Starting Sentence Option 1: Many people who [are religious/believe in a deity/attend church] have specific beliefs that [lead them/control them]. Take, for example, [name a religion], which is known for [characteristic]. What conclusion can one draw but [second claim]?
Starting Sentence Option 2: Religions have existed as long as people have and [name a religion] is a good example of [positive or negative characteristic]. As we’ve seen throughout history, such as at [specific event], [religion name] has [caused/resulted in] [consequences]. This leads to the conclusion that [second claim].
- Religion provides motivation for people to do more good in the world.
- The belief in a higher power has led many people to beat their addictions.
- Throughout history, religion has marked moral advances in the world.
- Religion or the church, provide a solid base for drawing people together and binding them as a family.
- Religious people tend to be helpful and feel the urge to aid those in need.
- Religious people are more likely to be judgemental and immoral.
- People hide behind the church and use God as an excuse to do unspeakable things.
- Religion uses scare tactics to force people to act a certain way.
- Many who claim to be doing God’s will are really using religion to line their own pockets and steal from the naive.
- Many of the wars throughout history were started in the name of religion.
PEW Research Center
History of Religions
Religion at Psychology Today
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The Power Of Religion
Religion is quite possibly one of the single most influential concepts in our history as human beings. Every country and culture has a religion in one from or the other, be it a highly structured, large scale organizations like Catholicism, or a small gathering of less than one hundred devotees to some unfamiliar deity. These belief systems have the ability to affect our lives a great deal and in fact, it is quite likely that you have been already been affected today.
Power to persuade
Humans are considered to be pack animals by science, we tend to group together to achieve a common goal. In this way, religion is no different, it is simply a group of individuals who share the same belief, gathering together to express those beliefs and derive any benefits to be had from such beliefs. As a result of this, it is usually quite easy for the spiritual leader to convince or even manipulate the following.
The power of the vote
Politicians depend highly on the populace for the support necessary to put or keep them in office. This puts religion in a very advantageous position since many populations tend to be of one belief system or another. A politician simply has to gain the favor of the spiritual collective and this can secure their place in office, the collective in turn, can make demands and have them fulfilled when these politicians gain power. This gives spiritual groups the ability to greatly shape our society in any way they may desire.
The power of peace
In many countries, spiritual teachings are the dominating powers, with politics and government following where the teachings lead. This can be good and bad. It can be good if the fate is peaceful and teaches about harmony and betterment of human standards of living through fellowship and charity. It can be bad when the teachings state that the world should be eradicated of all people not of its spiritual affiliation and this has been the case many times in history.
Power of belief
This I consider the most dangerous and powerful aspect of religion. It is powerful because a belief is a hard thing to get rid of, dangerous because some beliefs are just plain wrong and because they were never founded in logic, impossible to argue against.
Religion as a single force has many far reaching influences in our world today and quite possibly, its control on society should be checked.
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