In this paper, I am going to handle the following questions; what roles do religions play in Appiah’s analysis? How is your approach similar to or different from his?
I will start this paper by asking myself the following question; what roles do religion plays in today’s societies? In today’s religion, we find that the religion has taken a significant role in the society to the extent of even determining what its members should eat and not eat. Some communities cannot eat meat since the religion does not acknowledge the eating of meat, hence resulting to the communities being converted into a vegetarian. These communities have no other alternative, but to adhere to this religious conviction since they fear being termed as outcast. For illustration, I am a vegetarian because of my religion. It is also important to note that religion and culture go together-they are inseparable (Anthony, 2005). By this I mean that the religion plays a significant role when it comes to determining who to socialize with or the spouse you should marry. Religion is most likely to support the marriage of the spouse whom you share the same religion. It has also been noted that religion acts as a tool that both shapes our characters and morals. Religion has come up with moral code that should be followed by its followers and failure to hindering to these codes of ethics leads to one being named an outsider. When it comes to both political and economic matters, religion plays a vital role as far these matters are concerned.
In Appiah’s analysis, religion plays a significant role as depicted by the article. The article clearly illustrates both the positive and negative roles that religion has the competence of accomplishing. From the article, we learn of the entrance of the missionaries, and this led to the birth of the common assumption that most of the villagers would be converted into Christian. It is also said, in the article, that most of the villagers had preserved some of the rites from earlier days, but the new Pentecostal messengers were condemning the old rites as idolatrous and, at the same time, challenging the churches they knew. It is, therefore, clear to us, through the help of this article, that emergence of this new religions can cause or result to the wiping out of the old religion. The villagers had maintained their rites, but they face a challenge since the presence of the new religion does not view these old resources as important.
The western educated bourgeoisie, for example, Kwame Nkrumah, are said to be building the ummah that means, according to them, the universal population of Muslims religions and they go further to describe it as open for all as long as the member or individual is willing to contribute to their devotion. We can, therefore, say that religion recognizes all those members that share a common religion as brothers and sisters-a family. A religion does not set boundaries for any individual who may be interested to join it, but the individual must be geared up to conform to the set norms and values of that religion as illustrated from the article. This religion is, therefore, in a position of promoting unity across the world. We should also embrace religion and the society as two important entities that should not be separated if we want to make it successful in uniting the society since they have been noted to contribute a lot in encouraging mutual co-operation, peace and indulgent in the society. For instance, when a problem arises in the community, we implement the use of religious terms, thereby, ending up solving many problems peacefully. It is clear to many that every member who is aware of their respective religion can think positively, thereby, ending up with a healthier community. Hence, the article states clearly on how religions plays the role of uniting different ethnicity that exists (Anthony, 2005).
We learn from the article that the immeasurable preponderance of these fundamentalists are not going to perform some dangerous activities that are performed by other Muslims such as blowing individuals. This reason distinguishes them from the rest of the Muslims religions-the original neo-fundamentalists. The article depicts the consequences that can fall on the society if the people are not willing to accept it-religion. For instance, we learn of the existence of the bloodied battles among the French to that led to Henri IV tolerating the Protestants to practice their religions independently without his control. Another example given in the article concerns both the catholic and Protestants from Australia to Sweden who fought between themselves resulting to the deaths of a lot of Germans in battle. From this example of the Germans in war, we can, therefore, come into terms that religions when violated can lead to more dangerous actions being implemented so as to restore it-bringing it to stability. Religious bigotry is a term used to refer to a situation, whereby, some religious leaders use their religious fallacies with the objective of enriching themselves and to influence others to satisfy their self-centered activities. There is still proof of religious prejudice in judicial, economic establishments and didactic in many countries around the globe. We can, therefore, say that religion can play a more dangerous role-he quote the neo-fundamentalist thought of a comprehensive utopia, which can be a problem to human kind that would result to fights (Anthony, 2005).
These heroes of radical Islam are happy to put up with a number of plenty of things such as our eating habits. Remember that our religion plays an important role in determining what we eat, but from the article we learn that the existence of this religion that comprises of the learned individuals such as Anthony does not take greater concern on what its members have for food. Its members are allowed to eat meat you eat, but it must be halal. The article goes ahead to state further that there exists copiousness of stuff that the cosmopolitan will not accept. These educated leaders from the article put it clearly that activities that violate their principle so deeply will see their intervention (Anthony, 2005). What they are trying to mean is the fact that the religion will have to intervene so as to discipline those members whose behaviors are not desirable since they articulate that they can spot ethical blunder and toleration have its restrictions. These religions leaders are part of the society and help in shaping the characters of the society. We can, therefore, recognize the role that religions play when it comes to shaping the characters of the society. The members are educated so as to conform to these norms and characters of the religion. Religions leaders, also, have to come up with morals that we should all live up to, for example, cosmopolitans recognizes the fact that there exists numerous norms worth abiding by, but no one can have them all to practice (Anthony, 2005). They believe in the fact that diverse social orders will exemplify different values .We can also draw from the article that religion has also the ability to determine the accurate approach for all individuals’ to live. Hence, we can say that religions play an important role when it comes to identifying the norms and behaviors that every person living under that religion should respect and adhere to. We learn that the Muslims religion does not support, at all, women swimming almost naked with strange men. This example, about women swimming, illustrates how religions mode our ways of living and behaving and at the same time disallowing some activities. For example, in North America, homosexual acts are recognized by many religious organizations as illegal. Any individual who engages himself or herself into homosexuality is, thereby, declared an outcast.
Cosmopolitans don’t insist that everyone become cosmopolitan since he or she are able to recognize the fact that they don’t have all the answers. This fact leads them to believing that they can learn from their neighbors-strangers. Remember that every member who is aware of their respective religion can think positively and can build a healthier society.
Imagine of a society with no religion, problems and challenges would be the subject of the day in such society. According to my stand, a major role that religion should practice is helping an individual to heal. It is obvious that when an individual is both healed and helped, then we should expect a healthy society where everybody in it is healed. By following religious, moral codes, we end up solving most of today’s society problems. Note that the soul has more needs than your physical body does and only religion is recognized to fulfill these needs of the soul. Without religion, mankind would be nothing more than animals according to my stand. From my approach, which is similar to this article analysis, it is a fact that religions play a significant role when it comes to setting norms and values that should be followed by all its members. These values and norms as illustrated help in guiding the community. Religion should also be a positive force in the society and it should help in inspiring good works and make people feel informed and part of the group as depicted from the article (Anthony, 2005).I can, therefore, conclude by saying that the article was well researched living no rooms for critics and that is the reason why my approach has not differed from the approach depicted in the article.
Kwame Anthony Appiah. The case for contamination . The New York Times, January 1, 2006.
Appiah, Anthony. The ethics of identity . Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University
Press, 2005. Print.
Appiah, Anthony. Cosmopolitanism: ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W. W. Norton