prompt: R.D. Gold in his book Bondage of the Mind basically says that religious dogmas, and religion itself, is a nonsense-waste of time and of personal freedom. agree or disagree?
According to English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, "Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion." This socio-cultural phenomenon is humanity's buffer against fear of the unknown. In the absence of religion, human beings are merely animals with a more magnified sense of emotion. This is what separates us from every other species on earth, because religion is human nature. Religion, or at the very least a belief in an afterlife or greater power, is also key to living life with a purpose. It is also key for human mental and spiritual growth, because it teaches one morals and build character. I believe that religion as a whole is a human assistant in coping with the idea death, as well as dealing with and giving purpose to life.
To begin with, religion is a anthropogenic tool for death. In the aspect of science, one is certain of the humdrum biodegradation of the body back into the earth . Whereas having a belief in a religion and afterlife galvanizes the imagination concerning the possibility of existing through the day that they die, and having that existence in a more suitable, plane of fantasy, or even the opportunity to achieve a ressurection into a more superior life. The monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, like to call this eternal haven of immaculate bliss and pleasure as Heaven. But admittance is only given to those who live a full life according to the religion's dogmas. It is an incredibly electrifying enigma to try and comprehend the way it must be to live forever in happiness, an extraordinary feat which is unmistakably impossible to achieve, even through 70-80 years of life.
Religions like the Native American, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist religions hold a belief in reincarnation. According to Robert Todd Carroll, "Reincarnation is the belief that when one dies, one's body decomposes, but something of oneself is reborn in another body." Knowing that you have lived numerous lives, and have many more to come is an intriguing idea. You possess an infinite amount of chances to live, and the quality of your new life is determined by the way you have lived in your previous life. This concept, or Karma, according to Earnest Valea, is used to explain the polar social and physical differences in humans. Rich or poor, diseased or healthy. Some of these religions believe in the possibility of being reincarnated into an animal or even a plant. Alike to Heaven, Buddhists believe in Nirvana, which is achieved when one has lived a full and truthful life.
The concepts of heaven, reincarnation, and Nirvana are, in a seraphic sense, all beyond logic, and are almost impossible to comprehend. But what is to become of your soul when you don't live your life according to the wholesome beliefs of these religions? Christianity holds a belief in heaven's counterpart hell. Alike heaven, hell is eternal. Dying after leading a sinful life, reserves your ticket into this place of "wailing and grinding of teeth". As unimaginable as Heaven, Great Awakening revivalist Jonathan Edwards depicted hell with sermons portraying, with eerie detail, the landscape of hell and the eternal torment of sinners, especially in his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." He pictured hell was, "paved with the skulls of unbaptized children." In other words, hell could be the sum of all fears, or payback for everything you have done wrong. The latter is strikingly similar to Karma. Buddhists believe that living a unsatisfactory life yields a reincarnation into a life situation worse than your previous. Thus is their explanation for deficiencies amongst humans. Whether it's the majesty of living forever in happiness, or being reborn into a more desirable life, or the threat of being locked into the worst place imaginable, or being reincarnated into a more undesirable life, people live to attain an afterlife existence in sublime happiness.
In accordance, in order to get where people want to get in the afterlife, humans also utilize religion as an instrument for living. In order for humans to achieve the eternal treasures and rewards of a happy afterlife, humans have to live life. Religion inspires us to live.
Religious people look to their religion for instructions about how to lead life with morals, and for refuge against life's dilemmas, from fear. These instructions are the dogmas of faith. These dogmas, for example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, inform one of the laws and rituals pertaining to the goal of the faith. The dogmas build character and benefit the believer by contributing to human growth. Most religions focus on developing good morals, living consistently with those morals, service, sacrifice, and love. These are also keys to terrestrial happiness and inner peace of one's self because it numbs the human attraction to material possessions. When the fellow human is put first, and they're content, you are also content in the achievement of their happiness. It is in this happiness along with the bare necessities of life, where the human being thrives. And when one is truly happy, one truly lives.
Religion also inspires thought and pondering about the supernatural. Are these beings I believe in real? Being skeptical about religion is perfectly normal, and it pushes us to learn about our world. But how did we get here? The first living organisms, or even anything, could not have just appeared out of thin air, there must be something (or things) that started or created the existence of anything. Science can only go so far. There are only theories on how the universe had started, and we have yet to find out for sure. What kind of immense power could have created the infitesmal plane of matter that is the universe? This is the common ground where the people meet and unite to discuss or think about as a whole, it brings us together. The existence of a higher power (or powers) is how humanity explains the cosmic unexplained. This thought injects in us a certain knack about the existence of a God-like being and is a stepping stool to following the doctrines of faith.
***note**** no conclusion yet!!