Do we as a society need religion? Or let’s say: do we still need it?
The believer may say: of course we do! People would lose moral standards otherwise. Who would provide shelter and food to the sick and homeless if not those who serve the one and only god they believe in? If there was no afterlife in heaven or hell respectively, nobody would give a shit anymore. What about mountains being moved by prayer? What about all the invaluable knowledge and wisdom in the holy books?
The atheist may say: no. We can have moral standards without faith. We can have relief, development and social service organizations without nuns and monks. We can focus on this life rather then an afterlife. We can act instead of pray. We can learn from science rather than holy books.
My religion is personal
Do we need religion? No. But the question needs to be: do you need religion?
You might. And nobody can take that from you. You may believe whatever you like. You may faith have lead your way. Because – in the end – that’s private. And maybe that’s we it should be after all.
Let’s face it: everybody has his own religion. You may play in the same league as your Christian neighbor, but she might take the bible literally whereas you just pick what you like and interpret in a modern, sane way. You might believe in hell and can already see your abusing stepdad burning in it, whereas your mom believes in an all forgiving god. The very same goes for every religion where people tend to ignore all the horrible inappropriate stuff of the Scripture as they see fit, but pick out the one verse where folks, they can’t seem to get a grip on, are discriminated. So it’s a private issue and no legal entity should incorporate it.
Filling the void
So what’s the fuss about religion anyway? It still fills a void nothing else can fill: it provides an explanation for the meaning of life. And therefore it provides the ultimate “truth”. And that’s the inherent problem of religion. There can only be one ultimate truth. So if your truth is the true truth … what about the other truths? The other handful of current religions, the other hundreds of past ancient religions? They are all wrong, right? All their miracles and epiphanies where mere delusions. Or at least they got some things right. And you, of course, decide what those things are…
No, we do not need religion. Spirituality and faith in the sense of personal preferences … of course. Why not? They do help after all. But forcing “your truth” upon others … no, thank you very much.