Religions are losing their relevance and need a massive upgrade

Gazal Malaiya
3 min readJan 18, 2023

“God is dead! And we have killed him!”- Friedrich Nietzsche. So much has changed over the years that the divine scriptures are left far behind from the realities we live in today. Does it even make any sense to follow religion? Is religion dying?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Firstly let’s understand the history of why and how religions originated. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors started farming during the Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution. This was sometime around 12,000 years ago. Now, instead of foraging and moving from one place to another, for the first time in the history of mankind, the Homo Sapiens could live at one place. According to Yuval Noah Harari in his book ‘Sapiens — ‘Hunter-gatherers — tended to believe in animism — they believed objects, plants, and animals had spirits, and an ‘equal status,” and they tried to cooperate with them, believing this would enable them to thrive in their local ecosystems”.

For the hunter- gathers an average group size was no more than 100 people. But, due to Agricultural Revolution, increased number of people started living together to establish permanent settlements that could provide for much larger populations. One idea is that, with larger group sizes living together, the need for social norms, cooperation and tolerance among relative strangers emerged. Religion then — along with the belief in a moralizing God — was a cultural adaptation to these challenges. Religion played a very important role in encouraging the ‘moral’ behaviour and making society a safer place by having certain guiding principles. This is believed to be the origin of religion.

Fast forward to the modern world. In this age of science and technology, problem with religions is two folds:

Firstly, the complexity of problems and dilemmas in our minds are now widely different from that of our ancestors and most of the holy scriptures are ‘outdated’, and barely able to provide solutions to the questions faced by humanity. We want seek clarity on befuddling questions that we face today. We want to know if - ‘same sex marriages, human cloning, euthanasia, abortion, nuclear testing etc’, are moral? Unfortunately, none of the holy doctrines provide a clear guidance. If we want to keep religions alive and relevant, we need a prophet sent soon enough and upgrade the holy books to a version 2.0. Divine intervention is an absolute urgency!

Secondly, many of us fail to believe there is ‘God’ anyway. We have the gift of science to explain phenomenon like — floods, earthquakes, diseases even how life began etc. unlike in the past where, God was simply the way humans explained things that are otherwise difficult to understand. This is not the case anymore. In fact with the advancement of science, it is getting more and more difficult to ‘believe in God’. The character ‘God’ is analogous to that of a fairies, angels and Santa Claus which can only exist in texts and stories.

According to a recent Pew survey between 2007 and 2012, the proportion of Americans who said they are atheist rose from 1.6% to 2.4%. Another survey conducted by Gallup International of more than 50,000 people in 57 countries, the number of individuals claiming to be religious fell from 77% to 68% between 2005 and 2011.


These numbers are are telling us something interesting. If the global trend continues, we will have far less number of people who consider themselves as religious.

Friedrich Nietzsche is perhaps most famous for making the striking claim that God is dead. He writes, “God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!” (Year 1882). We can blame ourselves for killing God through our own intellectual enlightenment, knowledge and scientific thought. Mankind is slowly realising what Nietzsche meant over a 100 years later!

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