ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • The Role of Religion in History & Society

In the name of religion

Updated on September 26, 2014
Source

Understanding religion

I was raised as a Christian. All my family is and was always Christian. Actually, very devout Christians.

Nonetheless as I grew up I started wondering, I started questioning my Religion. Soon, I was questioning all others. I mean, it purely made no sense whatsoever, so what was the point?

It was all a bunch of amazing tales, most of which were physically impossible, others very much resembled a boogie man story mixed a bit with some children's tales.

Then there was the notorious lack of moral compass in some of these characters, like when God asked this fellow to kill is own son and he was going to do it. Now, what sort of God or religion asks for this and, worst, what sort of person actually is willing to do it? Wasn't Religion and God supposed to be all about charity and love and goodness? So, what's wrong with this picture? In fact the God character was all too dubious to me, borderlining the sadistic.

So, what is Religion anyway? After careful consideration, I would say it is Man-made. It is the way Mankind found to explain certain things and events they could not any other way and it is also a way to help deal with the world. If you think about it, it does resemble children's tales. Well, children's tales are designated to help children deal with their fears. Religion does just that. It is suppose to guide us when we know not what to do. At the same time it helped and helps explain unexplicable events. Because we need that, we are curious beings, that need answers, Religion provides answers where there are none.

The big problem for Religion is that in time many questions have been answered ( science helped out a lot) and more and more Religion started losing its place or at least its followers.

When I say Religion I mean every Religion in the world. Now, which, if any, is evil? We will get to that...

So, is there a place for Religion in the world yet? I think so. Though personally I'm not a believer, much less a follower, I think that there is still place for Religion in the world. I think its place may be more of an educational and moral nature, than actually religious.

Basically, people will always need moral guidance, people will always have doubts and fears and there will always still be questions to be answered. Religion serves a part as an anchor when people are lost and confused. No matter how strong, there will always be times when a person feels that he can't handle certain things and that's when reaching out to the unknown might be the only solution. Even though, nothing much can come of that reaching out, it will at least provide another drop of hope and strength and that drop may be the difference between getting by or not.

Apart from that, there is something else that needs to be pointed out: the principles are basically good, there were some very good people involved in it all. These very good people did very nice things for their fellow men and gave others some very good pointers on how they should live their lifes. All Religions had good men, though perhaps not many.

Now, they were good men, but the fact of them being good had something to do with Religion or was it the other way around?

Personally, I would say it is the other way around. For me they were not holy or saint or touched by the spirit of God. For me, there was no messenger or holy spirit that told them killing or lying or sleeping with the neighbour's wife was bad. Personally I think they were good, reasonable, sensible, wise men, which is much more valuable and makes them much more holy, than if they had to be told those things. They are not messengers or vessels, they are Thought and Clarity and Humanity.

A historical background

For thousands of years men have fought in the name of Religion. Religion has been manhood's favourite excuse to start a fight. Men fought, tortured, mangled, died in the name of Religion. The worst attrocities were committed. The list is endless. We had human sacrifices in Budhist Burma, in India in the name of Khali and so many other places throughout the globe. We had persecution of the Christians in the Roman period, the persecution of the Jews (basically forever and everywhere), the thirty years war, the French wars of Religion, the second Sudanese Civil war. We had the inquisition. We had witch hunts. All in the name of religion.

Worst, we had the crusades and we have the islamic jihad.

So, what is this? Why is this? Does Religion mess with our heads or are we just messing with Religion?

Based in Cicerus, Saint Augustin came up with the justification of Just War. Later on, Saint Thomas Aquinas pursued this concept and theory and developed it to suit and fit the political interests of the States. But this concept is not just Western. Actually it can even be traced back to the Indian Epic Mahabharata.

The concept is an attempt to try to justify when it was reasonable to start a war. It is probably a feeble attempt to live with ourselves if we follow this path. So, basically the reason for war must be good and void of self-interest. It cannot be a power exercise, it must be waged by a properly instituted authority and must at heart aim for peace.

This concept justified a lot of wrong doing and it still does.

Now, is there such a thing as a Just War? Why are our ideas or concepts the right ones? Why is this Religion better than the other? Don't they all preach of kidness and goodness? Aren't all the so called prophets basically good men, that could even have been brothers? Budha, Mohammed, Jesus... Weren't they all saying the same things?

Or was it all and is it all the way some people with a bit more power had and have to get common people to do their bidding?

Who gained with the Crusades? Which pockets got full? Who gained and gains with the Islamic Jihad? Is it the soldiers, the men or women that die, whose lifes are wrecked and ruined? Or were and are they just puppets?

There is an international political theory (Realism - which I always was a very big fan of) that says, very basically, that it is all about Interest, that nothing else matters, there is no moral, there is no good in politics, when State is concerned. But that does not work just when the State is concerned, it works for all sorts of power and Religion turned long ago into Power.

Religion is one of the roads to having power, it works the same way as politics, it actually goes hand in hand with politics and it has for centuries, so it is only reasonable to think that the same principles apply. In fact Religion all over the world turned into Institutions, with rules, rulers and buildings and some sort of boundaries and titles and money got involved. So, it's safe to assume Realism can apply. Just think about the Borgia's and there you have it. You can't get much more Interest than that.

If it's all about Interest, if moral takes a step back, even if all that is hidden by the puppet masters, then where is Religion? Because all the things I just described have nothing to do with what Religion should be all about.

Source
Source

Where is Evil?

So, is Religion evil?

No matter our personal believes, whether we believe in something or not, whether we are followers, whether we have faith or not, we first have to establish what is Religion, so we can properly answer the question. Is Religion all about the concepts, the ideas, the inspiration in the life of good men that guide us or is it about the Institutions?

I believe Religion shoud be about the inspiration and the ideas, basically it should be in our hearts. Instead I think it is all about the Institutions, it's about a lot of people being puppet masters and it's basically about men and women.

There is where true Evil lies, in people, not in any Religion.

Throughout thousands of years people did terrible things, they still do, in the name of Religion, but that was merely the justification for doing those things, no Religion caused those things, people did, because it served their purposes, because it filled their pockets or because they were just evil.

Therefore, no matter our beliefs or where we grew up ( because I think our Religion has a lot to do on where we were born) or how many more answers science provides, the fact is that there are no Evil Religions, just bad people and others that follow them, perhaps because it also suits their purposes or just because they don't know any better.

Feedback

Did you like this hub? Was it useful, entertaining, interesting… Don’t forget to leave me your comment and vote on the hub.

For more information check out my profile and stop by my other hubs.

Some other hubs by the Author:

COUGH. COUGH. COUGH - When the doctors don’t help and you are out of ideas

How to keep your sanity after having twins

Breastfeed: The dilemma

How to Get Started with Solar Water Heater system

Building your new home - Do’s and don'ts

Portugal's Seven Natural Wonders

Portugal's seven architectural wonders Monuments

Algarve is not all about beaches

Magic and wonder - Visiting Sintra

Visiting Amsterdam – The Venice of the North

Couples and holidays rules

Farmville best tip ever, becoming number 1

How to bake an easy cake

Portuguese cuisine recipes - How to cook Chicken gizzards

Portuguese cuisine recipe - Seafood appetizers

How to clean your house - Tricks and Tips

And if you enjoyed, maybe you can also join us here at Hubpages, it’s fun and free and you can click here.

© Copyright Mar 11 2012 / Algarveview.hubpages.com. To use part or the whole article you must first get written permission from the author. Feel free, nonetheless, to use an intro of the hub with a link to the article here on hubpages for the rest of the article.

© 2012 Joana e Bruno

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • algarveview profile image
      Author

      Joana e Bruno 6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hello, Tammy, thank you for reading and commenting. I think it's a pitty how religion is viewed, all religions I mean... It's also a shame that is usually taken to extremes. Anyway, it's up to us to try to change that a bit. All the best! Have a wonderful day!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      You have tackled a very controversial subject here. I agree with you that religion is being abused to justify so many wrongs. So much of this corruption has gone all the way up to the very heads of the church so it makes it difficult to stop. Well presented!

    • algarveview profile image
      Author

      Joana e Bruno 6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Electro-Denizen, glad you liked the hub and thanks for reading and commenting. I actually find this is a fascinating subject, though terribly controversial. Usually I flee from this subject, because I'm a bit passionate about what I think and you know where that usually gets us. Anyway, I thought this was something worth and answering and debating, because in all fairness, regardless of how real or unreal it is, it certainly isn't evil, at least in my point of view. And you are right, it could very much be a moral compass... it is a shame in that way... it's a real loss.

    • Electro-Denizen profile image

      Charles 6 years ago from Wales, UK

      I agree with much of what you say - though personally I like to be sometimes a bit more flippant! i.e. some of the beliefs in religion are so odd you may as well believe that God is a giant mushroom in deep space, same thing, same level of invention... however....

      my perspective tends to see the unifying link between religions, the commonality i.e. mankind and not just the fact that religion is manmade, which it is). That is to say, our psyche is pretty much arranged the same across human races, which is why we tend to believe the same thing. We're wired up, metaphysically, in the same way, it's just that we believe different things. And there is a big divide between belief and metaphysical reality (butthat's another story!)

      Yes, and religion is useful as a moral compass. In that sense, it's a shame that church attendence is dwindling; but on the other hand, who wants to listen to sci-fi stories?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)