As we have seen through the years from Nigel Barber and even Sigmund Freud himself have argued for and against religion in the debate of impending death. Religion has been used to explain most unexplainable events which threaten humanity. Threats include hunger, disasters and disease; these threats to our survival are made easier by believing there is a greater cause or higher being. Barber explains that in the age of improving our quality of life we are subsequently allowing religion to die.
Freud suggested that society believed in religion in order to stop the anxiety of the unknown, well there is less unknown in today’s world than ever before and the major religions seem to exploit individual’s emotional fears in order to gain new members. However, in the changing world religion has lost its security which society once felt and is becoming the unknown anxiety itself.
I believe that it is not down to societies improving quality but instead down to how individuals are brought up by their parents and schools. Looking at schools today, we can see that it seems to become a black sheep of the teaching curriculum. If a child it taught too much of one religion which may in fact be against their own there is uproar by parents and other officials, this equality of religion is making religion irrelevant in contemporary society. With religion spanning back to the beginning of time, we see that as quality of life improves religion remains the same within society until recent years when disasters and wars have become more apparent. Religion has since been seen as failing those who have been wronged, injured or lost everything because if there was a higher power surely these wrongs would not happen to such good people.
However, contrary to psychological thought religion does continue to play a role in some contemporary societies, who are having a renaissance as globalisation and democracy spread across the traditionally more fundamentalist parts of the world. Which we can see can cause the chaos of religious fundamentalist’s using religion as an excuse to hit back at the western world. I mention religious fundamentalism because it does have some explanation to individuals abandoning religion for the lesser contemporary anxieties we experience in the modern world. The main cause of societies losing interest in religion will never fully be understood, but we can suggest a number of different explanations including the ones being society’s belief of religion failure and the lack of societies need for an anxiety killer when we have modern day anxiety relievers such as twitter or facebook.
1. 1. Barber, N (2011). If We Live in an Age of Anxiety, How Can Religion Be Dying? Why Facebook is killing God.
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2. Freud, S (1950). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Totem and Taboo, and other works. Vol.13 (1913-1914). London: The Hogarth Press.
3. Freud, S (1949). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Beyond the pleasure principle, Group psychology and the analysis of the Ego and other works. Vol.18 (1920-1922). London: The Hogarth Press.