Religion and Its Effect on the Modern World
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This paper is meant to analyze the way religion has shaped the current world. The essay will cover Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, and their contribution to the development of the current world. The thesis statement is: In spite of the widespread opinion that religious influence has been decreasing lately, the religious convictions have been obvious in all aspects of human existence throughout history, and due to the religion people have the free, prosperous and highly developed society, which they enjoy today. The elimination of religion in general, and the main international religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, in particular, would assume the steady extinction of the ideas of human dignity, freedom, and many other important human principles. The impact of religion is obvious in all aspects of human life; it encouraged farming, as opposed to not being nomadic; it supported the development of sciences, various inventions, and even the notion of individual freedom.
Buddhism's Impact on the Contemporary Society
Even though Buddhism was established over two centuries ago, in the 5th-6th century BC, nowadays its concept, notions, and rituals are still apparent in the societies all over the globe. Besides influencing those who learn and practice Buddhism as the main religion, the religion shapes the current psychological conditions, philosophical outlooks, and also the political landscapes (Kieschnick 2003, p. 84-95).
Philosophical Influence of Buddhism: in Western nations these days, some notions or philosophies from Buddhism are very widespread even among humans who do not acknowledge Buddhism as the religion. Humans are drawn, for instance, to concepts like dharma ("natural law"), karma ("deeds"), and reincarnation, yet some still call themselves Christians, Jews, or even atheists (Kieschnick 2003, p. 84-95).
Psychological Impact: the stresses of current living have led many individuals to accept the Buddhist meditation and yoga that evolved together with the Buddhism, as a related spiritual practice in India. Yoga and meditation have constructive psychological impacts on humans, who repeat them on a regular basis, creating senses of centeredness, peacefulness, and spiritual awakening. Acknowledging these impacts, the US psychologists have utilized the Buddhist meditation approaches as a foundation in evolving widespread cognitive and behavior therapies.
Political Impact: non-violence is the major principle of Buddhism, and some practitioners utilized this as a ground for remaining comparatively unengaged in the political living. In the USA, Buddhism is usually left out of faith-based administrative initiatives. Still, there are Buddhists, counting preachers, throughout the globe who consider it the spiritual responsibility to speak up against political regimes, which tyrannize many individuals, and in doing so have greatly influenced contemporary society (Kieschnick 2003, p. 84-95).
Hinduism Maintains Influence
Hinduism dates back to early centuries. Nevertheless, this old religion is still extremely popular in current society. Donald S. Lopez (1995, p. 354-360), the author of Religions of India in Practice, has studied Hinduism for many years. He asserts that Hinduism has had a crucial influence on his living. The believers are influenced by Indian philosophical concepts, and Lopez is particularly drawn to the progressive Hindu ideas of the 19th and 20th century (Lopez 1995, p. 354-360). The author states that he studies this religion as it is one of the main and the oldest living religions, and it is a fundamental part of the undergraduate curriculum on the world faiths. It is practically not possible to describe what the practice of Hinduism is. There are no certain requirements and customs that one has to follow in order to be a Hindu. According to Lopez’s point of view, Hindu systems of thought have not merely influenced South Asian, but also the religious and cultural customs of China, Japan, and other Asian countries. He claims that this course is required in order to become a better-informed citizen of the globe.
Hindu customs comprise the caste system that ranks society according to the career. The caste system is divided into two major groups: the Jatis and the Varnas. The Varnas are a historically separated society divided into four broad classes. The Jatis are a part of a more multifaceted present day system. Even nowadays, the members of the upper caste system treat the lowest castes as ritually impure. Thus, marrying someone from a dissimilar caste, whilst not officially outlawed, is commonly not accepted. Therefore, generally speaking, in Hinduism, there is a diversity of customs, influencing current world events.
Christianity’s Impact on the Current World
Christianity is accountable mainly for lots of ideas and institutions, which even material humans cherish; freedom and equality are among them. This concept of the equivalent value and preciousness of any individual mainly originated in Christianity. Christians think God places endless value on each human’s life. Christian deliverance does not attach itself to an individual’s family, city, or tribe; it is the individual matter. Not merely are Christians judged at the finale of their life as humans, but throughout the lives, they relate to their God on that foundation. This feature of Christianity had significant outcomes.
According to the Christian ban on adultery, a sin is treated as evenly serious for males and females. Moreover, regulations about divorce that (unlike in Islam and Judaism) treat males and females equally, assisted in improving the social status of women. Indeed, so distinguished was the status of the ladies in Christian marriage that females predominated in the early Christian church, and the pagan Romans disdained this religion as the religious conviction for females. Christianity did not contest patriarchy directly or instantly, but it assisted in elevating the status of women in the social order (Backholer 2009, p. 125-205).
This religion has also lent power to the current notion of individual liberty. As Benjamin Constant asserted, liberty in the ancient globe was the right to contribute in the making of regulations. Greek democracy was a straight democracy, where each person could show up in an agora, debate matters of war and taxes, and vote on what act the polis should adopt (Backholer 2009, p. 125-205). The current concept of liberty, by contrast, is rooted in the esteem for the person. It presupposes the right to express the opinion, the right to select a job, the right to purchase and sell property, the right to travel where people wish, the right to the personal space, and the right to live own life. In return, people are accountable only to respect the rights of other people. This is the values, for which the liberty people are always ready to struggle, and humans become angry when the comforts are taken away (Backholer 2009, p. 125-205).
Christianity has played a crucial role in the evolvement of this idea of liberty through the doctrine that all humans are moral agents, created in God's image, with the capability to be the architects of own lives. The Enlightenment positively contributed to this acknowledgement of human liberty, though it drew from nations concerning the worth of the individual that had been publicized above all by the teachings of Christianity (Schmidt 2004, p. 208-274). In sum, the abolition of Christianity, as well as of arranged religion in general, would also presuppose the continuing extermination of the notions of human dignity.
Islam’s Contributions to Humanity
Islam as religion is responsible for many crucial inventions, which influence the world today. In Islam, looking for knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, male and female. The major resources of Islam, Sunnah and Qur'an, encourage believers to seek knowledge and to be scholars as this is the finest way to let humans know Allah and to lead a pleased living. Muslims were, thus, extremely eager to look for the knowledge. Algebra and the Arabic numerals were presented to the globe by Muslim scholars. The quadrant, the astrolabe, and lots of navigational maps were evolved by Muslim scientists and played a vital role in the global progress, most notably in Europe's period of researches. Muslim scholars learned the old civilizations from Greece to China, added own creative thoughts and inventions and ultimately transmitted the novel information to Europe and many other places.
In medicine: in Islamic religion, the body is considered a resource of appreciation as it is made by God. Issues of how it works, how to maintain it protected, how to defend it from illnesses have been vital for Muslims. Prophet Muhammad urged humans to take medicines for the illnesses, as individuals at that time were unwilling to take medicines. The attention has been given to medication and health care; the first hospital was created in Baghdad in 706 AD (Al-Faruqi 1994, p. 35-50). Scholars utilized the human skulls, corpses, and skeletons to assist students in understanding how the body functions. It enabled surgery to evolve extremely fast.
In geography: Muslim scientists paid huge attention to geography as a science. Al-Muqdishi, for instance, was the primary geographer to create the most accurate maps in colors (Al-Faruqi 1994, p. 35-50). This assisted a lot of humans all over the world in getting an obvious and better acknowledgement of the world. Actually, Muslims' concern for geography is due to the religion. Islam supports believers in travelling through the entire earth, to witness God's signs and models everywhere. Islam also demands every believer to have certain background in geography.
In astronomy: Muslim's have an interest in astronomy. The sun and the moon are of crucial significance in the life of every believer. By the moon, believers may determine the start and the finale of the month. By the sun, the believers may estimate the times of prayer. At the same time, the Qur'an also comprises references to astronomy.
In mathematics: it is extremely important to remember that Islam, unlike many other religions, urges humanity to search and explore the globe. For instance, the Holy Qur'an asserts, “We (Allah) will demonstrate you our signs in the universe and in yourselves till you are persuaded the revelation is the truth” (Qur'an 2010, p, 14:52). This encouragement to investigate made Muslims interested in geometry, mathematics, astronomy, and many other sciences. The Islam believers invented a sign of zero; they arranged the numbers in a popular decimal system. Furthermore, they created the symbols to reflect an unknown quantity - x, or s. The Muslims also had clear realization of the correspondences between mathematics, geometry, and astronomy. Furthermore, it was the Muslims who founded the science of Algebra.
Muslims have been a universal power established merely on faith. Generally speaking, philosophy, science, poetry, and the arts flourished in the Muhammadan world whilst Europe got deepen in barbarism. For the first five hundred years of its existence, the territory of Islam was the most educated and inventive part of the entire globe. Studded with grand cities, affable universities and mosques, the Muslim East demonstrated an amazing contrast to Christian West that sunk in the Dark Ages. It preserved its energy and maintained ahead of the Christian nations till the awful tragedies of the 13th century.
Lots of things have shaped the history and the modern world. However, it was the religion that impacted the modern life so drastically. When people reflect on religion and how it has assisted in molding the history, they might think of moral values; nevertheless, religion has influenced more than that. It has altered the way people exist, even from the early history. Therefore, the aim of this essay was to tell how and to what extent religion has shaped the modern world. Thus, we believe that the abolition of arranged religion in general and the major religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, in particular,would presuppose the gradual extermination of the notions of human dignity, freedom, and many other crucial values. As people move through history, they will discover that religion is obvious in all aspects of life. The religion encouraged farming, as opposed to not being nomadic; it supported the sciences, inventions and even the existing notion of individual freedom.
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