It's been two weeks since the uni started again.
I'm working on my dissertation and at the moment reading the literature relevant to my topic. My topic is the relationship between Islam and social enterprise.
While reading literature, I found some very interesting paper about entrepreneurship with religion and social class in India. And surprisingly, one of the authors was an associate professor in the department of business in my university.
Here are the links to the paper and the professor.
I researched about him and emailed him. (Actually, one of my friends who had his lectures encouraged me to contact him.)
My question to him was whether there have been any changes in the topic since the paper was written. He replied to me very promptly and invited me to his office hour - today.
He was very nice.
We talked for about 30 min. Mainly, we talked about this secular society.
Our questions are "Is it really secular?" "Are religion and the God/superpower the same?""Why are some people religious? Why are they affiliated with a certain religion and why do they worship a kind of superpower?"
One of our hypotheses is that there is some tendency of feelings "we want to go back to the good old time" in religion as well as politics, economy and so forth. Scientific technologies and globalisations have made a great contribution to our life. We enjoy the benefits, however, some drawbacks hit us and make us feel "we want to go back or get back 'the good old time'." We face risks - the unwanted consequences of progress we made. We gradually forgot the superpower or meta-stories which supported us while the considerable progress was made. But now no one is certainly right. No one is sure about what's going on. We now know we can know not everything and answer not every 'why'. So even though we forgot the superpower, now we need it now again to legitimate what's happening to us every day including what we can't rationally explain. Maybe people still don't need religion (institutions) but the superpower.
It comes to the second hypothesis that religion and the superpower are connected, but not the same. Religion is an institution. It is a collection of briefs, rules, norms, practices, behaviours, people who have those briefs and norms and/or conduct the practices, the places and the network/communities in relation to the superpower. The superpower cannot be defined universally, but it has some characteristics. For example, maybe it is invisible for you but watches you. It may be the one who creates this world. It may know everything about this world including what's going to happen. It perhaps controls fate or future of everything. And it might know answers to all the questions and doubts you have...
Third, the final hypothesis is that some people believe in the superpower or get affiliated to a certain religion because they feel good. Good could mean being free from constraints in everyday life, relaxed, laid or comfortable. Then, this raises a question "What is the source of the good feeling?" The professor said it depends on subjects (people). In my opinion, we don't need to make choices or to feel frustrated about what we can't explain with the current knowledge available to us once we wish the superpower to make choices or answer questions and believe that it can do so for us.
Well, it's not everything. Maybe we can feel loved and not alone if we believe in the superpower. So yes, I agree with the professor's idea.
I know these are still hypothesis. I hope I could test them empirically sometime in the future.