People use words in common speech that mean different things philosophically or in other fields. For example, Modern European History started 300 years ago. This is because it was based on new ideas from the Enlightenment, which was also called Modernism. With Modernism we get the idea that we are the center of the universe, we are the highest form of intelligence, and we know what's best for us.
Modernism's solution to our problems is technology and we only value what we call Rational, which we define as facts determined by the Scientific Method. The highest good is what gives us physical pleasure and we only want to solve problems with solutions that don't require material sacrifice.
For thousands of years before and after, the most important thing and the focus of society was on religion and worship. In most revealed religions there are many methods of determining truth. In religion, these are some of the methods of inquiry: faith, worship, ritual, scripture, prayer, code of conduct/ethics, divine healing, tradition, prophecy, paradox, mystical experience, visions, fasting, living a life of poverty, taking vows of silence and/or chastity, intuition, history, and feelings.
What really separates Science from religion is that Science relies on physical proof, whereas Faith, by its very nature, means there is no physical proof. Many people spend much of their lives trying to prove whether or not God is real, and they will never get any of their "proof". Science and religion are in a special kind of parallel worlds with separate histories, all starting from a breakaway from each other at a common point in history.
Many people talk about how Animism preceded World Religions and how Science is the most evolved development of determining truth. Besides there having always being someone who worshiped the one creator God and more now than any times in history, only Europeans traditions saw the world as moving in straight line and always improving. Most other cultures see the world and human history as going in repeated cycles like our current understanding of economics.
Our whole American society is based on fear of death. The basic directive in modern medicine is to keep the person alive as long as possible at any cost. Soldiers get so much armor they cannot move and the armor only succeeds on stoping bleeding, so the injured are kept alive even with severe burns, without even checking to see if they would really want to live like that. One of the reasons why our health care is so expensive is that old people will pay unlimited amounts of money to live even a day or more longer. Many of the treatments of cancer are so bad, that they seem worse than the cancer itself.
Today, being young and looking young is considered more important than learning and growing our discipline, ethic, creativity, or even just intellect. There is so much we could do, if we would only ask God for help. Most of our pursuit of pleasure results in addiction and pain. We make bad choices when we take drugs and when we get overweight we get discouraged. It is very hard to break free from addictions and totally not worth the pain. If you feel bored or depressed, the best first step is to volunteer to help others, so your life has meaning outside yourself. It is a very lonely world when all you care about is yourself.
Life beyond Science, or Religion, gives us a much broader and more balanced view of the world. The physical world is one tiny subset of the spiritual world. When we choose God to be first in our life, we have something to look forward to after we die. We can be part of a community, just based on our beliefs. We can live a life affecting others more in our current jobs and lives than if we ran for office. God doesn't care if you are a lawyer or a doctor - He care how you treat others and yourself. He wants you to be free of immorality and its bad consequences.
The world's future looks bleak from a materialistic and Scientific view of the world. We are running out of drinkable water, fertile soil, moderate weather, and energy (oil, coal, propane, and nuclear). We have many solutions, but none will give us enough energy. Our society is not focused on seeking life on other planets or exploring the universe. It won't be long before we will be scavenging off of the remains of our garbage dumps.
There are people who now live in garbage and make money of of selling what they find in it. They are called squatter villages and shanty towns. They exist all over the third world. many of these people are much more wealthy in terms of spiritual knowledge and hope for the future then we are, even though we in the first world all live as kings did in the past. There is not a direct connection between hope and money, technology and solutions, and lifestyle and living a good life.