Faith or an Excuse?

December 15, 2011
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One of the most thought-provoking questions I've ever heard is: Is religion real, or pyschological?

Do we believe in what our faith tells us to believe in because we know in our heart of hearts that it is true, or do we believe because we have an emotional need to belong to some community?

Is all of it-- the spiritual leaders we put our faith in, the laws we follow in a way so pristine,-- just because we're not brave enough to face a world with no higher calling?
Sometimes, it feels as though religion is an excuse, a way to create happiness in an otherwise dark world.

Well, what's so wrong about that? Even if it is all a ruse, even if there is no truth whatsoever in our books, it has taught the world an unsurpassable amount of good, beginning with "thou shalt not kill."

Religion has given millions and millions of people structure in life, it has taught truly amazing and timeless values to every generation and it has brought life and hope to all those who hang onto it.

Religion--most religions-- is a faith, a strong belief in the basic goodness of the world and the laws by which we can abide in order to live meaningful lives.

Religion, in my opinion, is the greatest beacon of life ever given to the world.

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Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm
What's wrong with jihad? Maybe you don't understand the concept.
savetheplanet said...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm
*Sighs* Time to debunk another misconception. Jihad is not as it is construed, a holy war. It is in fact a personal struggle that brings you closer to your religion. For example, if you are an alco.holic, then overcoming your add.iction is your jihad. Terr.orists misuse jihad to promote their violent goals.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm
Jihad CAN be war if you're STRUGGLING against a tyrant, for instance. Peace.
savetheplanet said...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Jihad can be used as a war yes, but it is to be used in defense only.
Sunshine15 said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm
Maybe the values of Jihad aren't bad, I don't know enough to argue, but the fact that its used to justify murder and terror is a horrible thing. Religion should NEVER be used for evil
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm
Er...many things are used to justify evil things. Of course religion shouldn't be used for evil, but that doesn't make it poison. Christians have been persecuting people for centuries. Do the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades come to mind? Are you saying that Christianity is evil because of it?
Sunshine15 said...
Jan. 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm
christianity isn't bad for what it's done, but the people who misinterpreted the religion and used it as a basis for killing were bad. also here, i don't think islam is a bad religion, it's taught the world some wonderful things, but the people who misinterpret it and use it for evil are bad people.
savetheplanet said...
Jan. 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm
Agreed. But religion itself is not poison.
Sunshine15 said...
Jan. 10, 2012 at 9:59 am
Of course not, that's why I wrote the article, to point out all the good in it..
BlueRain said...
Jan. 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm
I believe mainly in the psychological reason. Not to say that I don't think it's possible for there to be a god, but people follow it for emotional reasons. Personally, whether I believe in a god or not doesn't make me any happier. Tried and tried again but it just doesn't satisfy me. It doesn't make me a better person because I do good things whether a god exists or not. I wouldn't change if he did. A god isn't my reason to do good; everything on Earth is my reason. And I don't really believe... (more »)
Sunshine15 replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 5:46 am
But think about religion from a historical standpoint; before religion, people didn't know what was good and what was bad. Why do you know that killing is wrong? because religion--the bible--said it. yes, it's brought some bad into the world, by people who have used religion as a justification for murder (which it should not be) but i think it's also brought lots of good
A_Fate_Unknown replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 11:28 am
Religion is a poison. It is the only thing you need to make good men do evil things.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm
.. I don't even know how to respond to that, because that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. If you need a BOOK to tell you that killing a person, a human, of your own species, is WRONG, then.. wow, I don't know what. It is an instinct that we don't want to kill one of our kind. We want to feel compassion for our fellow humans, because that is what keeps us alive. Because psychotic people like that don't survive long. My goodness, simple biology!
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm
You need a book to tell you that killing people is wrong? Wow. It is an instinct of humans, and many other species that rely on social interaction, that we do not want to kill one of our own species. Come on, simple biology. I don't need a god to tell me that, it is called nature's way. Humans actually have a pretty good perception about what is right and wrong, and when we go against those right and wrongs we are usually aware of it. Just.. wow, please re-think that.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Okay looks like my earlier post came up, sorry for repeat post.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm
A_Fate_Unknown: Religion is the only thing that makes bad men do good things.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm
Blue_Rain is right, we don't need religion to tell us murder is wrong, but we do need God to give us a purpose/goal in life, to give us reason to follow our instinctive sense of morality. Otherwise, we become simply a product of culture.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Again I don't think so. Everything has a purpose, and people get different goals from different places. My reason for following my morals is because I like to. Instinct: A natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking. Being good is my natural instinct.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Following "morals" because you "like to" is (no offence) not really a valid reason. If you lived in a different culture, you might "like" different "morals". Yes, morals are embedded in our nature, but that does not always mean that they aren't influenced by culture. Peace.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Our culture is letting morals slip lately. I don't like half the things I see in today's culture, so I chose not to follow it. So yes, in that way my culture influences me in that I don't want to follow it. I find it a perfectly valid reason. I like to do good things. It makes me happy and it makes other people happy. I don't want to do bad things because then I would feel horrible and other people would become unhappy.
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