The stories of old Egyptian, Norse, or Greek Gods and the teachings of those religions are known to everybody even today, but they are only that –stories. We see them as legends and myths despite the fact they once held a status of ultimate truth. We can even observe a drastic change throughout history in many of today’s religions. With that in mind, it is not so outrageous to think about our current largest religions, and question whether and how they will change in the future, and if there is a possibility of them disappearing.
What is the purpose of religion?
People have always struggled to come to terms with their surroundings, to understand the world around them in order to find their place in it. Due to the insufficient knowledge people had in the past, they resorted to explaining things to the best of their ability and creativity. That is why today, we can observe some fascinating and amazing attempts by scientists, theologians, and philosophers to explain the origin and purpose of life.
How does science fit into this?
The attitude of people towards religion has changed throughout history; it is usually at a time of great technological of scientific advancement that the popularity of religion decreases. People mostly see scientific explanations as more concrete and practical than what religion has to offer. This creates a reverberating effect –this type of explanation usually leaves people with fewer responsibilities, as opposed to the religious view, where every individual is not only infinitely valuable but also has a set of obligations to follow through life. It is not so surprising that people then choose the path of least resistance, and enjoy more freedom in life. However, this scientific outlook is also flawed.
What are its flaws?
People are usually not well acquainted with science; today, it has a dogmatic effect similar to the effect of religion in the Dark Ages. It is often enough to say that something is “scientifically proven”, and people would believe in it more easily. However, scientists who move the boundaries of knowledge and technology, are ultimately faced with the “original questions”: where do we come from, where do we go, what is the purpose of life, etc. It is usually the case that, the further a science progresses, the less clear these questions are; such is the case with physics today. All explanations and answers to the aforementioned questions are still speculations made by scientists.
What role can religion have?
With the lack of proper answers to life’s big questions, people will always seek a way to find an answer. While someone might settle for an educated guess, there are still numerous people who find their answers in one of the many religions around the world. Technology and science have progressed more and faster than ever in the past century; though religion might lose the popularity and influence it once had, it is highly unlikely that it will become obsolete, at least in the foreseeable future.