Reflective Essay Religion
This includes, for example, sanctuaries devoted to them, dedications, hymns, dances, libations, rituals, prayers, festivals and sacrifices.In all of these the gods take pleasure, and in return they give ‘honor’ to mortals in the form of help or assistance, especially in the areas of their own expertise.Both groups are motivated by the desire for honor and glory, and are accordingly jealous when they receive less than they think they should while others receive more, and work ceaselessly to rectify this.The two groups are not however symmetrical, because the noble humans have the same kind of client relation to the divinities as subordinate humans do to them.There is a complex pattern that we might call ‘an honor-loop’ (see Mikalson, ).
Since there are historically so many different ways to see the relation, a purely schematic or typological account is not likely to succeed as well.They too are accountable to fate or justice, as in the scene in the of Homer by rejecting religion in favor of science.There is a grain of truth in this, for when Thales (who flourished around 580) is reported as saying ‘Water is the origin (or principle) of all things,’ this is different from saying, for example, that Tethys is mother of all the rivers, because it deletes the character of narrative or story (Aristotle's , 983b20–8).‘To god all things are beautiful and good and just but humans suppose some things to be just and others unjust’ (DK 22, B 102).He ties this divine wisdom to the laws of a city, ‘for all human laws are nourished by the one divine law’ (DK 22, B 114), though he does not have confidence that ‘the many’ are capable of making law.This does not, however, give us a single essence of religion, since the conceptions of divinity are so various, and human relations with divinity are conceived so variously that no such essence is apparent even within Western thought.The ancient Greeks, for example, had many intermediate categories between full gods or goddesses and human beings. There were heroes who were offspring of one divine and one human parent.From the beginning of the Abrahamic faiths and of Greek philosophy, religion and morality have been closely intertwined.This is true whether we go back within Greek philosophy or within Christianity and Judaism and Islam.In any case, this entry will assume that morality is a set of customs and habits that shape how we think about how we should live or about what is a good human life. Not all uses of the term require reference to a divinity or divinities.But this entry will use the term so that there is such a reference, and a religion is a system of belief and practice that accepting a ‘binding’ relation to such a being or beings.