The cow as a sacred symbol of the Hindus, for example, is a rallying point which gives cohesion to Hindu society. Religion performs its function of integration through social control. It regulates the conduct of individuals by enforcing moral principles on them and by prescribing powerful sanctions against them for violation.
It is the ultimate source of social cohesion. The primary requirement of society is the common possession of social values by which individuals control the actions of self and others and through which society is perpetuated.
These social values emanate from religious faith. Religion is the foundation upon which these values rest. Children should obey their parents, should not tell a lie or cheat, women should be faithful to men; people should be honest and virtuous are some of the social values which maintain social cohesion.
It is religion that asks man to renounce unsocial activities and requires him to accept limitations upon his wants and desires. All the religions have preached love and non-violence. They have emphasized sacrifice and forbearance. It is one of the means of informal means of social control. Religion not only defines moral expectations for members of the religious group but usually enforces them. It supports certain types of social conduct by placing the powerful sanctions of the supernatural behind them.
It makes certain forms of social behaviour as offences not only against society but also against God. Hence, any violation of the acceptable norm is punishable not only by God but by society.
Hinduism gives sanction to the caste system which regulates social relations of various classes in India. Religion encourages people to render services to the needy and poor and promote their welfare. It develops philanthropic attitude of people. Help and assistance are rendered to poor and destitute persons due to religion inspiration. It is believed that one can obtain the cherished goal of religion by way of giving alms and assistance to the helpless and needy persons.
In this way religion promotes the welfare of individuals, groups and community. The priesthood often was dedicated to art and culture. The priests laid the foundations of medicine. Magic supplied the roots of observation and experimentation from which science developed. It also inculcated the habit of charity among the people who opened many charitable institutions like hospitals, rest houses, temples to help the needy and the poor.
Religion serves to soothe the man in times of his suffering and disappointment. In this world man often suffers disappointment even in the midst of all hopes and achievements. The things for which he strives are in some measure always denied to him. When human hopes are blighted, when all that was planned and striven for has been swept away, man naturally wants something to console and compensate him.
When a son dies man seeks to assuage his grief in ritualistic exchanges of condolence. On God he puts faith and entertains the belief that some unseen power moves in mysterious ways to make even his loss meaningful. Faith in God compensates him and sustains his interest in life and makes it bearable.
In this way religion helps man to bear his frustrations and encourages him to accept his lot on earth. Man unites himself with the infinite and feels ennobled. Through unity with the infinite the self is made majestic and triumphant. Man considers himself the noblest work of God with whom he shall be united and his self thus becomes grand and luminous.
Besides this, religion shapes domestic, economic and political institutions. Religion supports institutional pattern more explicitly. All the great religions of the world have attempted to regulate kinship relations, especially marriage and family. Political institutions are often sanctioned by religion: Religious rites are performed on many occasions in relation to vital events and dominant interests: Religion is the central element in the life of civilisation.
Religion has also performed some other services to humanity among which Sumner and Keller included the provision of work, the spread of education, the accumulation of capital and the creation of a leisure class.
For thousands of years, religion has exerted a great influence over economic and political life. Even today religion is called upon to support rulers, contacts and other legal procedures. In addition to positive functions of religion, there are some negative aspects of its social functions.
Although religion is an integrative force, it may be disruptive for the society as a whole. The dysfunctions of religion are as follows. According to Thomas F. All protests and conflicts are not always negative. Protests and conflicts often become necessary for bringing out changes. Some changes would certainly lead to positive reforms. By inhibiting protests and preventing changes religion may postpone reforms.
Social values and norms emanate from religious faith. Some of the norms which lose their appropriateness under changed conditions may also be imposed by religion. Even today, traditional Muslims face religio-ethical problems concerning interest-taking. Similar social conflict is evident in the case of birth control measures including abortion, in the Catholic world.
Religion often makes its followers dependent on religious institutions and leaders. But it does not develop an ability in them to assume individual responsibility. For example, a good number of people in India prefer to take the advises of priests and religious leaders before starting some ventures.
But they do not take the suggestion of those who are competent in the field. In its course of development religion has supported and promoted evil practices such as cannibalism, slavery, untouchability, human and animal sacrifice etc.
As religion interprets misfortune and suffering in this world as manifestations of the supernatural order itself, it sanctifies the existing social structure. Religion preaches submission to the existing socio-economic condition and to fate.
It is the opiate of the people. Religion is the source of many superstitions. These superstitions have caused harm to human being. Superstitions like evil spirits and ghosts cause diseases; poverty is the desire of the God etc.
Religion results in inter-group conflicts by dividing people along religious lines. It is deeply related with conflicts. Wars and battles have been fought in the name of religion. Sumner and Keller are of the opinion that religion often causes economic wastes. For example, investing huge sums of money on building temples, churches, mosques, etc.
It leads to waste of human labour, energy and time. Religion creates diversities among people. It creates a gap among them. In the name of God and religion, loot, plundering, mass killing, rape and other cruel and inhuman treatments have been meted out to people. Religion has made people blind, dumb and deaf to the reality. They have faith without reasoning which is blind. On the contrary, it has often made people to become bigots and fanatics. Bigotry and fanaticism have led to persecution, inhuman treatment and misery in the past.
It preaches submission to the existing conditions and maintenance of status quo. Religion is not readily amenable to social change and progress. Religion has tried to prevent the scientists from discovering new facts.
For example, it tried to suppress the doctrines of Darwin, Huxley and others. By placing high premium on divine power religion has made people fatalistic. They think that all events in life is due to some divine power and hence due to fate. As a result, his power and potentiality is undermined. Thus, religion affects the creativity of man. Marx has strongly criticised religion. For Marx all that was fundamental in the science of society proceeded from the material and especially the economic sphere.
For him therefore religion is, to be sure, superstition, but to stop at this point is to limit religion to merely abstract belief. It leaves the impression that religion may be dislodged simply by new, rational belief. Merely changing beliefs is not enough. The transformation of an entire social order is required, for belief is deeply rooted in the social relations of men.
But man is no abstract being, squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, the state, and society. This state, this society produce religion, a perverted world consciousness, because they are a perverted world. Religion is the compendium of that world, its encyclopedic, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn completion, its universal ground for consolation and justification.
It is the fantastic realization of the human essence because the human essence has no true reality. Marx believed, like Luduig Feuerbach, that what man gives to God in the form of worship, he takes from himself. That is, man is persuaded through suffering or through false teaching to project what is his to a supernatural being. But he was convinced, unlike Feuerbach, that what is fundamental is not religious forms — against which Feuerbach had urged revolt-but the economic forms of existence.
But before religion can be abolished the conditions which nurture it must be done away with. Marx was an atheist as well as a great humanist. He had profound sympathy for all who look up to religion for salvation. This is amply clear from his following observation: Change is the very essence of a living thing. A living religion must grow, must advance and must change. No form of religion is static. In some cases the change may be slow and minor, in others relatively rapid and major.
Every religion claims its first principle supreme, original and eternal. Hence, there is also an element of censure for change. Broadly, there are three types of changes in religion: Contact with complex form of religion adds many new elements in the simple form of tribal religion. For example, with the gradual spread of Vaishnavism in chhotanagpur, the Oraons tribe which lives in that region, began to reorganise traditional faith.
There are also examples of simplification of complex form of religion, specially of rituals and ceremonies. In the 19 century, Brahmo Samaj again tried to simplify the complex nature of Brahmanic Hinduism. Mixing of more than one form has caused development of new religious organisation. The most excellent example is of Sophism. It has evolved from Persian, Zoroastrianism and Arab Islamism. The history of the development of religion shows that as mankind moves from small isolated village towards large, complex, urban, industrialised society the character of influence of religion on man and his life changes.
In the earlier phases of religion the primary needs of mankind, those concerned with the necessities of life, played a dominant part. As religious explanation of the universe is gradually substituted by rational scientific explanations and various group activities such as politics, education, art and music have been increasingly transferred from ecclesiastical to civil and other non-religious agencies, the conception of God as a power over man and his society loses its importance.
This movement is sometimes referred to as secularisation. Thus secularisation as Bryan Wilson has defined, refers to the process in which religious thinking, practice and institutions lose social significance. In Europe, secularisation is held to be the outcome of the social changes brought about by urban, industrial society. It means that religious beliefs and practices have tended to decline in modern urban, industrial societies, particularly among the working class in Western societies.
Religion in Western societies has tended to place less emphasis on dogma and more on social values. It has tried to reconcile its doctrine with scientific knowledge.
As Barnes has pointed out religion adapted to our changed conditions of life is worth preserving and it must seek to organise. The masses and guide their activities for the benefit of the society rather than for the purpose of pleasing the God.
Secularism as an ideology has emerged from the dialectic of modern science and Protestantism, not from simple repudiation of religion and the rise of rationalism.
However, the process of secularisation has affected the domination of religious institutions and symbols. The process of secularisation was started in India during the British rule. But the process of secularisation took its course unlike Western Europe renaissance and reformation in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The process was very slow. However, this worldly outlook, rationality and secular education gradually affected various aspects of religion in India.
Various laws of social reformation, modern education, transport and communication contributed towards decline in religiosity among the Hindus. No doubt we are moving from religiosity to secular way of life. But evidences show that religious beliefs have not declined in West as well as in our society. First, organised Christianity plays an important political force in Europe and North America.
Second, the vitality of Zionism, militant Islam Islamic fundamentalism , radical Catholicism in Latin America and Sikhism, fundamentalism and communalism in India suggest that no necessary connection exists between modernisation and secularisation. All these criticisms are formidable indeed. But it should be noted that the diversity of religious sects and cults in modern societies demonstrates that religion has become an individual matter and not a dominant feature of social life.
It can also be argued that, while religion may play a part in ideological struggles against colonialism as in Iran , in the long run modernisation of society brings about secularisation. The history of the development of religion shows that as mankind moves from small isolated villages towards large, complex, urban, industrial society; the influence of religion on man and his life changes.
In the earlier phases of religion the primary needs of mankind were very much influenced by it. As religious explanation of the universe is gradually substituted by rational scientific explanations and various group activities politics, education, art and music have been increasingly transferred from ecclesiastic to civil and other non-religious agencies, the conception of God as power over man and his society loses its importance.
This movement is sometimes referred to as secularization. Secularism as an ideology has emerged from the dialectic of modern science and Protestantism, not from a simple repudiation of religion and the rise of rationalism.
Starting Sentence Option 1: Starting Sentence Option 2: Religion at Psychology Today. You only have to look at [example] to see that [first claim]. It has [provide examples to prove points] as seen at [historical moment]. This leads to the conclusion that [first claim]. Take, for example, [name a religion], which is known for [characteristic].
What conclusion can one draw but [second claim]? Religions have existed as long as people have and [name a religion] is a good example of [positive or negative characteristic]. This leads to the conclusion that [second claim]. According to [expert name], religion is [third claim]. This can be seen in [example] and [historical example].
Provide your readers and professors with a list of the religious references or works cited in your essay so they can easily fact check. Cite your sources using citation generating tools, such as EasyBib. Religion Essay Example Back to all templates. Introduction Starting Sentence Option 1: Example Opening Claims for Religion Religion gives people a set of standards to follow and a purpose in life. Religion helps guide the lost and provide them with morals.
- The Value of Religion In the essay, “Is Religion Bad or Good?” John Stahl reveals his thoughts on how religion is not necessarily good even though it is supposed to be. He points out five different religions including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Quaker as he gathers his opinion on each.
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.
Search to find a specific religion essay or browse from the list below: Huckleberry Finn: Themes of Religion Phyu Han Theme of Religion in Huckleberry Finn Relating to today’s Society In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain makes a . Religion has been a part and parcel of human life since time immemorial. Religion represents a great system of human thought. Religion is the predominant influence over the conduct of our lives. Religion attempts to search for a deeper meaning to life, to find facts about the universe, about the.
What is Religion Essay Words | 6 Pages. World Religion What is Religion? According to the American College Dictionary, religion is a noun defined as the quest for the values of the ideal life. This definition is vast and general, allowing for a variety of interpretations by people from all cultures. Essay about In the name of religion - The issue of war itself has been debated, published and broadcast on prime time news, but the current national crisis' are multifaceted and have many dimensions that are neither explored at lenght, nor adequately ananlyzed by the vast majority of those who support the political arena that wage them.