Is religion merely an attempt to alleviate mankind's fear of death?

Asked by: mikesight
  • Ask yourself: why do I believe in a religion?

    The answer by many-- as I can already see-- will be that their faith gives a reassurance that they aren't going to die. But even blind freddy could see that the mere action of getting that reassurance is out of fear, hence, religion is merely an attempt to alleviate mankind's fear of death. Human beings in general fear what they don't understand or know, and death is a grey area; all we see is that our physical bodies, when we die, are rotting in the ground.

  • A Species's answer to a problem

    The idea that there is a fate after death is the reason why mankind made religion. The idea that we can be punished for things we do after death, and that every person has a role in a plan made by a God, is the reason why humans invented religion. To prevent people from being purely selfish, and to work together, religion was invented.

  • Religion gives people hope of life after death.

    The idea that "this is it" and if you don't make the most of your life now there is not other chance for a person to do that, scares most people. Just like the idea of forever or that we are alone in the universe, this is why religion still plays such a huge role in society despite our advances in technology and science.
    Fear is one of the strongest emotions that can be felt and then acted upon. Which forces people into believing in these religions that make people give them all of their money just to offer them the confute of life after death.

    This is the fundamental purpose of majority of the religions available to society. Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma and that if you worship and doing good in this life you will become some kid of God IE offering life after death. The Christians believe if you are good and worship in this life you will go to heaven again life after death. The list continues.

  • Root of a religion.

    Most people are afraid of what they don't know. One of the biggest mysteries is our own death and afterlife. Religion is used to make us feel comfortable and have some sort of social protection. The very basis of religion suggest us their moral scale, what is right and what is wrong. People who don't follow will be punished after death. So if followers of their respective religion "do what is right" they can ease their fear of death.

  • Man made religion

    Man made religion to satisfies his queries like death and world,to give some logical explanation and to keep us confined within boundaries of our own society.Almost all religion teaches life after death so as to alleviate fear of death maintain order in the society. They will do good deeds only to have a comfortable life ater death or in their next life.

  • What are we when we die?

    Ethical and moral dilemmas are a part of life in all people, young and old "good and evil". While religions
    can and do instill a "code of behaviour" I do not believe that a religion is necessary for that. I feel the
    "bottom line" of any religion is to somehow make people comfortable (or uncomfortable) with dying.
    Death is the greatest of unknowns for us all and of course is inevitable. But is death a destination, as
    religion seems to suggest, or merely a transformation?

  • Is religion just based on fear of death

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  • Is religion just based on fear of death

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  • Is religion just based on fear of death

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  • Is religion just based on fear of death

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  • Not if you listen to most religions...

    If you listen to most religions, especially older ones... You'd know this is far from true.

    Most religions do not portray death in a fun way. Take ancient Greek and Roman mythology... When you died, you didn't go to heaven... You quite literally went to their version of hell. Many religions are like that. Especially the founding religions.

  • You have to consider the vast majority of religions.

    Many religions don't believe in an afterlife while some were created just to get people to be obedient. Their are numerous reasons for the creation of each religion, there is even a religion created to mock religions. We can't just bunch them all together with one assumption. We have to look at all of them.

  • Maybe to some extent, but not entirely

    Most religions speak of death as a transition to a better place where you will receive rewards based on what you have accomplished on earth. So, religion is actually an attempt to persuade us to live our lives prudently rather then recklessly.

    Moreover, most religions do propose a place after death and promise that you will find peace and joy there. And honestly why shouldn't they? Religion offers hope to a hopeless world were you know your fate will always end with death, no matter which path you take. Ultimately religion doesn't alleviate mankind's fear of death, rather it puts how we live into perspective.

  • That's only part of it

    Part of religion exists to alleviate mankind's fear of death. But in all religions there are more angles to it then "where do you go after you die?" There's the culture, the worship, sometimes the language, and, most importantly, a structure for moral guidance. So yes, part of religion is meant to alleviate the fear of death, but religion doesn't exist solely for that purpose. It's just one part of a whole.

  • It is in part, at least.

    However, the word "merely" is used, and for this reason I cannot agree. Religion is so much more than "merely a fear of death." I fail to see how anyone can see it as such, especially with the broad definitions of religion and varying degrees of meaning. I say no.

  • Its kind of half and half

    Some view religion in the most negative way. Granted, Im sure they have their reasons, but still, it would be better if we learned to accept other people's beliefs as a part of their own life. Now, Religion for me gives me strength. I fear no death, maybe unnatural death, but if I was to grow old and die, I would be okay with it, even if I was not religious, because I know I would have lived a good life, and thats all that matters at that point.

    Posted by: O.Z
  • The experience of religion

    People join or keep to their religion because of the experience of community, solidarity and of helping others. It is not dogma but the community of strangers that help and rely on each other thru adversity that give people hope.

    Social bonding towards noble goals is what makes people religious (and studies support these).
    In fact, same studies show that one can be religious even outside of Religion except that it is the latter that proactively seeks it thru its work in the community.

    Real religion has little to do with fear of death.
    It is about meaning of life and relationship with others - having faith in people as much as having faith in God.

    This is unfortunately rare in American society that has been dominated by evangelicals who appeal to personal elitist moral prescriptions.

    Posted by: DT
  • To some people, yes. To others, no.

    I believe some people get in to religion as an attempt to alleviate any sort of fear they might be feeling about our inevitable deaths. For some people, religion is a comfort mechanism. A thing they go to to be reminded that things are going to be okay when we die. We'll just go to heaven and all the bad people will go to hell, it'll be great! Okay, not all religions are like that. But let's take Christianity as an example. What could be better than going to live up in the sky with all the other good folk who've been forgiven for their sins, whilst the bad guys rot in the fiery depths of hell? Sounds pretty good to me. But just because some people believe that, doesn't mean all religious people do. Religion is all about having faith, which is believing in something or someone without proof. Not necessarily as a way to escape the idea of our deaths, although for many people that is the case. I think it's all about the reason the individual is following a certain religion.

  • In today's world, yes.

    But if the question is in the sense of if religion was created to alleviate fear of death, then probably not. Religion was more than likely an attempt to explain natural occurrences like storms, earthquakes, sunrise/sunset, etc. But in today's world, in a world where we can explain all those things, most theists will say that it provides them with comfort and reassurance.

  • Merely? No. Partial? Yes.

    I'm going to have to go with no, but it's not a simple question to answer. Religion does attempt to ease peoples' fears of death, but that's not it's only agenda. I understand our need to speculate on the subject of death, it's a subject that we don't know everything about and may never know. My problem with religion's claims on the afterlife is that they use this dogma as a tool of control over people who are susceptible to fears of death. Death is something that we will all go through at some time, and some people get sucked into false ideas of a burning hell, angelic heaven, reincarnation or being gods. I think it would be beneficial to keep on searching for answers, but not to rely on ancient, superstitious, outdated texts and traditions for answers on the afterlife.

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AnonyFeline says2013-08-15T08:23:53.587
It is definitely the most applicable reason to practice today, but it was originally utilized as a means to promote social order and preserve knowledge.