07 Jul The idea that religion is used for comfort bothers me, what’s your opinion?
The idea that religion is used for comfort bothers me, what’s your opinion?
Salaam, the idea that religion is used for “comfort” always pops into my head and messes with my faith. Like the thought that there is something watching you, guiding you, and testing you is a comforting factor for people and I can’t help but think of religion as just a form of social control and to soothe people’s anxieties. I have no one to ask about this, so I as wondering if you could give me your opinion? thanks.
Wa alykum as-salaam,
What isn’t social control?
How isn’t it social control for me to like a certain set of books. I mean, Amazon has figured you and I out to algorithmic excellence, so that the person who is such an “individual” is really just a certain set of tastes and preferences, that are known to minute detail because of the amount of information he willingly gives away on facebook or by google’s collection of his searches and email content.
Conformity will always happen, the question is degree and kind, but it will always happen, there are just different patterns of conformity, everyone will appeal and conform to a social pattern and within those social patterns, there is a processing of “comfort.”
Now, the question you have to ask your mind is: what form of comfort works the best? What will ensure the greatest strength for you and for society?
As someone who used to believe in nothing, it becomes pretty clear that religion serves that purpose better than any other form, because, quite frankly, any other alternative, such as atheism, still ensures that the person functions in the same processes and patterns.
Both atheists and religious people have “in-groups” and “out-groups;” both have leaders who control the discourse, who are used as reference points; both organize socially, utilizing forms of language and terms of endearment, usually in opposition to out-groups (not necessarily in a bad way, out-groups could be “racists” for instance); and the endless parallels that I saw underlined that as human beings we are destined to function the way we function regardless of whether we consciously have a God or not.
It was at that point that I saw the fundamental benefit of God as a construct, that it is able to conquer the human ego as a means towards ensuring human progress and human inter-connectivity. A human experience without God is an experience that will replace God with something human, with human values, and while values of God are indeed values, they are detached from man, they are away from our ability to control, at least on the ideational level, which means that, at the base of it, the source of our morality is either from ourselves and thus subject to our temporary whims, or they are from God, and thus inclined towards ultimate justice.
It is at this point that I said: I must believe in God, for God is true because my soul, my humanity, cannot function without God.
Does that make sense?