Our environment, experiences and even genetics shape our beliefs and attitudes. These beliefs then influence our behaviour and affect our actions. Acceptable beliefs become part of our culture, and in many ways shape the society in which we live.
The strongest belief system has been around for thousands of years is religion. It is, in many ways, a code of conduct. A guideline that allows believers to act in a non-primitive, cultured way.
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To facilitate social bonding, the earliest forms of religion were created. It is believed that religions are adaptive and can be used to maintain survival and provide reproductive benefits via gene selection or gene culture coevolution dynamics.
This system is essential to thinking patterns. It also plays a crucial role in forming self-identity as well as a collective identity for a community. These identities then shape attitudes, cultural norms, and influence individual and group behaviour.
Many religions share some common thematic principles, including concepts of love and god, honesty, altruism and miracle workings. Every religion has its own elements and ideologies.
Many religions infuse 'god-fearing' elements in scriptures, such as the concept of karma, heaven-hell, salvation in Christianity, paradise, hell and salvation in Islamism. They also infuse the concept of peaceful afterlife, reincarnation and enlightenment in Buddhism.
Important to remember that while religious beliefs can play a causal role for some actions, they are not the only factor that affects behaviour. It is merely one factor among many factors that influence our behavior, including genetics, environment and parenting.