Religion is man's attempt to to 'be special" and not just the result of evolutionary "process". Human beings have always attempted to "set themsevles apart" for some "special purpose".
The human need to "be special" could come from many factors, but we all need to be valued in one way or another, unless life itself is devalued by one's culture. What "inspired" people to create a "more meaningful experience" than barbarianism? Some would want to believe that is is because of "god".
"God" has been useful to create meaning to life, give priority of value, and bring about an 'order'. But, these functons of "god" have been based on different authorial sources. The Calvinist based his understanding on supernaturalism or revelatory texts, while the naturalist, liberal, or Catholic bases his understanding on natural law, order and structure, which is based on reason.
The Founders understood man's need for order and structure, but also understood the need for a freedom to express diversity. Diversity or difference is not applauded in caste, or aristocratic systems of government, as these are controlled by the "ruling elite", where change itself is understood in negative ways. Change can happen in a democracy or representative republic by the people's vote, lobbyist, courts, and public dissent through the press, or demonstration.
Religion does not value the individual for the most part, as it affirms conformity, and is threatened by dissent, and questions. Religion, in this sense, is an aristocracy, whether one believes that "God" rules, the cleric/priest, the text, or the congregation. An individual is at the whim of whatever "authority is affirmed".
Gen Eds LC1: World Language and Culture Overview
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