Religious Ideas Essay, Research Paper
Puritan, Enlightenment and Transcendentalist Ideas
As one might have discovered, things in life change every minute, day, week, month year and century. It has been this way since the beginning of time and will continue to be this way till Armageddon comes. Each time era has discovered a new way of thinking for the heart, mind, body and soul. Several religions have come from these changing ideas, whether they are similar or nothing alike, each idea is interesting and will forever remain a part of history. Old-age thoughts can be found in the ideas of Puritan thought, Enlightenment reason, and Transcendentalism. Each of these ways of thinking were quite different, yet similar at the same time. All three ideas have their own reasons for being great during its era and each has rationale on why it believes the way it does.
The old Puritan belief was a theory that honored God above all other things in life. A Puritan?s first care was to serve God and keep an eye on others to make sure they were also serving themselves to God. A Puritan strongley believed that in order to achieve salvation after death, they must worship God through prayer in and outside the church, and put emphasis on Bible reading, as well as preaching, in the worship services. The Bible was considered the true law of God and would provide guidelines for the church government. If worshipping God weren?t a Puritan?s first priority in life, then he would not be saved after life was over.
The Enlightenment movement was an idea strongly influenced by the rise of modern science. The views were based on reason or human understanding only, which they hoped would provide changes in every area of life and thought. An enlightenment thinker firmly believed that any man could become a perfect, divine being like that of God himself. Methods of thought came from science and natural philosophy, which they hoped, would some day replace religion as the means of knowing nature and destiny the of man. They felt everyone should believe that he had the right to control his own destiny. The enlightenment understanding was one in which emphasized the right to self-expression and human fulfillment. The lasting heritage of Enlightenment thinking has contributed to literature, government, philosophy and education.
The Transcendentalist way of thinking is inspired by thought, will, miracle and individual culture. The belief is that his/her own way of thinking is of the highest nature, even higher then God if that?s what he believes. A thinker of transcendentalism believes that every object in nature is conscious and holds a spirit within. God is said to have given all of man kind the gift of intuition, of insight and of inspiration and each human should use it to the best of his/her ability. Ralph Waldo Emerson states that, ?We will walk on our own feet; we will work with out own hands; we will speak with our own minds?A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.? This statement is quite factual in the transcendentalism beliefs, as each man believes that he has the power within himself to achieve.
While researching these three ideas, one would come across many comparing and contrasting qualities within each of them. As we can see, each believe there is a divine being, but the difference between the beliefs, is how much power he holds and if one can be better or as perfect as he is. Each thought has tried to influence the rest of the world in everyday life, but has never succeeded. I firmly believe, through my religious morals, that there is in fact a higher being and that no one can come close to being ?perfect? or even ?divine? like that of God. Who is to say (but God), what is perfect and how will we as humans ever discover the definition of perfection? Even though I believe my ideas to be right, I would never try to make someone else believe them, as I also believe in the right of self-expression, if that leads to human fulfillment.