Why Does Religion Exist? Essay

1080 words - 4 pages

Arthur C Clarke once said "It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him." This quote seems to summarize the many aspects of religion in that all the aspects seem to point to one fact: Man created "God". Many of the considerations can be taken into account when attempting to define religion. Being that there are so many, including some that aren't very well understood, there will only be a few discussed here. These will include the intellectual aspects that go into every religion, the psychological factors of religion, and the sociological influences on religion. We'll take an in depth look at each factor and also my own opinion on what religion is.It seems that religion exists as a belief system to help people explain events that would otherwise be unexplainable. In fact Kenneth Dick said in "Man, Father of the Gods" "All religions start as a mere imaginary explanation for something not understood, and that is all they are." Many, if not all religions do this. Christianity, Vikings, Greek, including every culture today. The Christians had for example the story of the "Tower of Babel" In Genesis to explain the division of languages. The Jews, Christians, and the Muslims as well as many others believe that God created the world. The only difference is that the Muslims believe it only took 6 days instead of the conventional (Or what has become conventional to us) seven days . The Vikings and the Greeks seem to have Gods for everything, The God of Thunder, God of Lightning, God of War, and Goddess of Love, All to explain what they could not. Also many Americans believe that the World Trade Center attacks happened because God was angry. All these examples point to the fact that the search for knowledge is important to religion as a whole.While understanding the intellectual component of Religion as an attempt to explain the unexplainable is helpful, obviously there is more to Religion than just explanations. The sociological effects on the community and the ethics involved play an important part as well. One strong example of a sociological aspect is the effect of the Catholic Church. Many Catholics strongly oppose a woman's right to obtain an abortion. They are taught through the church that if a woman becomes pregnant, that is God's will, going so far as to oppose birth control. Catholicism, like the religions in all cultures use the beliefs taught to them as guidelines to help them abstain from doing anything amoral. These guidelines can cause people to act in certain ways. For instance, in some Middle Eastern countries, Religion has affected women's roles in society so much that they have few legal rights. Some aren't even allowed to drive or obtain an education. This happens because they think that it is immoral to do otherwise, based on their religion. Some religions allow polygamy, while Judaism and Christianity for example practice monogamy. Those that practice Hinduism aren't allowed to eat beef, in fact, in...

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