Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. [Wikipedia]
What is a religion?
- Religion is a political entity (to some extent business enterprise with resources).
- Religion is an organization, with clergy and members/believers, based on beliefs, behaviors, and cultural systems.
- Religion is a resource center with collections/scriptures on science, culture, traditions, , holy places, spiritual guides and so on.
Religion means different to different people like:
*There will be a small group with followers, who feel they have divine authority to protect their religion. They would like to prove everything they know or told is true. They will label anyone who questions or differs from them as anti-religion.
- Religion is everything and it is a matter of pride;
- It is a social-cultural system or an institution;
- It is an identity;
- It is just a guide (or library with books to choose from);
- Useful for rituals, events and entertainment (with stories)
*Atheism is also a Religion.
Humans are spiritual being, longing and searching for answers for the purpose of their existence. Many a great saints, prophets and leaders have propounded different philosophies to explain the very 'existence'.
- All are uncomfortable with paradoxes/riddle and are looking for a religion as a solution. Comfortable with fairy tales, myths and some answers, rather than accept that many are beyond our knowledge or abilities.
- If all societies have religion, it must have a social purpose.
- All are attracted to a religion that has a rules, that offers them a specified lifestyle. Religious-based morals and norms help in controlling society.
*Government/Community/Religion tell what one should do or should not do or what a good person/citizen is.
- Maintain social solidarity through shared rituals and beliefs.
- Provide Social and Community services like Charity, education etc
- Religion (Spirituality part) helps us to to understand our place and purpose in the universe.
*Some studies suggest that religious people are happier and less stressed than their non-religious counterparts?.
Is Religion necessary evil?
- Dividing people instead of uniting humans.
- Some times, Leaders play dirty politics. Cases of misuse of public resources and wrong priorities.
- Mislead and misguide public with Conspiracy theories (1% fact and 99% fiction).
Conspiracy theories thrive every where in times of crisis.
Also spreading superstitious beliefs.
Create unnecessary fear to control people.
- Partisans. They don’t Just Disagree, They Hate One Another and tries to destroy others. Internal quarrels with in a sect and between sects are most damaging.
- Religions or sects claiming any inherent superiority of one religion over another, leading to conflicts.
- Some use religion to justify for war, terrorism and violence.
So far, More people have been killed or harmed in the name of religion, than saved by religion.
BUT RELIGION IS A VERY POWERFUL FORCE, IT IS REALITY.
Religion and God - Spirituality
Religion and Spirituality are different domains of human activity, though religion uses some amount of spirituality.
- Core of many Religions, is in the belief and worship of a superhuman controlling power, called God. Most of the definitions, make GOD universal.
- Creator (or God by defintion) created everything including us. We created forms, names and other attributes for God. Based on our experiences and observation, we have created stories of God.
- God is Universal. Religions are but the varied expressions of Oneness, so that each may choose that path or form, that suits him/her best. [Live and Let Live]
Is Religion complex
Less complex societies, such as the Australian natives, have simple religious systems. The more complex a particular society is, the more complex the religious system.
Every religion has been shown by its rivals to contain some inconsistency or the other. Unfortunately such criticisms serve no purpose as the faith professed by the critic himself contain many shortcomings! Victory depends on who can argue or talk well or influence others. OK for discussions and knowledge sharing.
It shows no religious system is perfect as humans who developed them are imperfect. Accept whatever suits you (Take what you want from a religion).
God made everyone unique so that we can collectively work using each other'strengths and weaknesses. Let us not create division among us, based on our differences (haves and havenots; upper and lower class; rich and poor; ruler and ruled).
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