Is a world without religion possible? More importantly, would this be a good idea?

in GEMS3 months ago

This is my reflection on a subject so complex and capable of causing so much animosity among people....

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Hello friends, I hope you are very well. Recently a friend told me that religion has been a burden for humanity, and that without it we would have progressed much more in recent centuries, of course, I could not refuse the proposal to such an interesting debate. In my particular case, although I am not a particularly religious person, and I am against fundamentalism, extremism, and fanaticism, I think my friend is in error. And here is why.

The first thing is to make my friend's points, among them are the religiously motivated persecutions of thinkers and men of science for what amounted to millennia. Things like the crusades, the corruption bodrias as the saga of the Borgia, all these things that besides causing death and suffering if not to thousands, to millions of people, also delayed the progress of humanity.

My friend, with whom I remain friends despite our different worldviews, says that today, some religions encourage terrorism, ethnic and even racial violence, the deception of the masses and the use of faith for the economic benefit of a few.
And my answer is.

Certainly all those things I mention had to a large extent a religious factor, and the evil acts that continue to occur today in the name of religion tarnish the image of religion, and are one of the main reasons I don't go to temples.

But... let's see, humanity, in its beginnings did not handle concepts like sciences, the first men and women of the nomadic tribes that for the first time decided to settle down interpreted and ORGANIZED the world through a purely religious vision, not like the religions of today, they believed in spirits of the forest, the sun, the moon etc... shamanism, druidism, and others...

For these people religion was one of the main factors of social cohesion, a moral basis to regulate human behavior and a guide in times of crisis, all this helped the emergence and survival of humanity in the dark early times of this same.

Moving forward in time, we have civilizations such as the Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks and Romans, which were not particularly secular, and where great advances were made [for the time] in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, agriculture, metallurgy and others... and in all these centers of knowledge, religion was a fundamental part of the practices. For example, for the Egyptians, agriculture was highly charged with religious symbolism.
And more recently, Copernicus, Faraday, Einstein, Eisenberg, Descartes, Kepler, Newton, Mendel, Darwin, and more, all great scientists, inventors and thinkers, have in common that they were to a greater or lesser extent, people believers in a particular religion, of course, such were the customs of the time, but this serves as evidence that religious custom was not as bad for progress as one might suppose, in fact, many of the great men of past centuries, began their training in religiously charged institutions.

And what about the loss of life caused by religion?

There is no denying it, but... in the last century the power of religion was greatly diminished, and in some world religions it was almost completely abolished, as in the Soviet Union for example, did this stop the bloodshed? Of course not, in fact, the communist doctrine that promotes atheism is particularly bloody, with millions upon millions starving to death as a result of repression or conflict in countries such as Russia, China, or Korea.

In fact human beings, whether religion exists or not will find reasons to kill each other, nationalism, political ideology, even science itself does not have particularly clean hands, since not only throughout the history of mankind have men of science supposedly above mere mortals like you or me created more and better instruments of death, the atomic bomb was not designed by rabbis or priests....

Moreover, in some cases, science has also led men and women to commit terrible acts in the name of science, the human experiments at Auschwitz, the US government's biological weapons experiments on its own population of people of color, the vivisections of humans etc....

But OK, suppose we get rid of religion. What would happen?


Well, to get rid of all religions, you would have to ban them, which is very unlikely to be achieved, and even if you decree their prohibition, it will happen what always happens when a government bans something, some will decide to seek them with more fervor than before, secret societies, black markets, subway worlds will emerge, and some will be willing to fight, kill, and die for their ideas ...

And the fact is simple, the human being has the uncontrollable instinct to believe in something, be it science, his homeland, his political ideal, a leader, the human being has to believe, it gives purpose to his life, and helps to interpret something as overwhelming as life itself. It is in our being, and a lei or an edict cannot take it out.

And by the way, any government or power that can forbid you to believe something, will soon try to forbid you to question it, and at that point, you are already under the boot of tyrants, that never ends well, therein lies backwardness and death.

Suppose you replace religion, with political ideal, as I said, communism is as deadly an idea as any religion, with Nationalism, it can also go wrong, the second world war in Europe was a product of the nationalism of the Nazis. And what about a man, well the cult of personality is not exactly peaceful either, since a man is not exactly the best moral guide, imperial japan, with its emperor, or even modern regimes like Libya or Iraq are proof of that.

What if we replace religion with an irresolute and global faith in science? well... wasn't that what we did during the Covid pandemic, where the WHO told us to trust science, their science, and lied to all of us causing the death of tens of thousands? We are still paying for vaccines that our government bought, and that are of dubious effectiveness?
Fraud and deception have existed independently of religion for as long as humans have existed.

And replacing religion with science will not change anything, because in the end, the ones who decide what and how to do, are the people... and this is what really counts... so regardless if you are an atheist, Christian, believe in shamanism or any other form of religion, try to make your actions the most beneficial for you and the people around you...

Therefore I believe that religious freedom is a fundamental right of all people, and to prohibit it is a savage thing... you can have different world views and live in peace, there are also historical examples of that...