Religion Essays & Paper Examples

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Term Paper On Religion Definition Essay

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The word "religion" can have as many meanings as there are people on this planet. Each person has heir own interpretation of what religion means to themselves and the people around them. Religion is an organized community of many different types of groups that believe in their own divine being or beings, stories about why something is the way that it is, and some type of celebration involving each member of their faith. The first part of the definition is the basis of the word "religion." "It is an organized community of many different types of groups " To be part of this definition, each religious affiliation must be organized. Certain types of rules or bylaws need to be present. For example, Christianity's first set of these was the Ten Commandments. From there, each Christian faith set their own bylaws about what their beliefs are. This could be anything from a decision on abortion, to whether or not you should have sex before marriage. But in the end, each religion has written what their particular faith and its members should believe in. This leads into the second part of the definition, " believe in their own divine being or beings," and " stories about why something is the way that it is " All religious groups from Christianity and Buddhism, to some African tribe in Kenya, all have some form of a divine being. The Christians believe in their one God, the Muslims believe in Allah, the Buddhists believe in Buddha, and so on. The different tribes around the world believe in either one or many gods. Those who believe in one divine being, think of him as the one who made the world what it is today. Those who believe in many gods believe the same thing, but each god has their own stories, like the early Greek gods Apollo, god of the sun, and Poseidon, god of the sea. The belief in a divine being, whether one or many, begins the second half about stories and myths. Each religion has a number of stories meaning a number of different things. They all have a creation story. These stories are what people told one another about how the earth was first started. Other stories told could include anything from why a certain historical event happened the way it did, to why a tree grows the way it does. Myths were used to explain what could not be proven. With the scientific advances today, scientists have proven a great deal of things, but one that they are still unsure of is the beginning of the earth, and those are the myths that people are still hearing today. The last portion of the definition is just as important as the others, yet not many think of it that way. That is, " some type of celebration involving each member of their faith." If someone asks another person, "What religion are you?" and that person responds, "Catholic," is he or isn't he? To really be a part of a religion, a person not only must believe in everything in that faith, but they also need to participate in some way. Christians have their Sunday church, and Muslims have their Five Pillars to follow. If this "Catholic" says this because he believes in the faith, but he doesn't participate, then he is not really a true Catholic. It is almost like being asked if you play soccer for the school. You reply yes because you do. So the first impression that the other person gets is that you play varsity and that you have decent skill. But you sit the bench for the junior varsity team, which means your skills aren't there, but since you play the game, you belong in that group of soccer players. That's why participation is important: to tell others physically, vocally and mentally, that you are part of that faith. Also, the more you participate, the more you learn about your faith. So by participating, you become part of that community. For those who are non-religious, this definition is simple. Every religion has all these four points: organization, divine being, stories or myths, and some way for each individual to participate. Since there are so many religions out there, pick one with stories, myths, and laws that you can relate to. By reading these and believing in these, you will start understanding their divine being. After all of that, go to events and make yourself known. Then you will fully understand this definition of religion. Finally, one word that hadn't been talked about in the definition is "community." A community is a group of different persons that all have something in common. There are hundreds of religious groups in this world. Community is used in the definition because the word "religion" doesn't talk about just one group, but all the groups that can fit into this definition. A Christian here in America and another in Europe. A Jew in Asia and another here in America. Are all part of this community that believe in their own divine being or beings, stories about why something is the way that it is, and some type of celebration involving each member of their faith.

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