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Religion Definition Essay On Happiness

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Can Religion Make You Happy? Essay - Happiness Essays

Can Religion Make You Happy? Essay

“If Religion Makes People Happy, Why Are So Many Dropping Out?” -- Louis Tay and David G. Meyers.

Throughout history, religion has helped form the basic fabric of society. From an early age, religion provided the answers to any unexplainable natural phenomena. The question of why the world worked in a particular way was easily answered with “because [name of deity] made it that way.” Religion was everywhere; everyone had their own ideas about how the world worked and what their role was in the universe. Each likeminded group held that their religious beliefs were the root cause of their happiness and general satisfaction with life. Centuries of religious dominance eventually gave birth to a widespread idea that strong religious beliefs are essential to living a happy and fulfilling life. Even today, in a society dominated by scientific advances, religion finds a niche in catering to people’s spiritual needs. Indeed, despite the societal changes that have occurred in modern times, religion has remained largely unchanged since its early days. The belief that religion factors heavily into one’s life satisfaction and happiness has also remained much the same, despite today’s complex and ever-changing society. The problem lies where religion is viewed as a major way to achieve happiness, and this perspective can lead to blind acceptance of religion solely on the basis of its supposed universal benefits. Basically, a new way of looking at religion is needed: seeing it not as the end-all happiness tool, but as a small factor in a complex web of happiness and well-being.

Traditionally, organized religion in the Western world encouraged a melancholy outlook on life. Today, however, religion represents an image of happi.


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Madigan, Timothy J. “Godless Happiness.” Free Inquiry Summer 1998: 32+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 19 June 2015.

Moeller, Philip. “Religion Makes People Happier--But Why?” Chicago Tribune. N.p. 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 June 2015.

Myers, David G. “Who’s Happy? Who’s Not?” Christianity Today. 23 Nov. 1992: 23+. Gale Power Search. Web. 19 June 2015.

Schumaker, John F. “Can Religion Make You Happy?” Free Inquiry Summer 1998: 28+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 19 June 2015.

Stearns, Peter N. “The History of Happiness. (Cover Story).” Harvard Business Review 90.1/2 (2012): 104-109. Business Source Complete. Web. 6 June 2015.

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Definition Of Myths Essay Research Paper Definition

Definition Of Myths Essay Research Paper

The origin of the word myth seems to be a myth in itself. Myths have generally originated from a Greek history that used an oral tradition to explain events that occurred before the written word. Often supernatural beings or fictitious characters were used to explain popular ideas concerning phenomena’s of nature or the history of people. The myths that were carried on from generation to generation were often very imaginative in an attempt to spark the interest of young listeners. These would be told at social gatherings. The main purpose of a myth was to relay historical information among groups. Early myths often dealt with the origin of man customs religious rights incidents involving the lives of gods stories of culture heroes adaptations of old world myths or the retelling of biblical stories. The real meaning of the word myth “a story or legend”(Webster’s p.972) was created as oral traditions that were told from generation to generation. Often as individuals told the stories they were changed slightly in context or meaning. One cannot be certain however that historically based myths are not historically correct. Exaggeration due to personal vendetta was often the cause for discrepancies of factual or not factual information included in dialect from a mythical standpoint. An instance where this fact was the case is seen in the Old Testament.

Even the Old Testament can be looked upon as being mythical true or false. From a religious perception the Old Testament may be viewed as the history of Judaism and believed to be completely factual and true but from a mythical standpoint

that selection may be fictitious in context. Mythology suggests that due to the fact that events were perceived and told from many different viewpoints the Old Testament may not be factual and only a myth of Judaism. A modern day perception of the Old Testament suggests that “the mythic elements in the Bible cannot be accepted by people living in a scientific age and therefore make incomprehensible or unacceptable the true message to which they are attached in the Bible” (OED p.177).

The definition of the word myth can best be found in a myth itself. “The Creation of Man by Prometheus” is an excellent example of a myth containing gods or superhuman characteristics a lesson to be learned and teachings or beliefs of the time period. This myth explains the creation of man in the minds of Greeks through super human characters such as the gods. How was man created in the minds of the Greeks? Prometheus used materials from nature (mud) to create a form similar to that of the gods which can be seen today as the modern symbol of man. Another Greek goddess Athena then blew life into the sculpture. Man was now created. Prometheus then taught man how to survive and also taught them how to make fire. Zeus the king of all gods and goddesses was not happy with him giving man the gift of fire and punished Prometheus for the rest of his life. The Greeks in an oral tradition to explain this phenomenon known as the origin of man (Hunt) then used this story.

Many cultures for example have a different myth to explain the origin of man. Native Indian myths suggest that the joining of sprits created man. The sprits also taught man how to survive. This myth is similar to that of the Greek version because in both versions the creation of man involved supernatural interaction. As in every culture

the people of it have the individual they believe is responsible. Every culture has a myth explaining how man was created that they believe is correct based on their oral tradition. The Greeks believed that the Gods were responsible for this feat while the Indians believed that spirits accomplished this task based on taught tradition. The purpose of these myths was to create answers to questions that could not be answered in those early times. The myths eased the minds of mortals and made mortals want to worship the spirits because the spirits held the only answers to their questions.

Answers to these basic questions were later discovered through modern science. As science evolved cultures began to realize that there were answers to these questions and that their myths contained less evidence of being correct. Scientific knowledge was often very hard for orthodox cultures to comprehend because they had always been taught the beliefs of their culture which was based on these myths.

As cultures have evolved and scientific evidence has become more evident and understandable myths have become more as stories of entertainment than answers to questions. The meaning of ancient myths can be derived but with the knowledge that scientific evidence provides it is absurd to assume truth of myths because scientific evidence is much easier to believe and understand.

Present day myths deal with issues that have factual evidence that can explain why things do occur. These issues can also have a mythical side to them. The mythical side is present because a culture or society does not want to believe the facts that are known in an attempt to give reassurance to ones inner self. A modern example of a myth is the belief that one cannot achieve a pregnancy upon the primal intercourse

experience. Research has proven that this is not true but many believe or are told that this is the case. These types of myths are used today to create reassurance for those believing them.

The word myth has been defined by scientific evidence throughout history. As scientific evidence has become clearer early myths have become less clear to the present day human being. Even though early myths are becoming obsolete they are still being studied to teach all aspects of life and culture past and present. Also modern myths are being studied just as well to teach the aspects of the world today.

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