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    Similarities between Beliefs and Philosophies from the World Essay

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    Religion has always amused me. I have always been curious about the ways of life in a particular religion and their beliefs about God. Point of view has always been important and is supposed to be respected. I was myself involved in many of the family rituals conducted and that always amused me. I come from a family possessing a religious background.

    I would credit my grandparents for teaching me the Hindu way of life and for teaching to respect other religions and their beliefs, thus giving me a hint of inner spirituality and omnipresence of God. I choose the topic “Belief Systems” because this is the topic which suits me the most. Clash of ideologies can also cause riots of different beliefs and philosophies. This mostly happens in when a person is fanatic and does not accept the point of view of another person. Clash of different ideologies cause riots in different communities which can lead to various problems, even bloodshed.

    I majorly focus on the similarities between beliefs and philosophies which may ‘unite’ ideas and create a mutual understanding between communities of different faiths. Introduction:Many religions of the world were formed when people developed various civilizations. Man has always tried to make sense of the world around. One ended up with the result of a supreme power controlling the whole world. Different myths and legends established various legends in different parts of the world accordingly.

    Later established religions spread across the world. One major cause for the spread of religion was of trade and missionaries. QUESTION: What are the various beliefs held in my community and how do they influence an individual on a minor and a major scale plus what happens when ideologies clash? What are the solutions?International Perspectives:Different belief systems: Belief systems are influenced by the different stories, legends, myths etc. Beliefs differ from place to place, for example majority of the world is dominated by Christians in the Americas and Europe; Muslims dominate most of the Middle East and some parts of Asia; Hindus are distributed in southern part of Asia and Buddhists are scattered through the different are of Asia. Belief system is actually a set of mutually supportive beliefs.

    The beliefs of any such system can be looked at as religious or as philosophical and are influenced accordingly. Belief systems differ from place to place or country to country. Majority of the world’s population follows different religions and beliefs. Beliefs are mostly linked to spirituality and moral values. Belief Systems held in different in countriesReligious beliefs and philosophies differ from country to country. It influences its people, culture, political systems and almost everything.

    Here is an image showing the distribution of various religions around the world. Religions followed in different countries/ Places:Christianity The Americas and EuropeIslam Middle East, Africa and OceaniaHinduism Southern AsiaBuddhism East AsiaChristianity is followed in majority parts of the world due to its vast influence by the missionaries. It is the most followed religion in the world and thus stands first. Islam is mostly followed in the Middle East and northern Africa as Middle East (Mecca and Medina) is the origin of Islam.

    Islam is closely linked with Christianity and upholds many similar beliefs accordingly. Majority of the Hindus live in India. It was originated in India and has deep roots in the Indian soil. Hinduism later gave rise to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism as an offshoot. Buddhism is mainly followed in the east of Asia.

    This includes the China and Tibet. Buddhism is divided into Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Both of them divide areas accordingly and are scattered throughout the Asian continent. Religions followed across the worldBuddhism:Founder Siddhartha Gautama (Gautama Buddha)Origin IndiaNotable Texts/Holy Books Jataka talesMonotheistic/Polytheistic MonotheisticMajor forms Theravada and Mahayana BuddhismBuddhism was found by Gautama Buddha in India from about 2000 years ago.

    The teachings spread rapidly through trade and Buddhism flourished in the northern and western parts of India. One of the examples shown today is the Ajanta and the Ellora caves in the Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra. Slowly Buddhism spread to mainland China and then japan to be favored and adapted by its people. Many examples of the magnificent art and architecture can be seen today in many parts of these countries. Then two forms of Buddhism came up: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Hinduism:Founder No such founderOrigin IndiaNotable Texts/Holy Books The Bhagavad GitaMonotheistic/Polytheistic PolytheisticHinduism has been followed in India for ages.

    The term “Hinduism” simply derives from the word “India” and refers to a wide variety of religious traditions and philosophies that have developed in India over thousands of years. The majority of Hindus worship one or more deities, keep a belief in reincarnation and observe festivals like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Holi. The first most sacred writings of Hinduism, date around to about 1200 BC, very old indeed, they were primarily concerned with the ritual sacrifices associated with numerous gods who represented the various forces of nature. A more of a philosophical and ritualistic focus began to develop around 700 BC, with the Upanishads being written.

    Around 500 BC, other new belief systems sprouted from Hinduism, with guidance of the enlightened religious teachers, for example Buddhism and Jainism. Christianity:Founder Jesus ChristOrigin Middle East (an offshoot of Judaism)Notable Texts/Holy Books The Holy BibleMonotheistic/Polytheistic MonotheisticMajor forms Catholic, Orthodox and ProtestantChristianity is an offshoot of Judaism and the old testament of the bible is similar to the Jewish bible. The foundation of the system is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, often called the savior or the messiah. The system is monotheistic and has major forms of the Catholic Church, orthodoxy and protestant sects. The bible contains 27 books and is the holy text of the Christians.

    The Ten Commandments are also the key part of the Christian beliefs. A Christian is expected to attend the Sunday church every week as a part of worship. Christianity spread rapidly after the death of Christ and mostly among the parts of Europe and the Americas. The missionaries were a main aid in this spread. In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is the head of all the Roman Catholics around the world.

    The pope is elected by cardinals and is regarded as the messenger of god. Roman Catholicism is the most dominant of other sects of Christianity. Islam:Founder Prophet MohammedOrigin Middle East (an offshoot of Judaism)Notable Texts/Holy Books The Holy QuranMonotheistic/Polytheistic MonotheisticMajor forms Sunni and Shia IslamIslam is a monotheistic religion based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad, which were later recorded in the Qur’an (Koran), Islam’s sacred text. Currently Islam is the second most followed religion in the world and is mostly dominant in the Middle East. Literally “Islam” means submission in Arabic and thus shoes that one must submit oneself to god totally.

    The major Islamic practices are shown by the Five Pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and alms. The sacred text of Islam is the Quran and Muslims believe it contains the literal word of god revealed to Prophet Mohammed over the course of years by the angel Gabriel. A Muslim is expected to make at least one pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Beliefs influencing a country’s political system and culture:A religion or belief can strongly influence a country according to its population and the religion that the population follows. For example religion influences a majority of the Middle East. Islam is followed here and the countries follow the Islamic law.

    Even the culture and heritage here is influenced by the religion. As one moves to Europe, most of the area is dominated by sects of Christianity as the Catholic Church is located here. Even here everything is affected by religion and so in the East. Examples of countries where beliefs/religion influences political system:Country DescriptionAfghanistanIslamic law & American British Law after invasionEgyptIslamic law is ensured in Article 2 of the Egyptian constitution. The GambiaEnglish common law, Islamic law and customary lawGhanaBased on English common lawIranShia Islamic lawLibyaIslamic lawMauritaniamix of Islamic law and French Civil Codes, Islamic law largely applicable to family law.

    Moroccomix of Islamic law and French Civil Codes, Islamic law largely applicable to family law. NigeriaSharia in the northern states, common law in the south and at the federal level. OmanSharia and tribal custom lawsSaudi ArabiaIslamic lawSudanBased on Islamic lawVatican CityBased on principles of Italian and canonical lawYemenIslamic lawSource: Wipipedia. orgLocal/National Perspectives:The community where I live am open minded and conflict-free. We have families from different religions and live in harmony with each other. But this is on a minor scale.

    In a greater perspective or even national or international perspective, riots often break out. This can even affect a peaceful community of different beliefs. In my community, respect is shown to all religions and the people who follow them. This can be a result of globalization, tolerance and open-minded thinking. In India, though riots break out often. This can be a result of the clash of different ideologies.

    Religious groups often promote themselves through this and try to suppress the other. If a person doesn’t live in harmony, this leads to extremism and is unfruitful for the person and even for the community. Family/Personal Perspectives:I come from a religious Hindu family, the beliefs in my family do not differ from person to person but are the same as a result of living in a civilized society where one’s beliefs are respected, be it even a person from other religion. The society where we live consists of different religions.

    Beliefs of a person are respected in the society to maintain peace and prevent fights. As a result of globalization, my own beliefs have changed overtime. Open-minded thinking has strongly influenced my beliefs and this makes me show respect to one’s beliefs. The same beliefs are kept by my mates as we are being bought up in the same environment. Though sometimes, one’s belief or ideology clashes with the other and there rises an effective and sometimes even a productive dialogue.

    This helps the members of the parties to come to a conclusion and change their thinking. But the opposing party must be mature enough to deal with the matter; otherwise the dialogue taking place may be pointless, thus giving the parties an opportunity to waste time. People do have different belief systems; they follow their beliefs and propagate it, but propagation of religion into a community with different beliefs causes clashes. I have seen religious clashes, but people must try to understand one’s beliefs and not be stubborn.

    REPORT:On basis of my research and the community where I live in, the impact of religion is strong but does not lead to extremism. The various systems do influence ones behavior.

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