April 20, 2015
What is Religion?
The term religion comes from the Latin word ‘religare’ which means to bind. In the world today, there are different forms of religious groups and followings that have unique beliefs and practices depending on their history. It is estimated that there are thousands of religions in the world, including the mainstream religious groups and others that are not known. One of the common characteristics of religious groups is that they all believe in the existence of a supreme being. However, there are those who don’t believe in religion. For such people, religion only assumes the existence of a supreme being while there is no substantive evidence to support the said belief.
According to Norris & Inglehart, through the practice of atheism, atheists believe that religion is just a fallacy that might have developed in the past and passed on from generation to generation through the various teachings in culture (2011). For enthusiasts, the reason people are afraid to question religious teachings is because of the fear of repercussions that are likely to occur due to such disbelief. Under this context, religion was assumed to be a creation of scholarly studies in the past with philosophers trying to establish how religion came into being. The major question is what religion is all about and what entails the aspects of it.
For most people, there is a thin line between culture and religion. This explains why different cultures have their specific religion and beliefs. However, there are various contentious issues that have never been solved over the years. One thing that would totally shift the paradigm and, in extension, the balance of nature, is if it turned out that no supreme beings the religions are based upon exist. Such a situation would totally erode the gains made in the religious world today and also lead to mass confusion among the staunch religious
References: Heelas, P., Woodhead, L., Seel, B., Tusting, K., & Szerszynski, B. (2005). The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality. Blackwell. Hood Jr, R. W., Hill, P. C., & Spilka, B. (2009). Psychology of religion: An empirical approach. Guilford Press. Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2011). Sacred and secular: Religion and politics worldwide. Cambridge University Press.