Thesis: Man's need for answers to questions that cannot be solved through known applications of science and technology has resulted in the widespread belief in religion. I. Purpose Elimination of stress Addiction to soma 1. Rioting addicts 2. Religious fanatics II CharacteristicsRitualsSacrificesOfferingsB. Gods InterpretersPopeDali Lama Mustapha Mond D.
Writings III. Function Explaining unknownPhilosophySupernaturalProviding aid Sanctioning conductMoralsTraditionsDelegating decisions The Basis of Religion 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 God and the cross have been replaced by Ford and the symbol T, the founder of the age of machines.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 questions 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..