Religion strives to teach morality
By Tanner Nypen ’15
Religion is important to our society because it consists as a basis for morality and serves as a way to work toward the betterment of others.
When students look at the histories of many religions, it is true that we see evidence of violence and unrest and pain.
However, religion is necessary to help regulate and manage a sense of morality within the followers of faith.
For all the bad there is much more good.
Ethics have a root in religion whether or not you are religious.
Without this sense of morality that many religions provide, our world would be in a sense of chaos.
Religions are necessary for fostering and maintaining this sense of morality amongst its believers.
In a world without morality the past ideals would eventually be forgotten and leave a chaotic world behind.
Religions are also the basis for most of the charity and philanthropy services in our world.
Places like St. Vincent De Paul or Andre House, as an example from our backyard, would not exist without a religion present in our lives.
These services are what keep those in need of help functioning and provide others with the means to give time for the needy.
When we look at these services, they feed families and homeless who are hungry, they put clothes on their backs if they have none and they provide hospitality and more.
These organizations and others from around the world stem from religious teachings or religious figures from past societies.
Without religion these organizations could cease to aid those in need due to the lack of people willing to help.
Again, you could argue that new foundations would arise or that nonreligious people would go and help those in need, but in our society these organizations are usually founded on religious beliefs.
But the ideals behind these organizations are what would change, and this idea that helping those in need because of the background faith would no longer be present, or at least become secondary when it needs to be the primary goal.
Without religious teachings, what purpose is there to help make our world a better place if everyone could just live thinking about themselves?
Ultimately, religions give purpose to our actions, our needs and even our ideals.
Religion-less world socially, economically sustainable
By Reece M. Krantz ’16
Eighty-six percent of the world’s population is affiliated with a religion.
That’s about 5,985,387,000 people, each with their own set of sometimes widely different beliefs and viewpoints. These distinct differences have been fuel for many adversities.
War, crime and discrimination are just a few of the plausible outcomes of religious turmoil. These types of conflicts are not rare. Current examples of this would include Egypt and Syria.
The ongoing marathon of calamities in Egypt can be attributed to many factors, but a major catalyst in the mix is the discrimination and violence of majority Muslim groups against minority Christian groups.
Suzie Abdou, a Christian living in Egypt stated in her article in Levantine Culture Center, “During the revolution last February, there seemed to be a sense of unity among the different groups that were protesting—Christians, Muslims, young secular Egyptians—but in the last year there’s been a surge in attacks on Christians and Christian Churches.” From personal stories like this it seems like were people once united by a common interest, but now that this is gone, they resort to senseless violence.
Without religion, we would never have this sustained war. Differences would be between individuals and be based on character, rather than one’s seemingly arbitrary association with a particular group. Many of these differences cause conflict and unnecessary warfare over beliefs. These fights are as old as religion itself and also still occur today with the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Everyone is familiar with the Crusades, the incredibly violent and unjust holy wars that supposedly brought people closer to their God. You might claim these were in the past, but the ideology remains and is stronger than ever.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict officially started in 1929 when religious tensions over the Wailing Wall led to the 1929 Palestinian riots, including the Hebron and Safed massacres. In 1947, the United Nations decided on partitioning the Mandate of Palestine, which led to the creation of the state of Israel. Since then the region has been plagued with conflict.
Since these conflicts began all those years ago, the number of deaths has climbed to approximately 14,500, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Between 1987 and 2010 alone, 1,762 of those killed have been under the age of 18. All of this is because of religious differences and historical territory claims. The claims are being justified using the Old Testament.
Simply put, religion is the cause of many global issues from the Palestine/Israel conflict to discrimination at home. A world without these distractions would be more productive and friendlier.
The Dalai Lama asserted that morality can exist completely independently of religion, and that there are many secular people who are virtuous human beings, but that religion is an effective medium for promoting universally-positive, humanistic beliefs for those who are particularly receptive to faith.
It is impossible to change the world to be irreligious.What I am trying to provoke is the sense of questioning. I want people to ask why and how. I want people to stop justifying the quantitative information with the qualitative and instead look at the empirical and make their own judgements and beliefs, instead of being indoctrinated to something that may or may not be true.
I can almost guarantee that the younger generations in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict don’t want to fight. Much like those in the First World War, they lost their faith in their own government and country. They were either dragged in by the romanticism of old or their parents enforced duty and honor. Never the less, it has cost them dearly.
Should you abandon your faith? Not necessarily. Those who survive the gambit of doubt shouldn’t blindly throw out what they have if it comforts them. The time to question your faith is when it affects your judgement on character and how you judge and view the world. Then, it is an objective negative.
No matter what the differences are, we all live on the same Earth and have to coexist if we are ever to progress.