Mkoll wrote:The operative word here is could. For many people, religion is the center of their social lives. The one example I have is that many Christian churches are essentially community centers where everyone gets together and supports one another, shares food, makes friends, and forms lasting bonds. People help each other when in need.
Perhaps this is a bit idealistic nowadays. But in the past when survival was more uncertain, this kind of mutual support was an absolute necessity.
I think what you say applies in traditional monocultures. Not in modern settings where there are many cultures, many religions present in one geographical area, and they compete amongst eachother and have varying degrees of socio-economic influence. Especially in such multicultural, multireligious settings, being a member of one religion could come with a considerable worldly price when that religion doesn't have much political and socio-economic power, while the other religion(s) do.
Like many poor Hindus in India are experiencing. In the West, some people are afraid to devote themselves to a religion they feel attracted to, because they are afraid of the negative socio-economic consequences this may have. I know of several Hare Krishnas who keep their religion secret because they are afraid they would lose their job if their boss and other employees would find out.
dhammafriend wrote:Is that really a role of religion? Please define a good religion that can make its practitioners resilient to psychological torture & the threat of economic depravation.
Religion should have some use, should it not? If one's religion, or one's particular practice of a religion doesn't help one deal with the problems of samsara, the problems of aging, illness, death, and separation, in their various forms, then maybe that religion isn't all that good, or one isn't practicing it right/sufficiently.