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Sociological Views On Religion And Superstitions

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Religion

Religion has sown its seed in human communities for as long the human consciousness can perceive. The reality and the conception of this abstract purity is a lubricant to the human society to dwell in sociological lives. However, the abstract idea of religion has always fallen before questions of logic and scientific understanding, and the belief systems merely dignified their superiority in ways that are supernatural, spiritual, miraculous, and often remain unexplained from human perception of rationality and logic.

There is not just one set of beliefs in the human community. Every other community has offered their beliefs on certain spiritual beings to guide their individual lives. And in that way, religion is a collection of society’s conscience. The religious individual stands strong on their ground belief and guides their lives’ morality often following the inscriptions of respective religions. The conflict, however, does not rest easy between the different lines of the belief system. And probably this is one reason that has restrained humanity from the destination of actual truth even after pursuing numerous times by uncountable methods. Religions often center around the belief in god. Hence, belief in one god is known as theistic belief, where belief in more than one god is considered as polytheistic. Though it is more usual to have a belief in god to call it a religion, there are other religions as well where god is never involved, and those are known as atheistic beliefs. So, by definition, religion as it seems, it not the belief in God, but belief in a certain way. This is the reason that differentiates each belief system and the community in it. Even the believers of the same religion often face mismatch with a fellow believer who is from a different community. This ideology has created conflicting classes, popularly known as castes.

The concept of religion, however, is abided as objective truths by the followers. But, if the belief systems are looked upon from a much broader view, curiosity over the authenticity of such a claim erupts. That view is what we call sociological imagination, when we look far from a biased perspective, only to see from a neutral viewpoint. All the individual religion has its ritual and ceremonies, one significance of following a religion. The rituals run down in the tradition of communities after they blend in the culture of their society. These ceremonies are often similar but contain unique originalities based on where they are celebrated. Likewise, the miracles and stories of religion are believed from the core by a true follower of the faith system. When the religions are put on the same string and compared with one another, much of a chaotic view comes up when all the individually acclaimed objective truths seemingly create forked lines of subjective truths.

However the conflicting outcomes may seem, religions have remained solid on the ground for thousands of years. The strong belief of the followers leads them towards their ways of life. Religions form a sort of framework for society. The believers usually sustain lesser self-conflicts as their religion answers the curiosities for them. Even a non-believer theorist, Karl Marx, once said that religions are like opium for people, it helps them to soothe their sufferings. Religions distinctively teach the moral conduct of life. The guidelines that religions offer are inscriptively for the betterment of humanity, and it has somewhat proved so. The true followers of religion often detach themselves from the toxicity of society and heed their conscious to purify themselves and the ones around them. However, any group may easily include outliers who pollute the attribute of a community. Such is not an exclusion in religions as well, and we often see the faces of religion by them and judge a book by its cover.

As per the sociological theorists, there have a different perspectives on religion from their individual views. Emile Durkheim supported the functionalist perspective that pitches the idea that religion is an integrated force that shapes society’s collective belief, which promotes a sense of belonging and collective consciousness. Another view Max Weber supported a thought that religions are belief systems that provide a cultural framework in the societies for respective signs of progress. However, with an alternate theory of sociology, Karl Marx brought forth the idea that religion proposes conflict and oppression in societies. Being a conflict theorist, Marx saw religion as a mere tool to divide society into classes that promotes stratification and supports hierarchy. Such sociological theories swirl in the society to blend in with logic and rationality forming a social skeleton.

Superstitions

Superstitions, on the other page, walk partially along the same lane as religion as they are also constructs of belief. They are, however, beliefs entirely on some specific events and actions even if the reference has been forgotten for long. A community may embrace or forbid something specific with an intention of the community’s prosperity, coming down from the origin of logic or belief. The interesting matter is, when the origin is long forgotten after generations, those abstract ideas or saying float around with a wiped out root, and that is what we understand by superstition. Superstitions, may or may not, have risen from the religious and cultural beliefs, depending on which of the two is the mother to another. The minor understanding of superstitions hints that the cultures are mostly responsible for coming up with them, rather than religions, because a wide variety of people believes in superstitions regardless of their religious differences. For instance, a black cat is unlucky, or number 13 is unlucky: these are the most widely known superstitions around the globe. These superstitions have outlived their base of origins and still mutter around bearing no specific meaning in the later generations.

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It was often a casual coincidence that gave birth to superstition. For instance, if one wears a bracelet to a baiting gambit and wins for the day, the person might start thinking this as their lucky charm. However, there is no direct causation for the bracelet of becoming a lucky charm, rather a mere correlation or coincidence. Such incoherent beliefs have brewed through generations and still flow the same way in societies. Moreover, such beliefs start affecting judgmental decision makings. Once a belief on a superstition gets stronger, that tends to weaken casual confidence in what adverts the superstition. Consequently, they have let their way in individuals’ heads and spreading wide in a community. Though the origins were mainly outcomes of accidental connections, the beliefs that have run down to generations still breed nonsensical faith over them.

Certain beliefs in supernatural forces cannot be ignored even in this era. However, the times they have originated, the sublines go hand to hand with religion and early myths. The considerable myths now were once believed profoundly as a core of early faith. The belief constructed early Greek gods and deities, Norse gods, Egyptian gods, and all other sorts of mythical powers that believably bestowed their magical blessings over a community or the entire humanity. These mythical religions, however, provided with moral guidelines for a certain way to live. Whereas, the superstitions are just inner belief in magic with a notion of good luck or bad luck. The superstitions do not provide a guideline to follow to live with but only interferes with specific events to fool around with personal confidences. Some psychological researches also support the discussion. One psychologist and author, Stuart Vyse has provided with niche insights over how superstitious psychology creates impact. As per the expert, a greater percentage of women hold their belief over such superstitions, whereas men can have a shallow faith in them. People of certain professions such as actors, players, gamblers, and some others do possess a strong belief in superstitions, as they find confidence in their works due to their faith in some illogical causation.

If the radar is to be followed, such crude belief in superstitions is much strong in the parts of the Asian continent. Here, the religious rituals blend in the superstitions to give a deadly byproduct. In the regions of Korea, India, and the subcontinent, the shamans, thus get an upper hand of power equivalent to doctors at times.in such regions where the belief system is more distorted and fragile, the superstitions ground with more power in manipulating less knowledgeable minds. In the South Asian parts of the words, fortune tellers, shamans, tantric, and saints fall in a core part of a naïve community. Here, the diseases and supernatural implications initially get through these superstitious character experts for resolution. Witchcraft and tantra are widely used in these regions to solve the equations of deadlier diseases.

Belief and Pandemic

With the arrival of COVID-19, the world has shaken by a mass tremor. The daily lives have fallen stagnant in forth of this deadly pandemic. As the battle continues with this global pandemic, many of the sociological issues are coming into light as time goes by. With the treatment and cure discovery hunting down through the roads of darkness, the delayed procedures are pushing up new challenges for humanity. Countries are sinking with economic and social concerns putting the lives at risk in struggling days of quarantine. The virus can very well be tamed with vaccines once a solution is discovered, but the footprint it will leave behind will continue to trouble the world in a fair chunk of foreseeable future. Meanwhile, in the pandemic, the already struggling countries have the most at stake. They are having to deal with sociological issues like cultural adamancy, fight against foul religious prestige, financial downturn, and many more. However, the apathetic social classes are making efforts to unite under one shade to embrace everyone with needs under their watch. Nature is relishing in its way to heal from the damages done by humans for the centuries they have rambled on earth. Be it an act of god’s wrath or another scientific mystery, this pandemic is not leaving the world intact in its old condition anyway.

In these fragile times of humanity, the concerns are of its survival. When the contributions of the religions are looked onto, a rather chaotic picture can be washed out. All the communities have united from their spiritual foundations to heal from this pandemic. The individuals, circumstantially, have become closer to their faiths on religion. While many have accepted the fallen days as a test of God, others started accusing this as a curse. The crude believers and other occasional ones have accepted their fate as they submit to COVID-19. In regions where less naïve believers are found, they are seen to be roaming around without safe precautions instructed by medical personnel. They believe this global pandemic as a mere punishment of God, and His creations are to be taken away from life in according time. Such beliefs have made it impossible to flat-curve the infected rates and respectively, avoid the death tolls.

Superstitious believers have also vented out that this pandemic is just here to wipe out the nuisances created by generation Z. Their hints are towards the alleged festering of youths with LGBTQ, atheism, feminism, and other protesting rights. The believers have denoted their disgust earlier over such matters claiming these as social toxicities, and their claim is as such that this pandemic will wash away the sins from this polluted nature. In contrast to that, in the third world countries of Asia, the communities are infuriated about the situation. Where many of the communities have held public prayers asking for forgiveness from God, others have declined to accept the clauses of social distancing by discarding themselves from the list claiming themselves superior. Such communities, especially the Muslims, claimed that such a virus is not in this world to affect the followers of Islam and will only eradicate the non-Muslims from the earth. While in several parts of India, many rallies in the name God and deities have rampaged on the streets disregarding the deadly hazards and even their government’s instructions of staying at home.

Conclusion

The discussions sum up to showing that the existence of religion brings notable purposes for humanity to carry on in a designated path. To walk on this earth without a proper faith in something will only make one more curious and drive them anxious derailments continuously. However, keeping thyself separated from the belief systems often lets the individuals see beyond the restrained boundaries of religion, unveiling newer perspectives to explore. The superstitions, however, may fade with time but their smudged existence may very well remain even being something very accidental and out of logic. In the end, the mystery is yet to unfold, when such an opinion is passed where the claim is religion being an ancient superstition itself.

References

  1. Admin. (2015, May 6). Difference Between Religion and Superstition. Retrieved from https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-religion-and-vs-superstition/
  2. Albert, S. (n.d.). The Psychology of Superstition. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/psychology-of-superstition#1
  3. Barnes, R., Moyer, M., & Nasa. (2015, May 31). In Age of Science, Is Religion ‘Harmful Superstition’? Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/05/150531-religion-science-faith-healing-atheism-people-ngbooktalk/
  4. Crossman, A. (2019, July 3). How Do You Study the Sociology of Religion? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/sociology-of-religion-3026286
  5. How Are Major Religions Responding to the Coronavirus? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/how-are-major-religions-responding-coronavirus
  6. Lemon, J. (2020, January 28). Christian pastor claims coronavirus is God’s ‘death angel,’ blames parents ‘transgendering little children’. Retrieved from https://www.newsweek.com/christian-pastor-claims-coronavirus-gods-death-angel-blames-parents-transgendering-little-1484473
  7. Shehadi, S., & Partington, M. (2020, April 27). How coronavirus is leading to a religious revival. Retrieved from https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2020/04/how-coronavirus-leading-religious-revival
  8. The Role of Superstition. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/ib0_superstition.htm
  9. TheAdvocateMag. (2020, January 29). God Sent Coronavirus to Destroy LGBTQ People, Says Trump-OK’d Preacher. Retrieved from https://www.advocate.com/religion/2020/1/29/god-sent-coronavirus-destroy-lgbtq-people-says-trump-okd-preacher

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Sociological Views On Religion And Superstitions. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-views-on-religion-and-superstitions/
“Sociological Views On Religion And Superstitions.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-views-on-religion-and-superstitions/
Sociological Views On Religion And Superstitions. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-views-on-religion-and-superstitions/> [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022].
Sociological Views On Religion And Superstitions [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2022 Nov 27]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-views-on-religion-and-superstitions/
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