Saturday, February 23, 2013

Religion According to Siri

Siri is the best. 
Or so I've heard. I don't actually have an iphone. 
Or any kind of smart phone, for that matter. 
But my little sister Liberty does. And she loves to have conversations with Siri. 
About what she should wear. About the weather. About religion. 

This is what happened when Liberty asked Siri if she believed in God last week:

Apparently iphones don't have religion. 

But humans do. Religion is a man-made entity, in fact. A social institution. Man's attempt to get to God. Religion can do a lot of good. It can provide solace for the broken hearted. It can organize food drives and mission trips. 
It can offer a sense of community.
But because religion is man-made, it is also often corrupted. 

I am planning to double major in religion and broadcasting, and I am fascinated about the many religions that exist and have existed. But it also breaks my heart to learn about some of the emptiness that has stemmed from religion without a relationship with God. A man-made attempt at righteousness.  

In my sociology class this term we have been studying religion, 
and I read some things that I wanted to share. I am not trying to make any points at all. I just find this all so interesting and I truly enjoy studying it. 

Apparently, people who attend religious services at least once a week have 25 percent fewer deaths than people who don't go to church. That's straight out of my textbook. Lifestyle and social class were adjusted for to produce these results... before that, the number was 30 percent. Moreover, people who attend church services live 
an average of 7 and 1/2 years longer that those who don't. 

From a sociological standpoint, these numbers are difficult to explain. 
Sociology simply studies the affects that religion has on people's lives - it does not attempt to verify a higher power or to support one religion over another. 
Therefore, sociologists cannot claim 
that these low mortality rates are due to a god.

 They theorize that perhaps the low mortality rate is due to good psychological health. Prayer (or meditation) has been proven to alter brain activity in a positive way. Additionally, most religions practice forgiveness, and this practice helps eliminate depression and feelings of anger.

My textbook also addresses the future of religion in regards to the internet. A vast majority of people today do not attend church - they listen to a message online when they get a chance. Others pay money for someone to pray on their behalf at a Hindu temple in India  - "food offerings to Vishnu included in the price". You can even attend a virtual mosque with an avatar!!! The institution of religion appears to be shifting somewhat I'd say!!!

I am excited to continue to learn about religion.

I'll probably have to learn from a different source than Siri, though. 
She may not have all the answers after all ;) 

No comments:

Post a Comment