Can we say the Present Contemporary Society is indeed Secular?
Many atheists are saying that the secular world is becoming less religious due to massive succeed and improvement in human life. But is it true? Is the world indeed less religious?
Karl Marx once predict that religion will die in an unforeseeable future, according to Karl Marx “ religion is an illusion that provides reasons and excuses to keep society functioning just as it is, much as capitalism takes our productive labor and alienates us from its value, religion takes our highest ideals and aspiration and projecting them onto an alien and unknowable being call a God.”
He argues that religion is meant to create illusory fantasies for the poor. Economic realities prevent them from finding true happiness in this life, so religion tells them this is OK, because they will find true happiness in the next life. Just as people who are physically injured receive relief from opiate based drugs, the problem is that opiate fail to fix a physical injury. You only forgot your pains and suffering similarly religion does not fix the underlying causes of people’s pain and suffering and cause them to look forward to an imaginary future when the pain will cease instead of working to change circumstances now.
Karl Marx then predicts the death of religion, he argues that since religion is constructed by man, it is dated; if it is dated it can die. He predicted that in a time, in the revolutionary history of man, religion will fade away, when religion fade away man will be free, he will be fully conscious of his own possibilities, he will be free from idolatry and will no longer worship what he created with his own hand.
Now, if will take a critical review of our contemporary society, we will see that Karl Marx prediction is far from becoming a reality. Religion is far from dead, it is still alive and kicking despite the improvement in human condition. It seems Karl Marx prediction is only a dream and atheist assumption that religion is decreasing in our contemporary world is a blind assumption. In fact much of the western world cannot be regard as secular. Hinduism, remains vibrant in India and Buddhism continue to flourish in much of the west of Asia despite their economic progress. Also there is resurgence of Islam in much of the world; we have seen the raise of Islamic fundamentalism which continues to threat the peace of civilization. Africa is also awash with religious belief as there is incredible growth of Christianity in Africa and part of Asia, all this show that secularization is hardly inevitable. The world as a whole remains rigorously religion, there is little doubt that the intelligentsia in the west particularly in Europe is far from being secular. Religion is a monster that continues to dominate the human consciousness and shape how people think, its influence can be seen in social and political life of humanity, it has driven people crazy.
Now the question is why is religion gaining attention of people mind? What drive people to religion? We see a lot of people going to Mecca and Israel for holy pilgrimage and they troop there in thousands, atheists as blame religion for most of the world problem, they seem to see religion as poisonous, to most atheist religion poison everything. Why is religion making influence in our secular world despite improvement in human condition? It seems it is not economic oppression that drives people to religion and Karl Marx might be wrong in his assumption on religion.
The search for something permanent is one of the deepest of instincts leading men to religion. Religion seeks permanence in two things God and immortality.
The fear of the unknown, the fear of nothingness, the emptiness in our being, the desire for continue existence after death and the longing for eternal life as make religion a safe haven for many.
The question remain is a world without religion still possible in the unforeseen future? Can man do without religion?