When Language Is Sacred Essay Sample
Religion is necessary for humans and human civilization. Mankind has had religion ever since the existence of independent thought. Regardless of faith or beliefs, it can be argued that man has worshiped some sort of deity, be it the sun or highly intelligent beings. Religion does play an important part in our lives, because it enables us to look a little deeper beyond what is manifested in the physical realm. It opens the world up and tries to satisfy mankind’s thirst for not only knowledge, but the absolute truth.
It is necessary for humans to think about the origin and purpose of life. Thinking about the origin and purpose of life satisfies one of humanities basic wants. Humans have always thirsted for knowledge and have always sought to learn more about themselves and the world around them. From an anthropologist’s standpoint, this might be because humans need to learn about things in order to survive. A human that has knowledge on building shelters, procuring food, and defending against threats will survive. However, I think this is much deeper than merely needing to survive. It is absolutely necessary for human beings to seek the origin and purpose of life, or more specially the origin and purpose of human beings. It would be difficult to imagine a world in which humans accepted things and did not seek to broaden what we know.
Religion is a relevant way for humans to gain insight into the origin and purpose of life. This comes from not only a religious perspective, but from a scientific one as well. Long before humans had developed the scientific method or other process of learning about the world, we had religion that attempted to explain natural phenomena in the world. For example, the Ancient Chinese believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a dragon that blocked out the sun. The only way to get rid of this dragon was to beat upon drums until the dragon moved away. Fortunately for the Chinese, and the rest of the world for that matter, the dragon eventually moved. Although nowadays we know that this is not true, this example illustrates the importance of religion in gaining insight to the origin and purpose of life. It forced the scholars and religious leaders of the time to create some sort of explanation as to why the sun was blocked out. Furthermore, it forced these same leaders to provide a solution to the problem, in this case it was the drums. This shows us that religion not only helped to ease people’s minds, but also took humanity one step closer into defining and explaining the natural world.