If there were no religion…

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, Secular Humanist, atheist, studied theology, social work, some philosophy, anthropology

That’s a very complex question. Some people think the world would be a better place without religion because of the terrible genocides that have been committed in the name of various Divine Authorities of God/god throughout the ages. Other people are convinced that only with a Divine Authority diving out Divine Commands will humans know right from wrong. I personally know that many people find comfort and stability in religion, especially through the community of regular gatherings and socials. Ideally, people would stop judging each other for how they think and live, for what they believe, and learn to co-exist with different life philosophies/religions.

I also think that if religion didn’t exist, people would continue to be judgmental and they would continue to find “higher reasons”—if not religion, then something else—on which to base their judgments. I think this because it seems to be the nature of the majority of human beings. Would the world be better without religion? I don’t know. I only know that currently many problems appear to be based on religion. Whether there are deeper underlying issues, I don’t know. For example, the so-called Christian world is currently the richest and most powerful on earth. It stands to reason that the next most powerful segments of humanity, be they Communist-minded or Muslim or whatever, feel high levels of jealousy. Out of jealousy we know can arise all kinds of problems from sibling rivalry to marital divorce to military conflict.

Many of us believe a more equal distribution of the world’s wealth and resources would solve a great many of the world’s problems. Religion, I think, is a neutral factor for that line of thought. To me it makes more sense than ridding the world of religion.

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