I don’t think that following a religion is a bad thing, that it should be reprimanded, nor do I claim that there are no higher spiritual beings. Religion is a very important pillar of culture and civilization, a fundamental part of mankind’s history. It provides an explanation for things there used to be no clear explanation for before, and while I don’t think that this function of it is as relevant in this age and day when science is capable of explaining phenomenon without involving divine beings (and please note that William of Ockham, the man who’s famous for stating that all theories should be kept as simple as possible, was a Christian monk), I also think that religion can and does provide moral guidelines and a spiritual respite, something that science can not and is not supposed to do.
Most religions provide people with some idea of what the world is, where we come from and what happens when we die – questions that everyone faces. In my opinion, religions of the modern day should focus on providing people with what only they can give: a solid moral foothold and a spiritual haven, instead of tilting at the windmills of science.
Science has a huge advantage on religion in this battle of describing the world, because science can adapt. Religious doctrines don’t change – you can’t rewrite the Bible or the Q’ran because of a new discovery. Science not only can change, but does so continuously as it expands every day, deepening our understanding of the world’s workings.
On the other hand, science runs into problems when it faces ethics. There is no “good” or “bad” in science. There is true and false, there is valid and invalid – but not good or bad. Providing that moral standard of good or bad is something that religions should do.
Science also can’t help you when you ponder on the question of death, or when you’re in grief because of some tragedy. Religious reassurance can help in those times, while all science can do is give you drugs – and even those don’t really help you cope with the problem, just numb the suffering.
Religion should focus on what religion does best.