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Why is Religion Really So Important in Today's World?

Why is Religion So Important in Today's World?
The vast expanse of religions and belief systems have undergone revolutionary changes with the changing face of the society. The world, as we know now, has proved a lot using scientific facts as the tool. So why does the modern world need religion? Does it hold the same relevance as it did in ancient and medieval times?
Anamika Kumari
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Surprisingly ...
Not believing in any form of deity is also considered a religion. This is because 'atheism' is also a culture followed by masses, and adheres to the 'belief' that no supernatural force operates and monitors the functioning and behavior of the universe.
Ever since life has existed on this planet, religions have plagued along. The diversity of religions is such that while accounting for all the ancient and modern religions across the face of the Earth, the figures indicate 12 major religions and 43 belief structures branching into roughly 4,300 groups. We might question the necessity of so many religious groups.

Do these really hold relevance in modern context when the world is all science, business, and politics? If yes, then how? If no, then why are they still around? To answer all these questions and more, we need to understand why do we need religion at all, and then understand it in the modern world's context.
Why is Religion Important?
Binds inner evil
Girl having Dall in Hand
Religion impels all beings to keep a check on their evil side and put the 'angel' foot forward. Majority of our actions are propelled by the 'defined goodness' of our religions and prohibits us from performing the vice. Revengeful intentions are hence kept under check and so is the crime rate around the world.
We all come across that one situation in life where there is an extreme desire to hurt someone in return or cause trouble just to get rid of our own frustration. Still, we do not go ahead with our plans because somewhere inside, our conscience 'believes' that it is wrong and stops us from within.
Inspires us to work hard
Woman at Work
All the religions known till date emphasize greatly upon striving for what we desire the most in life instead of lazing around and waiting for miracles to happen. They underline the fact that "God helps those who help themselves." Some belief systems, for that matter, are simple guidelines on how to 'work'. Have we not always believed that our hard work will be noticed someday by the Almighty, and we shall be paid off quite well? This is because our faith system taught us so.
The modern man, who is surrounded by disappointing outcomes must learn to remain undeterred under all circumstances and keep working hard.
Builds confidence
Builds confidence
Noetic science is an entire reason why any kind of belief system is established. You become what you believe. A certain kind of belief system always amounts to some confidence in your capabilities. The belief systems stress upon the fact that in spite of everything that one has been doing, the creator was and would always be there to take care of him. This security of having someone to protect our back gives us the confidence to face obstacles in life and make independent decisions.
Helps restructure faith
Woman Praying
Even if one has lost faith in himself, or in the name of humanity, religious stories and mythical epics, all were meant to feed your faith from time to time and strengthen its strands weakening over time. The scriptures provide examples of wonderful things that happened to people who kept faith. Therefore, any amount of failure should not be able to destroy a person's faith completely if he or she believes that God would mend things right.
Guides through tough times
Guides Through Tough Times
The teachings of any religion are always available as scriptures or journals. These guide our ways when in dilemma. At every crossroad of life, one can find relevant reflection of his own self in such scriptures or journals.
That is when and how a modern man takes a neutral perspective and decides the right thing to be done. An issue may seem irrelevant or extremely complicated at times. But if one turns to the holy scriptures or the journals of the belief systems, he shall notice that the compilers have taken care of solutions to every life situation. One shall definitely find a most basic solution to the seemingly critical situation. All one needs is to look carefully and read between the lines.
Provides a moral background
Every decision is not always right or wrong; all that matters it what purpose it fulfills. That purpose of action has to be morally driven and not based upon instincts itself. One must be able to recognize what implications his decisions are going to bring upon society at large. This moral ground is best laid out for a human by his or her religious belief. It is often experienced that the humans are smitten by the corporate environment they have built for themselves. People tend to trample over each other's back to gain success and growth. It then becomes a necessity that people are brought back to their religious grounds to approach their professional duties with strong morals.
Elevates inner goodness
Fallen Girl
All the rites and cultural dogmas around the world, work towards the sole purpose of making people believe that at the end of every story, the good wins over the bad. This is what motivates us to be composed and cultured. This is what brings upon the initiation in us to take a step forward and help the others in need.
A person without any religion is not committed to anything. Religion preaches the theory that what goes around comes around, and hence, people tend to give out more amount of goodness in order to receive more of it.
Guidelines to live by
Family at Garden
The simplest & most justifiable effect of practicing religion is that imbibes good & healthy habits. There are instances of belief systems around the world that have just guidelines to live by. However, in a majority of religious beliefs, the scriptures preach the practice of defined lifestyle shall lead to safe, healthy, and fulfilling life for human society. This lifestyle if followed properly promises ideal situation that man could achieve in terms of family, profession, & social existence.
Unites people
Business mans
The modern man has gone astray from nature. What binds us to this Earth is his greed to feast on what it has to offer. Survival of the fittest is a belief that has misled him to great wrongdoings. Religion mends the social bonds of a detached soul. It guides the followers towards a common goal and inflicts a sense of brotherhood amongst them. This creation of a sense of belonging to his group further enhances a person's confidence. Since the people are now bound by a common factor, they are committed to help each other grow and prosper. The belongingness reaches its extreme when people begin to identify themselves as a part of the religion beyond their individual existence.
Reasons to rejoice
Family Discussing
The customs attached to a belief system give an aesthetic approach to our existence. The various festivals and celebrations add color and vigor to the otherwise monotonous existence of ours. These provide a collective ground for rejoicing by performing activities or rituals meant to either clean the environment or rejuvenate the senses. Social exchange of kindness, sharing of joy and sorrow, and appreciating cultural art forms is what enriches the experience of practicing a cultural belief.
Mystifies to generate fear
Fear is a strong element. It is always there; however, minimal in the backdrop of our mind. The modern man who has science as his new servant for his needs is fearless, and at times, tries to access what is not rightfully his. The supernatural thread of belief that is wound over his mind from a very tender age constantly keeps him under the fear of being punished when he tries to interfere with things that are not his concern. The fear of having a bad afterlife is what makes us treat nature and its elements with due respect and perform good deeds.
Promotes social welfare
Planting a Plant
Religion impels the humans to prioritize social contribution over selfish goals. In some of them, it is a compulsory requirement to do a least amount of something in favor of the society or environment that we dwell in. Religion impresses a moral pressure to donate and care for whatever is under one's capacity and derive peace and contentment out of the act. Only when a person begins to realize social deficit, will he utilize his resources in a sustained manner. That is when meaningless destruction seems irrational. Development for each sect of the society is maintained.
Imposes healthy lifestyle
Minister giving Guidelines
The practices accommodated by the religions had been carefully designed by our forefathers to ensure that the society lives in a healthy and clean environment. It has been instructed to keep the abode of the soul, that is the human body in pristine state. The so-called modern society where half the population maybe accused for self-abuse, religion can act as the rehabilitating tool for their soul. Methods of physical purification are advocated over those of physical retribution. Religious teachings recite the glories of the gift of human body that should be treated with responsibility and put to constructive use.
Reconnect with inner soul
Child Praying
The rituals associated with religions always prove to be an escape from the daily pressure of work, family, and society. They relax the mind and increase awareness of our own existence and the soul within. Five minutes of prayer or concentration is the moment of peace to pacify the entropy of a mind amidst the daily hustle. These moments of realization bring a man closer to self-realization, which is most important for achieving true success. Lost in the 'mass existence' system of our current society, they prevent the tendency to lose self appreciation. True cognizance of one's primary purpose in life is attained.
Generates a sense of belonging
Family at Lunch
The expanse of the universe maybe never-ending, but the fact that we are a part of it is, in itself, a great feeling. Once this dawns upon a person, it imbibes both pride and modesty in a being. Religion keeps us aware of our existence in this vast expanse by generating a universal sense of belonging. In religious belief systems, this is done by portraying humans as the offspring of God itself, and in scientific belief systems, it is done by portraying the entire universe (including humans) to be made up of the same elements of nature. A man then knows he is a part and parcel of an immense system and would always be. It is for this belongingness that he prepares to sacrifice the most priced things in life.
Increase social benevolence
Family at Church
Acknowledgment of the existence of parallel belief systems has helped modern man to understand the diversity in human behavior and culture. When one begins to accept the presence of other theories without being perturbed by them, then tolerance is born. This tolerance for other theories intensifies the global outlook of individuals. Despite the cultural differences, people merge at common grounds upon the intricacies that distinguish them from each other. Furthermore, they take interest in the other beliefs and eventually learn more.
Reduce materialistic perspective
In a world that is running wild after all objects that are pleasing to the senses, religion acts as the reins. It preaches that nothing holds more value than a clear conscience at the time of death. Therefore, people should treat sophistications of science as the tool for gaining more knowledge and not as a luxury. The concerns to be treated with value are human values and emotions and not the things generated by the humans to serve daily requirements.
Improve social and household relationships
The religious guidelines help modern man to achieve the exact state that he desires through defined guidance. It shows the path to maintain a complete balance between the professional, personal, and social performance by monitoring self-conduct in all of these areas. Religion specifies the role of men, women, and children in the society, and the ideal behavior that should be exhibited by all to conserve social decorum. It proposes the ideal nature of relationships between a husband and wife, teacher and student, a boss and his employees, and pretty much everything that one could name in the book.
Value knowledge and technology
Knowledge has always been important. Religion is not about blind faith, but a continued strife to keep discovering the unknown. Religion in its true senses is a teacher that provides us the right kind of attitude to access knowledge and preserve it to be passed on to the future generations in the form of writings, sayings, and other art forms. The gatherings at places of worship is a noble way of social interaction to discuss positive ideas and promote knowledge being carried forward with every new generation.
Contributes to economy
As estimated by the greatest economic scholars since ancient times, religions were and would always be a tool to create hikes and depressions in the economics of a society. Religion has been often ridiculed as a form of business by the non-believers. The fact still remains intact that we do need business. Take a deep look into each one of your lives. Has this 'business' never profited you in any way? Trust funds run by religious organizations, and business relationships based upon them are some major contributors to the global economic scenario. Transport, hospitality services, and local businesses benefit enormously owing to pilgrimages undertaken to places of worship.
Political and administrative effects
Even if most parts of the world claim to develop as a democratic republic, a deeper study shall reveal how strongly religion can influence the ruler of the state. Considering the major belief system followed by the citizens of a state, it is quite obvious that the masses would prefer to have a representative of the state who belongs to the same belief system. It is both a human tendency and natural to derive maximum benefits for one's own cultural belief. If taking a conservative approach to the theory of maintenance of cultures, it is a kind of legacy that is being carried forward generation after generation to preserve all that a religion once had as a culture. History has experienced rulers who have tried to impose his own culture upon all of his subjects when on the throne. Therefore, religion has a very strong impact on the politics of a state and can be the base issue for the formation of a stable government.
Family at Beach
Besides every other intellectual and spiritual reason that any human or non-human can provide regarding the importance of religion in today's world, one cannot agree more on the topic of holidays. It is sheer relief that it is binding in each religion for a human to take breaks and celebrate his own existence. The identification of days that are to be considered non-working is what keeps this success-oriented world to overlook work for some days at least. Any festival being celebrated anywhere on the face of the Earth overwhelms us if it gives us an opportunity to find an excuse to celebrate and get a day off from work.
Author's Take
An ideal religion is supposed to be any set of reasonable beliefs that works in favor of the universe and its components. The cultures present around the world are rich and extensive, and fulfill the purpose of its existence. Signs of trouble show up when humans misuse religion as a tool to blind people's conscience, hinder flow of knowledge and development, inflict pain, suppress innovation, and cause negativity. A religion should be used to seek happiness, follow the discipline, stick to it during its good and bad times, pray for it when going astray, and celebrate its success with due respect for it and the other religions as well. Also, learning the good stuff from other religions is also recommended, 'cause 'good' is all we want. For this, what we need is to establish a link among all the religions that coalesces it all and operates to promote universal harmony and prosperity.
What needs to be understood amongst all this is religion is made for spreading love in all its forms and variations. Any belief that generates hate towards natural human tendencies that do not intend any harm to nature and its components is and will always be considered as misguided, and will continue to deflect people away from it.