Is Traditional Religion Incompatible With Modern Society

Essay, Research Paper

When traditional religion is pitted against modern society, it is a clash of the titans, a clash between Science and Religion. Everyone has their own interpretation of what religion means to themselves and the people around them. Traditional religion is an organized community of many different types of groups that believe in their own divine being(s), stories about why something is the way that it is, and have some type of religious participation. Each religious affiliation must be organized. Certain types of rules or bylaws need to be present and each religion has written what their particular faith and its members should believe in. All religious groups from have some form of a divine being. Christians believe in their one God, Muslims believe in Allah, Buddhists believe in Buddha, and so on. Those who believe in divine beings, think of him/her/them as the one who made the world what it is today. Each religion also has a number of stories meaning a number of different things, such a creation story or why a certain historical event happened the way it did to why a tree grows the way it does. Myths were used to explain what could not be proven, the most popular being that of the creation of the earth and mankind.

When we mention modern society, the first thing that comes to mind is Science, Technology and Information Technology. Over the centuries, scientific breakthroughs, discoveries and research have found the answers to many of man s questions. Scientific advancement and research has overturned many myths and legends that are once based on religions, such as the setting and rise of the Sun, which explains daybreak and nightfall, in ancient times, religious believers believe that nightfall is the work of evil spirits. Many religions believe in life after death, that the dead will go to Heaven or Hell, Heaven being the paradise up in the sky and Hell being a land of torture beneath the Earth. Science has proven that there is no Heaven above us, just the atmosphere that blends into outer space neither is there anything below us, just the Earth s crust and a mantle made of molten lava. One event that scientists are still unsure of is the beginning of the Earth and Mankind. But the recent Theory of Evolution with the discovery of fossil dinosaurs and the Big Bang Theory, it seems that Christianity s Adam and Eve and Buddhism s Ni Wa stories of the creation of Heaven and Earth are going to be just bedtime stories for the kids.

But does this mean that there is no place for religion in modern society? No. I strongly believe that there should always be a place for religion in modern society. Religion is what one believes in, religion forms the basis of many moral and ethical codes in a society, and in a multi-cultural, multi-racial society such Singapore, religion plays an even more important role. Each race or culture believes in their own religions and it is religion that makes them unique and distinct from others. Religion is a form of mental retreat, when reality and society seems to be crashing down on an individual, falling back into the belief of his religion can be the only way to solve his problems, here religion acts as a morale booster or stimulant. Religious people believe in a Supreme Being that looks after them, that provides the security that a person needs in life, or perhaps a feeling that a confidante is always there for him. The idea of God provides the reins to keep Man in control, God as the policing body, promoting a conscience of good and scorning evil or immoral thoughts. Religion also keep communities together and promote social cohesiveness, people of the same religious beliefs tend to help each other out and give each other moral and physical support, a basis of Christianity and many other religions.

It inevitable that modern society and Science will conflict with religion, as such, the only way for religion to remain compatible with modern society is to upgrade, or rather to reconcile with modern society. Religion has to adapt to scientific evidence and developments, since religion can no longer be a basis for the explanation of unexplained phenomenons, it can only act as a form of moral code and guideline to perhaps the meaning of life and how we should live life. There is no way religion can stand up to the entourage of scientific evidence, evolution or adaptation of religion will determine whether religion can remain compatible with modern society.


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