Social Conformity and Persuasion in Religion

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  • Topic: Religion, Islam, Conflict thesis
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  • Published : November 11, 2012
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The Influence of conformity on society through religionmore
by John Chaaya
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The Influence of conformity on society in religion
Religion has influenced societies on an epic scale for millennia. Even the mostprimitive people on the planet created gods to worship and use their teachings toform the basis of their society going back as far as the Paleolithic period wheremother earth was worshiped as a goddess. Through time people have stayedtrue to a belief or a religion. Individuals can seldom be without a society or faction. Conforming to a religion provides strengths in society and provides moralguidance as well as strong communities. Conformance is defined as a voluntaryimitation which regulates the behavior of equal status subjects (Furnham, 2008,p. 96). As in every society there is some deviation from members and fromleaders. Deviance is defined as “violation of society’s norms which evokenegative reaction from others” (Ballantine and Roberts, 2009, p.161) Therefore itis proposed that conforming to religious ideals influences the individual positivelyand creates a functioning society.Proposer: Groups are an essential part of human life and organizationalstructures; they help to establish peoples place in the social world and providethem with support and a sense of belonging. (Ballentine and Roberts, 2009)Religion is one of the biggest social groups and creates unity through sharedbeliefs and values. All religions have their own ideals and beliefs and adhering tothem even in the mildest sense produces a feeling of oneness in that community.Opposer: Conforming to a religion may provide unity and common cause butthere is no guarantee that the causes it supports will be positive ones. Thecause could also be a negative one such as mass suicide as in the case of JimJones in 1978 (CNN) or the more recent conflict between Northern and SouthernIreland. If an individual joining the group does not know what to expect, theindividual would look...
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