“The Root of All Evil?, later retitled The God Delusion, is a television documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins in which he argues that humanity would be better off without religion or belief in God.”
This is the statement I cannot agree. I think Mr Dawkins is either blinded by some beliefs or knowingly trying to tell us untrue. I’m not going to debate about existing of God here. I will argue though that religion is advantageous strategy of survival and reproduction in the case of our species. Both in personal case as in general population.
Briefly, with religion is kind of similar as with war. War, apart from all the bad things (deaths, destroy and so on), gave us modern technology and trigger to faster civilisation growth. Of course, in theory all of this could be achieve in other ways and probably faster and more efficient, but the practice and history tell us that such a thing rarely happen. War ultimately force the world to human growth.
Religion is working in kind of that way, although have got much more advantages and less disadvantages than war.
In the case of single person, religion gives you feeling of belonging to bigger group of people. You can relate to them, know their way of thinking and actions without even personally knowing the people. If you have risen in the same culture with the same religion, you have vast amount of knowledge about the people with the same religion, which ultimately gives you advantage in your interpersonal life. Moreover, people are eager to help other much more if they are in the same group. Take Jews for example. For hundreds of years they are living in diaspora. As a group, they were destined to extinct from the face of earth, just because of their geographical isolation. But that has never happen. There is one thing that allow them to live in group despite of every barrier, and this is religion. And this translate to highly advantages position in order to have evolutionary success. Imagine a situation – there are two young people, both 18 years old in tle last decade of 19th century, just arrived in America from Europe. They are identical, same skills and perspectives, don’t know anyone in the country, but one of them is Jew, and the other is not. How difference would it make for their future life? The Jew would probably contact with the local Jew society, where they would instantly help him with starting his new life. That’s partially because they already “knew” who he is. By knowing his religion, they can relate to him, rely on him, trust him. That is why he as a person have much more evolutionary advantage comparing to the other guy. But the example of Judaism is the most obvious one, and the similar mechanism exist across all the other.
On the other hand religion is also beneficial for the group success. At least for past, modern and likely next 100 years or longer. That’s because we as a society aren’t developed enough to be able to loose it. It’s sad to admit that most of people are just dumb, and the intellectual elite is not big enough to compensate this. And sadly, the perspectives on future aren’t look good, due to modern “make you stupid” machines such as mass media, television and so on. The problem is that nowadays it is much easier for stupid people or impostors to reach vast amount of people and spread their stupidity.
Moreover, religion is powerful tool for country leaders in order to invade and take over control of other countries, either by force or by overpopulating them. This is simple evolutionary beneficial strategy to spread your own genes.
In summary, Mr Dawkins took it all wrong. If he would be able to see it clearly, religion is a powerful force in order to win a competition in people evolutionary race.