Definitions of the word "religion" Problems. Some dictionary definitions Problems with definitions of "Religion: Many attempts have been made. Many people focus on a very narrow definition that matches their own religion, but few if any others.
Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain.
One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.
Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience.
With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions - fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connections is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates illusory beings more or less analogous to itself on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend.
Thus one tries to secure the favor of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed toward a mortal.
In this sense I am speaking of a religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets itself up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis.
In many cases a leader or ruler or a privileged class whose position rests on other factors combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.
The social impulses are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence, who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes; the God who, according to the limits of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even or life itself; the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing; he who preserves the souls of the dead.
This is the social or moral conception of God. The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, a development continued in the New Testament.
The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in peoples' lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard.
The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God.
In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling.
It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.
Religion and Science. Return to Top; The following article by Albert Einstein appeared in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, pp It has been reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc. , pp 36 - It also appears in Einstein's book The World as I See It, Philosophical Library, New York, , pp. 24 - Everything that the human race has done and thought is. What Is Religion Essay Words | 4 Pages. Religion is a hard concept to comprehend. It is showing us a different side to look at our life. Instead of having hard facts that can be physically proven, religion shows us to take a leap of faith and believe the impossible. Meaning of Religion: Religion is concerned with the shared beliefs and practices of human beings. It is the human response to those elements in the life and environment of mankind which are beyond their ordinary comprehension. Religion is pre-eminently social and is found in nearly all societies.
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole.
The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.
The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it.
Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints.
Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another. How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.
We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically, one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason.
The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events - provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously.
He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes.
Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary.World religions Menu Islam: The second largest world religion and growing.
About Islam: Islam is the second most popular religion in the world. Religion: God and Moral Standards Essay Final Argumentative Paper: Religion Monique Wright PHI Ethics and Moral Reasoning Kathleen Andrews August 27, Final Argumentative Paper: Religion The topic that I have chosen to discuss for my final argumentative paper is “ Religion ”.
The nonprofit Freedom From Religion Foundation works to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism, and to promote the constitutional principle of separation between church and state. God Is Not Great is a book by Anglo-American author and journalist Christopher Hitchens, in which he makes a case against organized attheheels.com was originally published in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Books as God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion and in the United States by Twelve as God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, but was republished by Atlantic Books in God In Modern Society Religion Essay The historical and social living conditions of Christianity changed rapidly and dramatically in the 20th and 21st century compared to past centuries.
Until the French revolution which occurred during – and the enlightenment, religion and worshiping was unbreakable, very common and natural. In the English language, capitalization is used for names by which a god is known, including 'God'.
Consequently, the capitalized form of god is not used for multiple gods or when used to refer to the generic idea of a deity. The English word God and its counterparts in other languages are normally used for any and all conceptions and, in spite of significant differences between religions, the.