Religion is the opium of the mass

Trimis la data: 2002-12-11
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Liceu
Pagini: 2
Nota: 8.66 / 10
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Autor: Raul_adi
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History has shown people that no matter how hard they try they can rarely create anything ever-lasting. Generally materialistic creations such as castles and churches have proved themselves to be in perman of being taken care of. Nevertheless, the spiritual values that every generation, without any geographical discrimination, has inherited from its predecessors are definately immortal.
And one of the most important spiritual values is religion. The reason religion was born and its evolution throughout history are very important to the comprehension of the way certain ideologies influence people's deeds.

There is no precise definition of religion, but everybody that tried to analyse it has agreed that the essence of religion is people's belief in a superior force. Almost all psychologists think that this need of believing in a force beyond people's access has its roots in the incapacity of prehistoric people to understand natural phenomena. As time passed by and science started developing, people could explain little by little what it was that at first they did not comprehend.

Even though in that situation believing in gods would have been natural to disappear, it did not. Moreover, there were born different types of religions: Christianism, Islamism; Buddhism etc. All these forms of religion have in common many things, among which one of the most important is the fact that, through their faith in God, people are given hope. It is obvious that religion offers an alternative to the materialistic aspect of life; it actually helps them to overcome their mediocre condition. In other words it allows people to fly by giving them the wings of faith.

In this case, doesn't religion affect peoples' minds just like opium does? Doesn't religion distract people from solving their real problems by offering them the pleasure of living in an unreal world, in a mirage? Nobody could actually give objective answers to these kinds of questions, especially because throughout history religion has had different connotations and has influenced people's actions in both a positive and a negative way.

If the positive aspect of religion refers mainly to spiritual pleasure, the negative one is strongly related to people's deeds. It is notorious how many people were killed in the name of religion. Firstly, in ancient times, there were certain rituals where animals and even human beings were sacrificed in the name of different gods.

It is true that the lack of civilisation can excuse those murders, but people did not stop killing in the name of religion even in Middle Ages when humanity is considered to have reached an important level of civilisation. The Inquisition is a relevant example of how people used to be persecuted by the Catholic Church. Nowadays there are extremist religious organisations, such as the one in Afghanistan whose actions can lead only to tragedies. From this point of view religion can be considered a drug that destroys if taken in large quantities.

In order for the negative aspect of religion to disappear, the whole concept of religion should disappear too. This is impossible as people cannot live without spirituality, and religion is a form of spirituality that ordinary people can also comprehend. Like many other things, the existence of religion involves a risk – the risk of dependency, but it is worth being taken.
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