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How Much Should Religion Adapt to Circumstance?



Religion has and always will retain a significant place in contemporary culture, as various bodies of faith foster a philosophy of living for their followers. This involves the worship of specific religious icons and different perceptions of literature, which are combined to create an overall belief system and core personal values. These are important, as they govern how an individual lives their life and the moral code of conduct that they choose to adhere to, giving their existence a clear direction that is orientated by faith and cultivated belief.

However, various religions have witnessed significant changes to their ethos and attitudes in recent times, either through an adaptation to social circumstance or the development of extremist factors. While several of these changes are welcomed by many as hugely beneficial, there is a growing concern that they are rendering the religion that they represent increasingly irrelevant.

The Nature of Religious Belief

Catholicism is an excellent example of a religion that has struggled in the contemporary age, and in time being forced to address their values and attitudes to life. If we consider the concept of abortion, which was widely condemned in the faith for generations, then we see that conditions are now being applied by the religion in an attempt to accept it as a part of liberal existence.This is also reflected in the faiths relaxed and less stringent attitudes towards marriage, with an increasing number of churches across the world marrying couples of opposing faiths, or even those who neglect the accepted practices of courtship and non marital unions. This is considered as far more tolerant and accepting of an increasing diversity of cultures, and perhaps even necessary to sustain a religious following.

Supporting an individuals rights to choice and freedom is welcome, as is the faiths willingness to modify its values to suit its contemporary followers. Supporters will simply opine that this is necessary in ensuring that religion remains relevant within an evolving society, but there are more dissenting voices who suggest that too much change could render specific faiths meaningless amongst their existing followers.

Faith as a Serious Consideration

The reason for this is that faith and religion are derived from ancient literature and narrative, which has been interpreted in a particular way and used to cultivate values. These inherent principles govern an ethos of life, and are often followed strictly by followers who seek to exist in the ways and image of their God. As these evolve or change completely, the peripheries are blurred and an individual religion becomes alien to the many who practice it.Several things could happen in this instance. Firstly, and most importantly, those well versed in a faith who preach and follow its values may well become unsure in their beliefs, and find themselves being cut adrift of the religion that they recognize. Should this be the case, religions may actually lose traditional and inflexible followers from their number, and negate the positive influence they have on a more contemporary generation.

Secondary to this, religion itself loses credibility amongst followers and sceptics alike, as it becomes increasingly malleable to the machinations of social cause. Faith and belief systems are already struggling to maintain their relevance in the technological and digital age, and should they begin to question their own values and specific beliefs then they are unlikely to encourage new members into their fold.

Religion Still Important to Society

While all of this is said, religion still holds a significant place in modern culture, especially in economically poor areas without key advancement in science and medical research. This means that it is imperative that its value is maintained for those who wish to follow a specific faith, as it serves a crucial purpose in maintaining wholesome living and anticipation for a future of possibilities. 

However, it is only natural that religion should come under increasing social pressure to adapt and change with the times, perhaps by taking advantage of enhanced knowledge and progression in order to appeal to a more logical demographic. Despite the benefits this offers to multiculturalism and diversity, faiths must remain cautious and not completely betray the courage of their convictions, as this may well lead to them becoming impotent in terms of influencing future generations.


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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of www.ExcitingAds.com / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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