for why this and why that were frequently unanswered. So to have an answer, for lack of an answer, that makes sense to the problem in question, is useful. And even then, religion is often scientific in methodology. Doing X leads to Y and Y causes Z. When people have order with answers, for lack of any other answers, religion provides what they otherwise do not have. For some, over the years, even as science becomes more available, and we enrich our understanding of the world around us, it seems less pleasant to imagine a world in order by religion, that does not require it. This provokes the notion of "Is religion needed?" which can cause discomfort and a disruption of normalcy. Normalcy is critical in sustaining order. It can also be confusing for those raised by religion to consider order being in place without religion, since religion is perceived as the cause for order to many. Of course, by definition, one does not need to worship a deity to be religious. In fact, by nature, most people are religious. Religious is practice defined by order. The intent is to stabilize and prosper. Problem is, with so many religions, instead of simply recognizing that people are diverse and will develop differently, we will often strike up a stance of "why are you different than me? Does that make you wrong?"
I think it's important that we totally deep six religion.
Henry Hobo-Master
Religion can give hope, and fill a void that people see as "bad".
What most religious people don't realize is that it was their religion which created that void in the first place.

Henry Hobo-Master
It can make ordinary events seem more special, and gives us all different perspectives.
Actually it does the exact opposite. It takes the unimaginable vastness of the universe with all it's amazing wonders from realms beyond our comprehension on scales both too small and too large for our 1 meter optimized mammal minds to fully grasp, and replaces it with unimaginative stories where everything has an laughably simple human-centered explanation. The only perspective religion gives is the one of self-centeredness and arrogance.

Henry Hobo-Master
There are some people that have an emptiness that is hard to fill. Why are you so different OP?

What makes you different from those people?
Perhaps she never had the emptiness drilled into her in the first place. If so, she's quite lucky.
IronySandwich
What most religious people don't realize is that it was their religion which created that void in the first place.

Actually it does the exact opposite. It takes the unimaginable vastness of the universe with all it's amazing wonders from realms beyond our comprehension on scales both too small and too large for our 1 meter optimized mammal minds to fully grasp, and replaces it with unimaginative stories where everything has an laughably simple human-centered explanation. The only perspective religion gives is the one of self-centeredness and arrogance.

Perhaps she never had the emptiness drilled into her in the first place. If so, she's quite lucky.


1. Not really. Adolescence, addictions, and human emotion (such as suffering and depression) creates voids.

I guess it is possible to create a void by introducing religion, but you seem to think that the void was only there after religion. That is a flawed logic, and its absurd to think that the Atheists and the anti-religious are void-less (given that religion creates only voids, then there is no other way according to your logic to obtain a void other than religion).

2.So what you are saying, is that because religion teaches an alternative explanation for the universe, that it is incapable of giving us all different perspectives? Because that is what you are arguing (because you stated it does the exact opposite). They might be closed minded arguments, yes, but they are different. If my mother suddenly dies, and my religion teaches that she will go to heaven, then that is certainly a different perspective.

3. Perhaps she did not, and perhaps she does, and does that really make her lucky?

Are robots who are emotionless lucky? Its perspective, and you cannot determine how lucky she is based off your opinion. She may be lucky compared to your standards, yes.

In case you didn't catch on, I labeled my responses 1,2,3. These correlate to your above statements.
m i r a c u l u m's avatar

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Religion and various aspects of spirituality have been a part of the human species since our primitive days, as a way of reasoning the outside world, why things happen, how to explain things and so on. Religion means different things for different people. Some use it as a way to try and make their lives easier, some see it as a route to a better life after this one, some simply find it natural. What religion means to someone depends entirely on the individual, and depending on the person, can actually be found to be quite compatible with science.
MySecretConfession
Why is Religion important?
Dating back to ancient times, why do humans always seem to have the need to establish a belief in a higher being?


To explain the very obvious higher being i.e. the infinite that exists in relation to our finitude a.k.a. mortality.
MySecretConfession
Why is Religion important?
Dating back to ancient times, why do humans always seem to have the need to establish a belief in a higher being?
As if people long for something to believe in…


Personally I'm not a fan of religion in the organized sense. I'm more interested in spirituality cause religion has done such harm. But putting that aside I think part of it is we love the story. Since earliest times we have been storytellers. And everything we know and don't know finds its way into story sooner or later.

I think we believe in a higher being because we either don't know why something happens and/or we have a sense of wonder still about it and feel that there is something besides us behind it all. As long as we wonder, as long as we question, as long as we are in awe of the world around us and as long as we suffer and don't know why.. we will continue to look (and maybe hope and/or believe) there is a higher power so it finally makes sense. For now we just share the stories and love telling them.
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Fiction is the evolution of religion, with government coming in at a close second. The things we used religion for are better left to fiction, due to the power of analogy but the overall ability to admit the non-reality of the subject.

Take for example, the myth of Christianity when compared to the Fable of The Emperor's New Clothes.

Both teach potentially strong lessons that can be carried through time in meaningful ways. Both use allegory and metaphor to portray the message.

Only one of them has the ignorance to claim that everything within it is real though.

That's why The Emperor's New Clothes continues to be an unabashedly popular fable about the very real consequences of belief...

While Christianity is discredited and reviled for taking the initiative of claiming literal reality and hijacking governments/people for the sake of propagating itself.
Because some people can't handle the fact that when they die, that is it. Game over.
Or at least that is why religion STILL exists in our modern world.

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