The Basis Of Religion


The Basis Of Religion Essay, Research Paper

In the novel “Brave New World” civilized society lives in a world of science and

technology. Major changes have occurred during the future; Utopia now revolves a religion of

drugs and sex. God and the cross have been replaced by Ford and the symbol T, the founder of the

age of machines. Instead of Sunday church, members now attend solidarity services where

morals and tradition are not learned, but rather faith is taught in the belief of hallucinations

produced by a substance known as “soma.” Soma has effectively replaced the belief in a higher

being by its elimination of problems and stress resulting in a lack of imagination , creativity, or “soul.”

Yet religion can still be found in today’s society because of man’s continuing need for answers to

questions that cannot be solved by science or technology.

Religion can be regarded as the beliefs and patterns of behavior by which humans try to

deal with problems and stress that cannot be solved through practical applications of science or

technology. “Brave New World” deals with stress by its elimination of problems through the use of

soma. As shown in the novel, the people have been addicted to soma as to the point of rioting when

their supply is threatened. Their attitude can be related to religious fanatics who accomplish violent

actions in the right of their religion. Present day society turns to lesser forms of expression through

weekly attendance to their place of worship in hopes of a stress-free life. To overcome these

limitations, society turns to the manipulation of supernatural beings and powers.

Consisting of various rituals, prayers, songs, dances, offerings, and sacrifices, people try

to manipulate supernatural beings to their advantage. Recipients of riches, power, and glory have

often praised their Savior. These beings may be Gods and Goddesses or even ancestral spirits. In

all societies there are certain individuals especially skilled at dealing with these beings and powers

who assist other members of society in their ritual activities. A great amount of power can be

delegated to these individuals such as the Pope or the Dali Lama. “Brave New World” has its own

religious interpreter in the seven world controllers. Mustapha Mond controls the thoughts,

emotions and happiness of the people under his control. By interpreting the collection of

writings revealed by the higher being, high priests or priestesses can provide the answers to man’s


Religion has a number of advantages to society. Many citizens of the world often ponder

many questions ranging from classroom philosophy to ghosts and goblins. Religion reduces anxiety

by explaining the unknown and making it understandable, as well as provide comfort in the belief

that supernatural aid is available in times of crises. Religion teaches morals and traditions, notions

of right and wrong. By setting precedents for acceptable behavior, peace and harmony may be

achieved. The burden of responsibility is lifted from the shoulders of mankind by transferring the

weight of decision making from individuals to higher beings.

In contrast to “Brave New World” present day society may seem crude and low to mighty

science and technology, yet followers around the world continue practicing their faith. By believing

in the Almighty during their time on earth, churchgoers hope to achieve everlasting glory and

paradise in the afterlife. This can be seen in the direct relationship of the increase of religious

activities in older age groups. Man refuses to believe that their time in history can be so

insignificant as to be numbered in years. To escape the fear of death, man’s dreams, hopes, and

aspirations are held in faith and the belief of religion.

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