Functions of Religion

Topics: Meaning of life, Religion, Life Pages: 5 (1650 words) Published: June 15, 2008
Studies of Religion

1. What are the functions of religion?

2. Is it possible to be religious and accept the teachings of modern science? Based upon my opinion and research I believe that it is not possible to be religious and at the same time, accept the teachings of modern science. As explained in the two questions below, the idea of a religion is to seek the answer to the meaning of life, and after death, live in an eternity with their God. Many religions outline the beginning of the world and how we all had come onto this earth. For example, Christianity has the Garden of Eden, and Scientology believes we were placed on the earth by aliens. Now that technology is constantly advancing at such an incredible rate, modern society relies a lot upon science to solve the mystery of how we came to be on the earth, and our purpose. The explanation by modern science diverts many away from their previous religions as they no longer need to look for a meaning and basis of life as it can be explained and supposedly proved through on going scientific research. Therefore, the two sides clash and do not allow for people to be religious and at the same time accept what modern science is proposing.

3.Why is it that some people lose their faith while others are converted? Constantly, the world is changing and same as people. Religion to a majority is not a large factor of their life. Many only go to church on special occasions such as Christmas, and Easter. Particular religions become less based upon the actual history and beliefs, which allows for a lot of movement between religions and non-religious beliefs. People can be easily introduced into a religion due to a life-altering event when they discover a God like figure. Religion brings emotional highs, moral guidance and supernatural connections which all bring faith to many. For example, many religions believe in the education of religion to children from a very young age to give them moral guidance. In religion, as explained below, many look for the meaning and purpose of life, especially how we all came to live on this earth. Now science believes it can explain how we came to be, giving people no reason to search for a reason any more. ‘Many find the beliefs, moral practices, and rituals of a religion, to hold no meaning in the modern world.’ The guidance of young children is believed to be a form of brainwashing the children, and attempting to inform them until they are old enough to make their own decisions upon matters. Due to the rapidly changing modern world people have less time, and want to have fun and enjoy life. They see religion as restraining the good side of life by introducing dress codes, and rules, which they must obey.

4.Describe how religion is a distinctive answer to the human search for meaning and purpose in life. As religion describes and is based upon how the world has been created, it also, depending up on the religion, gives a distinctive answer to the meaning of life and who we are. For example, in the Buddhists religion, their main goal in life and the most they could achieve is to move out of the constant cycle into Nirvana. Similar to Christianity as many Christians are seeking forgiveness from God, and a goal would to be spending the rest of eternity in Heaven with God, in their life after death. Although, depending upon the religion and the religious beliefs of the people, religion may not give the meaning of life in which so many are seeking, but it intends to signal their followers in the ‘correct’ direction to their purpose in life.

5.What is necessary for a religious tradition to remain a ‘dynamic and living force in contemporary society.’

6. Is there a Supreme Being? Is there life after death?
The ‘supreme being’ belief depends entirely on the person’s religion. In Christianity, Jewish, and Islamic, there is a Monotheistic God. Being only one god. In these religions the origin does vary throughout these religions. For example,...
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