Religion, A Philosophy or A pure superstition for people to rely their hopes on?

Singapore
February 9, 2009 12:09am CST
Religion, a powerful tool, people have used religion to gain the trust and believe of people making miracles that happen, even to the extend of creating war.. The question is what is a religion? I couldn't even explain clearly in words if you ask me. Is religion just a philosophy, a study where about great noble people like the Jesus or the Buddha when they are living, to learn how they live and about their teachings to be good? Or is religion just a pure superstition? Ok, no doubt, Jesus and Buddha indeed live in this world before. No one can deny the validity of the bible or the sutra. But being a free-thinker, i find it hard to believe that Jesus came back to life after death, or that when buddha was born, he immediately walked 7 steps, finger pointing to the sky, and with each step, a lotus is appears behind!! No doubt they are great people, but i believe that people themselves have added "colours" to their teachings, which causes pure superstition for some people. What do you think?
2 people like this
10 responses
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
9 Feb 09
Hi allentcl, That religion is a powerful tool is very true and many people down though the centuries, and even today have used it and continue to use it, to their advantage. While many of the stories is the Bible and other holy texts are certainly fiction, there is also much that is good there. I believe that earliest man invented God and Gods to explain the things that they couldn't understand. People such as Buddha and Jesus were very spiritual people but they were not religious in the way that people use the term today. They both taught a way of life, they taught us how to live in this world because that is what we have to be concerned about right now. I feel certain that we do not have all the teachings of Jesus and that some of what we do have has been changed. I cannot speak for the Sutra because I am not familiar with it. Among the best teachings I believe can be found in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, but there may be others equally as good in other texts. There is certainly much superstition involved with religion but I don't think that we should dismiss it all. Blessings.
2 people like this
• Singapore
10 Feb 09
Thanks for your comments pose, and yes, i do believe that religion is more of a philosophy, a study of great people that same like us once lived in this world as well.. not only to Christianity, catholic, i believe to all religion in this world, the actual teachings have been amended and changed by the later generation, to more or less suit the current environment, and thus, i will believe what i think is right and live my own life.. We will never know, as time passes by, new religion may developed by new great noble person.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
23 Feb 09
Pose123, the fiction of yesterday is the science of tomorrow.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
24 Feb 09
LOL, hopefulman, reminds me of the first batman movie, where there is a Phone being attached in the Batmobile Car.. People are like, "Gosh, is it possible to have a phone in a car?" And then at this age, look at the amount of mobile phones we have.. .
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
20 Feb 09
People need to believe in something Powerful, something beyond belief. A deity, a Superstition a Way Out - How did I get in?- Answer. It takes the daily pressure off of living, like, I don't have to worry, all I have to do is believe, and Jesus will save me. I don't even have to think for myself, all I have to do is ask the Priest.P If I put my faith in the Lord, and everything will turn out perfectly.Its so easy and perfect, I wonder why we all don't do the Religion Thing?
2 people like this
• Singapore
23 Feb 09
I assume that what you emphasizes is the psychological effect that religion have on individuals.. The impact is great, for example, if a person just got diagnosed with cancer, and the doctor mentioned that there is no cure for it at this stage, who would he/she rely on? Religion, because of the psychological effect that it have on individual, and that is also why people have made used of religion to control people.. Philosophy or superstition, believe what you think is right.. But if some declare himself as a God.. ermz, then something is terribly wrong..
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
23 Feb 09
barehugs, just for the sake of the argument. You say we need to believe in something powerful. But powerful things exist, do they not? The atom, the sun, apparently there are stars so big that if placed between the earth and the sun they are so big that they wouldn't fit! So why can't God exist? Remember until we invented the telescope, we didn't know what the stars were. Until we invented the microscope, we didn't know about germs. Did God make Himself more evident in the distant past? He could have, couldn't He? Do those who believe in God, "see" something that others are not able to "see"? I'm just thinking here? I'm just raising some possibilities here?
2 people like this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
23 Feb 09
Please don't get 'a Belief in God' mixed up with 'Organized Religion'. The two ideas have no connection what-so-ever. Every tribe of aborigines on earth has a belief in a God. A belief in God is born and bred into most of us, whereas Organized Religion has very little to do with God, but is a man-made business which has been unbelievably successful. It has become the Richest and most Powerful Business Organization the world has ever seen.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 09
To me religion is what ever you want it to mean for you. I am a christian, Catholic to be specific but I don't discount others beliefs that are different than mine. I do agree that religious institutions have used religion to control the masses and to give the message that only they want you to hear. Like the creation of the bible by the counsel of niece, they left out books that didn't fit their message. We as humans could learn alot from those books that were not included, and during the reformation, i think what they were selling were called indulgences to control people, there are more examples of the church trying to control but you get my point. Even in religions that don't believe in Jesus or God have some type of supersition that is taught as a consequences for bad behavior. Supersition is just a natural by-product of religion imo. Im a woman of faith, but I'm also open minded. I choose to believe the things in the bible about Jesus and everyone else, but I know that is not the only account of what happen in that time and there are many explanations out there about certain events in the bible.
2 people like this
• Singapore
23 Feb 09
I agreed with what you mentioned. Most importantly, we have to be aware that which religion is not there to falsify the facts and teachings that these noble people have taught in order to gain control of us. Many have made used of the term religion to gain control of people, beware..
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
20 Feb 09
What should religion be? It should be a way of life based on truth. It should elevate us so that we become better people. Religion should guide us so that we become the ideal human. It should guide us so that we become a carbon-copy of God. But like money, it is not the money that is the problem, rather the problem is how money is used. It can be used for good or bad and then there is counterfiet money. I think it is much the same for religion. There is good religion and bad religion, it can be used for good and for bad. Having said that, I love truth and want to continue to live for truth.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
23 Feb 09
i agreed with what you said, if religion is used in a good way, most likely you will be tunned to be a better person in life, but if vice versa, most likely you are being make used by somebody to control your life.. =)
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
23 Feb 09
True and good religion will be enlightening to us, making us better, making us grow. Repressive and false religion will bring out the ugly things in humans. So in today's world we see religion that does good and religion that does bad. Much like people, we see people that do good and we see those that do bad.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
24 Feb 09
So we needc to scrutinize the religion. Is it just a few of the members that are not practicing the religion? Or is the religion itself rotten? It makes me think of this Scripture in the Bible: Matthew 7:15-20 (New Living Translation) 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Feb 09
Religion is something that people invented and is on their minds to think that one person joining such religion and observing religious practices will make them a better person or the basic for their salvation. Religion is the only topic that can heat up debates and arguments in this world. People will kill because of religion and people will try to do promising things to impress people of what their religion can do that other religion does not have. So basically, for me, religion is man made not God made. Jesus Christ came here but is not promoting religion, because in the first place, when he came here, there were religions existed already. And i can say that i am not having a religion. Because religion will never ever save me.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21369)
• Canada
23 Feb 09
Yet, for those that believe the Bible, Jesus did say: Matthew 16:18 (Young's Literal Translation) 18`And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; strawberrychocodahi, I'd love to hear your commentary on this passage?
1 person likes this
• Singapore
24 Feb 09
Hi Dan, Although he only did talk to Peter regarding this, but it does have an element of starting a "religion", right? Shouldn't it be defined in simple terms as "I also say to you that you are Peter, upon this rock, i will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I would have to say that the latter of your two suggestions would be more closely to my opinion on what religion and everything religion related is. I think that whatever we think will happen or we want to believe in will come true. It's just that old saying if you can dream it you can do it applied to life.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
Ya, psychological factor is very important, and in fact, miracles do happen in several of the major religion, they claim it's the power of the religion, i believe otherwise. Most likely it's the willpower of the individual that tide him over the tight waves, but of course, that individual belief in religion, the psychological factor helps as well.. Talk about human brains, mysterious isnt it?
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
26 Feb 09
I would say religion is a teaching and idea to keep people striving to be better. It's more of a spiritual thing but when it becomes organized and grouped, it becomes religious. I think as time went people added some 'colors' to it to help it be more understandable.
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
Yup, and religion is a good mental psychological support as well.. =)
@lilnono (228)
• United States
25 Feb 09
Religion can be a wonderful tool to help people live good lives. all religions are different . I think Buddhism is the religion that is most like a philosophy. The Buddha himself told his followers to believe things based on whether their own experience told them that is was true.The stories about what happened when he was a baby are just decoration to make the religion more interesting. People can sometimes be very difficult to reason with and adding supernatural elements to common sense advice can help some people digest the message more easily. I think that Judaism ,Christianity and Islam may have grown out of a need for entertainment. Many biblical stories may have originally been stories that people made up to personify the stars. The importance is not in the validity of the stories but the validity of the lessons that the stories teach. Some people don't realize this and get caught up in superstition.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
I agreed, and that there is alot of religion out there have "decorated" with their own stories and make it interesting.. But, doesn't this defeats the purpose of knowing the truth? and lead people to superstition belief, instead of scientific reasoning?
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
24 Feb 09
Religion is solace, the support system which we cling to,to get across life in peace. If you try to rationalise religion too much, you would end up nowhere.only today, I read that an eminent British philosopher Anthony Flew,-once dubbed the world's most notorious atheist ,suddenly decided at the age of 81, that the structure of the DNA molecule was simply too complex to have arisen purely out of a range of probablilities and accepted God.[courtesy-Economic Times/[article written by Mukhul Sharma] Now , you may say that you were talking about religion and not the existence of God. It is our religion that teaches us certain principles of life, certain attitudes and ways of conduct and finally the path to attain salvation.We are all imperfect human beings who cannot understand abstract concepts very well and so it becomes easier to follow one's own religion and the ways of worship and the God of the religion.Ultimately everyone knows that there is one Supreme Being. They are all only ways of worship because it becomes easier to pray with some figure in mind.We do concentrate only on God, the Omnipotent Force while praying . We should take stories and mythology and happenings only as far as the message that is being conveyed and not worry about , how could roses and lotuses have sprung out of the blue.I do not know that Buddha walked seven steps soon after he was born but I can perceive that when he took his first steps when he was eight months old , he might have walked with hand pointed to the sky! Babies are free creatures and can walk with fingers pointed to the sky.People would find it slightly strange only if adults did this .. When Siddharth showed that he was an enlightened soul , all these stories would have come back with special significance like 'HE SHOWED THESE SIGNALS THEN ITSELF.He showed extraordinary qualities even as a child . As I told you earlier, if you start analyzing religion too much , it would never give logical answers and would challenge faith and as far as I am concerned , be a big waste of time.Another thing that I believe in is there is nothing wrong after all in adding a lot of color to these religious concepts and precepts by way of tales .For example, our Hindu mythology is also very beautiful and it can even be broadly related to the evolution of organisms in the world. Children , why even adults are enchanted by these stories and we take the message conveyed -that is God is there to guide us and save us . Children find it easier to relate to God through these stories and that is what this coloring does. Faith , when instilled young , would still be strong in an adult . That is all . This keeps us going and it is not superstition.We know that these legends cannot be scientifically proven but we do not need these proofs. First of all , we do not have extensive knowledge and have not studied in depth.THen why try to analyze soemthing when we are not at all equipped? Even highly learned people tend to say that these intellectual pursuits , while giving satisfaction , does not fetch you ultimate peace.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
Thanks for your valuable comments on Buddhism and religion... And yes i agreed, even Buddhism sutra have mentioned, dont be too concerned about religion, in fact, dont be too concern in everything.. LOL
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I believe that religions are a sort of security blanket for some people. As you said, there is no question that these people lived, but every person who wrote the Quran, the Torah, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and all those other holy books was a MAN! Additionally, these books have been translated numerous times from their original text so there could well be inconsistencies. As well, when a story is told time and time and time again, it is inevitably altered. On top of that, when many of these texts were originally converted to other languages, the vast majority of people couldn't read, the only ones that could being the clergy mostly, GO FIGURE! This left the door open for them to translate the texts into whatever THEY wanted them to say. I do not believe any religion is correct because all were told by man, and man often inherantly lies or stretches and twists the truth. That being said, I do believe for everyone it is important to have something to believe in. It helps build our moral codes and such, and makes us feel like we have a purpose. The trouble with most people is they are closed minded. People should always keep an open mind and be willing to adapt their beliefs to their life experiences. At least that's what I do. I have no religion, I am agnostic. However, I look at every experience I have and use it to shape the things I believe. If I believed the earth was flat and saw hard evidence that it was actually round, I would then adjust my belief accordingly. I'm one of those people that's gotta see it to believe it, so these testimonials about miracles and things don't do much for me. Unless I see one of them for myself, I won't believe in miracles.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
I agree, and it's a proven fact that religion have changed over time.. Take Buddhism for example, there is only 4 precepts at Buddha's time, and now there is 5 precepts.. but i got to agree that religion must change to better suit the theory, culture, as well as way of living.. Buddhism have been slipt into Thai, Tibetian, Japanese Zen, etc, all sources from Buddha, but there are different ways to practice his teachings