P. Edronkin

Religion And Survival



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Regarding survival and religion we can see several different aspects and issues because these two concepts of human culture and development are more related than we may foresee initially; instead, we can say that they are very related to one another: - We also should understand religion as a survival tool for perilous and dangerous situations, catastrophes and all sorts of disasters, for it is one thing that individuals can cling to whenever they have lost everything else. Religion should not be underestimated as a factor to motivate survivors.

- Indeed, religion may become the cause of a disaster to be survived too: during medieval Christian times, or in present-day Muslim reality, people becomes with worrying frequency victims of intolerance and hatred for religious reasons. Just thinking about Torquemada or the Taliban may help anyone gain at least an intuitive understanding on how bad and vicious religious beliefs could become in the wrong hands and indeed, religious overacting and the ensuing fanaticism creates very specific and particular survival situations.

- In combat situations, aside from what war means for survival per se, religion may help troops and fighters keep their spirits high: Islamic fundamentalists base their enthusiasm on religious beliefs, and even among Christian troops during all sorts of conflicts, soldiers tend to become more introspective and religious in order to grasp some understanding of what happens and as a spiritual shelter of sorts by hearing their clerics and chaplains.

- And then, there is a relationship between politics, religion and the survival of people during all sorts of conflicts: in the aftermath of many wars, religious people helped truce and peace negotiations, placated spirits and even helped to maintain some degree of law and order, as it happened after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Then and there, Muslim clerics remained as the only credible source of authority that avoided total anarchy and chaos from destroying the nation of Iraq.

Religion, for good or evil, forms part of human nature. Anthropology may answer why it evolves among any sort of human group, but the fact is that it seems that no civilisation on Earth, ever, lacked a religious doctrine of some sort. The consequence of this is that when leaders discover the power of religion, they often use it to congregate followers around them: religion is more powerful and credible than politics, and it serves well for national causes: King Salomon of Israel even became an iconic religious figure. In his case, religion was wisely used, but it can be used for different purposes or even evil intentions: the crusades and the actions of Islamic fundamentalists bring shame to humanity.

But the power of religion cannot pass unnoticed or remain underestimated: it can destroy, it can make people survive, and it also helps to build lives, cities and nations. It is only a matter of choice for those who believe, for they can elect to remain honest and truthful to their principles, or become murderous liars.




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