1.What do we mean when we say that religion defines identity and guides relationships?
2. What are the definition and functions of myth? What do you think about the possibility of myth existing in religion or scripture? Would this change your beliefs in the authenticity of scripture or a particular religion? What different types of scriptures are there in the world...can you give some examples outside of the Bible and the Quran? What do you think about what you have discovered?
3. What are your thoughts about the existence of God or a Supreme Being? What has lead you to believe the way you do?
Please see response attached, which is also presented below.
1. What do we mean when we say that religion defines identity and guides relationships?
Identity is the distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity. http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=identity
Religion defines your identify through internalized values, rules and regulations of religion that become part of your distinct personality. That is, religious beliefs and values are internalized by the individual which becomes part of that person's value system, which make becomes part of your identify. The behavior and codes of conduct also become part of the person's identity and personality, e.g. "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you," "Love your neighbor as yourself." Thus, it guides relationships as well, through religious teachings. The Ten Commandments for example, become part of one's identity e.g., "honor your mother and father," "do not steal" from others, "do not kill" other people, etc. Christianity also teaches humanitarian effects e.g. "give to the poor" "be kind to other", etc., which also guides relationships. You are taught to show everyone equal respect, the love your neighbor as yourself, which means that you will not steal, kill or covet from your neighbors (ten commandments), but be kind, generous and compassionate to others.
2. What are the definition and functions of myth?
Myth is an ancient human art; it is a story about the profound and perennial concerns of humanity: birth, love, hate, origins, and explanations, about meaning. It has played a vital role in societies the world over for millennia. Only with the Greeks did there begin to be a disdain for myth as an unworthy practice for rational human beings. Then Christianity denounced myth as falsehood that contradicted the Bible. Myth was in ill repute in the western world through the 19th century. In our own century this attitude has changed considerably. Freud used myths to describe his theories of the unconscious. Jung asserted a collective unconscious with archetypes drawn out of mythic knowledge. Mircia Eliade and Joseph Campbell and others have brought mythic stories and their importance to widespread public attention. Few of us still think of myth as merely fable or invention or diction, a primitive mode of belief that we have transcended, as was the common belief only a century ago. We tend to regard myth as another medium through which truth might be glimpsed. Most of us would probably not embrace myth with the enthusiasm of Raphael Patai who declared that everything is myth. But only a few of us would join the late Paul Beattie in urging us to resist myth and "grasp the world as it is." Many of us now suspect that myth is one of the ways by which we might be able to "grasp the world as it is," as myths are a part of every culture, e.g., "how the world came into being," etc. It implies deeper meanings and truths of reality. It has become important to some of us to learn more about myth. To find out how and why myth matters. To discover how myth might help us to "grasp the world as it is." To ask the question, what is the role of myth in human life? http://www.uuaa.org/sermons/myth.txt
The seven deadly sins (Roman Catholic) that come from the Bible also address both identity formation and relationship building through naming the behaviors (e.g., sins) NOT to commit against yourself or others:
Seven Deadly Sins in Detail
Deadly Sin of Pride: Pride (Vanity), is excessive belief in one's abilities, such that you don't give credit to God. Aquinas argued that all other sins stem from Pride, so critiques of the ...
By responding to the questions, this solution discusses various aspects of religion e.g. how does religion define identity and guide relationships, religious myths vs. authenticity of scripture, different types of scriptures, and the existence of God or a Supreme Being. Supplemented with an article debating the existence of God providing arguments for and against the existence of God.