Religion Persuasive Essay

George Carline once said “l worship the sun for several reasons. The first reason is that unlike god, you can actually see the sun which really helps with its credibility. It gives me everything that need like heat, light, food, and occasionally skin cancer.

But there are no crucifixions, and sun worshipers don’t set people that don’t agree with them on fire. Unlike church the sun will never ask you for money. The sun will never tell you that you are unworthy or that you need to be saved. Although I worship the sun, I don’t pray to the sun. I pray to Joe Pepsi for two reasons.First of all he is a good actor.

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Second is that he looks like a guy that can get things done. For several years I had asked God to take care of my neighbor with the noisy dog with no results, I finally prayed to Joe Pepsi just once and he straightened him out with one visit. ” (Carline, George. 2008. It’s Bad For Hay.

Available from HOBO Comedy Standup) From the beginning of time one thing has been the contributing factor to more deaths then any disease, controversies then any political scandals, and the majority of wars between different countries and groups.That deadly thing has come to be known as “Religion”. In my paper I will discuss several of the main ideas and definitions of different religions, beliefs, ND philosophies in order to question and disprove their theories. When it comes to believing or accepting a religion or any religious belief there are three basic categories that you can fall under. The first category is “Atheism” or being an Atheist. This basically means that you do not believe in religion or the concept of a god.Many Atheists’ believe that religion is wrong, irrational or harmful, and has been a powerful force for violence and xenophobia throughout history.

The second category that people can fall under is called “Agnostic”. Similar to Atheist’s, Agnostics do not necessarily believe in a God, forever they are more open to the idea that the existence of a God may in some way shape or form be possible. The last category that people can fall under in regards to believing in religion is called “Theism”.Theist’s simply believe in the idea or existence of at least one God.

Theism does not depend on how many God’s one believes in, nor does it depend on how the Theist arrives at their belief. Throughout my life I was always intrigued by religion. This began when I was young with my catholic upbringing. Always had a lot of questions as to religious practices and beliefs, and the meanings and story behind them.

When I began to ask questions as to why things were the way that they were was often met with extremely general and vague answers.I have often thought that its 2012 and you can now view people around the world live via internet when you talk to them, you can drive cars that average over 60 miles per gallon of gasoline consumption, you can have unlimited internet access from the palm of your hand at amazingly fast speeds, yet people are still blowing themselves up and executing each other in masses over something that in all reality cannot actually be proven. Not only that but the fact that people become instantly hurt or insulted if you do not agree with something that is part Of their religious beliefs.Then you have the people that think they have the right to control other people’s lives because they don’t like the way they live.

This could be a number of different ideas that may contradict a person’s religious beliefs, such as gay marriage, abortion, or even stem cell research that could potentially be beneficial to the health of all mankind. Feel that grown adults have a predication to act like small children when it comes to religion, in that they often abandon all sectional thoughts of logic, and turn to what they have been taught in their own personal sheltered religious beliefs.It’s amazing how defensive people become if you question their god, worship or religious practices, while at the same time most are taught to believe that everyone else’s opposing religious beliefs are inaccurate and that those following them will themselves go to hell. A huge problem I have with religious belief is that most people that call themselves faithful followers often do not “practice what they preach”. In other words people often attempt to force religion and its strict policies onto there while they themselves are commonly the biggest violators of its basic rules.An example would be the numerous scandals involving priests molesting young children, or even regular Church attendants that participate in adultery, drinking gambling and premarital sex. I feel that if you are going to make it your practice to faithfully observe your religion, then you should at least be capable of adhering to the standards and regulations that your chosen faith requires of you. Don’t get me wrong, there are people that follow and adhere to their religious beliefs very closely and rarely sway from TTS strict requirements.

However people often forget that the basic fundamental idea of religious practice is about forgiveness for mistakes that you make in life, rather than criticizing and judging others. The United States justice system is often referred to as one of the most fair and just legal systems in the world. It affords people rights that they would not be entitled to in most other countries throughout the world. For example you have a right to a fair trial as well as the right to be judged by a jury of your peers. Additionally, perhaps the most important legal right that you are afforded in he U.

S. Justice system is that you must be found guilty of your charges “beyond a reasonable doubt’ in order to be convicted of your alleged crime. This seems like a reasonable process, being that your charges more than likely will lead you to confinement or some sort of punishment. Considering our legal system and its requirement for proof beyond a reasonable doubt, let’s apply the same standards to a basic religion.

A religion can be compared to the legal system in that you are being judged and punished for your actions or even inactions during your life on earth.All religions are based on basic standard stating that if you do not accept and follow their requirements you will be condemned to a life in hell. The only issue is that religions in themselves cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. They are based on scriptures and stories that have been altered throughout time in order to conform to their own regulations and beliefs. Religions are mainly based on written scriptures that have no way to be proven.

The theory of evolution which has been widely accepted by scientists throughout the world disproves the teachings of religious scripture. (New York Modern Library. (1960).The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. ) Furthermore, written religious scriptures contain contradictions and fallacies that people are ordered not to question under the threat of punishment. People are often raised with the understanding to believe, worship and never question religion or its teachings. For this reason religious teachings are still passed down from generation to generation in families across the world. People accept religion for several reasons.

One reason is that people are scared of the repercussions not only from their religious authority, but also from their family and society as a whole.In fourth century Rome a scholar by the name of Martin Luther became infamous for his rejection and questioning of religious practices. In the beginning of the 1 ass’s the Catholic Church became desperate for money in order to renovate some of their aging churches.

The Catholic Church began to offer an unconditional passage into heaven in return for a generous donation to the church. In addition the church also outlawed common believers from possessing and maintaining the bible therefore awarding the church sole possession of the scripture.Martin Luther recognized the corruption that was taking place within the hurt by ifs officials and representatives. Luther eventually published a thesis which called for reform of the Catholic Church. Lather’s writings, which came to be known as “The Reformation”, were important because they exposed the ultimate corruption Of the church itself.

This made it clear that even a religious authority such as the church which is held to the highest moral and ethical standards is capable of corruption and deception, defeating the general idea of religious belief in itself. Brown, Lori, West European [email protected] 101, 2007, March 29th, Martin Luther and the Reformation) Martin Lather’s thesis eventually caused a small fraction of the many wars and brutal killings that were started because of disputes over religious beliefs and a struggle for power. Throughout history wars have been fought and innocent people have been murdered in the name of religion.

From the crusades, to the Spanish Inquisition, to the Holocaust and even the 9/1 1 attacks, lives have been taken for nothing more than a dispute over religious beliefs and ideas. The list goes on and on.It is estimated that the religious “Thirty Years Holy War”, which was fought between Catholic’s and Protestants ginning in 161 8, reduced Germany’s population from 18 million to 4 million, which is the largest number of war related casualties ever recorded in history.

This does not include the people that are routinely murdered across the world on a daily basis in third world countries like the Middle East, and Africa in the name of religion. It’s fashionable among thinking people to say that religion isn’t the real cause of today’s strife in Lebanon, Sir Lankan, Northern Ireland, India and Iran that Sects merely provide labels for combatants.Not so.

Religion keeps the groups in hostile camps. Without it, divisions would lure with passing generations; children would adapt to new times, mingle, inter-marry, forgetting about ancient wounds. But religion keeps them alien to one another.

(The Skeptical Review Online, 1990, Religion’s Death Toll) In the beginning of time, people had several different Gods that they would devotedly worship. There was a god for the sun, a god for war, and even a god for farming and agriculture. As time went on and religion became more modernized the idea of having multiple gods representing multiple ideas became ridiculous.

Adherents of more modern religious beliefs often looked jack and laughed at the silly religious ideas and teachings of their predecessors. However the original adherents of these medieval belief systems treated their sacred observance very seriously. We can describe them as religions, though to be fair they were so all-encompassing that they could go well beyond religion and encompass the entire way that people lived.

People took their beliefs seriously. People treated these beliefs as being just as “true” as modern adherents of religions like Christianity.Were these people wrong? Were their beliefs wrong? Hardly anyone today believes them, which means just about everyone thinks that they were empirically incorrect. Yet at the same time, they are utterly convinced of the truth of their own religion. If it seems unfair to compare Christianity to Greek mythology, we can make a more general comparison: monotheism to polytheism. It may be that most people who ever lived were polytheists or animists of some sort, not monotheists.

Were all of these people wrong?Does anything make monotheism more likely to be true than polytheism or animism? (Technically Christianity could be considered polytheism because of the idea of god, as ell as Jesus and Mary each play large roles on the basic idea of the Christianity religion) There are numerous comparisons we can make with contemporary religions: Jews are no less devout than Christians; Christians are no less devout than Muslims; and adherents of these Middle Eastern religions are no more or less devout than adherents of Asian religions, such as Hindus and Buddhists.However they are all just as convinced of their religions as the others. It’s common to hear similar arguments from them all for the “truth” and ‘Validity” of their religions. We can’t credit any of these elisions, past or present, as being more credible than the others simply because of the faith of the adherents. We can’t rely on adherents’ willingness to die for their faith. We can’t rely on claimed changes in people’s lives or the good works they do on account of their religion. None of them have arguments which are unequivocally superior to any other.

None have supporting empirical evidence which is stronger than any other (and any religion which insists on the need for “faith” has no business trying to make itself out to be superior on the basis of empirical evidence anyway). So there s nothing internal to these religions or to their believers which allows us to pick any out as superior. That means We need some independent standard which allows us to pick one, just as we use independent standards for picking a safer car or more effective political policy.Unfortunately, there aren’t any standards of comparison which demonstrate that any religions are superior or more likely to be true than any others. (Cline, Austin, About.

Com Guide, Arguments Against God) Where does that leave us? Well, it doesn’t prove that any of these religions or religious beliefs are definitely false. What it does is ell us two things, both of which are very important. It tells us that many cornrow claims on behalf of religions are irrelevant when it comes to evaluating how likely a religion is to be true.The strength of an adherent’s faith and how willing people in the past were to die for a religion just doesn’t matter when it comes to the question of whether a religion is likely true or reasonable to believe as true. Second, when we look at the great diversity of religions we should notice that they are all incompatible. To put it simply: they can’t all be true, but they can all be false. Some try to get around this by eying that they all teach “higher truths” that are compatible, but this is a cop- out because adherents of these religions don’t follow simply these alleged “higher truths,” they follow the empirical claims being made.

Those empirical claims of all different religions cannot all be true. They can, however, all be false. One frequent defense made on behalf of religion and theism is the claim that they are necessary for morality. This claim takes a variety of forms: people wouldn’t behave morally if it were ‘t for religion or fear of gods, some god or gods are the authors of morality so we can ‘t be moral without allowing their commands, religion and gods provide reasons to be moral, the absence Of religion or gods encourages immorality, a moral person is simply assumed to be religious, and so forth.Whatever the form, though, the principle is the same: religion generally, or some religion in particular, is equated with morality to the extent where they can’t be separated. Sometimes this will be offered as a pragmatic reason for adopting that religion by arguing that even if the religion seems implausible, it’s still useful by promoting morality, and this should be encouraged broadly in as many people as possible.

While these claims may be intuitively appealing to many religious theists, just how well-founded is the belief?One means for testing it is to look at the religions themselves. Are their gods moral? Are highly- regarded believers from the past or religious figures in scriptures moral? Are believers today especially moral? The answer to all of this is overwhelmingly negative, and this creates a reason to doubt both the claims about religion being necessary for morality as well as the fundamental truth claims made on behalf of the religion generally and theistic claims in particular. The gods people have believed in certainly have not been especially moral in their behavior.This was abundantly true in ancient polytheistic religious traditions, such as the Greek and Roman gods, but at least no one made grandiose claims on behalf of their gods’ morality. Not a great deal has changed, though, with modern gods. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in a god in which their own scriptures describe as having been the cause of tremendous suffering and evil -? things which, if any human did, would cause that person to be reviled as the most evil person in history. Many of these acts are carried out by figures in religious scriptures, making them just as culpable as the deity who gives the orders.One example would be all the killings which the Jewish god orders throughout the Old Testament -? pretty standard stuff for that time period, but not exactly appropriate for a perfectly good and just deity.

Another example would be the very principle of salvation behind Christianity: people who deserve some sort of punishment are let off the hook by punishing a completely innocent individual, and if people don’t accept this then they are destined for an eternity of torment regardless of the cope or seriousness of their misdeeds.Neither side of that equation is the least bit moral. Because it’s a god that’s involved, however, the actions are suddenly defended as just or righteous. No independent standards of morality are used here; instead, who the actor is becomes the determining factor.

This sort of attitude has made it easier for believers throughout history to rationalize their own immoral behavior. Wherever we look, we can find people insisting that because they are acting on behalf of their god or their religion, their immorality suddenly becomes morally righteous.Augustine fended torturing heretics because “many have found advantage… In being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching…

” Fortunately today, many if not most religious believers have gotten better. People who, like Abraham, claim that their god has ordered them to kill their children are treated as insane rather than as models Of perfect faith to praise. No one seems to recognize the problems this switch creates for their religion, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

Those who, like Augustine, seek to argue that people with the wrong beliefs should be ordered and perhaps killed will likely end up in jail as criminals rather than leaders of their religion. This does not mean, however, that religious believers today have gone far enough. They still continue to believe or do immoral things, often justifying their immorality on the basis of what they say their religion requires. Too often, society gives such behavior a free pass, allowing people to do things on the basis of religion which wouldn’t be allowed in purely secular contexts.

People will, for example, deny necessary medications to their children on the basis of religious faith or teach their starters that they must live their lives subordinate to the men in their lives. In theory, this shouldn’t matter -? after all, irreligious atheists also behave immorally, sometimes justifying immoral actions on the basis of secular philosophies. The difference is that no irreligious atheists try to claim that their secular philosophy is a divinely created or even just divinely inspired system of morality.They don’t deny that their morality is human and therefore quite flawed. The presence of flaws doses ‘t cast doubt on the origins or nature of a human-created, secular philosophy, however it does cast doubt on the origins and nature of a system of morality which allegedly comes from a perfect god. None of this proves that no gods can or do exist, nor does it prove that no religions could be or are true.

It does, however, make it unreasonable to single out any one religion as true while treating all others as false.When a person claims that their religion, and their religion alone, is true, comes from the one true god, and contains the one true morality created by that god, then it’s hard to treat them as credible when their religious system is invested with so much obvious and rationalized immorality. It’s far too common to see religious theists trying to defend their beliefs by relying on faith, claiming both that faith justifies their position and that their beliefs are based on faith.Skeptics and freethinkers are justified in regarding this as little more than a cop-out because faith isn’t really any kind of standard that can be tested for reliability.

Even if religious theists don’t intend it in this manner, it seems that in practice “faith” is simply pulled out whenever attempted arguments based on reason and evidence fail. There are numerous problems with trying to justify any belief, philosophy, or elision on faith. The most significant may be the fact that there is no good reason for only allowing a single religious group to use it.If one person can offer it as a defense of a religious tradition, why can’t a second person use it to defend an entirely different and incompatible religious tradition? Why can’t a third person use it to defend an incompatible, secular philosophy? So now we have three people, each defending completely different and completely incompatible beliefs systems by claiming that they are justified by faith. They can’t all be right, so at best only one is right while the other two are wrong and it may be that all three are wrong).How do we determine which, if any, is correct? Can we construct some sort of Faith;o-Meter to measure which one has the True Faith? Of course not. Do we decide based on whose faith is the strongest, assuming we can measure that? No, the strength of a belief is irrelevant to its truth or falsehood.

Do we decide based on whose faith has changed their lives the most? No, that’s no indication of something being true. Do we decide based on how popular their belief is? No, the popularity of a belief has no bearing on whether it’s true or not.We seem to be stuck. If three different people each make the same “faith” argument on behalf of their beliefs, we have no way to evaluate their claims to determine which is more likely correct than the others.

This problem becomes more acute, at least for religious believers themselves, if we imagine that one of them is using faith to defend an especially heinous belief system -? like, for example, one that teaches racism and anti-Semitism. Another example could be the George Carline quote referred to in the beginning of the paper.George suggests that he is devoted to worshiping the sun for several reasons. Each en of his reasons appear both logical and reasonable in comparison to any given religion. George mentions that the sun provides him with his basic necessities in life including heat, light and food. He goes on to say that his belief in the sun holds credibility in that it can be seen and proven to exist. The irony is that no reasonable or prudent being would respect or observe the sun as a “higher power” or sanctity as they would a normal religion.

While everyday religions are accepted and tolerated in society, George’s example of religious devotion would be mocked and rejected simply because he is using is “faith” to defend a ridiculous belief system. Claims about faith can be used to justify and defend absolutely anything on an equal -? and equally unreasonable -? basis. This means that faith ultimately justifies and defends absolutely nothing because after we’re done with all the faith claims, we’re left precisely where we were when we started: faced with a set of religions that all appear to be about equally plausible or implausible.Since our position has not changed, faith obviously added nothing to our deliberations.

If faith added nothing, then it has no value when it comes to evaluating whether a elision is likely true or not. What this means is that we need some standard independent of these religions themselves. If we’re going to evaluate a group of religions, we can’t rely on something internal to just one of them; instead, we must use something independent of them all: something like the standards of reason, logic, and evidence.These standards have been amazingly successful in the realm of science for separating the theories which are likely true from those which turn out to be useless.

If religions have any connection to reality, then we should be able to compare and weigh them against each other in at least a similar manner. None of this means, of course, that no gods can or do exist or even that no religions can be or are true. The existence of gods and the truth of some religion are compatible with the truth of everything written above.What it does mean is that claims about the truth of religion or the existence of some god cannot be defended to a skeptical nonbeliever or freethinker on the basis of faith. It means that faith is not an adequate or reasonable defense of any belief or belief system which purports to have any empirical connection to the reality which we all share. Faith is also an unreliable and irrational basis for singling out one religion and claiming that it is true while all other religions, as well as any competing secular philosophies, are false.

A recent poll showed that majority of voters would place their vote based on the faith or non-faith of the candidate. (2012, March 30). Atheism.

The New York Times) Unfortunately Religion is often associated with family and values, as well as morals, whereas atheism is associated with immoral and evil behavior. In a contemporary society no right minded person should have to rely on faith or religion in order for them to make an ethical decision. Modern civilization has itself evolved and therefore outgrown the need for the basic rules and regulations contained in religious scripture deciphering right from wrong and good from bad.I would say that the most common reason for modern existence of religion is that it gives people false “Hope”. It’s not uncommon for third world and oppressed countries to have extremely religious values.

The fact that religion gives people a reason to go on with life regardless of their living conditions offers them hope that the afterlife or heaven will give them ultimate salvation from the hardships they faced during their lives. This same fallacious hope also benefits religious fanatics in that it provides them with a specific reason to carry out outrageous acts that they claim to be in the name of their preferred faith.What exactly is it about religion that drives people so crazy? The beliefs and common practiced customs that would routinely be laughed at are suddenly not only accepted but considered sacred. People go from being rational about the everyday experiences in their lives to drinking 2000 year old blood will somehow enlighten them. If you told someone that u saw a zombie walking on water, you would surely be shunned and laughed at, forever when people are told of the story of Jesus walking on water and performing miracles they not only believe it, but preach it.

People across the world have no problem deciphering fictitious from true events, until it comes to anything that relates to their religion. People will believe and go along with basically whatever their religion tells them to do, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. As the comedian George Carline once said “religion has actually convinced rational people of an invisible man living in the sky. This invisible man watches everything that you do every minute of every day and he has a facial list of 10 things that he does not want you to do.