Religion can be powerful in people’s lives, providing comfort, guidance, and a sense of purpose. In our various places of worship, we are taught morality and the consequences of doing wrong. As a result, we have people we can talk to in need and listen to encouraging words each week. However, being too religious can also have its drawbacks. In this article, we will discuss some disadvantages of being over-religious.
How Can a Person Be Over Religious?
A person is over-religious if religion comes first in their life above everything else; they hold the doctrine of their faith above their own experiences, reason, and common sense. It is one thing to be religious; to worship in a church or mosque regularly, and another to be over-spiritual; almost shoving your beliefs down everyone’s throats. The former is tolerable, but the latter can be problematic. Once a person’s religion makes them rigid, unable to adapt to situations, or have good relationships, you can say they are over-religious.
Disadvantages of Being Over Religious
Religion is good. We are taught right from wrong. We can get good advice from religious leaders. Our religious congregation can become family and friends. However, there are problems with being over-religious. Consider the following:
This leads to Intolerance and Discrimination
One of the main disadvantages of being over-religious is that it can lead to intolerance and discrimination toward those who do not share the same beliefs. When someone is so deeply committed to their religious beliefs, they may find it difficult to accept or respect the opinions of others. This can lead to a lack of tolerance towards people of different races, religions, or sexual orientations. This can create a toxic environment that undermines social harmony and can lead to conflict and division.
A narrow-minded Worldview
Another disadvantage of over-religious is that it can lead to a narrow-minded worldview. Overly religious people may become so focused on their beliefs that they lose sight of the bigger picture. As a result, they may be less open to new ideas or perspectives and reluctant to question their thoughts. This can limit personal growth and prevent individuals from developing a more nuanced understanding of the world around them. Such people only believe what their religious leaders tell them. That is why you see people go to prayer houses instead of going to the hospital.
Lack of Critical Thinking
Being over-religious can also lead to a lack of critical thinking. When someone is deeply committed to their religious beliefs, they may be less likely to question or challenge those beliefs. This can lead to a lack of critical thinking skills, which can also be detrimental in other areas of life. People who lack the necessary thinking skills may be less able to make informed decisions or evaluate information critically. For instance, a religion may teach that the world is 2,000 years old, and scientific evidence shows that man has existed for billions of years. An over-religious person won’t analyze such proof.
Guilt and Shame
Being over-religious can lead to feelings of guilt or shame. When someone is overly committed to their religious beliefs, they may feel guilty or ashamed if they do not live up to the expectations of their religion. This can lead to a sense of unworthiness and self-doubt, damaging one’s mental health. For example, religion vilifies people who carry out specific actions, like sex, drinking, and smoking. This has made many feel guilty and ashamed of themselves and even depressed.
Lack of Engagement with the Broader World
Finally, being over-religious can lead to a lack of engagement with the broader world. Overly religious people may become so focused on their spiritual practices that they neglect other aspects of their lives, such as their careers, hobbies, or relationships. This can lead to a lack of balance in their lives and prevent them from fully experiencing the richness and diversity of the world around them.
In conclusion, being over-religious can have its drawbacks. It can lead to intolerance, narrow-mindedness, a lack of critical thinking skills, guilt or shame, and a lack of engagement with the broader world. Therefore, while religion can be a powerful force in people’s lives, it is essential to maintain a healthy balance and to be open to new ideas and perspectives.