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(Photo courtesy of Rob Brownie) It is commonly said that there are only two guarantees in life — death and taxes — but what can be more taxing than the prospect of one’s own death?Ceasing to exist is an overwhelmingly terrifying thought and it is one which has plagued individuals for centuries.
Under Christian belief one can expect to live in a heavenly paradise once one’s time runs out on earth.This ancient stressor has been addressed over time by a number of different religious explanations and affirmations.Arguably, this capacity to provide answers for fundamental questions is what defines religion.However, these questions are not the central focus of sociologists. In other words, the “truth” factor of religious beliefs is not the primary concern of sociologists.Instead sociologists ask about the different social forms, experiences, and functions that religious organizations evoke and promote within society. Instead, religion’s significance lies in its practical tendency to bring people together and, in notable cases, to violently divide them.
Religious activities and ideals are found in political platforms, business models, and constitutional laws, and have historically produced rationales for countless wars.