Friday, October 28, 2005

Religion and Ideas

It certainly won't be news to anyone that we get ideas from religion. Sermons, Bible study classes, the Bible itself (and other religious texts like the Torah and Quran) all provide us with many ideas that we may or may not adopt. And it isn't just ideas that we adopt; new attitudes, goals, behaviors, and values come from religion. Some of those ideas are harmless or beneficial while others truly qualify as social pollution.

Religion is the source of many ideas but not the cause of the bad ideas related to religion that circulate through society. What causes religious ideas to spread, or die an early death? There are several factors involved that relate to each other in several ways. I'll summarize them as best I can:

Popularity - The more popular the faith, the more likely an idea will take hold in peoples' minds, regardless of the idea's merit.

Marketing - Some denominations and faiths are better at selling ideas than others

Timing - Some religious leaders will be better at others in capitallizing on current events or on the spirit of the times to make an idea seem compelling

Official support - The more, and the more powerful the supporters, the better an idea's chances of spreading widely

Packaging - This is closely related to marketing; the extent to which an idea can be couched in popular and/or "exciting" terms the better the chances that it will become popular.

Next time: The types of ideas derived from religious teachings and the roles of various "carriers" in spreading those messages.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Find Blogs in the Blog Directory