Religionassumes diversity in definition as advanced by many scholars and thefaithful. Religion is broadly discussed as humanity’s belief in theinherent influence of a supreme being on the purpose of existence ofthe human beings. The concept invokes varied interpretation from thesocial, political and economic arena. It is also significant tounderstand how religion affects the existence of humanity on a dailybasis (Gunn, 2003).
Inthis study, I will discuss how the different religions perceive theconcept of human nature and the arguments formulated in support oftheir beliefs. I have settled on the study of human nature because itis the comprehension of this concept that offers insight into man’scharacter and the understanding that possessing these traits, inessence, informs the rationale for the belief in a supreme being.
Itis human nature to develop the need for the understanding of theorigin and mainly, the purpose of man’s existence. Therefore,thoughtfully, human nature explains the desire for religion, and toassociate with divine power.
Sikhismimparts that Kartar created the universe in one command and gives itits due care. It also teaches that living a life of order andachieving satisfaction intrinsically depends on living the divine’swill. Sikhism advocates that humans indulge in prayer,self-restraint, and moral purity to attain the liberation thatattends the belief in Kartar. It also acknowledges that humans’life without the trust in Kartar portrays living the vices of lust,greed, anger, clinging and pride. It is only through the belief inKartar that humans are shielded from such vices.
Inthe same vein, Islam also offers that human beings are the mostvalued of all creatures, having a sense of free will for the purposeof abiding by the laws of God and staying in His service. Islamteaches that the free will puts a man in the position of making hischoices, even in the worship of Allah. One bid to remain in God’sservice to understand his purpose and mission in the world.
InChristianity, human beings were created in the image of God, for itis written in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image,in the image of God created he him male and female created he them.”People believe in agreement with the Bible that God bestowed upon manthe free will to choose to worship him or another character otherthan God (Devil). The Bible defines human nature as inherently evil,after the fall of man (though created in perfect form). The Devilhaving been cast to the world deceived human beings into partaking ofthe forbidden fruit, which they had been warned against eating(Genesis 2:17). Through Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race andthus the sinful nature of humans. The Bible also teaches that throughone man Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, salvation came to thehuman beings to free them from their sinful nature. Therefore, byhaving faith in the righteousness of Christ, man is made sinless.
Judaismadvances a rather similar belief to Christianity on human nature,stating that human beings were created in the image of God. It is abelief that human beings were created with two impulses of good andevil. It explains that people have the free will to choose whichimpulse to follow. Judaism also stipulates that human beings areresponsible for their actions and the choices they make.
Inthe Shinto religion, man is Kami’s child, hence his sacred value.It is for this reason that one should respect the personality ofanother because it is given by Kami and accord value to the humanrights notwithstanding race, nationality and other distinctions.
Daoismand Confucianism encourage the focus on the experience, accepting andcooperating with the things that ensure our destiny.
Itis imperative also to mention that Buddhism advocates for living ahappy life. The religion lays emphasis on the elimination ofsuffering through determining oneself and identifying one’s purposein life.
Hinduismteaches that righteousness, wealth, desire and salvation compoundsthe life of human beings. On the other hand, Jainism offers that thehuman soul is uncreated and has infinite power and knowledge.Therefore, doing good indeed obstructs the mind and liberation occur.
Inan illustration, I wish to indicate that Hinduism ideology on humannature affects how people live in the society. Hinduism teachesabout Karma, which spells that our actions have consequences and thatif a person commits an evil deed, then the outcome will be bad. Thisbelief trains and reminds people not to indulge in the commission ofevil. The religion also teaches of the many ways to experience Godand in essence clarifies tolerance among believers (Foster, 2009).
Inconclusion, it is noteworthy that these religions at one point sharea common belief of the human nature. They concur that human nature ismarred with evil and that obedience to the giver of life who is theSupreme Being grants liberation to our sinful nature. It is theSupreme Being that gives direction on how to achieve one’s purposeon earth.
Foster,H. (2009). The Life of Hinduism – Edited by John Stratton Hawley andVasudha Narayanan. JournalOf Religious History,33(4),508-508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9809.2009.00808.x
Gunn,T. J. (2003). Complexity of Religion and the Definition of Religionin International Law, The. Harv.Hum. Rts. J.,16,189.