How Religion Impacts Modern Society Research Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Religion Type: Research Paper Paper: #35529337 Related Topics: Science, Religion, God, Society
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Religion, over many centuries has become a focal point for both society and the manner in which societies behaves. Since the emergence of the homo sapiens species, human have always been fascinated with the unknown. Religion was mans first attempt to make sense of the world around them and interesting phenomenon that have occurred. Due the early history of man, religion acted as a pseudo-science designed to explain naturally occurring behaviors in society. During these periods, long and severe droughts were explained by an angry God. Rain was described as God weeping. Eruptions of volcanos where explained away as the anger of the Gods. Each of these have later been validated and explained by science. Society now knows that rain is caused by precipitation, drought is much more common in the world and not a result of an inappropriate worship of a God. Although, science has shown many of the claims of religion as false, it still plays a major role in society. It is my claim that many of these roles are predominately negative and that religion should be eliminated to help improve society overall (Dawkins, ).

Religion has a very storied and hypocritical past. Early in human history, religion was use as both a weapon and means of controlling civilization. During the beginnings of religion, humans were primarily hunter-gathers. Due the need to continually move, settlements, towns, and cities were not formed. Instead hunter gathers formed temporary homes designed specifically for short durations. As this form of life required constant movement, communal networks were relatively small and never exceeded more than 100 people. Once the networks became too large, it was much more difficult to feed and care for all members in the network appropriately. Soon, humans began to learn how to farm and an agricultural society began to emerge. This allowed society to stay in one specific area for a long period of time. It also allowed larger settlements to form as farming could support larger populations. As more and more hunter gathering tribes began to join the communities, cities eventually formed. Unfortunately, as more hunter-gathering tribes joined a city, their traditions customs and belief came with it. This caused numerous disputes, between tribes within the new formed city. Thus, these cities needed a method to control all members in the city with a common set of rules, regulations, beliefs and behaviors. Through this desire for order, religion was formed and created. However, all of the tribes were simply unwilling to follow a sole leader, so God was used as a means of Choosing his leader. Here, through the power of religion


This was the start of religion in our modern society. Even today, Americans believe their wealth and status is partially given to them by God. Slavery and the concept of manifest destiny gave white men the power, from God, to enslave, kill and murder millions of native Americans and African Americans. Through the Crusades, religion was used to liberate Jerusalem from the surrounding area of Islamic rule, again killing many millions of people in the name of God (Van Biema, 2006). Terrorists, believing the developed world to be evil, commit suicide bombings, killing many innocents, again in the name of religion. Each of these instances along with many others have formed much of the basis for modern society. The way our schools are structured, the way western governments operate, security in Airports, respect for varying religious views, and even humanitarian aid all have their basis in religion. Overall, I believe that all things being equal religion plays a negative role in society (Abbate, 2009).

Opposing views state many of the good elements of religion in the form of humanitarian aid, the establishment of schools, and high moral and social standing. Although true, my contention is that all of these elements would exist without religion being present. We have seen instances of this occurring throughout history. Non religion individuals during times of war often sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Now according to some religions, the individual who sacrificed his life for the sake of saving his fellow military personnel would go to hell if he had not accepted a certain God into his life. It appears to be implied that only God provides morals, when in fact those who are not religious are often of high moral character as their religions counterparts (Austin, 1990).

The opposition says that religion empowers its followers to behave admirable in the context of society. I agree with this to a certain extent, but can make the argument that religion has caused religions in aggregate to behave terribly. Many of the most damaging and deadly wars in society are often universally based on some factor or religion. The introduction above mentions slavery, the war on terror,…

Sources Used in Documents:


1. Abbate, Michael. Gardening Eden: How Creation Care Will Change Your Faith, Your Life, and Our World. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2009.

2. Achtemeier, Elizabeth. Nature, God and Pulpit. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1992.

3.  Austin, Richard Cartwright. Reclaiming America: Restoring Nature to Culture. Environmental Theology. Vol. 4. Abingdon, Va.: Creekside Press, 1990

4. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion, Black Swan, 2007, (ISBN 978-0-552-77429-1).

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