Ever since I took the time to explore my own religious views, I’ve been rewarded with more and more questions about life. One that haunted me for quite sometime was: how to explain (concisely) the role of religion in our society?
So I tried. This is what I came up with: some people find it too hard to find meaning in life. Religion gives them one. And then they find meaning may be from scriptures, idols, stories, community or something else that being religious provides.
This is perhaps too simplistic an explanation. While I came to this conclusion on my own, I am not the first one to do so. Here’s Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Flow:
As people move through life, passing from the hopeful ignorance of youth into sobering adulthood, they sooner or later face an increasingly nagging question: “Is this all there is?” ……Traditionally, the problem of existence has been most directly confronted through religion, and an increasing number of the disillusioned are turning back to it, choosing either one of the standard creeds or a more esoteric Eastern variety.