With all we have learned since the enlightenment, with as far as science has come, it is impressive that religion remains in the face of reason. Potential reasons for this resilience are plentiful but I will focus this article on one. A rather basic reason: the lack of knowledge concerning death and the afterlife. In this area, science has added little knowledge and given few absolute answers. This time science cannot provide the certainty that often threatens to push religion aside.

Everybody dies. Death is the only guarantee life brings. People from all walks of life, regardless of race, class or culture must grapple with death. The constructs used for this purpose are as diverse as the people of the world. The lack of scientific evidence to support the existence of an afterlife is cited by those who do not believe in the divine. However, I think this is a one sided view as no scientific evidence has been found to support the non-existence of an afterlife either. Religions have scripture, traditions and faith to support adherents’ belief in an afterlife. But when it comes to hard proof, science and religion are on an equal plane.

Death equalizes people. It is a key component of the human experience. It also equalizes religious and scientific, secular views. Is this why religion remains? To help explain a question that science, as of now, cannot answer. This equality between religion and scientific, secular views may offer the opportunity to apply both perspectives to other issues providing a more thorough and holistic understanding of Western society.


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