The Death of God in Modern Society
Throughout the history of mankind, there have always been certain things that separate men from animals. The opposable thumb, the superior intelligence, and the capacity to make tools are just a few of the things that separate man from beast. Yet one of the longest established and most controversial of these human characteristics is religion. Archeologists have found that religious beliefs are as old as man himself. In the modern world though, it seems as if less and less people are buying into the religious doctrines and dogmas, and creating their own beliefs through a mix of science and philosophy. Why are people turning from organized religion? Has modern society "killed" God, replacing him with a more logical, scientific explanation, or is God just as prevalent today as he was thousands of years before? Either way, we must challenge religion, for as Nietzsche had said:
"To admit a belief merely because it is a custom-but that means to be dishonest, cowardly, lazy!-And so could dishonesty, cowardice and laziness be the preconditions for morality?" (Daybreak 101)
Many of the flaws that are present in modern religion today are the same flaws that were present in early religions. As Jesus had pointed out, the religious teachings and religious thought has been recycled from one holy man to another holy man for generations upon generations. Carl Jung recognized the human elements lying behind God when he said:
"God is always man-made and the definition he gives is therefore finite and imperfect. The definition is an image, but this image does not raise the unknown fact it designates into the realm of intelligibility. The master we choose is not identical with the image we project of him in time and space."(Moreno 134)
All religious theologies were created and expanded upon by humans, although humans cannot comprehend God. There is no major religion which believes that any of the religious scriptures were directly created at the hands of a God. In saying this, the ultimate creator of God is man. If any of the religions that have been around for so long had actually experienced God, the experience would be diluted and distorted. I say that for two reasons, one is because humans easily misinterpret actions and who can expect to understand wholly a god-like creature so far beyond our knowledge, and secondly, even if a person could understand the complete significance of the event it would be highly unlikely their story would resemble anything even close to what had happened after being passed down orally and in writing for generations. Just think of most of the bible stories as a big whisper down the lane, with the end result sounding nothing like the beginning statement. Many stories of the Old Testament were around for thousands of years before being finally written down. Even after being written down, they were translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin and then to English. It...