I think all religions have faith in that they believe in something that cannot be proven or for which there is the scientific evidence disproves. Faith requires that you believe something you cannot see or know with 100% certainty.
Most religions believe in a higher being--a deity--that looks over its human followers. Peaceful harmony, love of fellow man, and a faith in their unseen god are essential aspects of most religions. Obviously, small numbers of followers who lose sight of these objectives exist, and this tiny minority tends to blur the overall goodness to which most believers so faithfully adhere.
I think part of human nature is an attempt to explain things, whether that means explaining why the grass gets green when it warms up and rains in the spring or explaining how the Earth was formed so the grass could grow.
Religious beliefs stem from attempts to explain events that are unexplainable. Those of us who have a firm commitment to a religious faith find great peace and strength in the knowledge that there is a greater power in control of all the things that are beyond comprehension.
I generally agree with both posts above, but would suggest also that religions generally characterize "the unknowable absolute" in such a way as to define man's relationship to "the unknowable absolute" and they almost always refer to this "unknowable absolute" as god.
I would say that most, but not all, religions have two things in common. First, they have a deity or deities that people are expected to believe in and to worship. Second, they have a code of conduct or a set of ethics that people are supposed to follow. So, they have two aspects--a faith-based expectation that people will believe certain things and an action-based expectation that people will act in certain ways.
pohnpei397 i truely agree with you!!that we all believe in a deity...and certain ethics etc.....
frizzyperm: i would love you to explain what is it that we "claim" to know and have no proof of?
They all make extraordinary claims about things for which they have no proof-frizzyperm
Most religions believe in rewards for good and purnishment for bad.
The most common one is the believe that the soul does not die. They believe that there is something that survivies death and lives on.
The believe that the evil ones will be purnished by God through a very cruel means of burning is another one.
God and Prophets in most of the religions are common things .
They all make extraordinary claims about things for which they have no proof. They all claim to have special and exclusive knowledge of things which are unseeable and unknowable. They all downplay the importance of evidence, instead they all extol the 'virtue' of just believing without proof (faith).
They all disagree with each other, often violently. Nearly all of them define women as inferior to men. And, in my opinion, they are all man-made and fail to demonstrate divine inspiration.