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Importance of Religion - Essay

  • Date Submitted: 02/22/2011 02:55 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.6 
  • Words: 460
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In today's age of science and modern marvels there are many people who ask, "Why do we still need religion?" I mean really. Science has shown a clear path towards answering all kinds of questions that once were the domain of magic and religion. Does that not prove that religion is merely the domain of ignorance and fools who wish to believe in fairy tales purely based on what they refer to as "Faith"? This has long been one of the chief arguments made by atheists against religion. However their bewilderment towards why educated people still believe in religions has rather non-mysterious answers.

The psychological, sociological, and anthropological research on the subject of religion has provided rich information as to why religion is still an important part of many people's lives. One of the chief reasons found was that religion provides what is essentially a security blanket and a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. When an individual has absolute faith in something, for that person it is, for all practical purposes, true. Human beings in just about every culture studied have a tendency to latch on to an ideology or religion as Truth.

The difficulty in dislodging a person's "faith" has to do with how often a person's religion is tied deeply into their culture, family, and heritage. Religion is an important means through which many people form an identity within their society. However of greater importance to understanding why religion is important to people is understanding that religion provides a powerful mechanism for anxiety relief. It also allows people to better cope with personal tragedy and hardships that we all go through in life. A cynic may just say, "Oh go see a shrink and get some Prosac or something." However, not everyone has faith in psychiatry.

As someone with a degree in psychology and with a family member who has been to quite a few psychiatrists, I can attest to the fact that a great number of practicing psychiatrists have...

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