Discussion by: petermead1
I used to think that religion was generally an unecessary and sometimes harmful thing to individuals and society as a whole. I used to think that the world would generally be better off with an absence of superstitions. Recently, I have begun to seriously question that notion. After a conversation about religion with a friend who was a believer, I begun to speculate on whether atheism would truly be beneficial to society or not because of the implications about death and purpose in life. When you lack belief in a soul like myself, death is finale. There is no afterlife. Without belief in a god, there is no "ultimate" purpose in life. One must develop one's own meaning and purpose in life. It is not simply granted to you from a holy book. To me, this is not troublesome. In fact, I find it exciting and liberating in many ways. There are occasions where I fear the uncertainty that is death, but I know that this fear is irrational because there is literally nothing to fear. Death is not an experience. It is the absence of experience. Therefore, there is no experience to be afraid of. However, I know that for many individuals, this entire idea is simply psychologically unacceptable. Many cannot tolerate the idea that life is finite, that they will never see deceased loved ones again or that the universe ultimately has no meaning or purpose. For some, religion may be necessary to maintain good mental health. Could I be wrong? Are there any studies that may have been done on such a topic?