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A World Without Religion

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English Essay - A World without Religion

Can you imagine a world without religion? Would there be no wars, no terrorists? Or would it be an empty, dull world, devoid of emotion and belief. The question of “What if there was no religion”, has been circling around a lot recently, bought on by negative news stories running through the media, certain attacks, and many other things. Religion is widespread throughout the world, and many people follow some kind of religion. But why? Religion is so varying and there are countless religious beliefs and practices, each personal in belief and meaning to everyone as individuals, so it impossible to put forwards a single argument to support or criticise all religion.

This essay will be exploring the negatives of religion, such as it’s outdated practices and beliefs, lack of good it is doing, dangerous purposeful misinterpretations, the misused power it can bring certain people, organised religions and greed.

Many people follow religion because they were bought up this way, and it seems only natural as it is what they have always known. They have been taught since an early age practices in their faith, such as praying, and celebrating certain occasions, being given many religious experiences, and being surrounded with people that also believe in this way of life could convince someone that it is right. Learning about their faith in everyday life is normal for them and leads many people to decide that it is all true. But does this really confirm that this religion is truly right? Religion cannot explain everything and has been changed multiple times ever since it has existed. Multiple different faiths have changed drastically leading up to modern day and the religion we know today. Christianity for example, just in order to survive as a religion, it has had to adapt and merge with branches of it together, as well as with other religions. Old religion is threatened with modern science, and has changed multiple times to excuse this. For example, 200 years ago all Christians believed that we were the centre of a tiny universe, with lesser observable objects, such as the sun, and planets, revolved around us. Now the religion has accepted modern science to a point, but is still very much adamant on other points such as the seven days of creation, which has been proved wrong on several occasions. This upbringing also gives the child an unfair amount of pressure to carry on with that religion, and no choice into which religion they want to follow.

There are also several arguments put forward by famous philosophers for god, mainly saying that something has to have a cause, and something as complex as the universe could not have been created by accident. However they again have no solid evidence for this, and there is always a chance that the universe was created coincidently after all, we have no idea how many ‘failed big bangs’ there has been before the big bang that created us, and there could have been any number of causes other than a greater being such as god. But is this the reason why people believe in god? Or is there a simpler explanation. Many people believe in god and that we are his creations, because it is a much simpler and easier to accept way of explaining the universe. This may be because the idea of space, the universe and infinity is too daunting to them, the everlasting expanse of unexplored space perhaps unnerves them, the ultimate loneliness that they feel if this is true, that we are just here by coincidence and we are so ultimately meaningless would be off-putting to say the least. It would be so comforting to believe that your life does have a meaning, and that there is someone out there that is always looking out for you, and caring for you, something to give solace and connect with. To let you believe that what you do matters and has purpose.

However, no matter how good, and comforting religion is, it can be manipulated in many different, harmful ways. Many people regard religion as outdated, harmful to the individual and society, an impediment to the progress of science, a source of immoral acts or customs and a political tool for social control. Religion can turn one arrogant in their beliefs, and cause them to act on this in destructive ways. Fuelled by hatred towards another, or misguided by others, many misunderstand religion. If belief itself is not dangerous, then superstition, false belief and misunderstandings certainly are. Today we are seeing the evils of deliberate misinterpretations of religion in many parts of the world. Maybe the third word war will be in the name of religion, as there are certainly enough smaller, but vicious wars being fought over religion, innocent people being killed and injured and entire families, towns, even countries being destroyed even as you read this. After all most people can name terrorist organisations in the name of religion, ISIS, the KKK as well as many others that misuse religion as an excuse for hate crime. Even Hitler, who caused a war and killed thousands and thousands of people did it in the name of his religion, and against the Jews.

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