As we have learned about the religions of the world, what aspects do they all seem to have in common despite the fact that they developed separately?
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Almost every religion, whether they believe in only one God or many gods, subscribes to the belief of some kind of higher power. They also tend to believe that their personal actions are or should be reflected to the will of God or gods, and that such actions can be rewarded or punished by them.
Having taken religion courses, one of the things that stood out to me aside from what has already been posted, is that most religions also state that one should treat others as you would want them to treat you. Of course, there are some religions that only apply this concept to members of its particular religion.
All religions have a supreme being or beings that sits in judgement of human beings. Whether they are judged on faith or judged on deeds is dependent on the religion. Also most of them have a belief in some sort of after life.
When Karl Marx wrote, "Religion is the opium of the people," it would seem that he made this statement after realizing that people look to a higher Being from whom they can obtain order, solace, and a reason for living, as well as explanations. The concept of the hereafter affords many a despairing person a reason to keep going, Marx must have thought; this goal became an opium for them is his conclusion.
While most people who follow a religion do so because they have faith in a Supreme Being, there is certainly comfort for the miserable in the thought of some eternal reward, but it is usually not such an extreme that it warrants being compared to opium.
All religions offer a response to a common human need for someone greater than ourselves to be a standard for moral behavior. We also have a natural interest in what happened to get us here and what happens to us when we die. Most major religions address those two issues, as well.
The only thing I can think of that all religions truly have in common is the idea that there is a supernatural world that is beyond the human world. This can be a world of spirits like in Shinto or it can be the Christian idea that there are angels that go around doing God's work. It can also be seen in the idea of people having immortal souls. I think that this is the one thing all religions must have in common.
I think all religions are united in an attempt to explain the limits of man's understanding of the world - the way it works and the way we all (or the majority of us at least) feel an implicit need to believe in someone greater than ourselves. It is this desire to create a metanarrative that we can believe in (a kind of big story that explains all of these kinds of questions and also tells us where we fit in) that unites the world religions.
I believe there are more aspects then even the best answer on here gives. I will list them for you:
Real, fake or unknown - what people believe or if there is even slightly proof the gods exist.
Gods and goddesses - Jehovah, Zeus, etc.
Other divine beings - Angels, Fallen Angels, etc.
Powers - Healing prayer(This has actually had a study about it helping those in need of medical treatment, 30-ish% more of the study group assigned to pray made it through recover nicely.)
Origins - Start of time, after a war, etc.
Special figures - Jesus, Budda, etc.
Special places - Jeruselum(SP?)
Traditions and rituals - Sunday meal, chants, morning ritual, buring the dead a certain way.
Dress code - Head coverings.
Symbols - Cross/Jewish Star/Moon/etc.
Good and evil - evil could be people who oppose the religion if there isn't a bad god/spirit/entity
Goal in life - Enlightenment, make it to heaven, save other's souls, etc.
Afterlife - heaven/hell/
Spirits -angels, demons, etc.
Strictness to various degrees
Other versions that may have been warped by someone pretending to be a holy man.
All major religions of the world such as Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism, and many others have one common features. All these religions aim to mould the thoughts and actions of individuals in a way that combines individual good with that of the society or humanity in general.
Unfortunately, organized religions, which often deviate widely from the basic principles of different religions as promoted by the originators or great spiritual leaders of these religions, often attempt to divide people in different religious groups, and create tension and strife that harms rather than promotes the good of society.
Almost all of the religions have a deity involved that is the supreme judge of character for the way in which someone lives their life and is the overseer to either reward the person for living a good life or punishing the person for living a bad life. It also seems as if there is some form of afterlife involved in which the religion deems what happens to someone in the afterlife and how well their presence in the afterlife and in what form it takes. Also, all religions have some types of rituals whether indoors or out of doors, services and processes all seem to be involved. And, there are always special days in which certain rituals happen, and all seem to have a religious text that has the final say on how to live.
people believe them.
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