It is heartwarming to observe the faith and moral conviction of those who follow a religious belief strongly and genuinely - their behavior very often sets a worthwhile example for others to emulate.
A religion is a cultural system of designated practices, morals, prophecies, or organisations that connects humanity to supernatural, transcendental or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.
It is also disturbing to realise that religions are based around a mistaken belief in the supposed existence of one, or more, supreme beings having some perceived power to control the destiny of believers. This supposition runs against a basic law of outcomes that states that occurrences are the direct result of causes comprising human action, human thought, and human speech. This suggests very strongly that each human is entirely responsible for any consequences: they are not the result of the action of some divine being.
This principle is penned tellingly in English poet, William Ernest Henley's, 'Invictus': "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul".
The being often referred to as God is an example of human characteristics being ascribed to intangibles such as willpower and reasoning, and the subsequent positioning in the mind of a devotee as some kind of father figure whose will must be obeyed.
For around 3000 years, following the gaining of knowledge by sages who were the philosophers of their era, humanity has developed an illusory fixation concerning a being who possesses immutable principles of behaviour. In those times, very few people could read or write, therefore spiritual information and learning obtained from these sages was passed down through speech. For that reason, the accurate recall of that advice was dependent upon a good memory and the ability of the listeners to retell it in turn to their descendants.
In the process it is probable that some kind of imaginary being was crafted in the minds of aficionados in order to replicate normal human interpersonal relationships. This conceptualised being assumed the role of a tangible leader and teacher of intangible matters.
The term "intangible" relates to something with no physical presence that is consequently impossible to touch, or something vague and difficult to understand or value in concrete terms.
So the term God was used to mean goodness, positivity, benevolence and the like, and in the process has taken on an identity which masks the fact that the word is a method of easy summation, rather than a complex defining of the nature of what is being examined.
Personalising of an abstract has resulted in conversation, sometimes in the form of prayer, between a believer and an imagined being – with the result that God has emerged as a definition of those behaviours and beliefs most normal humans would find desirable.
Some religions have many gods, each of which rules over a differing aspect of existence or fate, whereas others have just one supreme deity at the heart of their faith. This singular God is a significant concept.
In the context of religion, one can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief. Religious people often think of their faith as confidence based on a perceived degree of justification for holding such belief, while others, more skeptical of religion, tend to think of faith as simply belief without evidence.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
46 posts so far.