I have asked myself this quite a lot, especially in the quest of understanding why we have these religious extremists. Muslim, Christian and others, most of the main stream religions have extremists in their midst.
This is where my own theory comes in….
Firstly, religion can have a place, although faith is a more important and not necessarily a subset of religion.
Why is faith important? As humans we have a fear of the unknown, to help combat this and feel more stable we have faith. With faith we can trust in the unknown rather than fear the unknown. This is why religion has become so popular, it fills a void that many people find scary.
Personally though I have faith in humans not needing religion. We have enough culture to sustain personality and social identity without religion.
For me, being a Darwinist and factual mind, there are two points at which we must concede:
1. Energy does not cease, it merely changes form. There is a great lot of energy in our bodies and to think that this can just stop is not possible. This is where religion fills in by saying we have a soul that travels off into heaven. Personally I believe our energy does go somewhere, but where? Maybe we just become one with the other energies in nature or maybe we have some kind of Quantum existence.
2. Big Bang, Single celled evolution to multi-celled seems logical but where did that first atom or cell come from? What was before the big bang, is there a creator up there somewhere?
So I have faith in myself, in the world that sustains us and the things we engineer, I try to have faith in others, although sometimes it’s hard lol
I believe religion has no real place in today’s society, and that’s not even going into the bloodshed and pain caused by some major religions, but instead we should have faith in our own species and rather than fear the unknown, have a healthy interest in it and we should enjoy sharing our own theories in it.
Life and death is just the ultimate adventure of learning!