Religion can be the light in the dark for the rich people as well.Ansiktsburk wrote:So, the "dark ages" is a definition, really. In answer to the OP. It's not, the "bad ages". as you say, enlightenment is not purely on a plus and minus scale.
Nietsche, and the death of God, is worth mentioning. The question is, is the focus on this life diminished by having a religion? And were people really better off, having a state religion to adhere to?
I think it depends on what kind of situation you're in.
For the rich and powerful (like the Di Medici and Borgia Popes) there was no difference, really. They don't care and go about their business regardless of religion, politics or whatever. Religion might be a tool to oppress people (in my used-to-be Protestant country, It was. Even into the 20th century.)
For an enlightened and well-fed person, well, religion will hamper you in your seek of truth if there are religious dogmas hindering you. Booze and sex seem to be less available in a religious country, unclear why. But religion can give you reconciliation in the big questions of life and death. And if you like it, the religion will give you a package of rules and buddys, which will make life less complicated.
For the poor guys, religion can be a light in the dark. And something that straightens up poor lifestyles an low morals. But undeniably, the mean lifetime has increased with God a bit sidelined, and life is more comfy.
Let's face it - it's not bad for religion with poor people. English is not my maiden language but if I translate from my uncouth northern language I think you recognize this one : Alas, how hard it is for a rich man to reach heaven.
Most rich people die alone or with great personal problems.
Money do not bring happiness...