Can Man Exist without Religion?
by Samuel Connelly 4/25/2009 / World Affairs
Can man exist without religion? This was the question on the table of discussion recently. I would have to say that if there were ever a question that carried within itself a deep potency for volumes of books and studies, celebrating a vast diversity of answers, this would be the one.
With all of our cutting edge instruments to reveal the past; in science, archeology, anthropology, sociology, and new and exciting advancements in the study of the brain and modern psychology, we have yet to discover any proof which would confirm that man has ever existed apart from some kind of religion.
If one would believe the results of studies and discoveries using radiocarbon and other tools used to date the past, (according to The American Peoples Encyclopedia) some scientists are fairly certain that tool-making men appeared on the earth around 200,000 years ago and they must have already had some form of language and presumably a rudimentary religion. Although we know what the scripture says, let's roll with the thought.
With most archaeological discoveries of aged and weathered hidden societies there have also followed evidence and trace of their religion's influence. There is no doubt that religion has placed a major role in every society throughout history, no matter how primitive those religions may have been.The creation and new adaptations of religion have become very popular, especially in the last 150 years.
Here is a short list of some of the most popular religions- in alphabetical order:
Asatru (Norse Paganism)
Gonzalez religious movement
Hare Krishna - ISKCON
Ifa, the religion of the Yoruba people of West Africa
Native American Spirituality
Romani, Rroma, (a.k.a. Gypsies)
The Church of Satan
The Creativity Movement
branch of Yazdanism
What about those who do not believe in a deity, supernatural force, Creator, God? Are these groups the exception to the rules? What about Hitler, Nazism, Communism? What about some of the great scientific atheist and agnostic thinkers of our day?
Let us ask this question: What is religion?
#2 Belief pursued with devotion.
#6 Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
Paul Tillich, one of the four most influential Protestant theologians of the twentieth century, in two of his best known works The Courage to Be (1952) and Dynamics of Faith (1957) made these statements about Religion: "Religion is ultimate concern" and "Religion is the dimension of depth."
Does the brilliant Stephen Hawking have religion? According to the definitions of religion one could see clearly that his work is his religion. Stephen believes that there must be a theory of everything, and he has pursued the evidence faithfully for years.Einstein, also believed in a theory of everything and was so devoted to discovering it that many believed that we was going crazy, as he spent hours, day in and day out, on his death bed pursuing his belief.
Even Hitler had a personal belief which he pursued relentlessly. His ideas on of who should live and rule, and who should die became his religion. Communism and Nazism are both religions.
As long as man believes he has a purpose, a destiny, a reason for living, he has religion. Be it false religion or true religion. When people believe they have no reason to live, no purpose, no destiny, they usually end up dying from reckless living, or commit suicide.
I guess my answer to the question: Can man exist without religion, would have to be- based on history, common sense, science, study, faith and logic- a resounding No.
I believe that the question we should be asking ourselves is :What is our religion? What is it that we are willing to live our lives for, in the face of adversity? What are we willing to lay down our lives for? Do we, personally believe in anything so strongly?
As Christians we believe in the teachings of Jesus. We do our best to live our lives worthy of the calling we have received (Eph. 4:1). We believe that it is our mission to reach the lost, take care of widows and orphans, and, basically, like Jesus, touch people, meet needs. This truly is the greatest form of religion.
People all over the world have some kind of religion, some type of personal belief. There is no way that man could exist without religion. It is the Church of Jesus Christ's job to help direct the world, with all of their religions to the cross. Jesus will do the rest.
I live in Wichita Ks. Have a few short stories, articles and several poems published. Finishing up two novels. I am a former youth minister and VJ for a Sky Angel Christian rock show. I'm a deli manager and certified coffee expert by day and write like crazy by night.