Does Religion Bring More Harm or Good for Modern Society?
Modern society presents an image of the secular age. In fact, in modern society religion appears to be quite overrated, which is why more and more people seem to turn it down while they also keep looking for the substitutes of spiritual contentment. The secular era started much before the time of the modern era. Still, it does find its evident reflection nowadays. It is not possible to claim whether religion is a factor of positive or negative influence. While modern society rejects it, for the most part, the terms of “good” and “harm” are entirely subjective, which is why it is not possible to give a specific answer.
The Concept of Love in Religion as a Key to the Answer
Be that as it may, it comes to be evident that the world, in general, represents a depiction of many global religions that in turn have multitudes of beliefs. If one was to attempt to answer the question with certainty, it must come apparent that there would be a need to analyze each end every religion along with all the possible considerations of the meaning of the terms “harm” and “good.” Yet, there is a need to define one fact: all world religions are built on the model of spirituality which in turn bases itself on the main concept of every religion, which is the concept of “love.” By understanding the notion of love as the central concept of all world religions, it also comes to be evident that many forms of such love appear to be in turn foreseen (Levering 2014). Accordingly, when attempting to give a specific answer to the question of whether religion brings more harm than good, one could also substitute the notions in the question, by asking whether love is doing more harm than good. Still, while it does not appear to be entirely possible to replace the notion of religion with the term of love, which merely presents every religion’s central concept; there is the need to consider which exact type of love religions foresee.
Evidently, the notion of “love” in religion is not an initial matter of erotic of romantic love. Initially, love in religion presents an understanding of compassion towards the neighbor, which is constituted by merely every religion there is. Hereby, the love in terms of Plato’s interpretation appears to be the most common understanding in every religion (Leeuw 1986). Be that as it may, the example of love being the central notion of every religion is the fact that one presents in a known saying: “God is Love.”
This way, while it comes to be impossible to give a certain answer to the question of whether religion brings more harm than good, one must define the same question regarding the notion of love. The concept of love could not replace the term of religion itself; still, while it presents its key concept, one should refer to the subjective definition of its “good” or “harmful” influence. Indeed, the fact that modern society lives in a secular age, where all of the classical religious values seem to be desacralized, the need for spirituality still remains to be apparent. At the same time, if one was to refer to the interpretation of spirituality in terms of ethics, one would definitely call it a virtue, and doing something virtuous has never brought what is considered “harm.”
Leeuw, G. V. Religion in essence and manifestation. Princeton University Press, 1986, pp. 509-514. Accessed 17 Feb 2019.
Levering, M. Paul in the Summa theologiae. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2014, pp. 186-216. Accessed 17 Feb 2019.
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