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To What Extent Is Religion Essential To Society?

2516 words - 10 pages

Introduction
As religion heads closer to extinction, shown by the steady global increase of those claiming no religious affiliation (Palmer; Abrams), the question of whether religion is crucial to a harmonious and progressive civilization is posed. With the implementation of basic human rights, the necessity of religion to be the basis of a moral code becomes ever redundant. Low prevalence of atheism correlates with nations that are categorized by low degrees of social and economic security. Conversely, strong correlations between lack of religion and prosperity have (The Atheist Scholar). Thus, prosperous nations are becoming increasingly secular based on the driver of prosperity and away from faith-based norms. Religion’s dominant function as a societal safety net becomes unnecessary because socio-economic prosperity typically results in a decline of religion’s social significance. However, it seems no culture has been without religion in one state or another as a result of our physiological craving for justification of the world in which we live. How will religion maintain its relevance as a method of explanation in a world when Science is able to debunk religious myths? Nonetheless, growth of modern society is arguably wavered by religion’s ignorance of factual based findings, replacing doubt with unsubstantiated corroboration. Furthermore, the findings that state more than half of people under 50 think religion isn’t important (Evans), demonstrates a shift in importance of religion by successive generations; this will persist unless religious institutions display tolerance of society’s current values. This report will explore the essentiality of religion to our modern society.

Global Perspectives
The emanation of spirituality is attributed to a latent connection to the world beyond our immediate perception. Moral societies require basic ethical requirements as guidance due to intellectual capacities of society advancing quicker than it’s moral sensibilities. Morality is a product of efficient communal living, thus its concept is subjected to cultural influences, which provoke profound changes as society progresses. Arguments stating that religion is essential to society as it is the basis of these moral standards become redundant upon reflection; history is replete with the repudiation of morality even after the establishment of the Christian doctrine for example. A steep rise in the number of laws has been seen recently, as modes of religious control to pacify populations become redundant (Prynne). Advances in science, a more intrusive legal system, and human rights laws have become the basic standard of public amenity for educated modern man.

The USA’s first amendment states religious freedom is a right, but stresses the importance of separation of church and state, causing conflicting opinions regarding the essentiality of religion. With 75% of the population regarding themselves as Christian (See Table 1), only 9% state that religion...

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