Written by Emily Carvajal
Religion has been around since the beginning of this world’s existence. The concept that there are higher beings who play an active role in humanity has been widely held throughout every era of society. From the Greeks who believed in multiple deities to modern-day Christians who believe in the Biblical revelation of God, religion plays a large role in society and in individuals’ lives. And, while it can be seen as restrictive, it provides many benefits.
Though we may not realize it, religious beliefs help form the foundation of what we consider today to be moral. For example, according to John Hare, a British philosopher and ethicist, Aristotle was a firm believer that morality and religion are tied together. While religion does not necessarily make human beings moral, as a society, we tend to gather moral guidelines from religious scriptures directly and indirectly. While religion is not the key to being a moral person, it does provide us with a basis for how to be one.
Religion is also a way of building up a community of like-minded people. People are able to bond over shared beliefs. These communities are especially helpful in times when a person may be in need of support or other resources. For those who lack a close-knit community, an easy way to find an overall stable one could be through a religious group.
Religion also can provide a sense of hope during tragedy. In times of grief from losing a loved one, people often look to religion for an explanation. In times of crisis, such as during a pandemic, people may believe that a higher being has overall control and knows the future, thus providing them with a sense of peace.