Religion And Freedom


Religion And Freedom Essay, Research Paper

Do you see that religion limits the freedom of the human beings? In other words, do you think there is a contradiction between being a subject of god and at the same time being a free man?

To begin with, lets define what is the meaning of the word religion. The word religion is derived from the Latin word “religo” which derives from the verb “religere” which in English means relate or link. It means connecting or combining again. Here we might ask why the word means reestablish or reconnect not establish or connect. The answer is simple, the relation between god and the people was good at first, and then because man was always selfish and acted arrogant and wicked the relation was broken between human beings and god. That is why god created the religions to reestablish the relation ship that was broken between man and god.

A religion as all of us know is something to be experienced; we go through religion or are religious persons. In any known religion, religion is to believe in the power of the words. If someone wants to convince you in Islam for example, he/ she starts talking about the prophet Mohammad and how he had received the words of god. The first thing you do is either to believe or not to believe and this means that in religions you can’t ask for proves. You can analyze the words of god and think about it but this comes after you believe. Religion is something you accept and agree on by only hearing or knowing about it. But also to believe you have to trust the person who is transmitting the message to you. I stress again, the words in the religion have the full power since god can be neither touched nor seen and the whole truth lies only in the words. So faith, which is the essential component in religion, is the trust in the power of the words by only hearing them not reading or having given some proves. Then if you believe and have faith in this religion then, you have to act according to your faith which means changing some habits (like after the witness in Islam, Muslims can’t drink wine for example.) in your life so that you act accordingly with your new faith like the baptism in Christianity and the witness in Islam and thus when you do these two things for example, you can’t change back your mind. And then after you act according to your faith you have to practice your religion like going to the church eating from the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood. In Islam the witness, fasting, praying, alms giving, and pilgrimage. And sure every religion has ethics and ethics are practiced within a certain religion and what might be allowed in this religion might not be allowed in the other religion. For example in Islam one can marry four wives while the same thing is not true in Christianity. In Christianity, one can drink wine while drinking wine in Islam is banned.

Freedom, however, means a moment or moments marked by the ability to do or say whatever someone wants at a certain time in a certain place. This notion, as we have noticed from the definition, is directly seen to collide with the notion of religion. Religions put certain rules and limitations for its believers on how to act and what to speak within this religion. And from what I had previously mentioned having faith in a certain religion is to first believe in the words upon hearing them. And thus if you believe you are obliged to act accordingly with your religion. And thus the freedom, absolute freedom of man is being limited by religions. To clarify and explain this more let me make a small historic preview on how religions had limited man’s freedom and this can be by talking about: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even before religions existed, when there was many gods people didn’t have religions in the meaning of what we know today about religions but they use to have some “taboos” which are the things man can’t do. “Taboos” were many kinds like for example not killing a specific kind of birds because it is thought that this bird is the origin of a certain tribe and is thought to be the father of the tribe. However, with Moses the prophet of the Hebrews. Judaism was the first practiced monotheistic religion- not to mention that the pharaoh Aton who was the first to believe in one god, the god of the sun but his message was not completed and after him polytheism continued- Moses in his ten commandments tells the Hebrews what there god Yahweh wants them to do and here for example eating the meat of the pig was not allowed for the Hebrews, worship only one god was a must, not to steal or commit adultery was also a must. Then Jesus Christ with Christianity came, and also put rules for how people must act for god to love them for example to help the poor and the needy and the widows, not to reply on evil by evil, love each other worship one god … and finally from the prophet Mohammad we know about Islam and about the doctrine and the rules that were mentioned in the Qur’an- the holly book of the Muslims- like what to eat, how to pray, whom to marry…

From all of the above mentioned we find that “yes” religions limit the freedom of the man and man is always the subject of god and not a free man. But here some important questions might be asked: do we need absolute freedom to build civilized nations and societies? Don’t we need religion to regulate and stabilize our life? Aren’t religions important for the life of human beings on earth?

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