Full version Functions Of Religion

Functions Of Religion

This print version free essay Functions Of Religion.

Category: Religion

Autor: reviewessays 01 January 2011

Words: 1623 | Pages: 7

Studies of Religion

1. What are the functions of religion?

2. Is it possible to be religious and accept the teachings of modern science?

Based upon my opinion and research I believe that it is not possible to be religious and at the same time, accept the teachings of modern science. As explained in the two questions below, the idea of a religion is to seek the answer to the meaning of life, and after death, live in an eternity with their God. Many religions outline the beginning of the world and how we all had come onto this earth. For example, Christianity has the Garden of Eden, and Scientology believes we were placed on the earth by aliens. Now that technology is constantly advancing at such an incredible rate, modern society relies a lot upon science to solve the mystery of how we came to be on the earth, and our purpose. The explanation by modern science diverts many away from their previous religions as they no longer need to look for a meaning and basis of life as it can be explained and supposedly proved through on going scientific research. Therefore, the two sides clash and do not allow for people to be religious and at the same time accept what modern science is proposing.

3.Why is it that some people lose their faith while others are converted?

Constantly, the world is changing and same as people. Religion to a majority is not a large factor of their life. Many only go to church on special occasions such as Christmas, and Easter. Particular religions become less based upon the actual history and beliefs, which allows for a lot of movement between religions and non-religious beliefs. People can be easily introduced into a religion due to a life-altering event when they discover a God like figure. Religion brings emotional highs, moral guidance and supernatural connections which all bring faith to many. For example, many religions believe in the education of religion to children from a very young age to give them moral guidance. In religion, as explained below, many look for the meaning and purpose of life, especially how we all came to live on this earth. Now science believes it can explain how we came to be, giving people no reason to search for a reason any more. �Many find the beliefs, moral practices, and rituals of a religion, to hold no meaning in the modern world.’ The guidance of young children is believed to be a form of brainwashing the children, and attempting to inform them until they are old enough to make their own decisions upon matters. Due to the rapidly changing modern world people have less time, and want to have fun and enjoy life. They see religion as restraining the good side of life by introducing dress codes, and rules, which they must obey.

4.Describe how religion is a distinctive answer to the human search for meaning and purpose in life.

As religion describes and is based upon how the world has been created, it also, depending up on the religion, gives a distinctive answer to the meaning of life and who we are. For example, in the Buddhists religion, their main goal in life and the most they could achieve is to move out of the constant cycle into Nirvana. Similar to Christianity as many Christians are seeking forgiveness from God, and a goal would to be spending the rest of eternity in Heaven with God, in their life after death. Although, depending upon the religion and the religious beliefs of the people, religion may not give the meaning of life in which so many are seeking, but it intends to signal their followers in the �correct’ direction to their purpose in life.

5.What is necessary for a religious tradition to remain a �dynamic and living force in contemporary society.’

6. Is there a Supreme Being? Is there life after death?

The �supreme being’ belief depends entirely on the person’s religion. In Christianity, Jewish, and Islamic, there is a Monotheistic God. Being only one god. In these religions the origin does vary throughout these religions. For example, Christianity is based around the teachings of Jesus, which can be found in the New Testament. The Virgin Mary gives birth to baby Jesus in a barn after fleeing from soldiers. It is believed that Jesus had been crucified and then resurrected to save us all from our sin.

Islam is also classified as an Abrahamic religion. It is the second largest religion after Christianity. The Muslims believe that God had given Muhammad the Qur’an representing Gods final prophet as the fundamental source of Islam. It is not believed that the founder of this new religion was Muhammad but Moses, Abraham and Jesus who are all a part of Christianities history.

Death, as we all are aware of is the ending of ordinary human existence. There are great debates between certain religion in regards to the afterlife. In some religions, reincarnation is believed that once a person has died they are then born into another after life as someone or something else. For example, Hindus and Spiritists. In others an idea of heaven is conveyed and to many, life after death is believed to be a myth and that there is nothing after death. Judaism is very similar to Christianity in regards to the belief in heaven. Judaism divides death into four different categories. The faithful saints who await resurrection in paradise, the virtuous who await their award, the purely wicked who wait for their punishment, and finally the wicked who have already been punished which will not be resurrected on Judgement Day.

In Christianity, it is believed that people are resurrected into another life, but only into two categories. Heaven and Hell. Once again, the just like the Christians, Muslims believe that there are also two categories in life after death. Jannah is the equivilent to Heaven and Jahannam is the equivalent of Hell.

7. What is Dreaming?

The Dreaming is � a complex concept of fundamental importance to Aboriginal culture, embracing the creative era long past of the Ancestral Beings as well as the present and the future.’ This is the Aboriginals belief of how the world was created and how it works. It refers to time before time, which is similar to Christianity where there are a series of stories in the bible, which foretold how the world that we live in was created, and by who. These stories of creation are all about sacred places, land, people, flora and fauna, law and custom which is extremely complex about the stories of creation and the spiritual and physical aspects of their lives. Dream time stories are passed on from generation to generation telling of how a snakelike being produced the Darling Scarp by wandering the lands creating lakes, rivers and waterways.

8. What are Ancestral beings and what role do they play in traditional Aboriginal Australia?

Ancestral beings are the main spirits, which the Aboriginals believed to have created this world. These beings include the Rainbow Serpent, the Yowie, Bunyips, and the Bunjil.

�The whole world was asleep. Everything was quiet, nothing moved, nothing grew. The animals slept under the earth. One day the rainbow snake woke up and crawled to the surface of the earth. She pushed everything aside that was in her way. She wandered through the whole country and when she was tired she coiled up and slept. So she left her tracks. After she had been everywhere she went back and called the frogs. When they came out their tubby stomachs were full of water. The rainbow snake tickled them and the frogs laughed. The water poured out of their mouths and filled the tracks of the rainbow snake. That's how rivers and lakes were created. Then grass and trees began to grow and the earth filled with life.’

The roll in which these Ancestral Beings play in Traditional Aboriginal is that they are the creators of the world they live on. Everything that surrounds the Aboriginals, they believe that it was created through a tale and for a certain reason. Rather than being passed on through books such as the Qur’an, and the bible, it was passed on through the world of the elders of one generation to the next. It is an extremely significant part of Aboriginal history.

9. Describe the link between the Aborigines and the land?

For the Aboriginals, the land is alive and was creating by spirits in the stories of the Dreaming. Unlike our civilisation, they live with the land rather than on it, nurturing the land and using the land in a very sustainable way. Depending upon the time of the year, they would back burn certain areas of the bush drawing out animals for food and helping native plants to disperse new seeds. As many are nomadic, they move around parts of the land and allow for the land to regrow rather than leaving a large ecological footprint over the land just as our modern day society is doing. The land is extremely important to the Indigenous Australians as it is the basis of their identity as the journeys of ancestral being created the land and it’s people which is re-told through stories of the Dreaming, rituals, ceremonies, and art.

10. Dreaming is the past, the present and the future. Discuss.

The Aboriginals believe that every person lives for eternity within the Dreaming, which exists before and after the life of the individual as long as this child was born through a mother. The spirit of the child is expected to enter the foetus during the pregnancy and if they baby kicked, it was believed that this was the work of the land spirits, therefore the expecting mother would stand.