What is Religion and what does it do?

Topics: Religion, Faith, Philosophy of religion Pages: 3 (543 words) Published: August 1, 2014

What is Religion and what does it do?
Whether religion is the basis for the noblest events in human history, or a negative force responsible for the worst atrocities in history it plays a significant role in human existence, it also provides order and structure goals for humanity. According to Oxford Dictionary religion could be defined as “a belief in superhuman controlling power in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship”. Through scriptural quotations, human experience and evidence, people are able to witness how important religion is to human existence. Because of religion, culture(s) is preserved; for example the Jewish culture. A religious person who indulgences in the religion of their choice can testify that decisions and crossroads they encounter are a reflection of their religion. So since these people are a participant in culture, their actions and reasoning contribute to culture. At one extreme we find people whose religious belief permeates their entire existence, who pattern their conduct closely on their religious beliefs, and who are quite literally prepared to die rather than betray them. Religion has little power to erase deeply-ingrained cultural traits. Thought experiment: suppose the Pope were to order all Irish Catholics to go to the authorities and reveal everything they knew about terrorist activities, under pain of mortal sin and excommunication. Would they do it? Suppose Muslims were to re-establish the Caliphate, and the Caliph were to command all Muslims to cease support of terrorist movements. Would they do it? Religion is a great source of happiness. Although some view religion as a way of “demonstrating social conformity, or as a comforting ritual” (C. Allan); many may participate to the extent of attending services on major holy days, or being married or holding funerals, but not otherwise while others may retain an attachment because of family tradition or pressure and some...
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