Religion is the belief in a supreme deity or in a judgment that will take place after death. Some scholars have even treated religion as pan-human, meaning that it is an inevitable feature of human life. Other scholars define religion as the practices and beliefs that generate social cohesion and provide an orientation in life.
Religion is belief in a supreme deity
A supreme deity is a belief in a higher power. Most religions focus on one deity, but others may have multiple deities. Many religions involve prayer and rely on faith rather than evidence. Faith is a form of intuition that helps us deal with problems and make decisions. It is also a great source of security.
Religion is belief in a judgment after death or idolatry
Historically, the term “religion” has been used to describe many beliefs, including the belief that there is a final judgment. In some religions, the judgment occurs after death and may be general or personal. The judgment can come from gods or from laws of cause and effect.
Religion is a social taxon
According to evolutionary psychologists, the main advantage of religion is the capacity to build social cohesion and solidarity. Moreover, religion creates a framework for sharing grief and loss. These two aspects make religion an important competitive strategy for humans.
Religion is a family resemblance concept
Wittgenstein developed the anti-essentialist concept of religion, which holds that concepts differ from each other in their relative family resemblance. However, a concept without an essential property is still a concept, and polythetic concepts reject the notion of concept criteria.
Religion has a prototype structure
Religions adhere to a prototype structure in which participants meaningfully judge the centrality of various deities. Such a prototype structure entails a logical process, whereby participants must integrate new information into their preexisting dogma.