Is Religion Really All That It’s Cracked Up To Be?
A number of theories have been advanced to explain why some people believe in religion. These include the need to find hope in a future world or life after death, the desire for protection from uncontrollable forces, and a belief that certain things must be done or avoided at all costs.
The term religion comes from a Latin word, religio, which means “scrupulousness” or “conscientiousness.” In early antiquity, the concept was likely to be associated with a variety of practices that included ritualized prayer and obedience to taboos, promises, curses, and divine commands. In later periods, it was largely defined by a set of beliefs and practices that were considered to be divine.
Many of these beliefs are centered on a god or goddess, or in the concept of guardian and protective deities. Some religions also have myths and stories, and special rites that must be performed at particular times or places. Many of these religions are also organized into hierarchies and have a clergy or priesthood that is responsible for the organization.
It is generally accepted that these characteristics are the core of most religions. But there are some skeptics who question whether or not the term can be used to describe all of these different religions, because they differ so much from each other. These skeptics argue that it would be easier to use a term like “philosophy” or “morality” than to use one that describes such a vast variety of beliefs, practices, and communities.