Religious Concepts Essay, Research Paper
The person as a whole, mind and body, is a very complex and unique organism that can be easily influenced by society. Since people are so easily susceptible to be influenced by others, each person must rely on their beliefs in order to make a judgment that is morally and ethically pleasing through their knowledge and experiences. A person’s morals and ethics are formed through their religious beliefs and practices. Morals and ethics allow one to make a knowledgeable and responsible decision. One’s religious and spiritual beliefs shapes and molds the mind, body, and spirit of the person. Each religion has its own unique principles, a list of do’s and don’ts that set the foundation for their moral and ethical beliefs. Everyday people are presented with situations in which that person must arrive at the solution through weighing each possible option morally and ethically. When one is confronted with a situation in which they must use their personal knowledge, experience, spiritual beliefs and practices to weigh each option morally and ethically and choose that which best suits their religious beliefs. In order for a person to be able to correctly analyze and weigh each option he or she should have full knowledge of each available option and their outcomes. To weigh each solution properly, a person must use his or her religious beliefs and knowledge to evaluate every aspect of the option. In religion, there are four main factors that make it possible for a religiously enlightened person to decipher between the morally and ethically correct and wrong decision. People are educated through the teachings and beliefs of their God to acknowledge what “the beautiful” and “the sacred and transcendent” are and how to decipher between what is good and what is evil. A religion’s depiction of what “the beautiful”, sacred, and transcendent” are creates one’s basis for their moral and ethical beliefs. Through one’s spiritual knowledge and understanding of “the beautiful”, sacred, and transcendent” allows one to distinguish between “the good” and “the evil.” In order for a person to choose the best decision he or she has to have a firm grasp, intellectually and spiritually, on the concepts of ““the beautiful”, “the sacred and transcendent”, “the good”, and “the evil”.” The concepts of each of the factors must be fully understood by him or her to decide which solution is that which is morally and ethically pleasing to his or her God, and does not result in a sinful act.
The concepts of “the sacred and the transcendent” are depicted in religious scriptures worldwide, and create the foundation to the beliefs and practices of that religion. “The sacred and transcendent” is defined, as that of which is “otherworldly.” It is the mystical world, the supernatural. In Christian terms, “the sacred and transcendent” is the realm of the world outside of creation. Heaven and hell are two elements that are regarded as being “the sacred and transcendent” in Christianity. They are the supernatural realms that existed before creation. These realms are where one’s soul and spirit eternally rest when they die. Heaven is one of the most sacred concepts in Christianity. According to God, our bodies are delicate mortal seeds. Upon death, a person is laid to rest in the ground and at this moment the “seed” sprouts releasing the immortal soul. God, our one and only creator judge the soul of the person, and only those souls that are without sin and are not immoral or tainted by evil are allowed to enter the gates of heaven. Heaven is the realm for those people who followed the beliefs and practices of their respective religions according to their God. Heaven is a realm where all of the imperfections that existed in the “real” world do not exist and every soul rests in harmony and serenity. Hell is the “evil” realm of the world outside of creation. The souls of those people who do not follow the teachings of their God during their brief stay on earth and live a life of sin and immorality go to hell upon death. In hell the soul rests under excruciating pain. Hell is the worst possible place that anyone could imagine. While heaven is depicted as being serene and beautiful, hell is depicted as a world full of pain and suffering. When one’s soul enters hell, the soul lives an eternal life of pain and suffering for their sins. “The sacred and transcendent” are those areas in religions that are not tangible or visible. Rather, “the sacred and transcendent” are supernatural realms that exist outside of God‘s creation and serve as the eternal resting place for the soul. Although there isn’t any justifiable proof of the existence of these realms, we know that they exist through the teachings of our God.
I believe that “the sacred and transcendent” is a concept that is difficult to understand and grasp. The concept lies within each of the realms and we are only able to learn about the realms and envision them through the depictions given to us by our God. The depictions and explanations allow us to use our imagination to develop what heaven or hell is like. Although heaven and hell are the main concepts of “the sacred and transcendent”, I believe that “the sacred and transcendent” consists of more secondary concepts. I refer to these other concepts as “secondary” because they don’t consist of the “otherworldly,” but of things that exist in our world. Churches are sanctuaries that are built for spiritual enlightenment and teaching. Churches stand as a symbol of Christianity representing our beliefs and a place where you can go to be with God. I believe that the church is a sacred place because it is a place where you can go to be freed of your sins and pray. Such objects as the altar, the bible, and the holy sacrament are items that I think of as being sacred although they might not be transcendent. In my mind “the sacred and transcendent” are not only those things that are mystical, but also those that are used to teach the word of God and to show praise to our Lord. “The sacred and transcendent” consists of those things that are considered to be the holiest according to the religion.
“The beautiful” is that which reflects the ultimate nature of God: physically (as in visual and auditory beauty), Morally, and spiritually. “The beautiful” consists of that which is pleasing to God. Physical beauty is the beauty of God’s creation. When one ventures out into nature they are exposed to “the beautiful”. Everything that exists in nature: the trees, plants, animals, sky, and everything that exists in nature is “the beautiful”. The sound of birds, water running through a creek, the leaves rustling in the wind, and that of the life are those that are associated with “the beautiful”. Everything that one sees and hears when they leave civilization and enter into the wilderness is “the beautiful”. Moral beauty is developed and held within each individual person. A person who lives a life free of sin is one who has achieved moral beauty. A person commits sins when they perform an act that is not pleasing to God. Moral beauty means that the person must follow the beliefs of their God and that they are to do only those things that would please their God. In order to be morally beautiful one must know the difference between what is good and evil so that he or she doesn’t make an immoral decision. Being spiritually beautiful means that the person celebrates his spirituality through prayer and church. Being spiritually beautiful means that you understand your religion and actively participate in your religion to your fullest extent, without sin. The concept of “the beautiful” lies within the person as a whole (mind, body, and spirit) and is perceived by you through God’s creation and beliefs.
I believe that “the beautiful” surrounds us at all times. Although there isn’t beauty everywhere, I believe that each person and almost everything that people have done is an act of beauty. However, not everything is beautiful because there are also a lot of things that man has created that isn’t beautiful. Such things as money and commerce can be interpreted as being evil because they cause people to become sinful. Beauty lies within our soul and is visualized through our senses, and it lies within our mind and spirit where we must use our knowledge of good and evil to justify whether something is beautiful or not. If an objects is spiritually, physically, or morally corrupted then that object can not be seen as being beautiful in the eyes of God. Without the knowledge needed to decipher between “the good” and evil one is unable to know what “the beautiful”, “the sacred and the transcendent” are and what they represent.
“The good” is that which exists free of sin and assumes that there is ultimate good of some kind. In Christian terms, the ultimate good would be God. In other religions it would be something else. In a Christian perspective good would be those things that are pleasing to God, in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. “The good” is everything that is natural and not influenced by evil in any way, shape, or form. Everyday people are surrounded by good and evil. To assure that one does not venture into evil thoughts or actions one must know how to recognize, understand, and accept “the good”. Our religious beliefs and teachings tell us that “the good” is everything that God has created. Initially, everything is good until that object or being is influenced by evil. When a person is confronted with a situation where they must rationally decide which option is the best morally and ethically, he or she has to find which option weighs more toward “the good” in order to make the appropriate decision. For a person to be ethically and morally educated he or she must be able to recognize “the good” and know what it means to make the right decision according to his or her religious belief and practices.
I believe that “the good” is present in everything that exists. But, good can easily be tainted by evil because evil lies all around us. For this reason, we must be very careful when we make a decision because we are very susceptible to influence by evil. Good, in my mind, means not only to live your life free of sin and according to the teachings of Jesus Christ but represent the pure and the natural. “The good” is that by which we all try to conform our lives. Although we might try to live a “good” life, I believe that at one point or another you are tainted by evil is some manner. As long as we are able to realize when we have let evil contaminate us and overcome evil, then I believe that the person is truly good. We are all presented with tests throughout our lives in which we must learn from our decisions and mistakes. Without these “tests” we would not be able to accurately justify the thin line between good and evil. Through the “tests” in life we teach ourselves what good is and how to live a “good life.” The “tests” allow us to build our own judgment of good as an individual, and helps that person grow morally, ethically, and spiritually. Though we strive to live our lives according to our religious beliefs we are unable to resist the temptations and disease of evil. We must use our ethical, moral, and spiritual knowledge, developed from what we know and experience with good and evil, to fight evil.
“The evil” is basically that which is contrary to “the good.” In Christian terms, “evil” is that which turns away from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Evil manifests itself in both a natural and intentional form. Natural evil stems from the notion that evil is a by-product of, but separate from the ordinary action of existence. Consequently, intentional evil is a result of human will, and is committed through acts that cause harm to others. In the bible the tree’s, in the Garden of Eden, fruit held the knowledge of God. Eve ate from the tree, thus evil entered the world. Although, the manifestation of evil did not solely arise from Eve’s selfish act for evil was created with the rest of the world. Evil is symbolized as darkness of the absence of divine light, Godlessness. The serpent, an accessory of evil, was awaiting evils’ entrance into the humanly world. With the emergence of evil the serpent or devil knew that in despair people would turn away from God. Evil is difficult to overcome and is sometimes hard to recognize. Evil is a tool of fate to shape the destiny of the world. For every good there is an evil that makes you question which way is the best path. The ability to recognize evil is one that comes through religious belief and practice. Being able to successfully steer clear of evil you need to have strong moral and ethical standards in your society and your religion.
Evil is one of the most deceiving elements in our world. I believe that anyone is susceptible to the powers of evil and that your ability to overcome evil is based on your spirituality and intellectuality. The more ethically and morally developed a person is through his or her religion, the easier it is for that person to make the decision that is morally and ethically good instead of being caught by the temptations that evil sometimes present. The seven deadly sins are considered to be the highest forms of evil. For some the temptation they sense from evil is irresistible and they commit a sin for which they cannot be forgiven. I believe that it is through one’s spiritual, physical, and mental strength that he or she’s ability to decipher between “the good and “the evil” is developed. The stronger the person, the less susceptible he or she is to “the evil,” vice-versa. I believe that the will and overall strength of the person develops their ability to fight “the evil.”
“The evil, the good, the sacred and transcendent, and the beautiful” are all determined through the religious practices and beliefs of an individual. As a result, the person must use his or her knowledge of good and evil to develop their own moral and ethical standards according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Using these standards people combine their spiritual and intellectual knowledge of “the beautiful, the sacred and transcendent, the good, and the evil” to decipher “the good” from “the evil.” Without religious experience and practices we would not have the information available to consciously choose “good” over “evil” and strive for spiritual, physical, and mental perfection.