Why do people turn to religion? One of the most convincing explanations is that humans turn to religion out of the fear of nature

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Alyssa Hsu

Expository Writing I

February 22, 2012

Holly Devotion

        The year 1095, men with gleaming swords and a red cross upon their chest raided the city of Jerusalem with fiery eyes of lust.Their trampling boots stormed through houses and monuments, farms and fields, men and women, old men and infants.  These men called this event the crusade, a holly war fought to reclaim the lost christian territory of Jerusalem from the “ devilish” muslims who inhabited the area. Raiding and killing the muslims were justified because it was fought in the name of religion. In the name of religion, the crusaders were supposedly establishing a selfless act. Religion is the belief and worship of superhuman controlling power and had taken a significant role in the soul of mankind ever since its existence. Religion is resulted from humans’s 1) fear of nature 2) need of reliance and 3) need of explanation for the natural world. There are many kinds of religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism yet they all lead us to the central question: Why do people turn to religion?

        Why do people turn to religion? One of the most convincing explanations is that humans turn to religion out of the fear of nature. Nature, is a source of power that could be benign one second and spiteful the next. It is a force that we humans were just beginning to understand. Fear for the unknown is a common one. Humans eased their fear by worshipping a subject with more enhance power. They hoped that by doing so, they will no longer be harmed by the things in nature they failed to comprehend entirely. Lord of the flies served as an excellent example for people worshipping out of the fear of nature and environment. During an unnamed time of warfare, a crashed plane carried a group of British schoolboys onto an unknown island. There, the boys functioned democracy as they have seen it back in England and law and order was put into firm hold. The law and order, however, began to crumble when the younger boys rumored there to be an enormous beast on the island. Fear pervaded and quickly divided the boys among each other as they turned to two opposite leaders for the best strategy of survival. Jack, a radical leader, established then established a brand new religion worshipping the beast of the island. At the top of the hill he set the head of a sow they hunted on a stick and ordered his subjects to extol the beast. The admiration and respect eventually turned fanatic and the boys eventually worshipped the invisible beast as if a God and formed a whole new religion based upon it. This is a classic example of how fear of nature causes religion. The fear of the beast, or the environment and nature has pushed the boys into worshipping a new God. They worshipped out of fear, and not of love or comfort. Terrorism can be a key driving force to religion. Another fear that was rooted in ever culture is death and many religions had been created out of the fear of death and eternal poverty. Buddhism serves as an excellent example. The central message of Buddhism is to decrease people’s fear of the unpleasantness of nature.  Buddhism centers around the concept of re-carnation and how diligence and good deeds in one life leads to the great well-being in the next. A utopia like this not only reflects people’s deepest desire, but also people’s deepest fear of nature and its never changing law of death and poverty. People were afraid of death, which is why they established the concept of re-carnation where a soul never truly dies, where life never ends. People were afraid to wave farewell to the world they know so well, which is why the concept of Buddhism which revolves around the ideas of re-carnation was created. Buddhism itself symbolizes re-carnation and a never dying soul and continuous life even after death. It is something the people desire to escape death due to their own fear of it, and that, is why Buddhism was originated.

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        Men are curious creatures, always have been and always will be. It is only a matter of time before an infant start to question many things about the world he or she lives in. Yet the power and intelligence of men is limited and there are only so many phenomena that could be explained. In order to seek an explanation to the phenomena in nature, men turns to a figure more supreme than themselves, and that is God, or more simply religion. People turn to religion to seek explanations for events happening in nature. An excellent example will be from ...

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