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Impact of Belief: Rise of Society and Shortcomings of Beliefs

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It’s the 21st century. The world has become a global village and yet, we are drifting apart and moving towards isolation. In the land of great diversity; of ethnicity, culture, civilization and the varying and conflicting norms, there is something that is keeping the world intact. Something that allows them to meet halfway and share a common ground to live together in harmony or to unite against a common nemesis. That something is beyond the reach of culture, breaks the bounds of geography and goes cosmopolitan and thusly, unites the people as one entity no matter what and where they are. That something, the glue that binds people together even the wake of modern technology is nothing, but a common belief shared by people of this world; a point which they find common amongst themselves and brings them closer, to some extent.

A belief is nothing more than an idea upon which a person has a firm and resolute faith. Belief ranges from but is not limited to our day to day routine, social and cultural norms, religious practices and views, economic ventures and philosophical or scientific ideas and theories. Having common belief aligns us in the form a certain unforeseeable relation; a sort of an acquaintance that forms the basis of a society.

Origin of society dates back to eons ago. People came together and started to live and work together for mutual benefit. Before that, there were many small factions of hunters and gatherers who lived apart and thusly, couldn’t form a society and hurdled the way towards rise of any civilization. But what made the dream of a society come to realization, despite all the differences? The factor; the magnet that attracted the weary tribes or factions together was nothing more than the common belief that they had to work together to survive in a more efficient way. Therefore, it’s the belief; a common belief to be precise which is the triggering factor to form a society.

Once a society has been established, it is necessary that is kept intact. To that end, an organization hierarchy had to be established so as to maintain the peaceful atmosphere and to keep the fulfillment of assigned or designated duties in check. For this purpose, humans again looked towards beliefs and the lo and behold, they had been granted religion. Religion, itself, is nothing more than a belief which dictates its follower the ruling of life in adherence to certain pattern. It demands complete and unquestionable faith from its followers. This faith resulted in the creation of class systems which was attributed to the understanding of that religion. For example, the pharaohs of Egypt styled themselves as Gods and thus, gained unprecedented authority over their masses. Below them came the priests and then the soldiers who guarded them and fought for them and lastly came the lowly civilians who had nothing more to do other than follow the commands of their rulers turned gods. Same pattern followed in Assyrian, Greek, Persian and Roman society who remained intact and unified, even under the presence of great ethnic divide.

Soon, with shifting sands of time, people were made more aware and their natural inquisitive and curious minds took the best of them and started questioning the religion. At this point of history, the very foundation of society; the religion came under threat. Now, when the religion was hanging by a thread and so was the existence of society, philosophy came into existence as a savior of human society. With the help of similar or relating philosophy, people found themselves coming together and forming a unit. Philosophy, itself was a form or set of belief which explained the occurrence of certain phenomenon or defined the course of action under certain circumstances. Philosophy, thus, restyled the human society and fashioned itself in such a way that it galvanized people in an unprecedented way. It found its influence extending in the halls of religion, economy, trade and governance. It revolutionized various of life and paved way to a gilded age and with the triggering of industrial age, it reached its zenith. From the iron clad unification of Prussian empire governed by Bismarck’s doctrine to the expansionism and colonialism which followed Rhodes doctrine, a more grass root-oriented philosophy came into existence in the form of socialism which signaled d the unification of workers and farmers across the globe. This was but the beginning of infringement of belief into our socio-political life which led to great strife in the coming ages.

Before entering the more recent impact of belief, let’s journey through time and see its infringement in the fields of battle and how it successfully managed to resist or change the world we know of. Let’s start with the Persian and their tactics. From the early times, the scenario of battlefield was governed by a belief that following a certain strategy will lead to victory. This later became known as a doctrine. We were talking about the Persians and their belief aligned with their numerical superiority and use of archery which kept their arch enemies, the Greeks and then the Romans at bay. On the other side, the doctrine of Greek deployed the phalanx formation and routed the battlefield. It was changed in Roman era to legion formation and it instilled fear in the hearts of enemies of Rome. Then came the golden horde with their belief of eternal subjugation. But the major battles that were purely governed by belief were the rebellions of Jews against the Rome, the crusades, Islamic expansion, Saxon resistance of England from Vikings (the invasions of Vikings were backed by their beliefs too) and the Hashshāshīns or more commonly known as Assassins.

It was the belief of Jews that they had to halt the scrooge of Rome even it meant laying down their lives and thus, it happened that first suicidal attacks came into being and the mighty roman empire had to send forth its legions to curb this rebellion not once but twice and after the second rebellion was curbed, they exiled the Jews from their lands; making them stateless in a true sense and thus, placed the foundation of a thorn that still pains the modern world.

Crusades were governed by the belief that the order of pope is absolute and the call to arms is, actually, an order from the God itself so, whether it be against the Christian byzantine empire or the Muslims of Jerusalem, it was, nonetheless, guided by a certain belief. The ensuing wars such as the Anglo-Spanish war, the hundred years of war between England and France were motivated by carious beliefs; the former being the major conflict between Catholic and Protestants and the latter being the claim towards the right of throne.

The expansion and military expeditions of the Muslims followed the same course. A storm brewed with the advent of the great reformer, namely Muhammad. A civilized society was thusly formed based on the belief



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