Sociology Discussion Homework 13
Thinking about the central tenets of the world’s major religions, such as the Jewish requirement to love God and do good deeds; the Christian prescription to follow the “golden rule;” the Buddhist emphasis on, among other things, right belief, right resolve, and right conduct; and the Confucian principle of “treating those who are subordinate to you as you would like to be treated by people superior to yourself,” list and discuss all the similarities between the world’s major religions.
What beliefs and practices do they have in common?
What guidelines for everyday life do they share?
What similar emotional comforts do they provide for their followers and their society?
Finally, what makes Christianity different in its emphasis on faith rather than works?
The beliefs and practices that the world’s major religions have in common are the fact that they are based on the spiritual/incorporeal world and by having institutions. Religions around the world also have ancient artifacts as well as structures, in which they mark the past and serve as a foundation to a person’s faith. The world’s major religions also bring about ceremonies and rituals in order for those who are a part of a religion to gather and thereby have a sense of community. Those who are religious also share acts of altruism and compassion toward others. It is important to note that while they may be critical and overly baring at times they are still influenced by their values, which are by and large positive. All the major religions have extremists within the balance, whether they are influencing/manipulating others or by restricting themself. Following, some would abide by celibacy, solidarity, etc., which was more common in the past. The guidelines for everyday life for those who practice religion are to follow their beliefs and to have faith in the system. Each religion has a golden rule in which Buddhism goes against hurting others (similar to Taoism in a sense) and Christianity deals with (love, generosity, and displaying acts of courage), serving as examples out of many. The guidelines that they share may also relate to bringing about acts of kindness as well as guiding others to the righteous path (only if such ideologies are positive in nature).
Emotional comforts that are provided to those who follow dogmatic beliefs in a society usually gain a sense of community, thereby creating further bonds. Religion can also improve upon habits such as stopping oneself from being an addict as well as bring about a sense of hope, and purpose in one’s life. Religious institutions benefit off of such individuals as they provide for the church. While religion is important, it is significant to take into consideration that one must have a balance, in which one should not be taken advantage of thereby being independent and creatively oriented (separate from the religion). While religion does not have much sway in today’s government (in developed countries), religions in the past held absolute power and authority. Such an aforementioned factor has since changed, in which most governments are based upon the rule of law. Thus, governments all over the world try to accommodate individuals who are in a religion. Such an aspect brings about further bonds between denominations. It is said that an individual can be ‘saved’ so long as they maintain faith and works. Christianity is deeply rooted in faith apart from a person’s deeds. Thus, there are those who are reliant on faith, and those who are reliant on works (added onto to the existing faith). One is stringent while the other is open to change. While both have different approaches on the matter, they are seen as legitimate in nature since they are both integral parts of Christianity. Such prospects are different from other world regions since Christianity is extensive and open to change and interpretation. I retrieved my information from an online source (coming from gotquestions.org). All in all, the world religions are more similar than an individual would initially make it out to be since they are reliant on communities and belief systems that bring about a sense of purpose, etc.,
All of the major religions of the world share a significant number of defining characteristics and focus on surprisingly similar ideas. As the prompt stated, the central tenets of many of these religions are focused on bettering oneself and those around them through good deeds and a strict adherence to the established principles and guidelines. As explained in the slides, “religion is an institutionalized system of symbols, beliefs, values, and practices by which a group of people interprets and responds to what they feel is sacred…” With that in mind, the list of similarities is exceptionally long, regardless of how different they appear on the surface. The messages and the ways in which they are delivered varies wildly, and as a result, there are varying interpretations and spin offs within each respective religion as well.
Many religions follow some form of the golden rule (or whichever name you are familiar with,) which keeps each individual accountable for their own actions through a message of treating others with the same level of respect you’d like to be treated with. The general concept of honoring one’s parents and/or elders is also common practice throughout varying religions. Additionally, each religion tends to hold specific rules or parameters for which those who practice should abide by. This list of rules is typically laid out in whichever major religious text the faith refers to, for example, The Bible, The Quran, The Torah, and the Talmud, etc. Christianity places an enhanced emphasis on faith over work and states that salvation is found through grace, which in some respect negates the need for action. However, I believe that faith and works go hand in hand, and mainly through our actions can we express our religious beliefs and personal values.