Religion is the conglomeration of various systems of belief, cultural systems and points of view of people in different parts of the world regarding human spirituality and the expected moral values (Smith 10). Various religions contain myths and stories that attempt to explain the basic platforms on which they derive their values. One of the hottest discussions that has led to the rise of religion is the attempt to explain the origin of life and the etiology of mankind (Armstrong 45). In the verge of explaining how our planet came to exist and the factors that could have led to the origin of mankind, people come across mysteries that cannot be fully comprehended (Smith 12). It is due to this fact that different scholars and philosophers bridged the gap between the understandable and the hidden facts by introducing the aspect of religion.
Religion is based on the existence of a supernatural divine being, God, who is believed to be behind all the fancy and unimaginable aspects of beauty in the environment that individuals cannot fathom. Some believe in the existence of many gods (polytheism). Religions can be categorized into world religions, which are trans-cultural and practiced by individuals in various countries. Indigenous religions are those practiced by individuals from specific cultures or particular nations (Smith 16). New religious movements form a category of the recently developed and upcoming religions. The various religious groups include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu among others (Armstrong 24). These groups have their unique values and beliefs. Every group believes in the supremacy of their own religious beliefs and practices.
In my opinion, religion is a good word. This is due to the fact that it provides a means of identity of an individual with a particular group. Existing in the world without any beliefs would lead to a visionless cadre of people who portray lack of direction (Dennett 34). It is very difficult for an individual to be separated from the values that have been inculcated in them in the process of their upbringing. Even atheists, who claim to be ardent scientists, tend to cherish the principles that guide (Armstrong 72). The belief in science as a source of explaining world events is in itself also a religion. Some believe that there is no God but value love, kindness and goodness towards all natural creatures (Smith 22). That is also a religion even though it may not focus on the existence of a supernatural entity.
The strong bond of religion acts as a source of unity promoting harmony among the members of the same faith. This is due to the common belief system as they share various aspects (Dennett 136). Most religions entail gathering of their followers to offer common prayers to a particular supernatural being or beings (Smith 30). Such activities include offering sacrifices to this deity in unity. This aids in promoting peaceful coexistence within the population. Some argue that religion promotes violence and animosity to those not of the same faith. Such a notion is, however, not completely true as the values of any straight religion would not allow people to kill one another. Non-religious people will, thus, use religion as a scapegoat to get along with their crimes. Truly religious people believe in doing good to others and valuing them as God’s creation (Smith 37).
Religion helps in shaping the morality principles of a particular group of people. It clearly defines the expected code of conduct and the norms of its followers (Dennett 203). For instance, Christianity has the Ten Commandments that postulate how people should relate to God and one another. Without such values in any religion, people would be lawless, hence would not tolerate one another in the society (Smith 45). Violation of the principles is associated with penalties and sins that would affect those involved. Since religion involves submission to the authority of God and the clergy, it enables citizens of a certain country to easily obey law and order (Armstrong 105). This helps in reducing the crime rates in a particular society.
Religion provides an explanation concerning some incomprehensible facts by mankind. Religion attributes the creation of the whole world to God. God is believed to have existed prior to mankind and was behind the genesis of the beauty of the original world (Smith 16). However, although scientists have attempted to explain the origin of the world through various experiments, there remains a void as to the force behind all of these occurrences. For instance, the big bang theory believes that the world originated from collision between particles under the influence of light. However, whatever existed before the big bang cannot be clearly explained and, thus, it cannot object the existence of a divine creature before. Religion bridges the knowledge gap by offering an explanation of this fact. Some religions, like Christianity, believe in life after death, claiming that those who have died having faith in Jesus Christ will be resurrected and have an everlasting life afterwards (Armstrong 153). This provides a ray of hope and motivation to the followers due to the guarantee of another life afterwards. The individuals will, thus, strictly follow the commandments and attempt to live honest lives in order to be rewarded in the end, hence extending their goodness to humanity.
In conclusion, religion helps in connecting people in different parts of the world and uniting them, thus enabling them to be tolerant with one another (Smith 67). The divisions that have been experienced due to diverse beliefs should be shed off for people to accommodate to each other. Nobody lives in a world where they do not uphold any belief in anything and, thus, it can be generalized that all people are religious in their own way, hence making religion a good word.