Religion and a Fulfilling Life
Deep in our roots
When our species had her first generations of humans (Homo Sapiens), we were divided in tribes with a common purpose: To help each other survive, reason that compelled these groups of individuals to cooperate in order to thrive and be accepted by the rest, sticking through thick and thin against the hardships of the seasons. However, these groups were largely limited, as there only could be tens or hundreds in a space that could be considered as a community due to the scarcity of resources and safe geographical areas. All this, along with the fact that the human brain was only accustomed to a limited number of interactions accounted for a problem of communication, for which great amounts of people were more contradictory than closed tribes with little populations. However, this all changed with one invention, which was religion, the sharing of dogmas which explained the reasons for the different phenomenas that happened in the world, the interaction between men and what happened after death. Sharing these sets of beliefs between tribes permitted the creation of much larger communities in which every participant could operate effectively for the well-being of the whole group under a set of values that favored this, deeming particular behaviors as reproachable and others as worthy of being rewarded in the afterlife, which, eventually, led to the development of more advanced methods to generate resources such as agriculture and animal husbandry and with this, the construction of the first civilizations and their respective religions. Due to the importance of these cultural systems in this article I will talk about Religion, why people choose to stray from It nowadays and mention the benefits It brings to us not only from a spiritual perspective though from a practical one also, all so you can reconsider and think If religion is for you or not. Let's begin:
Why so many people choose to not believe.
For a long time religion exercised a crucial role in the life of men and women alike, giving them a sense of purpose, spirituality and fulfillment upon having communities of people with the same values while serving as a contributor to the limitations imposed by law upon people, giving them a moral compass in which to base their decisions as good or bad while making them good citizens, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. However, in modern times the importance of religion in peoples lives was taken for granted or repudiated as a whole where It is reported, as stated by the sociologist Phil Zuckerman in his 2012 study, that a demographic of 500 to 750 million of people worldwide had an absence of belief for a particular deity, number which has only increased in the last years.
The main reason for people to choose atheism before religion has to be a shift of mindset for people to one that's more oriented in "seeing It before I believe It" and the use of negative incidents in the history of religion or the antisocial approach taken by extremist sects of certain religions as a catalyst for their change of minds. However, something that has to be taken into account is that the need of human beings to believe in something is attached to our primal brain such as many other behaviors, for which this religious adoration doesn't disappear, though It gets shifted to ideologies, individuals or anything that can be taken as an object of desire and a justification for their actions. This is why many people are constantly searching religious-like experiences in things such as concerts, raves or even the use of psychedelics to provide them with an artificial sense of spirituality while venerating artists and athletes like larger than life figures. However, after all that, people still feel a sense of emptiness and a void that can't be filled until they define a purpose for them and define relationships with people that want the best for them, things which can be found in plenty in religious communities that are usually surrounded with auras of positivity and the wish for the well being of other members (At least in the prevalent ones in the world) along with the presence of role models that can serve as guides and shoulders to turn to when help is needed.
Besides of the things that are explained, there are other benefits which religions can provide to people that are often overlooked, things which can help not only in the spiritual department though in the improvement of your life as a whole:
Alongside the prayers that are dedicated to repentance and solicitude, the main content of most religions is to be found in the concept of being grateful, saying thanks for all the things and people that we have in life that have even the minimum positive impact in our lives and even If they don't, for the fact that they teach us valuable lessons for the future. From having a roof to cover you from the rain, a bed in which you can sleep and getting to fill your stomach, finding gratefulness in all these aspects of life not only helps us in the religious domain, though they are also benefitial for our mental health, giving us a path to happiness and the understanding that our lives might not be so bad as we think.
Another thing that is taken for granted nowadays is accountability, the fact that we're responsible for anything that happens in our lives, even If we're not to blame for It. One of the main things that religion gives us is the reminder that we're accountable to one another, to our families and to our core structure of values, giving us something in which to rely to achieve the best outcome we can while feeling good about It. Things, such as giving to others, specially to the ones who need It, being there for our loved ones in the bad moments and to avoid self-destructive paths are part of what religions usually preach for us to be the best version of ourselves and give a good example to the next generations.
Sense of belonging
I know that we have been repeated too much from a different array of mediums that being different is okay and that being a lone wolf is better than having fake friends (Which is true). However, we all want to belong to a group, something that's also rooted in our brain since our birth as humans, going back to our past as cavemen, in which being expelled from our tribes mean the absolute certainty of death. This is where taking an active role in religions can prove handy, as It provides us with a group of people which to share experiences with and potentially make valuable friends, giving us the fulfillment of having more valuable people in your life.
I want to make clear that I'm not saying that religion is the best or the worst, that you should or that you shouldn't believe, that people who believe in a god or gods are better than those who don't do or viceversa, though what I'm really trying to share with you are the benefits that religion brings to those who practice It in a more or less objective manner, highlighting why so many might not believe in It and the reason for why religion exists in the first place, all so you you can take a look of your judgement with regards to your spirituality and consider If It is the best choice or not. Thank you for your support and good luck!