Religion can be defined in many different ways because every individual has a different definition for it. I am going to be discussing two definitions in this paper. The first definition is from the Webster’s Dictionary which states “The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due.” The second definition is Fredrick Streng’s which states “a process whereby people reach beyond themselves to connect with the true and ultimate reality that will save them from the destructive forces of every day existence.” I will argue that while both of these definitions have certain strengths, neither is adequate, and that a better definition of religion is the belief in god, his messengers, the religious dialogues, and how your actions in this world will affect your afterlife. The three particular religions I will be discussing in this paper are Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, and how they relate to the definitions above.
The first religion I am going to be relating to Webster’s dictionary’s definition is Buddhism. There are some aspects of this definition which support Buddhism while some completely go against the religion. The aspects that support it are “obedience, service, and honor.” This is because the Buddhists are obedient towards the Buddha, they make offerings for good karma and they honor the Buddha. On the other hand, in Buddhism the followers do not believe in god having the power over their destiny but instead they believe in having the power over their own destiny. The main goal in Buddhism is to reach nirvana which can be achieved by following the Buddha’s teachings and having good karma. In order to gain good karma one must purify their bad karma. This can be acquired by multiple different ways such as reading the sutras, meditating, performing acts of kindness, and making offerings to animals, humans, monks or the Buddha....
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