Essay on religious beliefs

In order to grasp this subject one should return to associate understanding of key terms which will be utilized in this paper. during this paper i will define faith as a particular set of beliefs and practices that facilitate a culture or individual orient themselves in and explain the character of the universe around themselves. This definition includes both the beliefs of a non secular system (their mythologies, their creation stories, stories of life punishments and rewards) as well as their practices (rituals of birth, death and life events, liturgy and different seasonal or specific rites). And although i will be discussing varied specific religions and the negative influences they have had, i am not assailing the religions themselves, however rather the construct of religion, typically speaking. i will also be frequently exploitation the term religious, which signifies that an individual incorporates a belief in some power or being more than themselves, and the beliefs and practices associated with that power. i will also use the term religiosity to describe the degree to which one is religious. different terms i will be exploitation are ‘fundamentalism’ which implies a profound and unwavering adherence to a particular belief system often within the face of criticism for such adherence from the wider culture group. Fundamentalist sects of a particular faith, solely compose a very tiny portion of the population of the faith. Fundamentalists, in respect to my paper, are the minority in their religions, nonetheless a very vocal and active minority. i will also mention ‘extremism’ in faith which implies belief systems that exist outside of the political and moral center of a culture. this could mean either ‘side’ of the spectrum; that’s political orientation may well be either to a fault liberal or conservative.

While nearly each ancient culture was based during a belief of some belief, the religions of South America in particular area unit a historical example of how religions can be unbelievably damaging and harmful to society. The Aztec, United Nations agency lived in what is present day North American country, were infamous for their inclusion of human sacrifice in their religious rituals and practices (Sabloff, 1997, pg.9). it absolutely was their belief that since the Gods shed their blood for the advantage of humanity; humans must repay that debt with the blood of sacrificed humans. In their creation story, the primary four Gods created in Aztec mythology battled for United Nations agency can rule the planet they created. within the method, humans area unit all destroyed additionally as all life on Earth. The God deity, referred to as the Feathered Serpent, eventually tricks the god of the underworld into giving him the bones of the dead humans, and brings them back to life along with his own blood. This created a debt to the God that humanity must repay with their own blood (an equal gift of life for life) (‘The dawn and time of day of man’, 2003). Spanish Conquistadors according that the unremarkably white walls of the Templo civil authority (Great Temple) at the Aztec town of Tenochtitlan (located on the location of present day North American country City), were painted red by the blood of killing victims who’s hearts were removed by Aztec priest with volcanic glass knifes before being kicked down the numerous stairs of the step pyramid (Furst, J. 2003).

It is estimated that between two thousand and 10 thousand individual prisoners of war were sacrificed at the Temples various rededications thought the centuries (Sabloff, 1997, pg 120). Hern’?n Cort’?s DE Monroy y adventurer, a lot of simply known as Hern’?n Cort’?s, the conquistador attributable with taking the lands of North American nation for the Spanish crown was astonied by the amount of savage violence depicted by the Nahuatl in their religious worship. He aforesaid during a letter to Emperor Charles V of Espana that . . . ‘??I have seen that . . . will . . . be so remarkable as to not be believed, for we tend to who have seen them with our own eyes couldn’t grasp them with understanding’ (Sabloff, 1997, pg 120.) The conquistadors noted that though the Nahuatl were heavily involved in human sacrifice for their Gods, they rarely sacrificed fellow Nahuatl. Rather, they would often purchase slaves or if slaves were untouchable, they would wage war on a close to by non-Aztec settlement (Templo city manager repository, 2000) and instead of killing the folks, would take them captive as prisoners of war (Furst, 2003, pg 27). Nahuatl blood itself was too precious to be spilled, as it was the blood of the Gods themselves that ran inside Nahuatl veins in step with their supernatural virtue. thus we’ve an early example of {a religious|a spiritual|a non secular} group elevating themselves to the next status of humanity than non adherents to their religious concepts.

The association of desire and religion does not end with antiquity although. Well into the middle Ages in Europe and also the geographic area humans continued to entwine religion and violence and this was most notably seen in the Crusades. there were many separate crusades, beginning in 1095 AD and lasting well into the 1400s. The supply of the conflict was the struggle to control a town sacred to both Christianity and Islam, however an temperament from either group to see each other as having a legitimate claim to the site. (Housley, 2007, pg. 190). In 1095 AD Pope Urban II issued a edict absolving crusader knights of any sin they’d ever committed in their life, if they took up the weapon system to free the Celestial City from the hands of the ‘incorrigible [depraved] and militant enemy of the Christian religion’ (Housley, 2007, pg 200). when reading Christian sources from the amount, one might begin to imagine the Crusades as a righteous endeavor by the Christians, however few historians take into account the Muslim view of the Crusades (Chevedden, 2008, pg 182). in step with Muslim sources, Muslims justified their Crusades (Jihad) against the Christians because they were attacked first. In 1099 an Muslim scholar named Ali ibn Tahir al-Sulami wrote in his book Kitab {al-jihad|al-Jihad|Egyptian Muslim Jihad|Islamic Jihad|Vanguards of Conquest|terrorist organization|terrorist group|foreign terrorist organization|FTO} (‘The Book of Holy War’) that the defense and war over jerusalem started when the Christians attacked Islamic held Sicily and Espana. (Chevedden, 2008, pg.182). basically both sides damned each other for the reason behind the conflict. In such, both religious teams conjointly developed the manoeuvre of marginalization of the enemy. even supposing both Christianity and Islam area unit monotheistic faiths (that is, they believe in and worship one God) both sides claimed the opposite were Pagans (polytheists, or believers in multiple Gods), that was a simple to apply and understood label of villainy, and made it easier to apply the ploy of ‘the wicked other’, that is putting the ‘enemy’ during a class of evil thus far from the ‘correct’ path, it is justified to destroy them (Housely, 2007, 197).

During the time of the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica and the emergence of the West African traffic, we tend to see that Europeans additionally debased different groups of individuals World Health Organization were not of their spiritual community. In 1452, Pope Nicolas V issued a decree entitled ‘Dum Diversas’ that authorized ‘. . . full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens [Muslims] and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ where they may be, further as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and different property … and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery’ (Love, 2007) , and basically gave the conquistadors of Espana and the slavers of portugal a blank check to subjugate any and all people that were not of their religion. a major example of this can be the historic voyage of Cristobal Colon, as he landed on the Bahaman coast and encountered the Arawak World Health Organization were the native people of the islands. Columbus as an explorer in service to the Spanish Crown was considerably conscious of the decree Dum Diversas and it showed in what he wrote in his log regarding his 1st encounter with the Arawak,

‘They… brought United States parrots and balls of cotton and spears and lots of different things, that they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned …. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. they are doing not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a arm, they took it by the sting and cut themselves out of mental object. they need no iron. Their spears ar manufactured from cane…. they would create fine servants…. With fifty men we tend to might subjugate all of them and create them do no matter we tend to want” (Zinn, 2003).

Because of a religious document issued by the religious leader of catholicism, Columbus could not see the worth of those people as humans, and instead saw them as resources to be utilised for the advantage of their cluster. And indeed, he was quite economical at doing therefore, and by 1550 less than five hundred Arawak colonised the Caribbean islands (Zinn, 2003).

Even in the present time religion’s path of violence continues on. Historians cannot ignore the role religion contend in the most horrific time in the 20th century: Adolph Hitler’s third reich, Nazi Germany. it is hotly debated what the spiritual ideas of the political party truly were. Some sources claim that the Nazis were truly Pagans trying to revive the ancestral religion of the Germanic people, ‘The third reich sought to interchange the ancient faith with a neo-pagan “Religion of the blood” with Nazi because the godlike figure at its heart’ (Duke, 2008, pg 34). different sources show that dictator and the Nazis thought of themselves as a brand new branch of Christianity known as ‘positive Christianity’ (Steigmann-Gall, 2007, pg. 316), that given the nature of the third reich and the atrocities it committed, is ironic at the best. nevertheless dictator was additionally careful to not alienate the popular religion of catholicism and though he and different high ranking officials often spoke out against the ‘dying religion’, they created no active pursuit to destroy the Church or its members, simply because there were too several Catholics in European nation for this to be effective (Steigmann-Gall, 2007, pg. 317). That vitriol was unleashed on the minority religion of Judaism, and some sources list as several as 9 to eleven million Jews were sentenced to death in the third reich, merely attributable to their spiritual affiliation (Duke, 2008, pg 36).

Religion is turning into even a lot of necessary to know in the present time. In researching this subject, it absolutely was interesting to note that the majority of the analysis that dealt with the positive edges of religion was printed prior to 2001. when Sep 11th, 2001, the analysis has began to acknowledge the negative impact religion has on the psychological health of individuals and how that successively affects the society during which they live. several scholars of religion and history felt a way of shock that the thought of a Holy War would continue into nowadays (Miller, J.M. SOCI3312-01 lecture, August, 2008), however so the Holy War is witnessed in the current conflict close the events of Sep 11th, 2001, that basically continues the conflicts between Christianity and Islam born from the Crusades.

Yet, one cannot blame the total of Islam for such atrocities (as one cannot blame anybody entire faith for the actions of a minority), but should still get to grasp where fundamentalist extremists attain such ideas. Extremist Moslem view, which rejects modernness as a contradiction to the laws of God, will be cited as a direct reason for such fanatic attacks on the predominantly Christian Western world. Nielsen wrote that extremist Moslem fundamentalists believe that ‘. . . civilisation is associate abomination, utterly out of harmony with God’s can. God does not am passionate about it, does not tolerate it, and neither do God’s followers’ (Nielsen, 2001, pg. 378). Muslim fundamentalists see civilisation as sinful, indulgent, depraved and against everything allah (God) has commanded ( Stern, 2003, pg. 124). Rogers, M., Loewenthal, K., Lewis, C., Aml’?t, R., Cinnirella, M., and Ansari, H found that the terrorist violence exhibited by extremist Muslims is a direct result of the religion’??s belief in martyrdom, or the willingness of a private to sacrifice their own life in defense of the religion (Rogers, Loewenthal, Lewis, Aml’?t, Cinnirella, & Ansari, 2007, pg. 255) and additionally reportable that the willingness to experience martyrdom at the expense of the life of a non believer related to, united would expect, with a high level of violent behavior (Rodgers et.al, 2007, pg 256). Stern conducted associate interview with one young Muslim man UN agency was associate operative from a Pakistani terrorist organization known as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a gaggle linked to Osama Bin Ladin’s International Moslem Front (Stern, 2003, pg. 122). once asked how he felt concerning the chance of dying as a suicide bomber against ‘infidels’ (non-believers), he said, ‘What is there to be afraid of? I pray for death everyday. throughout my studies, reading the Koran, i made a decision to sacrifice my life for jihad. If I die in the Jihad, i am going to paradise. allah can reward ME. this is my dream’ (Stern, 2003, pg. 123).

Once there is associate understanding of how faith has affected civilization negatively throughout the centuries, it is potential to achieve a far better understanding of the precise harmful psychological issues than will be developed once faith crosses from moderation and tolerance to fundamentalism and ideology. before 2001, the bulk of analysis in the field of psychology {of faith|of faith} was focused on the positive advantages that religion had on a private. very few studies that examined the adverse affects were printed throughout that time likewise, and any study that did mention the negative affects, did therefore solely in passing and quickly skimmed over any discrepancies in their analysis.

It is obvious that the harmful and negative effects of faith area unit much more devastating to the individual and society than the useful and positive effects area unit for the nice of the individual and society. The useful merchandise of faith, however, cannot be over looked. Studies have shown that physical health is exaggerated greatly if an individual subscribes to a religion (Jones, 2004, p. 318), Associate in Nursingd their mental health also advantages with an association to a faith (Le, T.N, Tov, W., Taylor, J. 2007, p. 225), but one must look to the level of religiousness at that these advantages area unit possible. Moderate levels of belief with toleration for the religious convictions of others area unit the ideal level of religiousness for the positive aspects of faith to manifest. Once belief crosses from moderate levels to high levels, we see the emergence of fundamentalist and extremist belief that afford no deviation from the prescribed belief system. With these fundamentalist and extremist belief systems, comes the only too high price of deteriorating mental upbeat. Toleration of different belief systems is unbelievable with these kinds of religions (Altemeyer, B. 2003, pg 18), and anyone differing from said belief is straight away dehumanised as the ‘wicked other’ (Housely, 2007, 197). This paper is not a require the ending of faith, and the first appearance of Associate in Nursing age of atheistic disbelief. Rather the aim of this paper is to coach and bring to light the very doable outcomes of permitting religious convictions to manage ones life, and permitting that management to tell an individual to hunt the conversion of each living soul to the belief system, causes a {good} deal more harm than good. Tolerance and acceptance of the various completely different sorts of belief instead of making a hostile environment wherever everyone UN agency believes otherwise from the cluster is evil and thus less human is that the key to mitigating, or change these potential harmful effects of faith. By viewing the historical implications of the negative aspects of faith, one can see however harmful this path can become if left uncurbed. religion are often an attractive, important and positive addition to the lives of those UN agency believe, but when taken to the acute and fundamentalist views, it can become one thing than can cause the destruction of the individual, and the society within which they live.

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