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Why Religion Won’t Be Going Away Anytime Soon

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 2, 2018 18:16

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Although the "non-belief" movement is growing faster than any organized religion, there will always be those who remain being faithul to the divine.

There are many reasons why religion has been able to thrive since the dawn of civilization: it explains the creation of the world, provides a moral framework, contains rich stories and traditions, and, in most cases, assures its followers that something awaits them after death besides nothingness.

However, none of these explain why religion endures to this day and will continue to do so. In my opinion, there's one main feature of religion that guarantees the continued survival of the world’s major faiths: religion has been able to survive the ongoing assault of scientific discovery.

If you accept religion as being under the umbrella of philosophy, which is the study of knowledge and the nature of reality, then religion is squarely involved in the discussion of what we know and don’t know about the world. Therefore, it often comes into conflict with scientific discovery, which has both factual and moral implications as to how we understand the world and our role in it.

The problem with religion is that it's outdated in this discussion - clinging to truths that have been debunked by science long ago. This is the ongoing assault of scientific knowledge on religion, which has increased tremendously over the past several hundred years.

However, although science has taken an axe to the Book of Genesis, there’s much that science has yet to explain, such as the origin of life and why gravity exists. Religious thinkers like to respond to these unknowns using the “God of the gaps” argument. This is when religion is able to thrive - that is, the larger the gaps are in scientific knowledge, the more relevance there is in the written word of God.

The growing schism between science and religion has done little to change people's hearts and minds on the latter. Rather than losing their conviction in the validity of the faith, each generation seems to calibrate the scope of their religious beliefs to the time period in which they live - highlighting the staying power of religious belief as a whole.

Although the scripture never changes and never will, the attitudes and perspectives of those who follow the scripture do change. In the 21st century, many observe religious holidays and festivals without being seriously invested in the faith. This lack of devotion would have been frowned upon not too long ago. Many also tend to take the position that God is simply the creator of the universe - essentially a deist position. Lastly, it's important to note that when the world’s major religions came to life, there was no such thing as “God of the gaps”; there was simply “God.”

Whether this is truly a change in belief or a change in the social and political prominence of religion in society is hard to discern. In any case, it’s abundantly clear that religion and belief in the supernatural are memes that will continue to possess the hearts and minds of people all over the world - most likely until the human race ceases to exist.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 2, 2018 18:16

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