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.
Elimination of stress
Addiction to soma
1. Rioting addicts
2. Religious fanatics
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 God and the cross have been replaced by Ford and the symbol T, the founder of the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
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...
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