Religions do not a sacred book.

Essay by sykopowerHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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This question is very difficult to answer without first defining it, for the purpose of this essay I will define religion as a philosophy which affects lifestyle, because it gives a purpose to life. Buddhism is sometimes described instead as a philosophy which affects lifestyle, because it provides a purpose to life. Buddhism is often described as a philosophy because the existence or non-existence of a God is not central to their beliefs, unlike most other religions. Without a God it is difficult to describe any scriptures as sacred, because sacred is often interpreted as holy, which means something belonging to or devoted to God. However, if Buddhism is a philosophy, then any scriptures would be philosophical works, as opposed to religious texts. For the purpose of this essay, I shall define Buddhism as a religion because it effects lifestyle, and I will use sacred to mean something that is revered because of its religious significance.

Sacred scriptures are very important in religion because they provide some consistency. They allow a unity of belief and provide guidelines for how individuals should live their lives. Without this it would be impossible for a religion to remain following one line of thought because people would have no rules to live by, and as soon as they disagreed with any teachings, they could change them and create their own. Also, the original teachings would soon be lost and forgotten. In a world where people are so used to living by guidelines and rules, people would struggle to follow something which was not like this. It is primarily as a result of this that all of the major religions have some form of sacred scriptures, for example, Islam has the Qur'an, Judaism has the Torah, Christianity has the Bible. Buddhists and Hindus have...