What are your thoughts about organized religion?  I just wonder why people need to go to a church or synagogue to let them be told what and what not to do in order to go to heaven or hell. I...

What are your thoughts about organized religion?  

I just wonder why people need to go to a church or synagogue to let them be told what and what not to do in order to go to heaven or hell.

I believe that "Faith" is a matter between a human being and God, Allah, Jehovah, or what he's called.

No disrespect, but i don't need a priest or Imam to tell me that i shouldn't wear a condom, when there are much more important things in the world to worry about.


What are your thoughts about this matter?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The need for organized religion might arise from a particular need of a devotee.  Perhaps, one needs a learned individual from a particular faith to help provide guidance on a spiritual matter or some type of moral or ethical decision.  In this instance, organized religion or the institution helps out individuals because they are able to turn to it as an adviser or spiritual force.  It is agreed that on some points, one might not need an institutional force as much.  Yet, in complex matters, the counsel of a Priest, Rabbi, or Imam could prove to be essential.  Additionally, I would suggest that some people feel connected to the institution as a way of invoking a larger community of shared beliefs and ideas.  While individual worship is extremely important and valuable, there might be something felt in a greater solidarity through an organized institution.  This might result in community service or even being able to transmit organized customs or traditions from older to the younger.  Both needs can be accomplished through organized religion and its institution.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My main thought here is that people have different ideas based on what values and faith they hold.

Clearly, in your case, if you have a religious faith it is something that you see as direct between yourself and the supreme being.  You feel that since it is a matter of a relationship, you have no need to be told what to do by any human intermediary.

However, many people believe that the supreme being's nature and desires are not easily understood except by those who study holy texts and think about religious questions on a fairly full-time basis.  People with that sort of a faith will, logically, feel it is important to be told what the will of the supreme being is, just as a lay person might think it is best to consult a doctor about health-related matters.

These are all just issues of faith and people are different in their faiths.  I don't believe anyone can know in this world who is wrong or right.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can see your point, but here are a few things to consider.

1. You really cannot boil things down to wearing a condom or not. This is not what religion is about. To boil it down to that is to make an unjust caricature of religion.

2. There are more pressing issues to deal with, as you suggest, and religion tries to deal with these things. Also keep in mind that religion has been around as long as people and it will continue to be around. Perhaps, it has something to offer that is important. Also perhaps, you have not discovered it.

3. When you privatize faith, then you make is 100% individualistic.  What if someone disagrees with you on a fundamental level. Who is right? Perhaps, what you need is more of an organized religion that arbitrates what is good, not only for the individual, but also the group.

Some points to ponder.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While humans might not need an organized religion, many seem to desire it.  As the previous posts have indicated, just because a person has an individual relationship with God, it doesn't mean that organized religion negates that.  In fact, most followers of religions develop that personal relationship first and then seek out other likeminded individuals with whom they exchange interpretations and ideas.

Moreover, your first statement is based on a faulty assumption--do you know that people go to religious institutions to be told what to do and what not to do?  In my experience, that is not why I or others whom I know go.  We go because we enjoy fellowshipping with others and learning from one another.

It seems that you discontent with one particular organized religion, but it is not logical to paint all religion with the same color.

leabc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I may be off in left field, but I theorize that organized religion was developed to keep control over the masses.  By mandating the attendance, leaders of the 'church' were able to maintain a certain level of obedience from the members.  In turn, the members were given absolution, promise of eternal life, etc.

Without the regular attendance, leaders would not be able to update new laws, require payments etc.

World religions are extremely similar throughout the ages; many of the same stories pop up over and over.  It seems unreasonable that one group would be damned while another given privileges for essentially the same acts.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    I have always thought it was a good thing that my parents required me to attend Sunday school and church on a regular basis when I was young. It is better to have had this training than not at all, both from a historical and faith-based perspective. As I grew older, my parents allowed me to make my own choices concerning attendance, and over the years, I have attended many different churches of many faiths. As a 50+ aged adult, I am still a faithful Christian, though I attend church irregularly. I find my faith a healthy and satisfactory addition to my life, but not an overpowering or addictive need.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There's been some discussion on this already.  See


A favorite quote: 'The Roman writer Seneca wrote, "To the common man religion is true, To the wise it is false, and to rulers... it is useful" '

Be wary of those who tell you what to believe.  Is it for your benefit, or theirs?

In all things religious, even joining a group of the like-minded, it's a choice that can be made only by and for oneself.

picturesque | Student

If u are fully aware of the teachings of your religion or faith, you fully understand them and  practice them then you do not need a priest.

picturesque | Student

Religion is a very broad term which offers solution to every problem related to mankind. But there has been an evolution of religion as well.In the beginning religion did not encompass every perspective of human life but as human beings grew maturer the religion became broader. Actually to understand what religion is? needs more concentration and deeper attention with rational and logical approach. Every religion whether it is Islam, Christianity,Judaism, Buddhism,Hinduism, all religion came up with same purpose originally but with the passage of time they became corrupted.And lost their original purposes.Teachings of all Holy scriptures also became corrupted except Islam. Its a fact that so called clerics of Islam also tried to interpret Islam according to their understandings, so many confusions, created by these so called clerics of Islam, have also disturbed its original teachings. It is a long description which requires more space than available here. But it is only Islam which can offer best economic system to the world and all other religions fall short of such features as Islam owns.

picturesque | Student


1.I think a particular system which represents perfect religious and social  teachings for every part of the world so there are very high moral values and which offers peace to every one. 
2.And a particular system which offers best economic system to the world that can finish poverty in the world.
3.And a particular system, teachings of which and beliefs of which are rational and logical.

meshe | Student

accident of birth is in noone's hand. a person is unable to decide the religion wt 1 wil own at the time of birth.all the religions can nevr b true at the same tym.an organizied religion is the one that satisfies ur mind and tell u that a constitution to act upon.wt i believe is that wtever ur religion at the tym of ur birth is  1 should b intrested in gathering knowledge 4rm all the religions . 1 should listen 2 the point of view of all the religions and then should analysed that where one's religion stands and  decide that wt religion one should adopt.its the bst strategy.

     i think that religious scholars and imams r vry important as they tell u how u can b so close 2 ur lord,the one who has blessed u with wtever u hv.bt sumtimes it has been noticed that religious leadrs or scohlars wt evr u say misguide u in the name of religion .in order to avoid it u should hv a good knowlege of ur religion which u can actualy get 4rm a good religious scholar, the 1 who saisfies ur mind.when sumbody is realy intrested in the selection of bst religion , God always helps him 2 choose the correct path and i strongly belive in it.

frizzyperm | Student

I truly, truly believe this is the only sensible answer you will have to your question...


krishna-agrawala | Student

People who go to churches, mosques and temples have as much right to to do that and to listen to religious people like priests, as the right you have to express your opinion on how people should practice their religion.

The statement you have made in your question amount to saying the no one should try to mould the religious thoughts and behavior of others, and each individual should decide for himself or herself what he or should do, without paying attention to wiser or better informed people. If we accept this approach in principle, it could lead to some tricky situation. Because then someone can say that even people like Jesus, Buddha, and others, who have been source of inspiration of some great religions in the world, should have minded their own business, rather than changing the thoughts and behavior of others.

It is quite true that not all that is said in the name of religion is right. But this does not mean that we completely stop listening to others. The need is not to stop listening, but to improve understanding and exchange of ideas. Organized religion provides a forum for doing that.

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