This I Believe

Will - Louisville, Colorado
Entered on January 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that religion is a way to better oneself. I actually thought of this idea two weeks when we were reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. When my language arts teacher asked us to make our own virtues, I wrote down many virtues that were originally religious in nature, such as Peace of Body and Mind, which are Buddhist in nature. Other people came up with virtues such as Abstinence, which could be abstaining from eating too much food, drinking alcohol, or having sex. The Christian religion names two of those three things in their seven deadly sins. Another one of the sins is pride, and I placed Humility within my ten virtues. However, I am not saying that people without a religion can’t make themselves better, because that is not true, but religion is one way to help motivate someone. If they believe in heaven and hell, they will want to go to heaven, so they will try to be good to their fellow humans. Take the Ten Commandments for example. If you break one of the commandments, it is a sin that can be repented. The Ten Commandments are made to prevent people from committing the sins that they are to prevent. This is an attempt to make the person better by preventing them from doing something that is morally wrong. I was brought up as a Christian, but I would call myself Agnostic or Buddhist, but the beliefs of Christianity are implanted within me. I may not be a Christian, but I believe the ideas of the Christians are good things for people to believe. My best friend is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Days and he goes out and helps people move and do various other things out of the goodness of his heart because of the way he has been brought up. The Buddhist religion also has many beliefs that aid in the path towards self-improvement. They have a belief in Truth and peace, which aid in attempting to make yourself better. Truth aids in improvement with one self because if you are honest with yourself, you can be honest with other, and this will make you more hospitable towards others. Peace is another good quality to obtain because if you are at inner peace you can be at peace with others. When you are at peace with other, you are can become a much more caring person and will not kill people. However in a counter-point not all religions make some one a better person, for the most part it is for the most part the larger wide spread religions. There are some religions that are based on self gain. However, since these religions are not about self-improvement, they are not important in my analysis. I believe that the most common religions in the world, including but not limited to Christianity (in all it’s branches), Judaism, Islam and Buddhism are still very popular because they help people improve themselves.