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Belief Systems

The reason why we need a belief system in my civilization is because a belief system helps people learn and remember what they can or cannot do. If you not have rules based on your belief system, then people will do just what they feel like to satisfy their personal desires. Chaos occurs and the group falls. A perfect example is the decline of moral values in the Roman Empire, which occurred during the time of Nero. Nero was drunk with greed and power. He did whatever he wanted; he poisoned his stepbrother, killed his mother, killed two wives, and burned people while they were alive to give light to his parties. How could civilization survive with that kind of leader? The final example of decline was Neros lack of response to the great fire in Rome, which burned much of the city for 5 days. Roman citizens thought Nero started the fire to clear the land for a new palace.

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.

If the man was the Buddhist, I do not think he would steal the medicine because of The Eightfold Path, 4th Pathway: Right Actions, which states, do not kill, steal, or lie. Be honest (Frey 159). The Buddhist would not steal because Buddhists do not want to cause them suffering.

If the man were Hindu, he would not steal because if he lived badly, he could expect to be reborn in to a lower class. Buddhist must follow their dharma, or duty. They will have bad karma (Frey 149). Because of karma, the Hindu would not steal.

If the man were Confucian, he would not steal because of the five basic relationships. Ruler and subject, husband and wife, father and son, older sibling younger sibling, and friend and friend; these are the relationships one must honor. Frey states, the goal of Confucianism is a just and peaceful society (208). This means the man would not steal because if everyone steals, then there would be no one to trust.

In conclusion Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian religions all end up with the same idea: Dont steal. A person without strong religious beliefs might steal the medicine because they are making their own rules. The Confucians, Buddhists, and Hindus are all afraid of reborn as an animal might happen to them in the next life. Their reasons are different, but the solution for the moral dilemma ends up being a same.