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Assess The Ability For Non Theistic Religious Approaches To Provide Personal Fulfillment

2616 words - 11 pages

Non-theistic approaches and their ability to provide for human aspirations.It is happiness that provides the basic foundation for human aspirations. Although people seek and aspire to be wealthy, popular, wise or healthy it is inevitably happiness, which such a 'status' provides, that is the true goal. Happiness is not a tangible object nor can it be achieved through a single path. More so however, it is happiness, not holiness, that people seek and thus it is unfounded to state that non-theistic approaches such as atheism and humanism are unable to provide fulfilment to human aspirations. Nor is it correct to say that there is a direct correlation between human aspirations and religious ...view middle of the document...

Humans as intellectual organisms all have some sort of desire be it in the physical, social or spiritual realm and it is such desires that are collectively known as human aspirations, or more correctly the desires and ambitions of humanity. "The human aspiration" website explores humanity's constant desire for some greater contentment or aspiration."…man cannot rest permanently until he reaches some highest good. He is the greatest of living beings because he is the most discontented, because he feels most the pressure of limitations."[1]The basic aspiration of all people is to find happiness and there is not simply one path to happiness nor does it take only one form, but regardless of the source of happiness we all seek it. Religious and non religious approaches alike both work to incorporate and provide for the aspirations of their community. Atheism, an example of a non-theistic approach ascertains that:"atheism is not the destruction of happiness and love; it is the destruction of the idea that happiness and love can be achieved only in another world. Atheism brings these ideas down to earth, within the reach of man's mind. What he does with them after this point is a matter of choice. If he discards them in favor of pessimism and nihilism, the responsibility lies with him, not with atheism." [3]Generally the desires of an individual occur in three stages and as a person develops so to does the complexity and nature of their desire. The search to achieve human aspiration begins usually with the search for satisfaction within materialist and physical fulfilment, for example food, money and shelter. These objects do provide some contentment but usually it is short lived and results in an 'acquisition treadmill' which is a concept developed in the "Understanding Human Happiness and Wellbeing" survey. Such a survey has uncovered that:"Whatever positive feelings occur from material acquisitions are generally short lived, and require more acquisitions to reinstate the positive feeling. This creates an acquisition treadmill, characterized by unhappiness and insecurity which stimulates more acquisitions and subsequent insecurities." [2]Both humanism and atheism emphasise that this first field of aspiration is not healthy and reinforce that the excess accumulation of wealth and physical goods will inevitably leave to dissatisfaction.Often when people obtain physical sustainability they move on to find social happiness and success. People look to find companionship and social support within their community and look towards society for happiness. Source B states that:"Religions supply society with the principal understanding as to how a person should act towards each other. Without these basic understandings society would collapse."It would be not entirely founded to state that such a phrase is accurate. Religions do supply a firm structure for moral and ethical behaviour upon which the basic foundation of society can be laid. However religion...

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