Belief Systems/ Religions

By: Adam Smith

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Buddhism

Buddhism was founded in India by a man named Siddhartha Guatama (pictured above). Even though most of his life is unknown, we do know he was born into a caste named the Kshatriya's. He left his family at 29 to lead a simple life, when he returned he had many followers that were all devoted to a simplistic way of life called "The Middle Way". Siddhartha believed that the only way to get rid of suffering in life was to find enlightenment. After some time Siddhartha meditated under a very old sacred fig tree, after 49 days he figured out how to find enlightenment and was called the Buddha (which means enlightened one. He figured out that the core of suffering is desire and he made two rule sets to follow to find enlightenment. The Four Noble Truths is one of those rule sets, they state, suffering is universal, the cause of suffering is desire, if you end your desires suffering will end, and follow The Eightfold Path. The eightfold path is a plan of behavior that the Buddhists follow, they are the right views, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. If you follow this it would lead to nirvana. Siddhartha traveled to nearby kingdoms to share his insight which is what lead to Buddhism spreading through the globe.

The Way of Life

Many factors contribute to how a Buddhist lives their life. They believe in Karma and Dharma. Karma is when someone's action in one life can change what happens in their other lives. This can alter decisions made throughout their lives from it being more reckless or cautious. Dharma is the teaching/religionists Buddha, these teaching of Buddha can also alter decisions made by followers of Buddha. They believe in reincarnation which is when one persons soul is reborn into another body. Buddhists are also non-violent and believe in equality, these affect a Buddhists life in many ways, one way being how they will not harm anything which can lead to lower crime rates.

Religious texts

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Confucianism

Confucianism was stared in China around 551-479 BCE, when Confucius was alive. Confucius was a Scholar, a teacher and a philosopher, he believed in bringing order to society. One way he tried to bring order was with the Five Relationships for Social Harmony, the five relationships are Father to Son, Elder Brother to You get Brother, Husband to Wife, Ruler to Subject, and Friend to Friend. Confucius believed that everyone has their own duties and responsibilities to fulfill, which also includes everyone has a place. Correct behavior will bring order and stability to society. Filial piety is a big part of Confucianism, filial piety is essentially having respect for your parents. A quote that goes along with it is "While a Father or Mother is alive a son should not travel far." Filial piety also includes being honest, hard working and being concerned for others. Confucius also believed people are naturally good, as well as having faith in education beliving that education is the road to advancement. Daoism/Taoism, also meaning "The Way", is also a big part of Confucianism. Peopl who follow this have no interest in order and live in harmony in nature. They also believ in alchemy, which is th turning if metals to gold. Yin and Yang are opposites that have a delicate balance. For example, Earth and heaven as well as Male and Female. When Confucianism was in its prime many leaders liked the ideas of Confucius, so many leaders adopted it as their own national religion. With many leaders adopting this it spread very quickly throughout the world.

The Way of Life

People who believe in Confucianism have many things that affect the way they live. One thing being how they have no interest in bringing order and would instead like to bring peace while living with nature. Order and power are two big factors that bring on war, so with people who believe in it are usually peaceful and non-violent. They also believe in having proper order on society and legalism falls into that category. Legalism is the belief that th government should use its own power to end disputes and bring back harmony. Rulers who follow this should reward people who follow order and non-followers should be punished.

Yin and Yang

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Confucius Analects

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Hinduism

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, which is the belief in multiple Gods. Hinduism is the oldest known religion but we do not know who founded it or where it was founded. When a Hindu is open they are born into a Caste System the caste is basically a social class. Their are five tiers to the social class, at the bottom we have the Untouchables, next comes the Shudras, the Vasishyas, the Khsatriyas, and at the top we have the Brahmins. The caste system is like genetics in a way if you are born into a certain caste, you will have to stay in the caste and have to have the same job as your parents. In order for you to go up in the system is all up to your past life. Hindu's believe in reincarnation, reincarnation is the birth of someone's soul into another body. Karma is basically the saying "What goes around will come around" that in a Hindu's perspective if they did good deeds and actions in their past life they will be born into a higher caste. They also believe in Dharma which is their set of rules to live by. If a Hindu follows this it will also give them better karma improving their chances of moving up in the caste system. Many people believe that Hinduism spread when the Brahmins traded with other countries and they somehow figured out their religion. Moksha is the final resting place in Hinduism, moksha is when the soul is real eased from the cycle of rebirth by the power of karma.

The Way of Life

Many things factor in to how a Hindu lives their life, one thing being how most Hindu's are vegetarians. They are vegetarians mostly because they have respect for higher forms of life. With Karma and Dharma many actions and decisions made can be altered, they might do a good deed they might not have done if they hadn't had those in the back of their mind. From birth Hindu's are born into the brutal caste system, the higher up you are the better life you are living. For the people at the bottom they do not get all of the accessories the higher class do which can sometimes be life changing.

Religious Texts

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Judaism

Judaism is a monotheistic religion that started around 1812 BCE in the Middle East. The Hebrews recorded what happened in their lifetime in something called the Torah. In 2000 BCE the Hebrews migrated to a land originally called Canaan, then Palestine, and now called Israel. Abraham is know as the father of Judaism. In 1800 BCE a huge famine came across the land and forced the Hebrews off of their land. They eventually ended up in Egypt where they were enslaved. Moses adopted the son of a pharoah which is what lead to the Hebrews escaping, this is called Exodus. The Hebrews believe they have a agreement with God or a Covenant.

The Way of Life

The Hebrews are monothestic and only pray to one God. Their religious book is the first five stories in the bible. They celebrate many holidays just like other religions, one of them being Passover. Passover is the celebration of the Exous of Jews from Egypt. Prbablt the most known Jewish holiday is Chanukah. The December holiday is an right day celebration and people get one gift everyday.

Jewish Religious Texts

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Christianity

Christianity is the worlds largest religion, as of 2012 roughly 32% of people are Christian. Christianity is a monotheistic religion and was formed in Judea by a man named Jesus. Jesus was around 30 years old when he started to spread his ideas through the Ancient Rome. Christians holy book is the Bible, during Ancient Rome Christianity spread very quickly and eventually around the globe. Christians believe that Jesus is a savior and follow The Ten Commandments. The two biggest holidays for Christians are Christmas and Easter, Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth and Easter is the resurrection of Jesus. Christians go to church on Sunday's to pray. They believe that after you die, depending on if you followed The Ten Commandments, you will go to Heaven or Hell.

The Way of Life

Christians are monotheistic, so they only pray to one God. Christian go to church Sunday mornings to pray. This can affect the things they do throughout the week and might cause them to cancel plans. Christians also can't use Gods name in vain so this can affect the language they use. Most Christians also pray before they go to bed and state what they are grateful for. The main holidays for Christians are Christmas and Easter.
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Islam


Islam is a monotheistic religion that started in 610 A.D. The founder Mohammed was meditating in a cave when he heard a voice talk to him. After this experience he started to teach that Allah was the one and only God and all other gods should be abandoned. He was eventually run out of his town, he eventually returned with many followers and forcefully took control. Similar to The Ten Commandments in Christianity, Muslims follow the Five Pillars. The Qur'an is the holy book of Islam and the only true version can be in Arabic. When Mohammed died in 632 A.D. Muslims believed that it was their duty to spread the beliefs of Islam. The Silk Road can be thanked for the spread of Islam, The Silk Road allowed Islam to be passed on with other trades that went on. Muslims had many great advances in topics such as math, medicine and art. They were the first to come up with the concept of algebra, which is taught in schools worldwide today. They knew what plants would help with infections, they're were also the first to preform C-Sections. With art they used calligraphy and geometric formations to make amazing art.

The Way of Life



Their are many things that influence how a Muslim live their life. One way is how they're supposed to pray five times a day facing Mecca. They are nonviolent and only eat meat if it has been blessed, except pork is forbidden as well alcohol. This can affect how a Muslim parties or goes out with friends because if they aren't Muslim they can eat pork and drink alcohol. During Ramadan Muslims are not supposed to eat until the sun goes down. This can affect various actions that can be accomplished if a lot of energy is needed. Their are two exceptions to Ramadan though, if a women in is menstruation, if one is sick in bed, or if one is on a journey. When someone goes to a mosque to pray they are supposed to take off their shoes.