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Importance of a Belief System

Sarah Lacarrubba 1/27/14 2 History

A belief system is important to have in a civilization because it teaches people right from wrong and without a belief system, people will not be able to be controlled. Hindus believe that if you were good in your first life, when you pass away you would come back to a better life. This made people act well, so they would not be reborn into a lower cast. Confucians believe people should do to others what you would want to be done to you. This showed that Confucians are taught to be kind to one another. Buddhists believe that you could have a good life, but you should not be selfish. This means people must treat each other respectfully. Belief systems are very important in all civilizations because they teach people moral values and teach people what to do and what not to do. In order to better understand the importance of belief systems within a civilization and how they can influence the actions and decisions of a people, please consider the following moral dilemma: Life Saving Medicine In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug originally cost him to produce. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $4,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.

Sarah Lacarrubba 1/27/14 2 History A Buddhist would not steal the medicine because he would want a calm civilization. He wouldnt want people to argue or people to act illegally. As Frey states, The Buddha saw that even when one finds pleasure, it does not last forever, and one suffers when it is lost. This means that if the husband were to steal the medicine the pleasure would not last forever and he could suffer due to his selfish act. According to the Eightfold Path, people should not Do not kill, steal, or lie (Frey 159). It also mentions to live a life of nonviolence. Buddhists think that a person should not live a life with evilness like stealing. Buddhists think that one should never do any of these things and you should live a life of selflessness, love, and nonviolence. Heinz should not steal the medicine because you should not act illegal. A Hindu would not steal the medicine because he wants to work hard and be really good in his life time. If he is good in his life, when he dies he can come back and be in a better life. As Frey states, If people lived well, they might be born into a higher class in their next life. If they lived badly, they could expect to be reborn into a lower class. This is called Karma. This shows that if a Hindu does something bad he or she could possibly be reborn into a lower class. Hindus want their society to have harmony by following their dharma. Dharma means law, obligation, and duty and Hindus believe they have to perform ones duties. Heinz should not steal the medicine because he would not want to be reincarnated into a bad life. Confucians would not steal the medicine because they believe that you should not do to others what you would not want to be done to you. Confucians would not want someone to steal from them, so they do not want to steal from another person. Confucians were taught that husbands must set a good example, and stealing is not a good example. As Frey states, All people must respect and obey those above them. This means that if the doctor is in a higher class than the husband, then the husband should have respect for him (208). In particular, they must respect their elders. If the doctor is older than the husband than the husband should respect him and not

Sarah Lacarrubba 1/27/14 2 History steal the medicine because Confucians are taught to respect and be kind to their elders. Heinz should not steal the medicine because you do not want someone to steal something from you. In conclusion, belief systems are very important in a civilization because they bring people together, and they teach people right from wrong. In my civilization, I want to have justice. I want Saratopians to have justice because there would be fairness, balance, and equality. Justice would cause people to not think they are better than one another. Another moral value I would like to have in Saratopia is cooperation. If Saratopians can cooperate, the civilization will thrive. Like Confucians, people would have good relationships with one another and then people would not fight and they would live in harmony. One other moral value I would want is love. Love is important because it will teach people respect for each other and it will show affection and appreciation for each other.