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Beliefs, Cults and Religions

Beliefs, Cults and Religions


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Religion derives from the Latin word religion, which means "worshiping a deity," "reconnecting," or simply "rewiring") can be defined as a set of beliefs related to what humanity considers supernatural, divine, sacred, and transcendental, as well as the whole. of rituals and moral codes that derive from these beliefs.

It is not known for sure which relationship religion with other words. Apparently in the Latin world prior to the birth of Christianity, religion it referred to a style of behavior marked by rigidity and precision.


Symbols of various religions.

The word "religion" was used for centuries in the cultural context of Europe, marked by the presence of Christianity that appropriated the Latin term. religion. In other civilizations there is no equivalent word. Ancient Hinduism used the word rita which pointed to the cosmic order of the world, with which all beings should be harmonized, and which also referred to the correct performance of the rites by the Brahmans. Later the term was replaced by dharma, a term that is currently also used by Buddhism and which expresses the idea of ​​a divine and eternal law.

Regardless of origin, the term is used to denote any set of beliefs and values ​​that make up the faith of a particular person or set of people. Each religion inspires certain norms and motivates certain practices.

Relevant Words and Concepts

There are terms that are often said / written in Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian religious discourse. These include: the sacred and its derivatives (sacrament, sacred, sacramental, sacrament, execrate), profane (profane) and god (s). The concept of these terms varies greatly according to the time and religion of the employer. However, it is possible to emphasize a common minimum for most concepts assigned to terms.

The Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian religious believe in the existence of several (Greeks and Romans) or a single god (Jews and Christians), a being impassive to be felt by human sensors and capable of provoking unlikely / impossible events that can favor or harm men. For the religious, things and actions are divided into sacred and profane. Sacred is that which maintains a connection / relationship with the god (s).

Profane is that which has no connection with the god (s). For some religious, "profane" is a derogatory term, for others not. The word "profane" (profane) is always regarded as a bad deed by religious.

Religion concept

Within what is defined as religion One can find many different beliefs and philosophies. The various religions of the world are indeed very different from each other. However, it is still possible to establish a common feature among all of them. It is a fact that every religion has a supernatural belief system, usually involving deities or gods. Religions also often have accounts of the origin of the universe, the earth, and man, and what happens after death. Most believe in the afterlife.

Religion is not only an individual phenomenon, but also a social phenomenon. The church, the chosen people (the Jewish people), the communist party, are examples of doctrines that require not only individual faith but also adherence to a certain social group. Take, for example, the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of the Falun Gong sect. The Chinese Communist Party understands that religion is not necessary to Chinese society.

The idea of ​​religion very often contemplates the existence of higher beings who would have influence or power of determination in human destiny. These beings are mainly gods, who are at the top of a system that can include several categories: angels, demons, elementals, demigods, etc.

Other broader definitions of religion dispense with the idea of ​​deities and focus on the roles of developing moral values, codes of conduct, and a cooperative sense in a community.

Atheism is the denial of the existence of any kind of god and the truth of any theistic religion. Agnosticism is the doubt about the existence of God and about the truth of any theistic religion, for lack of favorable or contrary evidence. Deism is the belief in a god that can be known only through reason, not faith and revelation.

Some religions do not consider deities, and can be considered as atheists (although atheism is not a religion, it can be a feature of a religion). This is the case with Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Recently there have been movements specifically geared towards a religious (or similar) practice on the part of deists, agnostics, and atheists - such as secular humanism and Unitarian-universalism. Others will create alternative philosophical systems such as August Comte founder of the Religion of Humanity.

Religions that claim the existence of gods can be classified into two types: monotheistic or polytheistic. Monotheistic religions admit only the existence of a single god, a supreme being. Polytheistic religions admit the existence of more than one god.

Today, monotheistic religions are dominant in the world: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam together comprise more than half of humans and almost the whole of the Western world. The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion.