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What is religion? How do we experience it?

What paths guide us to


God? Is there really a God? Why are there false images of God? How can we
distinguish a true religion from a false one? If God is good, then why are
there pain and sufferings in this world? Why is it that some people actually
dont believe there is a God? So many questions we got answersto one
meeting at a time.
Questions such as these have perplexed humans since the first
moment we were capable of asking them. There were different perspectives
that were revealed to us and the subject taught us to respect different forms
of spiritual encounters that are unique in every religion and culture.
Throughout the semester, we have learned about the natures of God,
humanity, and evil.In this subject, we have come to see that we are ought to
understand the deeper and true meaning of religion. We have to undergo
scrutiny to test how strongly we understand its purpose and implication.
In the subject we learned that God is the first cause of ALL THINGS,
the uncaused cause. We also learned about religious experiences, as we
were also made to make a reflection paper on it four times within this
semester.
There were numerous descriptions of religious experience. According
to Rudolph Otto, religious experience is found in an encounter with a sacred
mystery that is both awe inspiring and attractive. Sometimes, the power of
the holy takes the form of inspiration where our minds are moved to see a
truth and our hearts are moved to love, such as the experience Moses had
in encountering the burning bush.
Another

perspective

of

religious

experience

is

from

the

anthropologist, MirceaEliade. It is stated that in a persons life, there are


two different worlds: the ordinary and the sacred. However, the sacred
world is viewed as more powerful, enduring, and real compared to the
ordinary world. Due to these special qualities possessed by this sacred

world that people hunger for it and seek to live and strive for its presence.
This world is accompanied by times which are ordinary and sacred. The
ordinary time is comprised of days which are the same as any other day
while in sacred time it is composed of festivals, which is set apart from all
other days. These days possess special power and meaning. Examples of
these special days are the Holy Week and Celebrated Festivals in honor of
certain Saints.
On another note, John Smith, the English philosopher defends his
belief that religious experience is part of every human being. He affirms
that each person encounters religion through certain powerful experiences.
These crucial experiences are extremely different from our daily routine.
These are special moments that reveal to a person that life is a risk.
This subject doesnt only teach about religion and experiences, we
also discussed evil. and how evil affects our mind and our actions. Questions
such as What makes evil evil? makeus think on what evil really is.
According to the book, Evil is what we dont want in our lives or to happen
into our lives. That is basically correct to describe evil because like in our
prayers to God, we dont pray for something bad to happen in our lives; we
pray for something valuable, wonderful and a positive thing to happen in
our lives. Evil may be in a natural, accidental or physical manner but
nevertheless the point is that God did not allow evil because he pleases;
God allowed evil in order for humans to develop their full potential. Evil
requires substantial amount of anything that is not pleasurable; this is for
the manner of seeing the importance of goodness, because good will never
be recognized the way it is unless there is disorder.
What we learned in this subject philosophy of religion is that we dont
always talk about how good our God is and how powerful he is. Our faith
and our moral is challenged, we are able to think deeply into ourselves as to
what God is and how He works for each person and in society. God and evil

co-exist into our lives to challenge us and for us to think morally and choose
between good over evil.We learned that God puts evil in our lives to exercise
our free will: to succumb to evil or to be righteous in our acts.Through the
study of Religion we are now equipped with answers of the profound
questions about our own beliefs and values and as well as our own
existence, and the existence ofEvil and God.
The topic does not only focus on basic religion, but also on the
understanding of our human lives. Indeed, we learned that religion deeply
affects all aspects of human existence because the subjectlets us explore
various religious views about evil and good, as well helping us to examine
social and ethical dimensions of our own principles and understandings.
Thus, Philosophy of religion somehow letsus open our hearts and minds to
the fact that God is indeed a living God. He does not easily abandon us
because we are his own children. He is omnipresent, always present not
physically but by our experiences.