Sociology

The Impact of Religion on Human Behavior



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Religion has had and will always have an impact on human behavior. One could ask: Why does religion have an impact on human behavior?
One could answer: The answers are obviously in front of you in all many methods. In one way or another, religion has had a major impact on human behavior.
One does not need to be religious to be affected by the impact of religion. I am not a religious person and I do admit that the impact of human religion has a major impact.




From the way I see it, religion is one of the most powerful psychological tools to reach out to the masses. Religion itself is not really a psychological tool for impact on human behavior. Organized religion has the impact on human behavior. From what I have learned, organized religion allows religious group leaders to call themselves the "true representatives" of a religious faith. I have come across so many people to a point where I will happily square off with them. I have seen how religion in general has had an impact on human beings think in everyday life.




One needs to know that there are over one thousand religious faiths across the world. New religious faiths are getting created left and right everyday. This also applies to religious radicalism. One cannot deny that religious radicalism plays a major impact on human behavior. Another reason that religion has an impact on human behavior is that it is the root of all civilization. My English IV Honors teacher back in high school, a former Catholic nun, said that religion was the basis of all civilization. However, she said RELIGION. She did not say Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam was the root of all civilization.




For the most part, she is right. There are many different ancient civilizations with their own ways of life.
The people of those civilizations would have their own ways of thinking. These civilizations would have their own religious faiths.




I can name several examples on how religion impacts human behavior.




Example One:




I was born and raised a Buddhist. Now, I have come to question how other Buddhists practice the religion. I consider myself to be a moderate Buddhist.
My grandmother became a Buddhist nun several years ago. However, my grandmother's religious views are a tad bit extreme.




My grandmother tends to lean to the far right. My mother jokingly mused about what would happen if my grandmother followed the words of religious cult leader Jim Jones. The thought scared one of my uncles. He said if that ever happened, my mother would be the only one alive.
As a result, my grandmother tends to act pretty conservatively. I tend to act more liberal. However, I consider myself more of a centrist though.




After learning more about Buddha's teachings, there is one thing I have taken to heart "the middle way."
The middle way could be interpreted as anything. However, the true middle way is pretty much moderation and centricity. Do not be too conservative and do not be too liberal.
That is how I have lived my life since then. So far, it has proven interesting.




It has caused me to think logically and question everything. This has also allowed me to get an understanding on the various view points of other people. In turn, it has allowed me to reach common ground with many people. It has caused me to never be satisfied. In that respect, if I manage to solve a problem or conquer a challenge I end up moving directly to the next one.




Example Two:




What if religion is possibly a sham? With the scandals in some of the religious institutions, I do have the feeling that it is all a scam. At times, I wanted to drop religion and believe an atheist. When I look at Buddhism, I saw that its views tend to overlap with many religious views.




On top of that, Buddhism is a nontheistic religion. There are no religious deities for worship in Buddhism. We look up to Buddha as a mere teacher. The term Buddha can be applied to anybody. Buddha merely means "enlightened one." While Buddhism has a lot in common with other religious faiths, it does have a lot in common with Atheism.




The way that religion is interpreted, it has caused many to question religion itself. Back in 2008, a Pew Survey on religion reviewed that Protestantism and Catholicism have started to decline in membership. People either convert or drop faith completely.
As people question religion more often, the number of religious people would have dropped significantly.




Example Three:




Despite the separation of church and state, religion does play a major role in politics. You may have certain view points. If you are very religious, you could possibly be pro-life.
You could also support an amendment to ban same-sex marriages from the country's constitution. You could oppose stem cell research. You could also oppose Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution in favor for creationism.




Religious extremism has caused many people to do several acts of evil. One example would be radical Islam. Radical Islam has caused many acts of violence. One simply needs to see the news.




Religious extremism of any kind is bad. One could take the Westboro Baptist
Church as another example. They claim to be the true arbiters of Christianity. But, they have learned to become very hateful. The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the Westboro Baptist
Church as a hate group. One could say that religious fanaticism has created hate and intolerance in the world.




When one asks about the impact of religion on human behavior, one simply needs to take a look around. No two people are exactly the same. We could practice different religious faiths. Two people could practice the same religious faith but interpret things differently. Because of that, those two people could behave differently.

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