To What Extent is Religion Essential to Society? Essay

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As religion heads closer to extinction, shown by the steady global increase of those claiming no religious affiliation (Palmer; Abrams), the question of whether religion is crucial to a harmonious and progressive civilization is posed. With the implementation of basic human rights, the necessity of religion to be the basis of a moral code becomes ever redundant. Low prevalence of atheism correlates with nations that are categorized by low degrees of social and economic security. Conversely, strong correlations between lack of religion and prosperity have (The Atheist Scholar). Thus, prosperous nations are becoming increasingly secular based on the driver of prosperity and away from faith-based norms. Religion’s dominant
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Morality is a product of efficient communal living, thus its concept is subjected to cultural influences, which provoke profound changes as society progresses. Arguments stating that religion is essential to society as it is the basis of these moral standards become redundant upon reflection; history is replete with the repudiation of morality even after the establishment of the Christian doctrine for example. A steep rise in the number of laws has been seen recently, as modes of religious control to pacify populations become redundant (Prynne). Advances in science, a more intrusive legal system, and human rights laws have become the basic standard of public amenity for educated modern man.

The USA’s first amendment states religious freedom is a right, but stresses the importance of separation of church and state, causing conflicting opinions regarding the essentiality of religion. With 75% of the population regarding themselves as Christian (See Table 1), only 9% state that religion is the most important thing in their life versus 62% saying money, career and family are paramount (Boundless). While atheists make upward of 15 percent of the U.S. population (Werleman), the US Bureau of prisons revealed that in 2013 they only made up 0.2 percent of the prison population as opposed to 99% being religious in some form (See Table 1); this

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