G125/HUM2023 Humanities Module 6: Religion and Happiness Essay
In this humanity module, students explored varied religions and philosophical views of happiness.
This website page provides two-page answers or study guides for the following questions:
Choose one religion that is NOT your own from the following list: Ancient Egyptian, Hinduism, Greek or Roman Polytheism, A Native American religion, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Describe three features or tenets of the chosen religion.
Mention any written works and prophets.
Share how this religion compares to your religion (or beliefs if you do not have a chosen religion).
What role does religion play in being happy? Provide details and examples.
Is religion necessary for happiness? Why or why not?
We have explored different religions and theoretical standpoints about happiness. Religion plays a key role in shaping today's culture. Nevertheless, many religions have more similarities than differences. Since I am Christian, I will focus on a religion that is not my own. This article presents an opportunity to learn about religions, such as Judaism and Islam, and how they create happiness among public members.
Judaism is a monotheistic religion among ancient Hebrews. The followers of this religion are known as Jews ("Judaism," 2016). Judaism has similarities with Christianity, including belief in a Supreme God and prophets (Vitkovic, 2018). Equally important, religion plays a vital role in a person's life; for example, it brings happiness.
Three Features of Judaism
Among the tenets of Judaism are monotheism, resurrection, rewards, and punishment. Jews believe there is one transcendent, omniscient, non-compound God, the creator of the universe ("Judaism," 2016). Equally important, traditional Jews believe in the resurrection of the dead, a prophecy that will come to pass when the messiah comes. The bodies of the dead will resurrect and reunite with their souls. In the principle of reward and punishment, Jews believe God rewards a person for good deeds and punishes the wicked ("Judaism," 2016). The righteous receive good health and prosperity, while destruction befalls the evildoers. Jews believe in a single God, life after death, rewards, and retribution for earthly deeds.
Written Works and Prophets
Judaism religion has various written works that recognize prophets and prophetess. The most sacred written texts are the Torah, Haggadah, and Talmud. There are several prophets in Judaism, including Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, Pinchas, and Moses. In addition, Miriam, Esther, and Sarah are among the female prophets recognized in this religion (Jewish Virtual Library, n.d.). Jews follow written works such as the Torah and believe in prophets like Moses.
How Judaism Compares to Christianity
Judaism has several similarities with Christianity. For instance, in both religions, followers believe in one God, the existence of prophets, judgment day, and the resurrection of the dead (Vitkovic, 2018). Christians and Jews believe and depend entirely on God as he is all-powerful. In both religions, there are prophets such as Abraham and Moses. In addition, both believe that the dead will resurrect on judgment day for reward and punishment of their earthly deeds (Vitkovic, 2018). Thus, Christianity and the Judaism faith are alike in such beliefs.
How Religion Makes People Happy
Religion adds happiness to a believer's life. Psychologists argue that connection with the divine is among the ways religious people can manage stressful situations. Equally important, most religions, including Judaism, have rules and restrictions that followers adhere to (Fidrmuc & Tunali, 2015). Such rules prohibit followers from engaging in risky behaviors such as killing one another, adultery, alcohol intake, and drug abuse. These healthy behaviors make believers of religion happy by promoting their well-being and health outcomes.
Judaism is among the oldest religions in the world. The believers of Judaism are called Jews. Judaism and Christianity share several commonalities, including the belief in only one God and the existence of prophets. Religion is a source of happiness since religious persons are happier than non-believers.
Fidrmuc, J., & Tunali, C. B. (2015). Happiness and religion. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280599229_Happiness_and_Religion
Jewish Virtual Library. (n.d.). Ancient Jewish history: List of Jewish prophets. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/list-of-jewish-prophets
Judaism. (2016). American Humanist. https://americanhumanist.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/judaism.pdf
Vitkovic, S. (2018). The similarities and differences between the Abrahamic religions. International E-journal of Advances in Social Sciences, 4(11) 455–462.