Last Updated: November 2023
Faith or belief is the basic requirement of a religion. Religion cannot be effective unless its recipient is convinced that the information, he/she is receiving, is from a Reliable Source, its content is true, and the medium through which it has reached him/her is trustworthy.
If a recipient of the information is convinced about all these things, he/she develops a personality that is different from the one who does not believe or the one who is confused about the authenticity of the information.
Before understanding how religion affects our personalities it is important to understand belief, first.
5.1 WHAT IS BELIEF?
Belief is a mental state of being convinced about some information. It is absolutely a personal matter, as no one can force someone to believe the given information. It is the recipient’s personal choice either to accept [believe] it or not.
Belief plays a very important role in shaping our personality. Bodies of all human individuals are almost the same, but it is the belief that drives these bodies to behave or react in different ways. We can say that our food makes our body, and our belief shapes our personality. Just like food is the building material of our bodies, belief in the information that we take from the outside world, shapes up our personalities. If we keep eating food that is unhealthy, it can damage our bodies. Similarly, if we keep believing in wrong/misguiding information constantly, it gives rise to behaviors which are not only damaging for ourselves but for others as well.
5.2 SCIENCE EXPLAINS HOW BELIEF BRINGS CHANGES IN A PERSONALITY
Belief though seems a simple state of mind, it plays a very important role in shaping our personality, controlling our behavior/s and regulating our body functions. Belief is a trust in a given information. Feelings of trust or reliance further generate happy/soothing feelings. Belief, is thus, a mental state which triggers happy hormones [Serotonin] in our brain, blood, and body. Serotonin is a hormone/chemical that affects different functions of our body like, sleep, hunger, digestion, regulation of body temperature, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting etc. It also affects mood, memory, and learning. Moreover, it reduces depression and controls desires. The normal level of serotonin makes a person focused, happy, emotionally stable and calm. Lack of this chemical causes depression, anxiety, irritation, sleep problems, loss of attention, and loss of control over impulsive behaviors [desires].
It is just a mental state which increases the production of serotonin in our brain, blood, and body which in turn, not only affects different functions of our body, but initiates positive attitudes and behaviors and inhibits the negative ones. If such a state persists for a long time, the resulting attitudes and behaviors get strengthened and ultimately, they become traits of our personality.
Though [the recommended] religion for humans is one, people, however, for some reason, have divided it into different factions [details in next chapters]. As each faction has faith/trust in certain things, this is the reason believers of each faction find their faith relieving. However, when it comes to obedience to certain rules, they fail to comply and thus devastate their peace.
.….those who divided their religion, and became sects; each faction pleased with what they have (30: 32)
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