On a recent visit to Oxford, England I observed magnificent buildings and beautiful architectures. Many of these buildings were churches or college buildings that resembled the churches they are connected with. After all you do not seem to escape theology in Oxford. That made me ponder the role of religion in human psyche. Is religion to guide us on how to live our lives or is it a coping mechanism to deal with death? Or is it an expression of our longing to immortality?
If a gazelle is being chased by a lion it will run hard and fast, either it escapes or the lion catches up with her. When the lion catches up with her, you can see on her face the acceptance of fate. After all lions eat gazelles like gazelles eat grass like grass eats earth and sun. Facts of life, the natural order of things.
If a lion chases a human, we will run, then hide, then find a way of creating a weapon to come back at the lion. But we still have not chased death away. So we build a house to protect us from nature in life, then we build a house to protect us from being forgotten in death.
Religion’s primary role, in my opinion, is to enable the living to cope with the human condition of mortality. It allows us to do so by making our life and death appear meaningful with higher purpose. Some becomes so desperate to believe it to be true, they decree all others to be false. Ironically, death is still death and the questions of now and after remain unanswered.