• Akshita Rai Shrivastava

The importance of Religion in Maintaining the Wellbeing of Humankind

The importance of Religion

I have never been a religious person. Most of my life I have identified to agnosticism, which means the existence o god was a topic of constant indecisive for me. To be honest, it still is, I still don’t know if God exists for sure. Though, I sincerely hope that there is a higher power looking after all of us. Being an agnostic gives me the freedom to look into various religion and religious practices from a non-bias point of view. I have always been astonished about what various religion has to offer and recently everything started making sense to me. I still don’t know who God is or if there is one, but I do know that every religion serves a really important purpose. But, before exploring the importance of Religion, I want to put forward an important psychological phenomenon.

Obedience to Authority

The importance of Religion

Obedience is a rather fascinating topic under Social Psychology. In has been proven time and again through psychological experiments that Obedience can result in people performing functions that are different from their beliefs. The Milgram Shock Experiment is a classic example of Obedience to Authority. Under this experiment, the subject was asked to give an electric shock to another person. It was concluded through the evidence that people, in general, are most likely to go against their instincts if an authority is directing them to do so. Don’t worry, no one was receiving an electric shock, they were just made to believe the same.

Though obedience to authority has been associate to negative things. This is because the study started after the holocaust as people involved in creating the suffering reasoned their behaviour as merely following orders. Whenever Obedience to Authority is talked about only its possible negative effects on a person’s will. This got me thinking, obedience might be disastrous when the authoritative figure is evil but it can be fairly helpful if the authoritative person has good intentions. This is when I drew the connection between authority and religion and establish the importance of religion.

Authority and Religion

The importance of Religion

The followers of religion follow their respective leader or God. I don’t know about the existence of God, but the belief of people in God is what stops them from getting involved in a lot of temptations. Under most religions, the belief in God acts as a guiding source as he becomes the Authorative figure. Humans like myself won’t stick to good habits just for the sake of it, but if the supreme leader of the universe wants us to then we will.

It becomes easy for people to follow good habits and unexplained beliefs when they know it is coming from an Authorative source. Obedience in the case of religion plays an important role in preventing us from doing every unethical deed. It is not that religion teaches us to be scared of God, but still establishes an Authority similar to that of a Father.

The importance of Religion

The importance of Religion

Obedience plays an important role in religion due to the presence of Authoritative figure ‘God’. Which results in religion playing an important part in our lives. Most religious beliefs which are often considered superstitious are scientifically proven to be beneficial. Like, in Hinduism ‘Tulsi’ or ‘Holy Basil’ should be planted in the house as it is the plant of God. Science has proven that the Tulsi plant has several medicinal benefits and is also an air purifier. Though, both of these statements may be equally true. The probability of more people following the same because of the religious reason is more than the health benefits. This is because behind religious belief they see an authoritative figure whereas behind science just experiments.

Just like the example above, many beliefs under various religions have been proved to be beneficial for humans. These benefits can be physical, mental, emotional as well as spiritual. Most religious beliefs are backed with logic, but the logic cannot stand alone against our wishes and temptations. Which is where religion and its beliefs become something of prime importance to the well being of the humankind.

I still am not sure of the existence of God, but I am thankful for all the positive impact his belief has made in this world. Without religious, the world would be chaos. So, it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not, you should be thankful that people believe in him.