Can Society Exist Without Religion?
It has been proven that this ban was not some great divine foresight, exercised and passed on by Hindu gods to their subjects. “The earliest Vedas, the Hindu sacred texts from the second millennium B.C., do not prohibit the slaughter of cattle.” The passages that consecrated cows were incorporated into texts by priests of a later period (Harris 462). This suggests that not killing cows was a survival adaptation, that, when recognized for it’s value, was incorporated into religion to reinforce it. In Berger’s terms, the farmers who didn’t kill their cows survived and externalized this practice. This practice spread until it became an objective reality for that society, the members of that society then internalized the practice and it became part of the society’s nomos. This vital part of the Hindu religion was not, in fact, a reflection of the cosmos. It was an adaptation that humans went through and subsequently reinforced through religion. This idea, in Berger’s eyes, is a cause of anomy.
New knowledge and insight such as this that can’t be explained by religion, by his logic, should cause our society to fall into chaos; but it hasn’t. The strength of a nomos depends on the idea that nothing exists outside of that nomos, but in an increasingly globalized culture we are exposed to ideas that exist outside of our nomos every day. Due to this increased exposure to different