I absolutely believe that religion is more than relevant in modern western society. In this day and age, with all the wars, poverty, economic failure, disease & natural disasters, people not only need but want something to believe in that is better than the hell we live with on earth. Imagine if the majority of people believed in nothing after death. No consequences for our actions and nothing to believe in.
I think that religion helps people evaluate how their lives are guided. I think that it is important to help establish morals and help people focus on determining how to live their lives.
Religion is and always will be the most important cause of all world conflicts. It is the main reason for the Middle East conflicts as well as the Muslim worlds assault on western civilization. Most religious leaders and therefore, believers are too zealous and unbending in their beliefs. Compromise and do what is right regardless of what your religion says.
If the greater percentage of people in the modern western society identify themselves as members of a religious faith then that society is still religious. I have yet to be shown a survey that says more people identify themselves as non-religious then the total number of people identifying themselves with any of the major religions. Its not even a debate really, just basic mathematics. A country's government is elected by a majority, the culture of society is also. Just because a few strangely angry people don't like religion doesn't mean its not relevant. If we didn't have religion then what would the angry, anti-religious, its the biggest evil in the world ever, I don't believe in fairy tales (and other nonsense) spouting crowd have to moan and whine about? Heaven forbid they might have to look at their own lives and maybe realize how little they actual contribute to the world.
We, as human beings have morality that extends beyond what is outlined within religious doctrine. There is a much larger number of people who identify themselves as atheist. Technology has certainly replaced spirituality in many aspects of daily life. But regardless of what any person believes religion will be relevant as long as religion is practiced, that's all.
There's no denying that atheism and agnosticism have gained a lot more popularity in modern western society, while religion has been gradually losing popularity. But, the fact is that there are still plenty of people who identify themselves as Christians. Many political figures, for example, claim Christianity as their faith. People don't tend to lead their lives by the rules laid out in religious texts. But, as long as such a large number of people believe in ascension to heaven and such, religion will remain relevant to society.
Christianity being a communal faith requires that consense be met when talking about the most practical matters. While Christians can dispute specific doctrines the decision by the global Christian community to see each life as having intrinsic value has let western culture's belief in human rights. No other study but religion could produce such advancement in society, and keep such advancement moving forward. With the loss of religion we would loose one of the basic societal community formats which reach individuals to keep evolving their intellect. I explain why religion does this (I am not a "science basher" so don't freak out about my title. it is meant to be provocative) here: http://www.exegeticalstruggles.com/2011/08/religion-is-better-than-science-why.html
Though I do not believe that religions in western society have the power that they once did, I do believe that many people are still committed to the basic ideas and principles of their religions. This is why a political candidate's religious affiliations and beliefs can still strongly affect a vote.
As society and technology develops there is an unseen danger that many fail to consider. We may at one point find that what it means to be human in a physical sense is suddenly irrelevant. Losing that would be disastrous. Religion however allows humans to connect to a spiritual side of things, and regain a sense of being human.
There are many people who are still devout Christians and Jews. Even if you aren't following the rules, most people believe in some sort of religion and use it as their morality basis. Religion is also relevant in a way of discrimination too. Many are prejudiced towards other religions and races.
There has never been one shred of proof of "Supernatural" beings. Religion is a result of fear of death, the END of all things. Ok, even I don't like it but, it is medically, scientifically impossible for these biblical events to ever happen. But mean Human's so often delight in fooling and robbing the poor and uneducated. History is my 'Proof', What is your's? Superstition?.... We live, then we die, the end.
You don't need to follow a made up text and believe in nonsense to do secular things that benefit everyone.
There is nothing that religion does that benefits human society, because it forces you into close-mindedness.
Evolution is a good example, all the evidence points to the fact that we evolved from a common ancestor but if you believe in any religion you cannot accept that even though the evidence is overwhelming!
There is no denying that some of the morals religion preaches are correct. However for the past 2000 years science has been making discoveries and all religion has done is censor them. For example if you argued against the earth being at the center of the universe you got burnt as a heretic yet we know now that we are not in the center of the earth. Same story with the flt earth theory just imagine how much further we would have progressed if religion wasn't there slowing us down with its stupid out dated and down right ignorant teachings. Homosexuality is frowned upon in most religions yet the god they so quickly defend and worship gave the human race freewill so who are they to judge what other people do with their life. Religion in general is the most hypocritical and down right stupid ideal left in today's society. It has caused more wars and bloodshed in the world than any other reason yet these people claim to love everyone and be tolerant to others... (look at the middle east for a perfect example) We shouldn't stop people from believing in God I mean hey I had an imaginary friend when I was 4. We should just remove these dangerous people from any position of power.
That sounds contradictory but let me explain. The planet we inhabit is on the edge of a mediocre galaxy in a mediocre location in the Universe. There's no hot property nearby except for our planet. If there was indeed a God, and we are indeed created in his image, why aren't we at the centre of the Universe with his bounty in our hands, living in a world without famine and child rape? Why are we not there? Jesus supposedly came down to save us, but it's all been downhill since then. At least in the Old Testament God was proactive. These days he's all quiet. Like really? How does a God who supposedly loves us just let his own creation slide down a path where we have men humping his own cattle? Bringing it back to my original headline, religion isn't vital in society. It raises more questions and every one of them is met with a simple 'Jesus is my Saviour and I trust in Him and I want to spend my eternity by His side'. Am I wrong in needing more than that to make one of the biggest decisions in my life? I am certainly not going to raise my kids in a religion. That doesn't mean they're going to end up as drug-peddling homosexuals who draw Pentagrams on their Crowley books. I'm an Atheist, raised as a Hindu. I see no problems in my life. I have a wonderful wife, a great job and great friends. Sure, I've battled with the fear all my life that if there is a God, I'm going to end up polishing Satan's knob. We all have. But if I do end up doing that, I'll know I was happy on Earth.
We no longer need Religion to function as a human race, we have Scientist creating life, Genesis 1:26-27 , That is supposed to be something only god can do, but we are working towards it everyday, Religion today is so out of dated that one cannot follow the bible truly with out basically becoming an Amish
Religion has played a vital role throughout the world's history, however that being in the times of people being scientifically inept. Religion is no longer needed because people are more and more realising that science is what holds the key to figuring the world, relieving religion of its duty as a form of explanation on things such as the origin of the Earth or how man came to be. One might argue of religion's significance in people finding meaning in life, consolation with the death of loved ones, hope to go to heaven when they die etc. But I believe that people are ever so more realising that these attachments to religion are only secondary to the truth behind it and no evidence to support it would obviously not persuade anyone to believe in it.
There is no single reason that has killed the most people for any one reason than religion. Tradition and dogma have drawn invisible lines difference between people. It is those differences that we go beyond what anyone should do and begin to hate what we fail to understand. It is for this reason, that religion should not be relevant in modern western society. There isn't much that we've held on to since the bronze age other than religion.
Without doubt, the majority of people reading this would oppose conflict caused by oil, land and wealth, yet apparently 78% of members are perfectly happy to overlook conflict caused by religious differences (past or present). Why are the pointless deaths of millions perfectly acceptable in this instance? We are taught about WWII and Vietnam in schools, yet the Crusades, Northern Ireland and the Spanish Inquisition are often overlooked. What makes the deaths of those involved in these conflicts less important than the deaths of civilians in Vietnam? War, whatever the cause, only destroys, it doesn't create anything...
Organized religion is about believing in what others tell you to believe and doing what others tell you to do. This comes into conflict when so many different religions exist at the same time, all with their own sects vying for your belief. You can have good moral values taught to your children without religion, and you can have faith in something without a church or book telling you what to believe. There is a place for spiritualism in modern society, but there is no place for organized religion.
I think that in western society with the rise of science, the fall of religion began. New inventions and discoveries in science are proving more and more of religious thoughts wrong. Maximum number of people in western society have either turned atheists or are on the verge of it. Also in this fast moving world people have no time for themselves, so how will they get time for god?