Faith and Religion as the Source of Hope
Hope, hope can be a fickle feeling. Hope can be easily lost, and hard to regain. Hope is sometimes all people need to keep themselves going, and without it, people will often find themselves empty and lacking a purpose. But on the other hand, hope can be what binds people together, and give those in need the help they desire. Hope can drive people to strive for a goal, or fight for what they think is right. Hope can be lost, and in addition it can also serve as a means to keep people going. The only thing that is needed to spark hope in people, is a catalyst.
One of the first scenes in the movie, Children of Men, depicts the protagonist named Theo Faron, (played by Clive Owen) who lives in a world where women have mysteriously become infertile, and the youngest living civilian on the planet being just over eighteen years old. In this world, hope is dwindling further every day as time passes by, and it is of popular belief in which in the next few decades, humanity will cease to exist due to reproduction failure.
This first couple of scenes, while having little dialogue shows in the expressions of the people around him how hope seems to be fading away more and more. Soon Theo is united with a group of people who possess the only pregnant girl in the world. This sparks a great flash of hope within. Theo who makes it known that this news should be made public as to inspire hope in the hearts of others as well, but is shut down by the decision of The Fishes who claim that the government will simply seize Kee and her child for their own political gain. In the end, Kee is left to make the final decision, and she chooses to stay with The Fishes and give birth with them instead of going public as Theo wanted. Throughout the rest of the film, Theo, Kee, and Jasper, along with other characters that come and go along the way. There are many varying degrees of Hopelessness. The moral of the story is that no matter what, hope should never be a feeling to let go of. Theo held onto that hope the moment it sparked within him. Kee became a symbol of hope to a fallen world, like humans now days follow religion, because of the fact of her baby the word had simmer of hope to live and sometimes that is all it takes.
As previously stated people need hope to have some purpose in their lives because without it life can be hollow and pointless. Today humans search for a missing piece most often in religion or the lack there of. From Christians, to Muslims, to Atheist, to Pantheist, every person feels as though they are missing something. They are searching for something more in the world or even within themselves. That is where hope comes in. Without hope humans would have no reason for existence in this world. If not for hope the majority of humans would have no purpose in life. Therefore, oftentimes people put their hope and security in something higher than themselves.
Christians for example, they believe in only one God. They find their hope in Gods son, Jesus. They believe Jesus was sent to earth in order to die for their sins. Christians believe that he rose from the grave after three days. This shows that their God is not just human. Because while Jesus was on earth he faced all the same things humans do now. It shows that he came to earth and put down his Godliness to die for their sins. The resurrection shows that he is more than just a good human. It shows that he is God’s true son (Polkinghorne). This gives them a purpose. This gives them a hope. God’s redemption gives them hope to continue to live and strive to do better every single day. It shows them that God is a power higher than themselves, that they can put their hope and trust in. Although they may not be able to see God, their Bible tells them to hope for the things unseen (Polkinghorne). The Bible also tells them that they can trust and hope in God’s promises of a better life. It also gives people something to do. The worse thing for someone who is hopeless is to be hopeless and idle. But Christianity gives them hope as well as something to keep them busy. This is true for all religions. Religion gives people hope, and a purpose. It gives them something to believe in when they cannot believe in themselves.
Islam is similar to Christianity. They also believe in only one God but their God does not have children. Their God definitely would not come to earth, especially to die for their sins. They have to balance out sins with good deeds. They find their hope in Allah and the Quran. The Quran is the book that was written by Allah to give muslims guidance. The Quran mentions God’s rahma towards you (Nigosian). Rahma is a word that speaks of the love and compassion of Allah towards his followers (Nigosian). Muslims can find comfort in knowing that Allah has love as well as compassion for them as long as they continue to serve him. The Quran tells a story of a man named Joseph (Nigosian). Josephs brothers kidnapped him and sold him into slavery. His father, Jacob, was heartbroken. Joseph had a long and very hard journey but he ended up king of Egypt (Nigosian). He eventually reunited with his father (Nigosian). In all the time that Joseph was gone, Jacob never lost hope in his son’s return. This is an example of Allah’s rahma towards his followers (Nigosian). Muslims can find hope in comfort in the fact that Allah has love and compassion for them. They have hope in one day they will reach an afterlife that is far better than the life they are currently living. Just as Christians find their hope in Jesus, Muslims find their hope in Allah and his promises for them.
Atheist believe that there is no God and that everything can be explained through science. Atheist reject religion in every way possible. They believe that once you die that is it. You have no spirit that lives on, no second life or second chance (Walters). Each atheist can find hope in different things. Most of them find hope in the fact that there is no afterlife and that there is no God judging their every decision. There is only one life to live. You only have one chance at a great life. This gives them hope as well as purpose in their lives. It helps atheist enjoy life to the fullest because it is the only life they are given. For most other religions they find their hope in a God or in a better afterlife. But atheist is among the very few that do not. Just like everyone else, Atheist have the same need for hope as someone who believes in Christianity.
Another religion people find hope in is Pantheism. Pantheist believe God lives in everything and everyone (Levine). This means everything and everyone is united together by the spirit that flows through all us (Levine). Their God is best described as an impersonal spirit that is neither good nor bad (Levine). But this does not mean pantheist do not live moral lives because they do live generally good moral lives (Levine). Living generally moral life is important for pantheist in order to continue their journey. The more a person becomes one with their true spirit, the more enlightened they can become (Levine). This is what gives a pantheist hope. They can continue to become something better than themselves until they reach their ultimate God-likeness (Levine). It gives them a hope and a purpose to strive for. The hope for pantheism is becoming closer and closer to true enlightenment (Levine). Not only does this give a pantheist hope, but it pushes them to be better person. Therefor spreading hope and purpose to the world.
Hope can be a fickle thing, and often is abandoned, but all it takes is one glimmer of hope, just something that can imply a better future for everyone, and miracles can become a very possible reality. We all have a need for hope. The search for hope will continue for as long as human life exist.
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