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Many scholars and researchers have attempted to determine the reasons why religion is such a popular aspect of humanity. From whichever side of earth a person is he or she must have something to believe in at some point of their lives. The popularity of religion must be backed by strong belief on the unseen world manifesting itself on the present. Many people trying to justify their thoughts and actions end up developing mechanism of believe handed over fro generation to generation. In this essay we seek to determine what other scholars have to say pertaining what people believe in.
To start with, Freud, Jung among others attempted to argue that religion is a psychological phenomenon created by the psychologically disturbed community in a bid to resolve their quagmires. Freud who is a renowned psychologist argued that there are some disorders associated with being too much obsessed with something. Religion as it was once known to many believers drew its significance from neurotic obsession acts. There fore he managed to explain religion as an aspect sprouting from holding too much trust and attention to something be it a property or animals. Since religion is always the last resort of solving nagging problems of humanity, it is to be a means of overcoming internal psychological conflicts (Johansen 2009).
On the other side, some scholars of yester years sought to explain religion as a phenomenon associated with sociology. The sociological explanations given by the likes of Durkheim and Levi-Strauss depicted religion as an emotionally instigated movement of individuals seeking to satisfy their emotional deficiency. It is because of such reasons that some religious leaders have been seen to make emotional utterances aimed at working out the followers.
Comparing the two theories, it is apparent that psychological perspective of religion is more accurate and practical theory of explaining the existence of religion. It is very often to find staunch believers to be solace seekers. When faced with tormenting challenges of life many people are seen to invoke the powers of super being either seen or unseen. It is because of this reason and explanation that religion is still a mysterious concept to explain.
Buddhism is a religion centered on the initial teachings of Buddha. It reflects the content of first sermon delivered by when he first received enlightenment. This sermon circumnavigated around four principal teachings which form the famous Four Noble Truths. Exegetical analysis of these truths reveals that religion according to Buddhism is a leaning more towards psychological theory than sociological ones. Its paints a clear picture of religion as a means of explaining and justifying human suffering. These truths which have continually formed the foundation of Buddhists beliefs include the following: The truth of suffering, the truth of cause of suffering, the truth of end of suffering and the truth of path that sets people free (Tsering, Geshe and McDougall 2005).
The truth of suffering means that is nothing else but a continuous chain of suffering. Although many are shunned at the hearing of this statement, Pali word, dukkha is quick to diffuse the discouragement by explaining that the suffering is only temporary.
The second truth teaches that suffering is somewhat an optional thing. It teaches that human suffering is centered on the strong desire to achieve some goals. It encompasses physical things as well as ideas and opinions.
The third teaching reflects a climax of chronological build up of suffering. This truth teaches that there is an end of every human suffering. It could be any way of ending the craving be it achievement or withdrawal from the desire.
The fourth truth which appears to be more general is about what should govern harmonious coexistence with fellow beings. Unlike other religions which push for the belief just for the sake of it, Buddhism demands that the following should govern the belief: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration (Eliot 2007).