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What is Religion?

Just what is religion? Why does it exist and why are some of the main religions having problems these days with a loss in the number faithful? Recent world problems and personal problems have found me trying to develop a perspective on these questions.

In answer to my questions, I think that religion started as a means of explaining the inexplicable and then developed into a means of keeping members of society walking along a path that made them easier to control, and, to an extent, operated in the same way as all the laws, rules and regulations which keep us in order today. Whatever the reason, one thing seems to be true, the rules which go to make up the main religions of today were created many moons ago, when life was considerably different. Those who wrote all the fundamental texts lived in times remote from our own and now, or so it would seem, many of the standards and philosophies laid down would seem to be considered irrelevant by the majority in today’s world. This is, in many ways, sad, but I believe it is inevitable. However, it is difficult to up date something which owes its origins to times so distant from our own. The Catholic church is finding conflicts with historical theological principles everywhere, from that bane of the Roman Catholic church, birth control, to Harry Potter. The Islamic faith is finding that its followers are having a hard time fitting the requirements of this religion with the pressures and temptations of today. However, as with the Christian faiths, there is no real leeway (for historical reasons) which could allow them to bring religious principles in line with today’s society.

Attempts at creating new religions have been and are being made, but with relatively little overall effect and instead of embracing one of these new religions, many are abandoning religion completely, quite possibly in favour of other more interesting, for them, pastimes, such as watching TV or blogging, for instance. This is a shame, because some kind of faith, more closely related to our modern society, could well get us through the difficult period which we are facing.

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What is needed is some world shaking event involving someone who exists today. Something which could either breathe new life into old gospels or which could lead to the creation of newer religious doctrines. In many ways we need a miracle – something that many can witness, due to the power of technology, but something so inexplicable that it would restore our faith in the distinctly high probability that incomprehensible forces do really exist and that respecting (popular word at the moment ‘respect’, although it seems to be misused) them or it, really would make the world and our lives better. The problem is that such an event would contend with a level of scientific knowledge which never existed when the those who wrote the bible, Koran or whatever, were around.

So, come on Great Being (or Beings) rattle our cages and restore our faith, and maybe a little fear that doing bad things here will lead to problems in any afterlife, should such a thing exist. Too many are now saying ‘to hell with hell’, let’s live for the moment, or at least, pave the way for our offspring.

End of sermon.

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