CLICK LABEL: RELIGION AND SOCIETY
Humans are unique... as far as we know... in having the brain capacity to create religions. Perhaps a few other creatures with relatively large brains... the whale family, elephants, the great apes... have religious thoughts, but it seems unlikely without the development of language and abstraction.
Religion is the result of human efforts to explain the universe and their position in that universe... in the absence of proof. Perhaps some efforts are the result of one person such as L. Ron Hubbard, but for the most part, religions build upon previous religions which were built upon people who believed certain explanations about things they could not otherwise explain.
Now this is sure to infuriate about everyone who subscribes to a particular religion. Some will immediately argue that man does not create religion, but religion is given to mankind by God. Belief argues for this. Empirical evidence and history, however, argue against this.
Regardless of how religions begin, each has one thing in common with the rest... articles of faith. If you wish to belong to those who consider themselves followers of a particular religion, then you accept the articles of faith... the combined beliefs... of the religion. You are a believer... you have accepted the Truth.
That's the easy part.
- A bombing Monday near a church is the latest in a string of attacks in Sulawesi.
- Dalai Lama accused of provoking religious conflict
- Russian Foreign Ministry Calls to Prevent Inter-religious Conflict over Cartoons
- Fear of religious conflict in Belgium
- Dutch Muslims condemn burqa ban
- Muslim women debate more rights (tip of the hat to Martin Kelly)