The Role of “God” During Hardships
Many religious believers usually seek for the divine intervention during the time of hardships. They do so with the assumption that the Supreme Being would give them direction and empower them to overcome the challenges at hand. However, the issue of whether religious faith has a role during hardship is debatable. In our world, they are diverse religions but their followers have common objectives. When they are all encountered with challenging situations, they usually rely on their faith in order to address their issues. There are some problems that humans’ encounters in everyday life with include financial challenges, wars, and diseases among others. These problems are universal and a person can address them individually using other alternatives without invoking his or her religious beliefs. This paper argues that religious faith does not help and play no role during hard times. Also, the paper compares Satrapi’s and Freuds’ views on religion and whether it provides solutions during hard times.
According to Satrapi’s comic book Persepolis, there is a clear separation between the church matters and the state (Satrapi 8). The book provides detailed facts of ordinary citizens during the Iranian revolution and some few years later during the Iran-Iraq War. Based on the story provided, the religion has hidden motives other than connecting the followers with their God. During revolution period, the people were being forced to accept Islamic religion failure to which there were consequences. It is difficult to comprehend whether the religion whereby people are compelled to accept can aid people during hard times (Satrapi 8). The book portrays Marjane as a religious person with a strong faith but is adamant that we should not rely too much on religion to address some of the problems. She believes that humans can adequately address some of the issues without the aid of their religion. Also, she further believes that her religious faith does not drive him to rely on God to address small matters. In addition, one should not blame God when faced with some difficulties mainly because some of the problems in our modern world are man-made. Therefore, religious faith defines people connection with their God but does not address their challenges.
During hard times, people do often lose their faith and blame their God for failing to address their challenges. This is clearly portrayed based on Marjane tribulations in Iran during revolution and war is highlighted (Satrapi 8). She was unable to conform to religious beliefs that the Iranian regime enforced. As a consequence, she encountered a lot of discriminations which led him to relocate to Vienna where she lost her faith in religious beliefs. She believed in God but was against religion and other cultural norms that surround it. Some of the religious beliefs are spread by recruiting new followers using force. According to Satrapi’s, the use of force does not portray the good side of true religion, but simply corruption and power. The government is more concerned about power at the expense of religion. In this case, there is no one who has a strong stand when it comes to religion if circumstances can force one to reject his or her faith (Satrapi 22) . This raises a question on whether humans turn to religion only when they are desperate, whereby they only seek for a solution to their problems. It is clear that humans are compelled during the times of conflict to seek for divine intervention only to abandon their faith after their problems have been solved. They also abandon their faith whenever their demands are not satisfied. Religious inclination can isolate an individual from reality and with other people. It creates a conflict which significantly affects human relationships. Religion sometimes brings people together on the basis of their beliefs leading to discrimination of other groups. As a consequence, a lot of heinous crimes would be perpetrated against those with divergent religious views. These are some of the man-made causes that can be addressed if humans embrace peace and harmony. Religious faith may not provide a solution during hard times and abandoning the faith may aid one to avoid challenges that are associated with religion. For instance, Marjane refused to hold onto her faith during the challenging period. She was compelled to lose her faith because holding it would subject her into major problems.
Religious faith may not aid one to overcome challenges mainly because most of the followers doubt their religion. Satrapi’s argues that matters of religion have been subjected to a lot of scrutiny by the antagonists who subscribes to the same religious beliefs. The theme of faith has been portrayed differently by Satrapi, but it’s evident that many followers are questioning their religion. For instance, Mrs. Narsine despite being a staunch religious follower is doubting religion because of negative consequences that it contributes. She notes that religion has been hijacked by the fundamentalists and the ruling class to further their cause (Satrapi 14). Furthermore, she hates the idea of religion in respect to the use of violence in spreading the religion. When she was faced with serious challenges where he witnessed a lot of evil which threatened her life and that of her son, she began to doubt as to whether God really cares for his followers. Because of too much evil that occurs in our world, many people have challenged religious matters on why there is too much evil in our world and whether God really exists. According to Satrapi, it is clearly evident that challenges and conflicts in our world can compel people to deviate from faith simply because their religious beliefs had failed to provide solutions for their trials (Satrapi 18). Because people doubt their religion, it may not play any role during hard times simply because most followers have lost faith. As a consequence, they may resort to other alternative ways of addressing their problems rather than relying on religion.
Some of the problems are attributed to divergent religious beliefs. According to Satrapi, the diverse religious beliefs create divisions between the followers. As a consequence, those who do not tolerate some of the major religious views are subjected to a lot of brutalities. Because of the negative impact of religion, it is challenging for some people to seek for religious solutions during hard times. For instance, Satrapi cites the case of the Islamic revolution, a period where the religious government took over (Satrapi 3). The authoritarian regime was able to impose religious laws that subjected those with divergent views into a lot of problems. As a consequence, a majority of the people began to question Islamic faith based on its authoritarian nature. First of all, the process of using excessive force to spread the Islamic region was not justifiable simply because of its hidden objective which did not have benefits to their followers at all. Also, religion does not present a solution to conflict among the religious factions. During the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted for years, the religious leaders failed to come up with a solution to end the conflict for the best interest of all parties. It worth noting that the two countries are Islamic states whose religious doctrines put too much emphasis on peace and love, but they managed to engage in actions which are contrary to their beliefs. If indeed religion plays an important role during hard times like war, then the two countries would not have engaged in a war which caused too many deaths and suffering.
According to Freud’s perspective on religion, there is a conflict that exists among human as they strive to regain their freedom and conform to the rules of the society. He views the subject of religion as part of human civilization which does not necessarily works for humans (Freud 15). Naturally, humans are aggressive and they are driven by their egos and the quest to satisfy their own life demands. Because of human nature, religion plays a minimal role in influencing humans’ way. Freud also notes that religion has been the demand by many because it influences one’s choices in life. According to him, religion causes mass-delusion among the followers and as a consequence, it negatively affects the value of life by diverting one from the real life situations (Freud 15). When people focus too much on religion, they would fail to choose the alternative cause of actions when faced with challenges. They would fail to discover other paths that may lead them to attain their objectives.
Many people have lost hope in religion simply because of the uncertainty of its promises. Humans usually pray for God to provide a solution to their problems with the expectation that religion will keep its promise. In the case where a believer is not satisfied, he or she would lose faith and hope in life. Many people have resort to religion as the final hope to address their challenges. But according to Freud, it’s beyond every person to decide his or her own fate by taking direction in life that would benefit him or her as an individual (Freud 12). All religious believers must not divert their attention from real-life experiences. They must work to support themselves economically and financially thereby alleviating their problems. There are no other shortcuts in life in which we can attain happiness in life rather than working and supporting oneself economically (Freud 12). Religion is optional and everyone must not be compelled to conform to some religious beliefs. Also, anyone has a right to subscribe to any religious beliefs if it contributes to his or her own happiness, but humans should acknowledge realities of life which are addressed through other means.
This paper has presented an argument as to whether religion plays a role during hard times. The views of the two authors Satrapi and Freud on religion has been discussed in detail on whether religion plays any role during conflicts. It is evident that humans are questioning the impact of religion especially in the cases where it is imposed on non-believers. As a result of the negative contribution of some religious beliefs, many people have lost their faith. Religion should serve as a connection between God and their creator, but humans must acknowledge their realities of life and address their own problems. Therefore, religion plays no role during hardship simply because some of the problems are contributed by the religion. Furthermore, it religion distracts their followers from making some of the decisions in life because they rely too much on their beliefs.