Recently, I came across this article at the NewScientist journal, which I find arguments nonsense. The article starts with saying that ” Across the developed world, people are losing interest in god without becoming atheists. That’s a good thing “. The article continues and in the middle of article mention that ” Most of the unaffiliated neither accept nor reject religion: they simply don’t care about it.” Although I accept the fact that people are getting oblivious to religion, I don’t see why it is a good thing! From both practical and philosophical point of views, neither loosing interest in religion, nor not-caring about it is a good thing.
First of all, as I mentioned earlier [1,2,3], we act based on our beliefs which mostly is induced in us by our culture. So, we may not think of our belief system, but it is there and it is shaping all and every decisions that we make. Since most of our communities, if not all, have been developed based on religious cultures, I could safely say that most of those beliefs are religious in its core. Believing in monogamy, in the western communities, is one example which has its root (partly) in the religion, I believe. The bottom line is that, we are not disregarding the religion, we are just getting ignorant about it. As if, we are programmed and we do not care much why we do or do not do certain things. I believe that this is very dangerous for human being, although it is very desired by political leaders. By any standard, this is not a good thing, at all.
Secondly, believing and not believing in religion (I consider atheism as a religion of its own) make huge practical impact on our daily life. For example, whether believing in afterlife or not, really does matter in our daily life. Hence, we should care, and we should be interested to the origins. Otherwise, we just make some random walk, based on others’ beliefs. We should be curious about why we, as human-being, are here and where are we going. I believe that, in general, we are getting more ignorant about ourselves, and it is not a good thing at all. HOWEVER, it is crucial to understand that we should learn to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way instead of taking military actions against each other. Religious conflicts should lead to formal discussions rather than wars.
Religion is a gift of human intellect over the course of history that we should cherish. Unfortunately, for many years religious dogmatism gave rise to countless wars and murders, which hides the true benefit of religion. Of course, dogmatism is not unique to religion, and any other type of dogmatism will be harmful, including science dogmatism! As you can see, although people are getting less religious, as the article pointing out, wars and murders are still there, unfortunately. Violence has become such embedded in our societies that some scientists postulate that human is violent by nature.
PS: The article also points out that “Morality arises from the workings of our social brains” which I don’t know how such a conclusion is made. Evolutionarily speaking, I would rather argue that the same brain who has given rise to the morality has also given birth to religion (forgetting any supernatural source of religion, that may or may not be there).