Religion is one of the biggest social forces in human history. It shapes our values, guides our behaviors and even influences how we see and understand the world around us. Religion fundamentally provides answers to some of the most important questions humans ask themselves: What happens when we die? Why are we here? What is the right way to live our lives? There are many different religions in the world with various beliefs, practices and traditions. But what do they all have in common? Is there a common thread that runs through all of them? Do they all serve some sort of greater purpose or meaning? And if so, what is it? These are all valid questions. And for most people, religion plays an important role in their lives. In fact, nearly every person on Earth identifies as belonging to some type of organized faith group or denomination. Because of this widespread acceptance, it’s important that you understand whether religion has a positive impact on your life or not.
Was Religion Created To Control?
I think this question is somewhat difficult to answer, as it is a matter of opinion rather than fact. However, I can give my opinion on the matter. I believe that religion was not created to control people. I think that the purpose of religion is to teach people about a higher power and help them understand their place in the universe.
Why Do We Create Religion?
To tame the unknown
The human brain has evolved over millennia. It is the most complex, sophisticated and intelligent organism on the planet. It can send people to the moon, cure previously incurable illnesses, and create machines that can understand human speech. However, the brain is also incredibly irrational. It has many biases that affect our decisions, and it has trouble dealing with the unknown. When we come across things we don’t understand, the first thing we do is try to tame them. We give them names, we assign them characteristics. And we try to assign them rules and goals. This applies to all sorts of things in our lives. We give our children names, we label the things around us and we try to understand why they exist and what they do.
To understand our place in the universe
Humans are social creatures. We need human companionship, we need to feel connected to others, we need to belong to a community. But humans also tend to be competitive. We want to be successful, we want to succeed in our personal ambitions, we want to be the best in what we do. But there are billions of other people who are trying to do the same thing. It can sometimes seem like there is not enough success, recognition and achievement to go around. How can we all get what we want? How can we be the best and get what we deserve? Religion helps us to understand our place in the universe. It gives us a place in the great scheme of things. It tells us what we are here to do and why we are here to do it. How we fit into the bigger picture.
Because we are afraid of death
People have been pondering the nature of death for millennia. They have been trying to understand it, and trying to come up with ways to overcome it. Religion offers people the promise of life after death. It says that when we die, we don’t disappear. Our essence goes on living in another world – and this other world is a better place than the one we currently live in. This promise of life after death is a very comforting thought. It helps people deal with the idea of death in general. It tells us that death is not the end. It doesn’t have the finality of a book that has been closed and put on the shelf. It remains open, full of potential. It is simply a pause before the next chapter begins.
Because we are afraid of Worlds Unknown
Humans don’t like uncertainty. We prefer to know what we are dealing with. If we don’t know, we feel helpless and insecure. This applies to all aspects of life. Religion offers people reassurance. It tells people exactly what they are dealing with. It gives people a set of instructions for dealing with their world – and their place in it. It tells people what they should aspire to be and what they should avoid as if they were a set of traffic lights. It gives us a rule book for living. What happens when people don’t have religion? They have to make decisions for themselves. They have to decide what is good and bad, what is right and wrong – and they don’t have any guidelines to do it with.
Because it helps us bond with others
People like to belong to groups. They like to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. They like to feel like they are contributing towards something greater than their own egoistic desires. Religion helps us to bond with other people. It gives us a shared language. It gives us a common set of symbols and experiences that we can talk about and draw strength from. It gives us a common narrative to follow – and a common goal to work towards.
Because it gives us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves
Humans want to make a difference. They want to be successful, they want to be remembered, they want to feel like they have achieved something worthwhile. But how do people decide what is important and how can they make their mark on the world? Religion helps us to decide what is important and what we should aspire to do and achieve. It tells us what we have to do in order to be successful. It gives us a path to follow, it gives us a mission in life. It tells us what we can contribute to the wider world. It helps us to find meaning in life.
Because it’s funny and makes life more interesting
Humans aren’t only here to be useful. They aren’t only here to make a difference. They also want to enjoy themselves. They want to have fun. They want to live their lives in a way that makes them feel excited, optimistic and positive. Religion helps us to do this. It gives us something to be excited about. It gives us a sense of adventure. It gives us something to look forward to. It gives us something to aspire to. It gives us something worth living for. It is something to be passionate about. It is something to contribute towards. It is something to feel excited about. It is something that makes life more interesting.
How Can We Benefit From Religion While Avoiding Its Harmful Effects?
- Religion is a positive force that has helped humans throughout history.
- We need religious people to help shape the way we think about our lives, and the lives of those we care about, to make us better people.
- We need religion because it provides a common experience for humans to relate with their fellow man, and provides them with something of which they can be proud.
- We need religion because it makes us feel good about ourselves when we do good things, and makes us feel bad when we do bad things.
- We need religion in order to give us a sense of meaning in our lives that is not otherwise easily obtainable by humans living in an increasingly complex world full of uncertainties, making it difficult for many people to find purpose in their lives (Healy et al., 2008).
- Without religion, many people would have no sense of purpose or meaning in their lives (Healy et al., 2008).
The Bottom Line
Religion has been a source of division and hatred for thousands of years. However, it can also be a source of unity and love for the same amount of time. When it comes to religion, it’s not black and white. It’s a spectrum of grey. There are good parts and bad parts of religion, and it all depends on how you use it. If you want to take control of your life and improve your mental health, then religion is not required. In fact, it may even get in the way of your progress! All you need to do is to focus on being a better person and treating others the way you would want to be treated. That’s it.