Why Do We Need A Religion
Even the most uncompromising atheist believes that truthfulness is better than lying, right? The most uncompromising atheist believes that faithfulness is better than betrayal, right? These terms are not from this world, and the material world does not substantiate their conceptualization or their requisite. What does truthfulness mean, and what does lying mean?
If we analyze the depth of the atoms, will we be able to monitor concepts like truthfulness or lying? If we observe the physics of the galaxies or the chemistry of the hormones, will we be able to observe faithfulness or betrayal? Hence, these concepts are not from this material world. Yet they are real concepts as a matter of fact. They are the most important things in existence!
We all know people that don’t subscribe to a religion or our religion yet seem to be incredibly kind and upright human beings. So how do we make sense of this? Well, it’s pretty simple. Because God created us as inherently pure in our nature, which means we are inclined to good, and it feels good for us to do good. That is why you can find people that don’t subscribe to a religion that engages in good lives. They are people that have retained that purity or a degree of it. But if it’s naturally there, then why religion? Why prophets? I’ll give you six reasons.
Identifying the value of Man
The value of Man is measured by his manners, not his material size or the number of his atoms, or the level of energy in his cells. The value of a man is recognized by how deeply he complies with the divine obligations within himself. There is a good man and an evil man, but there is no good mountain and evil mountain, there is no faithful planet and the unfaithful planet. It is the only man who can uphold values, purpose, and meaning. It is the only man who can perceive existence.
Morals are not the result of the brain or the society
The brain is made up of the very same material components, no matter how complex the brain is, no matter how complex its material components, the sum of all zeros will always be a zero, no matter how many zeros we add. Since matter knows no good or evil, the brain as well knows no good or evil.
Hence, the question that poses itself is: How did the concepts of good and evil settle in the brain? What prevents the brain from annihilating the whole earth and everything that lives on it? Why can’t the brain think of placing the weakest of mankind in animal cages? Why can’t the brain get rid of all the sick and handicapped so as to leave only the highly efficient like the Nazi's project “Aktion T4” ?
The material brain does not know if any of the above actions are good or bad because the brain is completely indifferent when it comes to morals since it is made from the very same atoms of the Earth . There is no connection, near or far, between morals and the brain.
As for the notion that says that societies could be the origin of morality. This idea is so strange because morals are subjective and they concern Man as a Man, not society as a society. If any of this was true and morals have originated from the society, the Nazis would have been right in disposing of all others, since this is what the society would want.
Hence, morals are separated from society, and both the good and the bad societies know what righteousness is and what evil-doing is. Consequently, morals are far beyond the brain and society. Religion is the only thing that gives a rationalization for manners, the only thing that gives morals their distinctive character. Morals can only be perceived within the framework of divine accountability.
Knowing the true meaning of Life
Religion is the only vivacious entity in the whole existence since it is the only guidance we have to the purpose of existence. Through religion, we know why we are here, what follows death, what existence means, and what is needed from us. Without religion, the universe will regress to total blindness and nihilism.
“This whole world is pitch black and damned except for where the sun of the revelation shone” (Ibn Taymiyah)
Without divine revelation, we would not know the purpose of existence, the meaning of goodness, or its value. Without divine revelation, the whole world would be reduced to nothing but a scary frivolity. Without revelation, we would have just been “star-stuff” as Carl Sagan says , or “an insect” as Sartre says . Prophethood is the only pulse of existence and without it, the best intentions and the most ecstatic desires would have been real terror. Without religion, the whole world is a big waste.
Identifying good in the fullest sense
Identifying the good in the fullest sense is not possible without God. You see, human beings are pure in nature, but that does not mean they know the details of good, the ultimate good, and to balance between competing values that are all good. Even the sharpest minds in human history, moral philosophers, for instance, have failed to agree on what is the ultimate balanced good for all of humanity. Even people that you know, all consider themselves morally upright people seeking what is right. But they debate all the time, the moral debates rage on.
So, without God telling us through the prophets where good lies, it is impossible for us on our own as human beings to fully identify good without blind spots, without perverted perceptions, and without social conditioning. On their own, people, even with good intentions, could choose to live by certain principles in their lives that they assume are good, but then there’s a blind spot, there’s something they don’t notice, and it stays hidden, kind of like cancer that only surfaces when it’s too late to repair it. So, God protects us through the prophets from all of that.
Certain virtues, like justice and compassion, are independently praiseworthy, meaning they can invite divine blessings, blessings from God into your life. But in order to be fully good -good in the fullest sense of the word, in the eyes of God, in terms of salvation- a person needs to give credit to God, even though he doesn’t need it.
Giving credit to God for enabling us to do good, who gave you your mind, who gave you the wealth by which you are charitable, who gave you the heart by which you are compassionate, all of this came from him. So, unless you submit to him and concede to him on his terms, then you’ve, in a sense, stolen that good and refused to attribute it to its rightful source, and that is plagiarism.
When someone invents something or brings the world some sort of cutting-edge research, we are also impressed by it. But if we find out that he stole it from someone else’s works without giving them due credit, we don’t see this as admirable anymore, we see this as condemnable, prosecutable. Likewise, we as human beings, only by following the path shown to us by the prophets, can we have a relationship with God and proper reverence for God that would qualify our goodness in the fullest sense of the word.
Being good to yourself
Why should I believe in a Prophet? Why do I need to follow a religion? Why isn’t it enough to just be a good decent human being? There are so many rewordings of this very same question that echoed at every turn in our times, that’s why I want to engage this prevalent line of thinking head-on. So, is it enough to just be a good person?
Yes, it feels good to treat people good, but without having a meaningful connection with God, even those who treat others good and find some sort of satisfaction through that, these same people find a void inside of them because they are not fulfilling the purpose for which they were created.
From the highest SEER universities, you can find study after study about the shallow life satisfaction of people that without God live a life that is empty. That is because our highest purpose is not in finding happiness or even admitting happiness to others, it is to serve the one true God. That is how we are created. That’s how our programming functions.
Yes, serving people can be a part of serving God, but it can never replace it. Nothing pleases human beings like pleasing their creator and knowing that he is pleased with them. But that is not possible without knowing the system that that creator inspired his prophets to bring to us.
If you ask any atheist this existential question: Why are we here in this life? What will happen to us after we die? He will either resort to sophistry or he will stay silent. Hence, religion is a natural requirement when it comes to perceiving moral values, realizing the meaning of existence, or answering the existential question of Who created this whole existence? Who created Man? What is the purpose of our existence and the wisdom from actions or beings?
“There is no pathway to happiness or wellbeing in this life or the afterlife except that which is pointed to us by the prophets. There is no way to distinguish the good from the bad in details except through them. The satisfaction of the creator can never be attained except at their hands; Their guidance and way of living is our only herald to good morals, deeds and words.” (Ibn Al Qayyim)
I’m always open to any ideas and perspectives, so feel free to leave your opinion in the comments.
- T4 Program, also called T4 Euthanasia Program, Nazi German effort — framed as a euthanasia program — to kill incurably ill, physically or mentally disabled, emotionally distraught, and elderly people.