• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Religion: is it a Force For Good in the Modern World?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Religion: is it a Force For Good in the Modern World? Gabriel Kan ES5 22.9.01 What is religion, and can it ever be a force for good? Religion is a notional series of beliefs that make sense of the world. For some people, it can help to answer questions about creation, life and death, and provides comfort and a system of belief in and worship of a supernatural power or god. Religion in the West (mainly Christianity) is now not what it once was, and in the East (for example Islam) has become rather distorted due to fundamentalism. Nevertheless, most of us would like to think that religion is a force for good. The basic nature of most religions should make them so, but when people abuse religions and use them as an excuse to make money, exert power, or even to wage war, they turn into a force for bad. The Christianity of the past has sometimes seemed horrific to our eyes, but within the context of the times for many a Christian it was a force for good. We can see now that Christianity was good in the sense that it helped to inspire many good things in education, the rule of law, and culture generally - many paintings and musical compositions were enthused by the Christian religion, because people wanted to have illustrations of their belief in the transcendent. ...read more.

Middle

There is also a danger from semi-religious cults, which like sects in religion emphasize a few aspects, which are often of benefit financially to themselves, or at least to their leaders. It cannot be very religious that in these money-based cults, there is a wish to dominate financially as well as ideologically. The Islamic religion was like the Christian religion in many respects - it was charitable, respected the individual and also helped to provide the foundations for things like education, law and the arts. However, the Islamic religion expanded too quickly over a wide geographical area, and could not keep up with the development of society, and there began conflicts within itself, and with Christianity. Jihads, (or Holy Wars, similar to crusades), were probably fundamentally more concerned with political and economical aims than with religious ones. Today, when it is part of more open and tolerant Muslim societies, such as Turkey or Pakistan, the Islamic religion does not present a major threat, and it is clear in these countries that there are a lot of similarities between Islamic and Christian principles. But because it has failed overall to adapt and find a place in the modern world, and there has tended to be a large gap between the rich and poor in Muslim societies, then fundamentalism has taken hold among the more ignorant or manipulative elements, and often has strong nationalist connections, as in the Taliban. ...read more.

Conclusion

about a crusade, is it not understandable that many Muslims feel that this is anti-Islamic in general and not just anti-Bin Laden? There is really no such thing as a justifiable holy war because no one should attack anyone else simply because they have different religious beliefs: the background to any war is always far more complicated than matters of doctrine - it is usually a power game and/or an economics game. Whether we are believers or not, we all have to hope that if used properly and in the right hands, religion can still be a force for good. In bad hands such as those of religious fundamentalists of an extreme kind it can be very dangerous. It is difficult for us to enter the minds of extremists partly because their motives often seem mixed: for example, it is said that the night before the attack on the World Trade Centre a lot of shares were bought and sold by people with connections to Bin Laden, and he seems to be a rich man already. The West has not yet come to terms with what these types of religion can mean and that is why it was taken by surprise on September 11. Until we understand what lies behind the sectarianism of religious extremists we will not be able to deal with these forces which bring what can only be called evil in their wake. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. The Ideas of Hell and Purgatory: A Wide Shift from Then to Now.

    The current beliefs on Purgatory are extremely light in comparison with those held before Lupo 8 the Protestant Reformation. The Eastern Orthodox church rejects the idea of purgatory, but believes in praying and making offerings for the dead. Conservative Protestants also reject the idea of Purgatory, and believe that persons

  2. Outline the arguments for the dependency of morality and religion

    Clearly these people are using religious interpretation to vastly abuse their moral calling and most people would agree that this is a bad case of religion mixing with morality. The fact that this group is Christian and is able to do things that most would consider very un-Christian shows that in religion there is a huge scope for interpretation.

  1. Science Challenges Religion

    There are some who believe that evolution and the Big Bang was caused by God, they do this because they believe that God is so omniscient and omnipotent that he could cause the creation of the universe and that he could create a plan for the future and just start

  2. Lutheran Religion

    In fact, they don't even pray to her because they only pray to God through Jesus. This honor and devotion to Mary is one of the many things rejected by Lutherans. Lutherans claim that the Catholic Church's devotion to Mary is not based on Sacred Scripture, and it is an

  1. With reference to anyone of the key people in Acts, explore the challenge of ...

    It is impossible to argue that Peter was not involved in the issue of sectarianism but what was his exact role? What persecution did he himself suffer, or even worse, what discrimination did he himself perpetrate? And most importantly, what sectarianism did Peter help the Church overcome?

  2. ''What is boasted of at the present time as the revival of religion is ...

    Mill's opening points made about religion in 'On Liberty' launches a full attack on the restraints imposed on minds by religion, 'religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised' (p.67, #7). This meaning that religion encourages people not to question and debate what they have been told through the church

  1. Historical and Ethnographical Study of the Rastafari Religion.

    Garvey was a short, stocky man who could, and did, speak for hours at meetings in the streets. However, his ideological solution to the black downpression and exploitation was more modernist and geared toward future economic prosperity, while the Rastas were looking for a simple, almost yeomanesque, return to agricultural

  2. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    wrong especially, Heaven knows!-he feels somehow a thousand small displeasures with himself, whose whole sum is not quite Remorse, but rather a sort of vague disgust...The ducal robes mounting up, step by step, to pride and power, somewhere among their folds draw after them a rustle of dry illusions, vain

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work