The search for truth replenishes my hope.
Hope is the fuel that drives our souls to greatness. Without it, there is but despair, decay and decline.
Religion produces hope.
Truth is the mountain we climb to achieve that greatness.
Without it, our journey is but a fantasy without
substance... our hopes wasted and false.
Science produces truth.
Is the search for truths a threat to our hopes... or the realization of them?
Understanding creates a truth that will always either confirm, alter or obsolete the hopes and the truths we believe in.
Religion is necessary to societal growth. Like adolescence however, its lessons are but preparation for reaching maturity.
The Age of Societal Childhood was primitive Man before the concept of spirits or gods. His view of the world was purely that of the real: able to reason far better than other creatures but not yet able to imagine.
The Age of Societal Adolescence began with imagination. When Man matured enough to imagine that which he could not see, hear, touch or smell, he could then envision a greater power in control -- a supernatural power to which he could appeal for relief from calamity. If not that, then at least his fears might be somewhat assuage by the knowledge that all things happened for a reason that he could not understand but would ultimately prove to be "what was best". Thus fate, intelligent forces of nature, spirits of the dead, gods and other beliefs arose to restore hopes dashed by tragic and unexplainable events like death and destruction.
The Age of Societal Maturity lies within our grasp. The last century saw astronomical achievements in understanding our world and the universe it inhabits. Achievements that would not have been possible without the truths and hopes they supplanted. For these achievements to be of benefit however, for them to grow our society into maturity, they must be embraced, built upon and refined. They must not be denied. Growing up is an exciting journey full of unknown risks and surprising rewards. Growing up can also be frightening. It now appears that our ability to reason and exercise good judgement has not grown as fast as our ability to create new technology. Perhaps that's a benefit. History has proven that progress, enlightenment, even the rise of religions, have always depended on people ignoring or discounting risks. Holding on too tightly to the past leaves no hand free to reach for the future.
The Age of Societal Sagacity, like self-actualization to the secular man or holiness to the Christian, is the nirvana for which a society strives. It is far in the future. When society can view the universe and all it contains with wisdom, compassion and appreciation for its infinite diversity, then will we not have grown into beings that embody the greatest ideals of all of our beliefs?
Would Man destroy himself without being restrained by a belief in something more powerful than he could ever aspire to be?