Before it is discussed how religion influences societal human good, it is important to determine why religion is so powerful, because the source of religion's power will be the ultimate cause of any influence it can have on society. Firstly, religion provides an explanation of the big, overwhelming questions with which the majority of us struggle throughout life. For those who believe it, religion provides a distinct comfort in the knowledge that there is something greater. Because it is not uncommon for humans to fear the unknown or the violence that is a part of human life, and provided religion gives purpose and meaning to an otherwise seemingly random life, religion has great attraction and the ability to integrate many people.
Secondly, nearly all religions include a specific set of codes and values by which followers are expected to live. The Ten Commandments, the Five Pillars of Islam, and the Eight-Fold Path are just a few examples of the many ways religion prescribes daily action. Religions not only have the power to tell followers how to act, but also tell them how to think. That they instill in people moral beliefs gives religions enormous power to shape and influence the population. This power is also bestowed upon the leaders of religions, as they are the teachers of followers and the shapers of their thoughts. A.... [continues]
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