Atheists, I notice, are generally classified as anti-theist. I resent this generalization, because it’s obviously not true for all atheists. But I do acknowledge that most other atheists I talk to say the world would be a better place without religion at all. I would agree to an extent.
The Holocaust probably wouldn’t have happened, and it is true that this war in the Middle-East wouldn’t be as we know it. The problem with that argument is that there would still be racism and nationalism; we would still find prejudices to harp on and kill each other over. Religion not existing wouldn’t change that. So while things would be different, would it be better or worse? And how much better or worse? It’s hard to interpret.
Moving on to my point:
I love the idea of Christianity. I love the idea of Islam. I love the idea of Judaism. I love the idea of all faiths. I think the world would be an even less connected and caring place without religion.
Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, and any other places of worship offer a sense of community for people. Faiths carry out various mission trips and help the poor or others in need. They, in the aggregate, are helpful to our world through their acts of charity. You can’t deny that, even if you are an anti-theist.
But really what I like about it is the moral support it gives to individuals. People find solace in God. People have felt motivated to turn their lives around believing that they have a divine being watching over them. Faithful people that feel like no one loves them can find love in their god.
Today, it was found out by most people in my school that a student I was only really friendly with had gotten into a car accident. It was fatal. Of course, there were many different stories going around as to what happened and what was happening at the time, but one thing was for sure: she was on life support and that was (or is, for all I know) the thing that was/is keeping her around. I do not feel it is acceptable for me to go into any further detail on the matter, even after all of this unfolds, so that’s where this stands.
But after Choir class, a lot of people wanted to join in on a prayer circle for her and her family. I decided to join because I thought it was a really good thing to have.
And what I witnessed, as almost everyone else had their heads bowed in sadness, was a sense of comfort and acceptance. Through all of the crying, I could sense that all of these people felt a great deal of love and community. Over and over again when various people said a prayer, they mentioned that God had always been their “rock”, and that they know he’s all loving and that they feel they can overcome the sadness through Him.
And that’s something I really appreciate about faith. I wonder if any of these people would feel as connected to each other without it. I wonder if these people would lead happy lives without it. I wonder if nearly anything would be the same for them without it.
I once again witnessed the huge amounts of good that can come from religions and their followers. And even though I’m not one of a faith, I felt that sense of comfort too. When people come together for a common cause like that, you can really feel it in your heart. I stand by religion because it stands by so many people seeking guidance, and that’s an important aspect of life that I’d never like to see go from this world.