Defining Religion The most fundamental question when examining a religion is "what is religion?" That is a distinctly hard question to answer considering that what is ordinarily considered to be religion is not all it is, and what many consider not to be religion may be near religious (i.e. sports). The truth is that there are no genuine answers to the question of "what is religion".
In the novel A Portrait of The Artist as Young Man by James Joyce, readers see Stephen go through life with faith, surrounded by others with faith and religious activities. After a while, Steven loses sight of true faith, forgets God and becomes an artist. Compared to “Portrait”, many skeptics in today’s culture have a mind set that organized religion does more harm than good. Many of these people make persuasive arguments that are or can be conclusive. In some cases they think or say, no matter what domination, a church, which is considered part of the organized religiosity, has too much power or it is filled with politics. Also some make the argument that, rituals take away from God and put emphasis on one’s self.
Emil Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life presents religion as a social phenomenon. Based on this idea, this essay will examine the role of religion and its influence on society. Durkheim defined religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden -- beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.”1 Hence Durkheim’s emphasis is on the function of religion as a unifier of individuals. In order to illustrate his theory of religion, Durkheim then introduces the Totemism of Australian aborigines as an example of fundamental and primitive religion. He then explains how religious belief and
Karl Marx once proclaimed, “religion is the opium of the people”(britannica) which suggests religion controls the majority of society while offering them nothing real; giving the masses synthetic or illusionary happiness, hence the comparison to the drug. According to an article from cbsnews.com, seventy-seven percent of Americans believe angels exist. So, it is a fair presumption that the majority of American’s is controlled in some aspect of their life by this institution, but why is this? Religion is not based on any insightful knowledge; I believe it is a human creation of dogmas and philosophies based on the practicality of an idea. My position: religion is a social construction and has remarkable impacts on the United States’ society.
By using opiate to describe religion, “he meant that religion, like a drug, makes people happy with their existing conditions. (“17.3 Sociological Perspectives on Religion,” 2017). In the views of Karl Marx, he stated that “religion played an important role in lifting up the existing social structure, as well as, covering the sight of individuals to prevent seeing their lives and social conditions in their society political terms” (Witt, 191-192). Although an interactionalist and a functionalist would disagree with some of the midpoints in Karl Marx’s conflict theory of religion, they share one common perspective on religion by reinstating the idea of how “religion only helps perpetuate a pattern of social inequality” (Witt, 191). Correspondingly,
For many years we have defined religion as a system of believes particularly belief in a God or gods. The problem with this is that we categorize too much under the umbrella of religion that does not fit under this category; as Craig Martin argues in, A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion, “The colloquial use groups together dissimilar things. All of those things we call ‘religions’ simply do not share a set of core properties”. We tend to define Catholicism when asked to define religion. Many very educated philosophers have tried to come up with a perfect definition of religion and failed. It is an important subject of study because it gives unimportant objects significant meaning. For example, it can turn wine into the blood of Christ. Religion is present in all of our lives in some form. Religion is not a term but rather a state of mind, an idea that cannot be grasped. We classify religion as a noun, but in actuality the name refers to the activity or function. Religion is more about the structure than the content. It does not need to be defined in order to adequately study or take part in it. Anthropologist, Talal Asad, argues, there is a flaw with every definition. This leads to the conclusion that religion simply cannot be defined.
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” (Dawkins 6). This essay is not going to be about whether or not god is real, but instead it is going to focus on religion and its followers. Religion has existed for thousands and thousands of years. Likewise, there are thousands of very different religions all over the world. Religion has slowly attached itself like a parasite into societies everyday life. It has connected and comforted many people over the years, but is religion actually useful anymore? The answer to that is a definite no. Religions have fought for years attempting to establish their dominance over one another and mankind. If religion was to disappear forever, then the world would find itself in a state of bliss.
From the early existence of humans, people have always questioned the true definition of religion but, if you was to research this query, you would discover there are many definitions to this word. This diverse explanation is due to various cultural differences which influence a word 's meaning greatly. In small, religion is about believing in something that makes sense to you. It also means to bind and come together. Additionally, a factor which plays a close relationship to religion is faith. To have faith in something, trust and confidence must be present. Significantly, faith intertwines with religion. In order to be religious, one must have trust in a higher being. As a result, the relationship between religion and naturalism will be discussed, further investigations will be present on of religion and slight critiquing will be made.
Religion is intricately intertwined with various aspects in the socio-cultural arena, that the above three factors are always present in the shaping of an individual’s religious identity. Ethnic differences; according to the Social Identity Theory, emerge when individuals of ethnic minority groups feel threatened in terms of identity, thus reasons for their emphasis on their social identities as a means of maintaining positive self-conception. Gender differences may impact on one’s religious identity; this being exemplified through the characteristic participation of the female gender in religious activities and in their expression of religion as being an important aspect of their lives, this being in relation to their male counterparts
Religion, Politics and Sexual Orientation are the three major topics that plague our society today. Religion in my opinion is the largest of the three. The word religion or religious makes the younger generation very uneasy. Why? Because it forces them to hold a standard and we all know accountability is not today’s society strongest virtue.
Sematic religions are those religions that are related to each other by their mutual belief in the existence of a divine being known as “God”. These religions are specifically mentioned in the Holy Quran and include Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Now all of these sematic religions have their perceptions of the existence of soul in human beings, soul which according to these religions, though a part of human existence is not a physical part of human beings rather is invisible. Some religions have a belief that it is the soul that is rewarded or punished for the deeds of human beings rather than that of the body, while other religions believe in the process of reincarnation i.e. after death the soul of the dead being is placed in the body of another person. Therefore, though Islam, Judaism and Christianity all believe in the concept of soul i.e. they all believe in the immortality of the soul (even after the body die the soul exists in one way or the
Religion is and always has been a central pillar of society, However this does not mean it is a force for good in the world. Richard Dawkins identifies religion as being viral and harmful, much like a disease. He is correct as Religion has infected more people than any other thought or disease and has killed millions of people, oppressed a variety of groups for centuries, and stunted societal growth on multiple occasions. Some people may disagree and claim that religion brings about many great qualities in people, which is not incorrect. However it has brought about far more harm than good over the course of history.
Religion is a subject matter that we unexpectedly experience on a daily basis. Religion may affect us in a number of ways. It could have an impact on us because we follow a particular faith and the understood regulations or principles governing it, or because we live in a society where people assert their faith towards the religion boldly, or maybe because we know that it is a very sensitive and important subject of discussion in the social conversations (Ammerman, 2013). Sometimes it’s better to ask an individual about their health, health history, and current lifestyle, than to ask them anything about the religion they practice or about the ideology of religions practiced by others. I consider religion to be too personal and sensitive
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of religion is as follows: “the belief in a god or in a group of gods, an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods, or an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group” (Merriam-Webster.) My personal definition of religion is that it is a set of beliefs and practices that generally pertain the worship of one or more than one spiritual beings or representations of a spiritual power. Religion can be personal belief or an organization or group of people who have similar beliefs and values. There are many different types of religions in the world and have been since the