The Ongoing Influence of Religion

Religion has played a huge role in human culture ever since its first introduction. It has impacted us in good ways such as: giving meaning to life, keeping order, and creating a sense of security.

At the same time, religion has impacted societies in negative ways by promoting violence and hatred towards other groups and individuals who question/go against their beliefs. Why it is that people can be so contradicting when it comes to religious beliefs? One man is preaching peace while the other is spewing hateful propaganda, all while reading from the exact same biblical texts. People of faith are such strong believers that when any religious leader, often extremists, use this strong faith in order to persuade faithful individuals into committing violent acts for the sake of their religion. The nature of violence within religion and humans can be explained through Charles Selengut’s Sacred Fury, Karen Armstrong’s A History of God, and last but not least A History of Violence by Steven Pinker. Many of these religious wars are initiated by two factors. Faithful believers and a very persuasive preacher. They do so by taking advantage of such believers and exploiting the loyalty they have to their religion.

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Charles Selengut goes into detail about how exactly an operation like this is played out in his piece Sacred Fury. There are the faithful and sincere who only talk of peace and acceptance, while on the other hand we have the extremists who believe in the truthsand who are willing to use force in order to reach a religious goal of full control. These extremists drag the faithful with them into their battles by using their faith against them. They are given an option to either be for the cause or against it. In the text it states “If you are a true believer and wish to remain a part of the community and be assured of heavenly reward, you must concur with the injunction to wage violence”(Selengut 2). It was tactics such as these t.

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