What follows is a winning year 9 essay from my school. Every student had to write a piece on one of 3 optional titles. MB won over 200 other students in her year group!
In my essay I will be discussing whether religion still has any relevance in modern day life. I will look at both sides of the argument and hopeful come to a conclusion of my overall thoughts and opinions. I believe that it doesn’t have any relevance and hopefully by the end you will have a view on this interesting question.
First of all religion was originally created as a way of helping people understand the way the world works and answering questions that were thought to never have an answer, so it was simply someone having an interpretation of the world. Spreading the message until most of your country believes it. Therefore religion was everything in the past. However more and more people are looking at the facts and scientific evidence that humans have gathered and are thinking, hang on a minute this is different to my religion on how the world was created. Also people are becoming atheist (people who don’t believe in God/ religion) giving me the impression that we don’t need religion any more because science can help us explain what really happened.
On the other hand, religion gave humans hope, when there was none. This also created interesting theories of life and understanding the universe. For example Pythagoras, although he was an amazing mathematician, he did believe in religion and many of his ideas were on the connections of maths and his religion. He also believes in reincarnation. So if we didn’t have religion would Pythagoras have made all of those discoveries or would the human race have taken longer to develop as he wouldn’t of had religion to inspire him.
Although, religion is one of the main issues surrounding war. For example the Crusades was only about religion and who can have holy land, or the rise of the Nazi party leading up to WW2 and the restraints on the Jewish people all over Europe purely because they were Jewish, not because they did something wrong, but because of what religion they followed. Also if you added up all the days of the human race living on this earth where there has been peace everywhere it would only come to about 4 years. In addition to this I know that war isn’t just about religion, it’s also about money, economy, land and freedom; but religion is one of the main reasons why there is war. So religion doesn’t really help us any more. If anything religion is the one tearing the human race apart rather than making us all come together.
Alternatively religion has helped humans connect with one another to create communities and a pleasant way of life. Without religion you wouldn’t be able to make connections with others or have peace and harmony in your life. I think religion does this as it makes people focus their energy and good spirits towards something meaningful and will not only make you feel happier but make what time you have on this earth memorable. Also some religions have a similar idea of a soup kitchen where they will help the less fortunate. For example Muslims will give a small percentage of their annual saving to charity, their place of worship or to help an individual. But now a-days humans create communities with politics and having laws, by democracy and the way we run our countries.
In addition to this religion helps explain moral issues surrounding life. Like whether it’s excitable to do certain things. It also helps explain punishment if you do wrong, and helps to guide you along the way on your life journey. This is what I think heaven and hell help represent in Christianity, as it explains if you’re good you will get rewarded, but if you are bad you will be punished for it later. Although you can’t always trust what a religious book says as some of their moral compasses are wrong and things that are accepted and recognised in today’s society, back then was punishable and illegal. For example being gay used to be outrageous and you could get sent to prison for it but now its part of our community. Yet the Bible tells us to love all creatures and humans no matter what unless, and effectively list everything you can’t love. This is similar to the idea of killing someone is punishable and a horrible thing to do; yet if someone isn’t in this certain ‘higher’ class of society then its fine. This I think is wrong so some religions can give the wrong images and suggest things that aren’t exactly true. They may have been ok when they were written but the world is always changing, and things needed to carry on developing otherwise it gets left be hide. Creating questions like ‘Does religion have any relevance in the twenty first century?’
However, its not like after hundreds of years that you can suddenly give up religion all together and you can’t exactly change your religious book to keep up to data with society, but religion is becoming less and less valuable and is getting more and more extinct.
Nevertheless religion has created terrorism, as some religious people have become extremists trying to prove that religion and their way of life is the best. Everyone else however knows that no one would want to live under this threatening way. Terrorism is act of violence or aggression in an attempt to get your own way, its similar to a child throwing tantrums. But what makes this worst is many mistakes are made about who are terrorists; lets say Isis, they are “Muslims” and many take this as all Muslims are terrorist, so shouldn’t be trusted. Why did it mean having great faith in something imply that you are a terrorist? So does this mean the religion is really a way of people turning against everyone else because they don’t believe in what you believe in. And I know that this is not true as not all Muslims are terrorist but many terrorists are Muslim. I read this book called My Sister Lives On The Mantelpieces and it talks about a twin who died from a Muslim terrorist group how hid bombs in London (she got blown up). Therefore the dad thought that meant all Muslims are terrorists and he had a real hatred for them. They had moved to the countryside, his son made one friend, a Muslim. It goes into detail about how this boy would go against his dad’s wishes in order to be friends with this Muslim. I think it’s a great way of explain to kids and adults a very serious message through a simple book.
As well as terrorism, religion makes it easier for people to get penalised due to the way they look and act. For example in the work place many people with a religion other than Christian will sometimes get penalised, the cloths you wear as part of your faith may make people look down on you as if you are different. E.g. wearing a Burka (a long, loose garment covering the whole body from head to toe, worn in public by women in many Muslin countries) if you wear it people can give you funny looks thinking your different and out of place. But people give the same looks to the newish fashion items. So I don’t think this makes religion have any relevance socially as it makes you stand out, look different or even suggest you are not part to the human race.
In conclusion I think that religion is more or less not relevant in todays society as it was created to explain the impossible, but now that impossible is real and we now have scientific evidence to back up all our claims. Also personally I believe that religion can teach us quite a lot about moral issues and right from wrong but so can our parents, teachers, friends and family so that role is effectively taken; and religion is a good way of keeping our moral compass correct in a more engaging manor. Finally I think religion creates more mess and drama than is solves. Although I know that the majority of the human race would disagree with me as many of them are religious, but what makes my opinion unique is that I do believe religion has been out dated for a long time now. However I know it can be quite hard to just suddenly stop using religion and only listen to scientific evidence. But what I think I cool about religion is it separates up the human race into sections of what you believe in but it separates us up in a good way, which create debates and interesting discussions. But if we didn’t have religion, RE teachers would lose their jobs; therefore I think we need religion.