What Is Religion

What Is Religion?
Jordan Atkin
Humanities 2300
For thousands of years that mankind has been on the earth. We as a people have always
turned to ideas or to some sort of belief to practice or worship to have a sense of there being
something larger out there than ourselves. There are thousands of different religions all around
the world. In every single culture there are many religions and beliefs that are practiced that all
are very different. But yet when broken down it seems that there are many small similarities.
But what is it that truly makes religion, a religion? What does the word really mean? What is it
that truly separates a group defined as a religion from just a scarce belief or thought?
Scholars have tried to make definitions for this for centuries on what defines a religion. Yet
it is rare to find a peaceful conclusion to defining it or trying to understand more than one at a
time. “Try to define religion, and you invite an argument.” But how might someone answer this
kind of question? "Religion is only the sentiment inspired by the group in its members, but
projected outside of the consciousness that experiences them, and objectified." From this
statement given most religions we can agree on have more than one person that believes in that
certain belief. So we can say in some way most religion is organized. Meaning the members or
the people of that group in the religion, is what helps inspires those beliefs and practices.
-Patrick H. McNamara
-Emile Durkheim II
-“Towards a definition of religion(Action)”
This is something we see common amongst cultures. Traditions that are practiced in
cultures like “The Day of the Dead” is a common practice and ritual in the catholic and other
Christian religions in Mexico. Where they visit the graves of family members that have passed
on and put some of the favorite things their deceased family members and friends loved in their
life on their tombstone. With these rituals it is important to notice the action that comes with
religion. When you truly believe in what you practice you want to act on the things that are
taught or that are being practiced in the religion. Many Roman Catholics practice “Mass” where
there is wine and bread that is blessed with sacred rote prayers. The congregation then eats and
drinks of the bread and wine in a weekly ritual to remember Christ’s death on the cross.
Along with all of these rituals that are practices amongst religions, there is a main base of
beliefs or commandments. Rules and guidelines even to follow to be accepted as an active or
correct follower of that belief. Morality is what defines actions and decisions that are good and
evil. True religion is what confirms moral law and gives one power to perform ones duty. When
the lines of morality is crossed. Most the time there is punishment and accountability in the
religion towards the individual who crossed that law. It can be from anywhere in probation of
participating in rituals and other practices for a short time to even excommunication.
There are ultimately many different beliefs that completely contradict each other in the
world today. So much that it truly is difficult to describe each and every single belief as a defined
religion. To sum it all up I would say that a religion is the belief in one’s life that he or she
follows to attain some kind of eternal progression and even knowledge of a higher power that
created all things. Despite all the differences in religion one thing should be clear is that living in
harmony with one another and coexisting is the result that can bring all of us together as one.
-Patrick H. McNamara
-Emile Durkheim II
-“Towards a definition of religion(Action)”
-Patrick H. McNamara
-Emile Durkheim II
-“Towards a definition of religion(Action)”