General Question

Khajuria9's avatar

Is religion a necessity?

Asked by Khajuria9 (1754 points ) May 31st, 2014

What do you say?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

42 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Not for any particular person. But it’s so pervasive, that might be evidence that given a large enough population, some will need it.

ragingloli's avatar

For oppressors, yes. It is the best tool of long term cultural control and subjugation ever conceived.

Blondesjon's avatar

No. It’s a lifestyle choice.

Symbeline's avatar

Well there are religions everywhere, in man’s history, now as much as in the past. They all seem very alike; the worship of something, or someone through doctrines and rules, in exchange for guidance, security and eternal rewards.
The deities or otherwise worshiped ideas are given justification through actions, such as churches, prayers, sacrifice, what have you. Soooo if they’re everywhere and all seem to be the same thing, and have been for centuries, my guess is that they do, indeed, have a purpose, and are probably part of man’s survival, as ironic as this may sound. :/

People grouping together in the face of adversity and changing their fears into something else through religion. Religion has built communities, made people come together and created whole societies in the past. People need to be happy and secure to prosper in any which way I think, and religion helps with this. But the Chinese are the only people who are right about anything, because they believe in balance; Christianity in the middle ages pretty much made mankind stagnate for centuries, as no technological advancement was made anywhere for a long time, like until the Renaissance.

So while I don’t know exactly what the purpose of religion is, I am convinced there must be one, because other than war, which is also connected TO religion most times, it’s the one thing that keeps coming back all the time when we look at mankind’s history. I think it’s only in the last 200 years that religion is starting to lose its place when it comes to why people do shit. Whatever purpose it used to have may be done in some parts of the world, as science and technology become more and more important, and vital, to our modern lives.
But say some big thing happens and destroys everything, like a meteor or a meteor shower or something, and there are only a few survivors left on Earth who must scrounge to survive, there will eventually, I would have no doubt, be another religion.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I guess not since some people think of themselves as gods.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes and no. People can, and do, live just fine without religion. Yet people will create religion out of something. It’s a by-product of human consciousness and imagination and will always exist in some manner. Now if we can just get folks to understand that their religion isn’t special, does not deserve an honored place in society above anyone else’s, and is not justification to kill or oppress over them maybe we’ll do alright.

FlyingWolf's avatar

There is no hard and fast rule. There are plenty of people who would say that for them religion is an absolute necessity, there are others who would say that for them lack of religion is an absolute necessity.

ragingloli's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat
There is not a single atheist that thinks to be a god.
On the other hand, religionists, specifically the abrahamic kind, think of themselves as a special creation by their god, made in their god’s image, explicitly created separate and superior, and given dominion over all other life on the planet.
Really, the people who are closest to regard themselves as gods, are religious people.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s an opt-in thing.

Some people want religion because it lets them blame someone else for their own inadequacies.

Some people embrace religion because it gives them a framework instead of having to think for themselves.

Religion is voluntary, or at least it should be.

JLeslie's avatar

Of course not.

syz's avatar

No.

stanleybmanly's avatar

People CAN live without it, but the fact that it pops up in every society on the planet, no matter how isolated or remote, indicates that we are programmed for it. We’re wired to insist on explanations for everything, we don’t understand. It doesn’t matter how preposterous or asinine the explanation, someone will find it credible.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes and no. We all differ in our levels of personal strength. What might make one of us quit someone else might just shrug off. So some of us turn to religion to explain things they may not be able to answer. And some of us turn to religion looking for the answers to life. Life isn’t easy. I’m not wise enough to answer all the questions in the world. If someone wants to turn to religion for some of their answers I’m not going to look down on them. And I’ve seen it do wonders for druggies. We had two off them next door to us in college. They were a little pushy but good neighbors.

kess's avatar

Concerning this life , the things that are, will always be necessary for they are a part of you the one and your experiences.

kritiper's avatar

No. The world would be better off without them.

ibstubro's avatar

No. Before there were laws (as opposed to rulers), there was religion. Both are ways of setting societal norms, but law relies on consensus, whereas religion relies on consensus within a particular group and blind faith.

I think religion was a way for people of a like mind to band together under totalitarian rule. Democracy was an attempt to define the universal norms, while allowing people to decide if they wanted to associate with other people who allow dancing, or not.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Yeah…..if you do not want all out anarchy and barbarism you do.

jerv's avatar

Religion is for those who would fall apart from not having a scapegoat for everything. Personally, I can accept tat there are things that don’t make sense without inventing someone to whom it does make sense and taking comfort from it making sense to somebody. In fact, I think that viewpoint is often used to justify ignorance.

@Hypocrisy_Central It is possible to have an organized secular society. However, it’s about as likely as a religious society that is not barbaric.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv However, it’s about as likely as a religious society that is not barbaric.
And there are religious societies that are not violent, or in need of a crutch or scapegoat to blame their own failings on also.

Paradox25's avatar

?! There’s obviously no yes or no answer to such a vague question without details. Is religion a necessity for what, like for salvation, better afterlife deal, personal happiness, morality, etc, etc, etc?

All of us have beliefs, but some people come to their beliefs for different reasons.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central My point exactly; they’re both equally plausible.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Religion is no more or less necessary than the alternatives.

cazzie's avatar

@kess your answer was unintelligible.

@Hypocrisy_Central the governments that have been run by Theocracy have some of the most cruel and barbaric records, so that is in NO way proof that a society needs religion.

Myths and religions were created to explain the inexpiable and has done more to stand in the way of scientific progress than help mankind. Spirituality, OK. I can totally understand reasoning to strengthen ourselves with a certain amount of ‘inner strength’ belief, but I don’t condone that that inner strength is ever sourced from some third party. I like the idea of believing that we are a bit more super-being than we think and that we are capable of more, but that strength comes from within us. Not from some fairy dust or magic wafer or wine. It is odd how that people who talk about self-reliance and personal responsibility are also people who praise and thank a mythical father figure when something good happens to them. Seems contradictory.
We are stronger than we think and we are capable of more than we can imagine, but, like I always say,... The good news is it is only up to you. The bad news is, it is only up to you.

LostInParadise's avatar

Religion is dying a slow death. It has outlived its usefulness. There are several European countries that are majority atheist. Even in the U.S. religion is declining. 20% of Americans say they have no religious affiliation. They are mostly not atheists, but all they have is some sort of vague belief in God and no interest in finding a religion. Among the youngest generation, ⅓ are unaffiliated.

JLeslie's avatar

@LostInParadise I never understood what exactly unaffiliated means. Does that mean they don’t belong to a church? Or, that they literally don’t identify with any religion? For instance I am Jewish, but I don’t belong to and never have attended any synagogue. Am I unaffiliated?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@LostInParadise “Religion is dying a slow death. It has outlived its usefulness.”

From your mouth to… hmm, maybe I should put that another way.

LostInParadise's avatar

@JLeslie , Do you perform any Jewish rituals? Do you eat matzoh on Passover or light candles on Hanukah? If not then in what way are you Jewish? I consider myself Jewish, but by that I mean an ethnic rather than a religious affiliation.

JLeslie's avatar

@LostInParadise I light candles on Chanukah sometimes, mostly for my grandmother. If I had children I would do Passover seder, but not the whole matzah bit for days, and Chanukah, and maybe do break fast as another reason for family to get together, but I would not bother with the fast. My family growing up did not fast, I was raised by atheists, but when I was little we lit the menorah (gotta do something to compete with Christmas) and Passover was a big family get together, similar to what Thanksgiving is for most Americans. I consider myself ethnically Jewish also, and not religious, but I answer my religion is Jewish when asked on any form or by anybody. I was married by a Rabbi and if I died I would assume my husband would bury me with a Jewish ceremony of some sort. Some sort of Jewish tradition.

A girlfriend of mine identifies as Christian, but she is not “affiliated” with any church. What is she?

Blondesjon's avatar

@cazzie . . . I believe @kess is trying to say that since religion itself exists as a part of our current reality it is necessary.

ibstubro's avatar

@Blondesjon I applaud you for actually reading and trying to adsorb the posts to a question.

cazzie's avatar

Hangnails exist, doesn’t mean they are necessary.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Yes, if you think it is.

Blondesjon's avatar

According to the above argument, hangnails are necessary to maintaining our current reality because they are a part of our current reality.

lornahayes's avatar

It is if you think it is necessary not what other people think. Also it isn’t about one particular strict religion it is all about you and what you believe. You need to find something that you believe in, something that catches your attention and grips your heart. I am a christian and would personally recommend that you read the bible and find a link with Jesus Christ as your savoir.
Good Luck.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cazzie We are stronger than we think and we are capable of more than we can imagine, but, like I always say,... The good news is it is only up to you.
So goes the mindset that leaves mankind weakest of all.

cazzie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You left out the second half of the quote. You are so selective and wrong.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Not as much as you. Bless you anyhow.

ibstubro's avatar

^ cat fight ^

non_omnis_moriar's avatar

No of course not. I raised two wonderful kids now men without any religious connection. They are very ethical and responsible young men

They married agnostic women and are not planning to raise their kids in any religion.

chinchin31's avatar

From a christian point of view. I think it is more important to incorporate the teachings of jesus christ into your everyday life than to go to church or to belong to a religion

I think alot of so called religions/churches have twisted Jesus words to suit themselves to the point where people don’t even want to be christians anymore or have a religion. There is alot of hypocrisy and lies out there. People making up their own doctrines and then calling it christianity when Jesus never preached any of the stuff most of them are preaching.

However if you read the bible yourself you will realise that Jesus was actually a cool guy.

So in a nutshell , I think how you live your life is more important than running to church every sunday and engaging in rituals.

I also honestly think you can’t live without God. Look at all these celebrities , they are miserable and unhappy because they worship themselves and their money.

Personally I think it keeps me grounded and gives me alot of confidence in life. Because I strongly believe that nobody in this world controls my life , only God does. When you believe that , no one can take advantage of you or truly affect your self esteem.

cazzie's avatar

@chinchin31 See, I don’t get how seeing yourself as ‘God’s meat-puppet’ builds self esteem. Feeling motivated and getting things done may be a battle sometimes, but it is only a battle with myself.

non_omnis_moriar's avatar

Anyone see the last episode of the newest Cosmos?

Picking one tiny planet amidst billions and billions of stars and galaxies with planets and saying: What you think if there was a planet on which among it’s living creatures were those that believed beyond a doubt that their world was the center of the universe.

Looking through the biggest telescope we have, what would we think of people like that? LOL

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther