Few days ago we with Harijs were sitting in a rather small and shitty place on Bruninieku street. We discussed the meaning of our lives and the role of religion in it, we even tried to remember has it helped us in solving depressions. We concluded that religion has really helped both of us and the world around.
First, on a personal level religion helps people to find meaning of their lives, find the right place as well as it makes them feel happier. Religion and the God in particular can be compared to a personal psychologist – to whom one can talk, who allows one to feel protected and who explains one’s failures not allowing to fall into depression. In fact, whatever happens (good or bad), the God will always explain it and make you feel good about it 🙂 Irreligious people sooner or later understand that there is no sense to live (is there?), there is no meaning and no real value each of us can leave to this world (is there?). However, religious people believe that they live to die in dignity and go to the Heaven – it’s so much easier to see the goal at the end of the road than just to stroll around.
Second, religion has fostered the expansion of more advanced mindset, greater technology and faster development. Religion has changed over the time, but has always steered people in the right direction. Earlier it helped humans to move on rapidly, to conquer new territories and to educate those that were left behind. Say, when German crusaders came to Baltic states, Germans were rather developed – they knew how to build great stone castles, they had nice armor etc. On the other hand, people living in Baltic states still lived in wooden houses, had light armor, were less economically developed and as later events showed – more stupid 😉 By coming and fighting to bring religion, Germans also brought faster and more sustainable development. Nowadays religion helps people to sustain peace (jihad does’t count!).. At least people have many nice qualities and moral values that all are based on religion. These are the values that make American society to disagree with their ‘great’ leader on various wars!
Further, religion gives people confidence and relieves fear from death. This is really important as fear from unknown hinders our abilities to perform and achieve effectiveness at the very current moment. This is one of the fundamental fear that people just can’t overcome as none can tell how it is to die. When religion comes into the game it tells people that death doesn’t end anything and that it’s just a fresh beginning for the life that waits after it. This helps – people feel happier and more relieved!
If we would ignore the benefits brought by religion, would we see a real need for it? Would people need something that can explain the beginning of the universe, its end, live itself etc. If you think for a while then there is no such need. If one would look at her life from such a global perspective then sooner or later she would understand that her life has no meaning (can you even image the whole universe, existing emptiness where it expands or infinity?). What is the impact of single human on this planet (it wouldn’t be even counted for statistical purposes..)? Human life only has meaning on a small scale, say, just around that particular person, her natural habitat, her local community – where one can grasp the whole picture, picture that one can influence!
I would say: “Even if there is no religion (the God wouldn’t exist), the human race would still benefit from it and live in greater harmony, if there was one. So go on and invent your own God!”