Do We Need Religion To Be A Decent Society?

1093 words - 5 pages

What is religion? Religion is a pervasive and important social phenomenon, people who study culture and human life have tried to explain the nature of religion, the nature of religious beliefs and the reasons why religion exists. There a lot of theories that try to explain it but its seems that none can fully captures the idea. For example, E.E Evans-Pritchard rejects most anthropological, psychological and sociological explanations of religion and argues that religion should be a vital aspect of society because it is constructed from the heart. On the other hand, Clifford Geertsz, an anthropologist, treats religion as an important component of cultural meanings, since he describes culture ...view middle of the document...

When I would attend Girls scout people would characterize us as loyal, courteous, kind, and reverent. Probably, self help groups, for example Alcoholism groups, do the same. While not attached with any particular religious tradition, they usually focus on numerous references to God and His will for spiritual reasons. They offer ethical values that highlight virtues such as honesty, integrity and responsibility. This shows that one does not have to be religious or spiritual to be ethical but it helps when having an organizational structure that religion offers to encourage and reward ethical principles and behaviors.

Religious involvement and practices encourages and supports “clean living”. Studies have found that religious people are less likely to engage in criminal activities, marital fidelity, alcoholism and more likely to engage in social behaviors such as charity and volunteerism. Therefore, people that are being spiritual, religious or both usually behave themselves pretty well. Boiled down, people in the church choir usually don't rob banks and kill people. Also, Religion and spirituality encourage ethical behavior in their divine scripture reading, models-exemplars- for behavior. Figures such as saints, founder members of religious traditions but also religious elders, teachers, priests and teachers.

Religion is also necessary when dealing with the gray area that is unjustified morality. Unjustified is to follow an indirect moral idea, for the person causing the evil may be strongly justified in causing it, for example someone inflicting a justified punishment. “Prevent unjustified cheating”, it still may be unjustified to follow the ideal. Preventing an unjustified violation of a moral rule itself requires unjustified violation of a moral rule. It takes judgment to live a moral life, merely obeying moral rules and following moral ideas does not mean acting in a morally acceptable way. One could answer the question posed by saying, “It is immoral to have sex out of wedlock because God commanded us not to, and He knows all that you do; and for committing that act, He will damage you!” Or at least that reasoning would suffice the curiosity of the selfish person. They still will not understand the constitutional harm of the action (because there is none), but their self-interest (fear of God’s wrath) will keep them from committing this ‘immoral’ act. For the less selfish person, one could ‘justify’ the immorality of...

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