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The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today
For me, the word ‘religion’ conjures up images of wailing fat ladies
dressed in their Sunday best singing at the top of their lungs about
the glory of God. Of course, this image comes from my childhood when I
attended the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica every Sunday, rain
or shine, with my grandmother. For her, Church, Christianity and God
was a way of life; a set of principles she believed in and lived by.
For others less convinced, the idea of religion or ‘being religious’
is as far fetched as aliens and UFO’s.
Throughout the centuries, religion has played an important part in
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The Ways to Study and Define Religion Many influential thinkers have difficulty in defining religion. Definitions are sometimes too narrow by defining religion in terms of their beliefs or culture and often exclude other cultures religious beliefs. ?Religion is something we have a sense of, but can not easily pin down and define with precision. It is hard enough to define one religion, but to arrive at a definition suitable for all religions is much more difficult? (Earhart 5).If asked to define religion sometimes would depend on who asked the question. Different disciplines approach the meaning of religion from their own perspective. ?Existential, psychological, theological, and...
6399 words - 26 pages
An Analytical Approach to Truth and Religion
ABSTRACT: I discuss some of the problems of the application of the notion of truth to religion. After introductory remarks on the problem called truth and religion to show the peculiarity and the actuality of the problem discussed, I examine the different meanings of the notions of truth and religion, in order to formulate some comments on the different concepts of the truth of religion. I name the main types of religious truth, and consider the competencies of the diverse types of the study of religion to determine the truth of religion, and to analyze how to understand the truth of distinct types of religion. I conclude with some remarks on...
556 words - 2 pages
"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life."
"So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you."
Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, or whether you think religion has played a positive or negative role in history, it is an incontrovertible fact that from the beginning of time, humans have engaged in activities that we now call religion, such as worship, prayer, and rituals marking important life passages. Moreover, religions have always asked fundamental questions, such as: What is the true meaning of life? What happens to us...
1058 words - 4 pages
Leaving the Study of Religion to Religious People
Assuming that "religion" here has the same meaning as one of the definitions referred to in O U Block 4 Unit 14 (and in particular is an activity caught by Ninian Smart's The Nature of Religion, A5 Resource Book 3) we still need to know what is meant by "religious people" before we can properly answer the question posed for this essay. By "religious people", presumably the question is not referring to theologians but ordinary people who follow a particular religion. If that is the case then it is felt that the study of religion should be left to religious people. However, this is not without its problems.
One of the problems in...
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Religion is not something we can see, but is an organised collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate to humanity to an order of existence (Wikipedia, Religion, www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion). As individuals we are able to put our faith in and adhere to a way of life, supported by the information passed to us by different generations and leaders of religion.Defining religion is difficult. As individuals we use our own views and experiences to emphasize different things. Ninian Smart, Professor of comparative Religions is known for his seven-part dimension model of religion....
1976 words - 8 pages
Religion and Spirituality
Since the dawn of human life, people have eternally been searching for the purpose of existence. Humans are innately curious beings, and are blessed to have the capabilities of higher thought processes. Humans use these thought processes to ponder the question of existence. Unfortunately, the evolution of man has not brought the human race any closer to actualizing its purpose on earth. In fact, this issue is such that the more one feels he or she understands it, the more questions concerning it arise. This problem perpetuates itself by the confusion of religion and spirituality, and the roles they hold in society. As the human race evolves, it feels...
981 words - 4 pages
Religion is an idea with many different interpretations, especially amongst varied societies, and cultures. Most people have some idea of what a religion is, whether they are insiders, outsiders or don't-know. It is commonly thought that our interpretations and assumption of what exactly a religion is are founded by our surroundings in society and the communities we live in. The six major world religions are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism and Hinduism, each is very different whilst at the same time very similar. Each of these groups partakes in various outward activities to express their beliefs and practices. An example of such an activity would be religious festivals,...
781 words - 3 pages
I agree that 'being religious in itself is not a necessary qualification for a student of religion.' From the examples that follow, we will see why it is not a necessary qualification. However, we will also consider the argument of those who disagree with the above statement. Being religious in itself is not a necessary qualification for a student of religion just as how many students pick up a foreign language in school, for example French. These students need not be French to be a student of the French language. However, if it was stipulated that only the French could be a student of...
763 words - 3 pages
Prayer in Schools
Religion is any system of beliefs or the moral values that people follow. Some people actually define religion as their whole purpose in life. Religion is often times the key that defines who people are. Religion is where people find themselves and the purpose for their lives. Combine all these beliefs about religion and people's pride and it is understandable why people are so devoted to their religious beliefs. This makes religion a crucial component to most peoples lives.
The fight to keep religion out of schools, specifically Christianity, has been a controversial issue for many years. People have fought to keep other religions from being taught to...
1045 words - 4 pages
Religion and Psychology
*Missing Works Cited*
Religious faith is important to most Americans, with approximately 95% of Americans reporting belief in God and about 50% being active in church organizations (Gallup & Castelli, 1989). Despite the widespread prevalence of religious beliefs in society, some researchers have maintained that religion and religious beliefs are often neglected in psychological research (Jones, 1994; Plante, 1996). This neglect stems from a couple of different factors. First, it is difficult for psychologists to overcome the fact that believers in many religions claim to have unique access to the truth. Secondly, truly theological questions such as the...
2188 words - 9 pages
Religion is a philosophy or a state of mind. It is a concept which goes into extensive depth past the literal perspective. A religion consists of traditions, sub-traditions, and a recognition of a transcendental Being or goal (source: class handout). One way of understanding such a broad topic is through Ninian Smart's model for studying religion. This model allows observers to compare similarities and differences with any religion and gives reasoning for a 'religion' to be classed as one or not. Smart's model uses seven dimensions to analyse religions, of which some dimensions have less significance than others...
1330 words - 5 pages
Over the years, countless efforts have been made to find a comprehensive explanation for delinquency. The results of these efforts have offered possible reasons as being both biological and social. It is still debatable as to what forces have the greatest influence on youth crime, but it is undoubted that several factors clearly make an impact. The direct relationships a child has with concrete social elements, like his family and friends, are likely to give some intimation of his involvement in crime. However, it must be noted that there are more abstract contexts for socialization that also exist as potential explanations for a child’s behavior.
The most prominent of these less specific...
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Differences in learning styles do cause major problems for international students studying in Australia. For the purpose of this essay, `learning styles' is defined to be the approaches taken by the international students in studying, and `international students' should be read in the context of tertiary students from countries outside Australia. This essay shall concentrate on the main factors, which it may be argued bring about difficulties in learning for international students. which include cultural differences, the expected independence of students as well as the differences in patterns of...
1010 words - 4 pages
Two real mysteries that have made themselves present on earth inlcude magic and religion. Both in their own distinctive manner. Both include the main producer of puzzlement, whether it be the magician or god, and both contain many puzzling ideas and components, whether it be the after-life, or sawing someone in half. With this both have been a means of entertainment, and enlightenment. In Fifth Business, Robertson Davies successfully uses the characters to correlate and illustrates both the theme of magic and the theme of religion. The greatest and strongest examples are illustrated through the characters and their...
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The difference between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is most visible through art and architecture, demonstrated specifically through an emphasis on religion or classical antiquity, and humanity. During the Middle Ages, art was more religious because it had a very religious influence from the church having such great power in the community. When the Renaissance started, art became more focused on ancient Greece. The Greek influence was because scholars were broadly studying the revival of classical antiquity. The architecture was affected in the same way because in the Middle Ages the style of the buildings was being influenced by religion. The style in the Renaissance was being more...
968 words - 4 pages
Society in all cultures share a common trait: Religion. Studying religion in any society reveals many of their traits and explains the actions of the individual. For example, Jewish people live their lives according to what was written in the Talmud and the Torah. They respect the Sabbath and also eat Kosher meat. Even when looking at Huxley's A Brave New World, analyzing religion still helps us understand the actions of the societies and characters within the book.
When analyzing religion in any society, one must consider what god the society worships and what purpose that god holds. The `civilized' people in A Brave New World worship the automotive pioneer Henry Ford as their god. But,...
1210 words - 5 pages
Resolving Conflicts Between Religion and Politics
The use of conflict to try and resolve political, religious or
cultural differences has existed for centuries, Violence and the State
are still two prevailing issues in our world today. It is often
assumed that violence and fighting occurs between peoples of very
different nationalities or cultures; that there differences are too
great for there to ever be peace or compromise. This, however, is not
the case; it is people with the most similar backgrounds that have the
hardest time agreeing. This is the situation in Northern Ireland. The
Anglo-Irish conflict in Northern Ireland is a complex web that
1758 words - 7 pages
Religion plays an integral part in individuals lives, both personally and in societies as sociologists, such as Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, try to understand its impact through the beliefs and functions it holds. Religion is the very basis that some people may live their lives by which their everyday behaviours and actions are influenced. Beyond the behaviour and action, religion may help one find peace with them self and be able to make an identity as some people see their religion as who they are. Through two different perspectives with common similarities, Durkheim and Weber explore the role and impact religion has on societies and how they affect individuals by studying its many...
1634 words - 7 pages
“Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived,” was a statement made by Oscar Wilde. (Dawkins, pg. 222) In Richard Dawkins book, “The God Delusion,” regards the argument of the supernatural being in religion being not feasible. Richard Dawkins proposes his argument “with rigor and wit, Dawkins eviscerates the arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of the existence of a supreme being.” (Dawkins, 2008) Moreover, the author uses vital assessments by allocating the origins of the religion, analysis of the Darwinian natural selection and other metaphysicists that are the contemporary reasoning for phenomenal causes, and the justification of...
1469 words - 6 pages
The sociological approach looks at religious belief and practice in relation to the society. Sociologists are interested in two themes, the centrality of religion in society and the diversity of forms it inhabits (Hamilton 1995/2001:1). It regards religion as a social fact subject to empirical observation, which produces empirical evidence (Dillon 2003:7). The sociology of religion is a product of the enlightenment, from which it inherited a tendency to dismiss religion as incompatible with rationality (Dillon 2003:6). This dismissal has had significant impact on the attitude towards religion and it is the basis for the most influential paradigm in the history of the field; secularisation....
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This essay will explore Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx's views on religion, it will attemptto compare and contrast some of these views held by each of the thinkers. This essay willalso argue which thinkers point of view is most appropriate in today's modern times andthe reasons for this.The four main topics for discussions, which are presented in this essay, will firstly startwith Durkheim's famous book "The elementary forms of the religious life" the main ideaswill be discussed and Durkheim's perspectives will be discussed.Secondly, Marx views about religion will be discussed, looking at his main views and ideasabout religion, science will also be discussed relating to...
873 words - 3 pages
Huckleberry Finn is a young orphan at odds with his “sivilized” world of adults. This symbolizes the tension between the natural world and the civilized world. Speaking through Huck’s raw vernacular, Twain voices his critique of various authorities of society. He exposes the hypocrisies of organized religion with Huck’s perspicacious observations of the church and religion. Twain shows how religion had become a mere outward show without any inward realities.
Huck is first exposed to religion by the Widow Douglas. Religion appears to him as a meaningless ritual. Prayer meant to “tuck down [one’s] head and grumble a little over the victuals” (109). He never knew what it meant or why it was...
1683 words - 7 pages
Religion is the foundation for all societies and cultures. Religion makes people who they are. Because the United States was founded on the principles of religion, the citizens of this country can practice whatever religion they like without being persecuted. The liberties provided under the Constitution allow individuals to practice their religious beliefs openly and without judgment. These beliefs provide guidance and structure in the lives of these individuals. Religion influence many aspects of day to day issues such as life choices, dress, and education. Religion is an important entity in the lives of many. Religious freedom includes the right to assemble for...
485 words - 2 pages
D B Q
Americans in the colonial period were primarily concerned
with matters of religion and conscience. In every aspect of
their society, religion and morality was one of the first things
that came into focus.
In 1688, a group of Quakers voted in favor of a resolution
against slavery. Their reason for doing this was that slavery
was bad enough for any human being to partake in, let alone
Christians like themselves. The Quakers were a
non-discriminatory group of people who believed in religious as
well as personal freedom.
In New England schools, religion and death were the two
591 words - 2 pages
“Science and Religion, two words differ in meaning but have the same goals, to find the meaning of life and what is life. But which weights more? ”
The article tackles about how the religion and science have a clash in terms. How their differences in beliefs and attitudes must judge and appreciate. Bioethics has been born to help science and religion to understand their different lexicons in life. However, even different sectors of religion have their own values and beliefs. Likewise, different science’s views have their own different values and beliefs too. Some people buy their beliefs because they find it interesting and meaningful but some people just buy it because they need too....
588 words - 2 pages
At beginning of your life, when you are two or three years old, you could visit the play school. The nursery school follows when you are about three years. The primary school makes up the most time of your school education. You visit it between you are four and eleven years old. The secondary school is the next step. You visit it when you are eleven till sixteen years old. After this you are educated enough for doing a job. Furthermore you have the choice between secondary school and college. You visit both till you are eighteen but there is a different way of teaching. The...
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Over the years, a number of theistic and atheistic scholars alike have attempted to devise methods in which the complex nature of the world’s religions can be further understood (ed. Blagden, 2007). Of these methods, is the model known as the ‘Seven Dimensions of Religion,’ proposed by academic Professor Ninian Smart in several of his published works (Brodd, 2009, p.9). However, by defining religion and how it is studied, as well as examining Smart’s ‘Seven Dimensions’ and applying them to the widely followed Eastern religious tradition of Theravada Buddhism, it can be seen that although there are strengths to the model, in amongst these strengths are considerable limitations for when the...
1472 words - 6 pages
This was my first essay in the University.Why Study Religion?It seems as if there has never been a time known to man when therehas never been a religion in some guise or another. Nor has therebeen a race of people who have never tried to practice it in someshape or form. The study of religion should not be regarded as a newventure for mankind or a new idea that man is trying to grasp andunderstand. Also, it could be argued that by researching such aphenomena as religion, it does not look like man will come to anyunified agreement in the near future. Especially, if it all comesdown to what religion means to you, and...
1956 words - 8 pages
Religion has played a major role in society for centuries. It has helped to shape a number of values, social norms and modes of communication, and it has even influenced the structure of language. Having a day off during the week can be attributed to the influence of Christianity for The Bible lists keeping The Sabbath as a day of rest; as one of the Ten Commandments. The origin of religion can generally be traced to the ancient Near East and classified in three basic categories: polytheistic, pantheistic and monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief in one God and is the foundation of the Judeo-Christian and Muslim line of religions, which began in about 2000 BC. For many the history of...
1018 words - 4 pages
My Son the Fanatic
Hanif Kureishi’s short story “My Son the Fanatic” is the story of two competing beliefs: Ali’s passion for anti western Islam, and his father Parvez’s dream of providing for his family. Both father and son have different views on how to live life, and the idea of religion. Kureishi explores issues of identity, religion, and a father’s love for his son. Parvez, an English Punjabi taxi driver, has adapted to a new way of life so much so that he eats pork, a forbidden food in Muslim religion. Parvez was very proud of his son, and his academic accomplishments and often talked about him to his colleagues. One day, Parvez was going through Ali’s things and notices a change in...
553 words - 2 pages
It began with hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The definition of anti-Semitism has been the focus of innumerable discussions and studies. While there is no universally accepted definition, there is a generally clear understanding of what the term encompasses. Anti-Semitism is the hatred of the Jewish people. It has existed to some extent wherever Jews have settled outside of Palestine. Religious differences were the primary basis for anti-Semitism.Wilhelm Marr founded the "League of Anti-Semitism", the first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany posed by the Jews and advocating their...
1210 words - 5 pages
In the early 1970’s, Betty Neuman created a holistically based, open-system theory to aid nurses in organizing the voluminous information needed to deal with complex client situations (Meleis, 2007, p.307). One component of the Neuman Systems Model is spirituality, which is described as being related to beliefs and influences that are spiritual. It should be noted that this was absent in her initial conceptualization and was developed later (Meleis, 2007, p.307). While utilizing the Neuman framework for client assessment, religion is often applied as a spiritual factor. Using this theory as basis one might conclude that religion and spirituality are synonymous in concept. This begs the...
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1. Ninian Smart has established 6 dimensions or structures in a way to find a common ground between all world religions. These are classified into the thought, "mind", dimensions which are the experiential, mythical, and doctrinal dimension, and then the multi-sensory dimensions which are the ritual, ethical and social dimensions.The experiential dimension is the religious experience. People come to know their religion, their God or the ultimate reality through experience. According to Smart, there are different types of religious experience. The numinous experience is having God or the subject as holy and...
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Issues and Traditions of Western ReligionsReligion can be defined with many different meanings. "The English word "religion" is derived from the Middle English "religioun" which came from the Old French "religion." It may have been originally derived from the Latin word "religo" which means "good faith," "ritual," and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin "religãre" which means "to tie fast." (Religious Tolerance, 2006). This essay will use a very common and broad definition of religion: "Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life, and a worldview." (Religious Tolerance, 2006). This...
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IntroductionWhat is religion? Religion can be difficult to define, because each person has a different idea of what this word means. Since there are some many different definitions of this world that there is no right or wrong answers. Religion can be defined as a set beliefs, attitudes or practices that are related to a divine Supreme Being. There are so many different religions that exist in today's world that it is an important part of each person's culture. They are not only way of worshiping a god but also the way they dress, eat and talk. The religion chosen for this World Religion report is that of the Mormon religion. The other religion that will be discussed and compared to the...
1221 words - 5 pages
Science and Relgion
Science and religion have not always peacefully coexisted. There have been many issues where scientific discovery and religious belief have clashed. Religion is based on ancient belief passed down through generations. As humans discovered more and more about themselves, they found that many of the things that religion told could not true. This caused an incredible crisis between the pious religious and the scientific world, especially in the Western world where Christianity dominated society, and where these scientific discoveries were being made. It was difficult for people at first to believe in God and at the same time except these new scientific findings that...
1235 words - 5 pages
Definition EssayWiccaGrowing up with an Aunt who considered herself a witch wasn't always the easiest thing to deal with. My Aunt has practiced the Craft of Wicca for as long as I can remember. Although my friends and I were always full of questions, my Aunt would always take time to answer or explain each one of them. I wanted to define the word Wicca because I know it is a confusing word to many people. Most people, when they hear the word Wicca or witch think of evil magic or witch. This is not completely true. Wicca Craft, also known as...
1438 words - 6 pages
Religion has convinced modern society to not only consider humanity’s well-being: what God wants and our place in either Heaven or Hell in the afterlife (Sutter). Religion, even though there are billions of followers, is based solely on what just a few important religious characters have said. For instance, Islam was started by a man named Mohammed, who communicated with God and became a prophet. Nobody saw him or the angel which visited Mohammed at this time, however, when Mohammed came down from the mountain where he was praying, and began to spread the message, people who had previously been polytheists converted to Mohammed’s new religion: Islam. Over the course of Mohammed’s life,...
1548 words - 6 pages
In seventeenth century we see many valuable poets who wrote about religion, politic and erotic. These poets, we have studied in the second half of this term, are: Robert Herrick, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, Andrew Marvell and John Milton. When we read their poems we can easily see that, all of these narrators have different idea about religion, politics and erotic. Some of these writers have very strong felling about religion some of them not and we can also see some of them are interested in politics very...
1967 words - 8 pages
This essay will aim to discuss Durkheim and Marx in the context of sociology of religion. The first part will briefly define religion and then acknowledge Durkheim being a functionalist and Marx and his conflict theory. Finally will then go onto compare and contrast both their ideas on religion.Religion is a way of life and can be a type of government, as it entails rules that are set out and have to be followed.Religion is also a set of beliefs that people often commit themselves to as they want to put their faith into something. As part of the cultural system,...
1182 words - 5 pages
Today, we live in a world where cultural values are becoming more dominant than religious values. "Do what feels right" seems to be the answer to many inner struggles people, especially teenagers, go through on a daily basis. However, why are people turning their back on religion? Well, some think of religion as a pointless practice perused only for spiritual satisfaction. Others do not believe that they get rewarded for being religious, not even after death. Mainly, though, a lot of people are so caught up with the culture they live in that they base all of their thoughts, beliefs, morals, and values on that culture. For them, religion becomes useless, and most importantly, outdated to a...
828 words - 3 pages
There is a great deal of religious diversity these days in the United States of America. Yet religion, in many ways, has become an almost subtle undertone in the daily lives of Americans with public prayer often taking a backseat to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. While the United States remains the most religiously diverse country across the world, how much of that diversity is actually allowed to be practiced and how much of it is sanctioned or completely shunned? It doesn't appear that very much public, sectarian prayer is tolerated nowadays especially within the realms of the national school...
655 words - 3 pages
Religion and Truth Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya was a great book to read. Not only was it interesting, the book made me want to keep reading. Bless Me Ultima was mainly about a family living in New Mexico experiencing a rocky journey through life. Ultima, who is skilled with magic and enjoys the life of the outdoors, moves in with Antonio, his brother
1375 words - 6 pages
The humanities are a broad multidisciplinary field of study where its disciplines aren’t in just one department. Therefore, studying the humanities correlates to the study of anthropology. Simply put, anthropology is the study of humanity and the origins of human beings. Learning about the humanities can help those studying anthropology because the humanities looks into understanding and exploring the human condition. There is an idea of culture that is used to describe what humans do. Anthropology explores what culture is, how it influences society, and why the idea of culture is important. Studying anthropology also looks into the various cultures around the world and the diversity...
1938 words - 8 pages
I am a Religious Studies major; therefore, learning about religion is a genuine interest of mine. In addition, from my first anthropology class, Introduction to Anthropology 103, learning about different cultures and people who may or may not be different from myself became an interest. Anthropology of Religion provides me with the best of both worlds. Not only do I get the opportunity to learn about different religious practices such as Tiwah among the Ngaju but how to anthropologically examine snake handlers in the Appalachians. One issue remains concerning the definition of religion. The semester began with us using theorists and their theories to construct a definition of religion....
944 words - 4 pages
Comparision of Judaism and Zoroastrianism
Religion has been a major focal point in any society and in any culture. Starting from the first civilizations in Sumer and Ur to the vast metropolitans of today like New York and London, religion has been around and played a key part in lives of people. Possibly two of the oldest religions in the world, Judaism and Zoroastrinism share distinct qualities that are still alive today. Both religions are practiced but Zoroastrianism is not as popular as it once was. Meanwhile, Judaism is one of the world’s largest religions. These two religions are similar in the way that they are designed and practiced throughout history.
1073 words - 4 pages
Staircase to destiny
This state of the art exhibit is endeavouring to reflect my beliefs, values and attitudes that I strongly represent as an individual. As my life progresses on, my beliefs, values and attitudes has been uniformly modified and evolved by interacting with my family and my religion, Buddhism. In conclusion, my exhibit provides a thorough insight into the influences in my life that I have shaped my attitudes, values and beliefs.
I felt that utilising the white base of my exhibit would be the most appropriate way to express and portray these influences in an understandable manner. The simple but epic design of this exhibit may seem somewhat unappealing. I deliberately...
1208 words - 5 pages
Prayer in Public Schools - More Questions than Answers
Censorship is a very broad topic. Is it good or bad? Often, we ask ourselves if such things need to exist because of the First Amendment right. It states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (Amendments.) In the case Ginzberg v. United States, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart stated, "Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian...
1213 words - 5 pages
In today’s world, large Asian societies seem to be improving day by day. New scientific and technological advances help them grow into more sophisticated communities. Countries such as China, India, and Japan are of such sophistication that they seem to surpass Western countries in technological development. Some may believe that this is due to the open acceptance that the religious affiliations of these countries may have towards scientific developments. Even though it may be perceived that way, the development of whole countries has other factors that go into the development. Western civilizations, throughout history, often challenged theories and studies because of religious conflict....