Religion might be considered passe in the Cyber Age. Some have always looked upon religion as an opiate for the people, something to assuage fear of the unknown, or a set of superstitions not based on reality or solid scientific fact. In this Cyber Age when we reach for the outer edges of the Universe with our telescopes and rocket ships, we have a sense of the power of our intellects and the extent of our accomplishments. Humanity has progressed from cavemen to space explorers in a few thousand years. The shackles of religious fetters can be thrown off as we flex our mind and muscles, especially now with the aid of the computer as an expander of our mental capability. And yet, as we discover more and more about ourselves and the Universe, we come up with even more questions as to who we are, what we are, and why we are.
We all have bodies that function and minds that direct our bodies, store our memories, and somehow or other direct our conscious activity, especially our thinking and consciousness. As Shakespeare so eloquently phrased it in his play, “Hamlet”, the phrase “ay, there’s the rub” says it all. What is consciousness, and what is the process of thinking? How do we formulate the words that express an idea? How do we create music? How did Einstein come to conceive of Relativity? How did Michelangelo conceive of the design of his works? In short, how do we think? Stop for a moment and ponder that simple question, and some associated questions. How do we think? Where do we think? In fact, with the process of thinking, don’t we also infer that we have a free will? If we had no free will, then we would not be able to think freely, and many of the great philosophic propositions accepted today would never have been possible.
The ability to think, and the manner in which we think freely without boundaries of any kind makes us unique. This is the separation between the human and the animal. Lions, for example, can think, but do not have the spark of intuition that is common with people. If Lions did, then they would come together and take over the world. The same is true for all animals. Only the human can make arrangements and alliances, and make them work. They have the free will, the intellect, and the reasoning ability to select the best course of action. Such a course of action may be contrary to the pangs of hunger they might have. Would a Lion stop a feeding session to admire the sunset? Would you? Quite probably!
What has that got to do with religion in the Cyber Age? Simple. The more we learn about the Universe, the more we realize it could not come from nothing. We come to realize more and more the need for the concept of a creative force. While the Universe, and the creatures in it may have evolved over time, there was still a starting point. Even the atheist will admit to the concept of a “Big Bang” as the origination of the Universe from a single point. But, but, but – how did that mass that expanded, and is still expanding, come to be? Where did it come from? Scientifically we know energy creates mass, and energy is created from mass, but neither is created from nothing. So how did the mass or energy at the Big Bang come to be there? “Ay, there’s the rub!” So, even in this advanced era of technology, the Cyber Age, we find more and more that Religion is not an opiate, but a reality. You can bet your soul on it.