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Roles That Religions Play in Appiah’s Analysis


Religion has diverse roles in society because it instills good morals and promotes appropriate behavior. It is essential to highlight that faith act as a bridge linking various people from different cultures. It is also vital to note that it gives people consolation and solutions for challenges in life. Religion plays a varied role as presented in “The Case for Contamination” by Kwame Anthony Appiah. In Appiah’s analysis, religious beliefs contaminate cultures and even could alter them.

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Roles of Religion in Appiah’s Analysis

Inter-relatedness regarding globalization, cultural diversity and religion are examined in “The Case for Contamination” by Appiah. The contamination of cultures caused by religious beliefs has been well outlined in the article by factoring in globalization and transformation in cultures around the globe. The author presents faith as the worldwide preservative and a method of understanding the world by a person. Appiah asserts that all religions and folks have the same bases irrespective of their cultural contextual, race, or conviction (Appiah 2). Therefore, the role which faith performs is the one that proposes that all persons have a global perception. Regardless of their variances, their convictions are making them all part of one identical group. However, religion has changed the viewpoints and convictions of people on the way they perceive the world.

Religious belief could be labeled as a double-sided sword due to its role in examining the current issues in the world. Religion is alienated by the nature of the influences on the people who exercise their cultures (Appiah 4). Hence, it seems to be perceived to impact internationalism while preserving ethos, in which case, the life of people becomes contaminated and heavily affected by religion. Together with its role in globalization, its impact can also be negative in terms of changes in cultures. Appiah’s exploration of the changing time suggests faith as the key factor behind preserving customs in the current community (Appiah 3). Modern culture has an impact on African beliefs, for example, the Asante traditional religion.

Religion has received recognition for its purpose in revealing definite nations to the globe. Due to globalization progressions, an individual becomes exposed to outside media while still preserving their exceptional traditions and values. In doing so, the conviction is used in a positive context to influence globalization and defend the individuals’ culture. Appiah affirms the way the course of internationalism development fuels the conservation of unique values within customs (5). Even though Sipho observed traditional values influenced him and his family via media involvements. Regarding this, man’s spiritual morals and customs have a role to guide an individual from the impact of technological features. Globalization has a significant inspiration and can change the beliefs of an individual.

The feature of globalization to influence traditional change or preservation has been deliberated in the essay through Sipho’s displays. The author reveals that American ideologies have swayed his relations with people since the times when he was young (Appiah 6). Specifically, the relationship with his father became strong and more comprehensible after watching the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” (Appiah 3). The TV show made Sipho think that he and his father should be not only relatives but also friends (Appiah 3). Still, Appiah’s worldview was not transformed by simply watching the television program. In the Zulu traditions, if a woman dates before 20 years, it is considered an immoral practice. With this in mind, Sipho does not adjust his stand about the culture despite the media influence. Furthermore, the ability to distinguish diverse globalization features and embrace only those which are in line with his religion is fascinating. Faith has a positive role in globalization by improving cultural conservation.

My View with Appiah’s Approach to Religion

Upon analyzing Appiah’s opinions, an individual should decide and practice any faith they want. I disagree with Appiah when he asserts that westernization might influence the thoughts of a person. I consider it as exposure besides an introduction to new opinions. When somebody expresses their view, it does not imply that we must follow it, as a person might choose to accept or reject someone’s thoughts. For example, Appiah is incorrect in regard to his prediction. He asserts that our opinions influence one another when they start intermingling amongst the same persons. People should have the freedom to practice a religion which they deem fit for them.

According to Appiah, western civilization acts within the confines of globalization as he believes exposure to diversity is harmful. Such involvements can have an impact on an individual’s religious beliefs and other people’s customs and philosophies (Appiah 4). I think western influence has played a significant role in the liberty of faiths. America has come a long way in terms of religious freedom; nevertheless, several countries seem not to have had this transformation in their societal organization. For example, China is glowered upon exercising religion openly and it has led to the assaults on the individuals who devote themselves to specific faiths (Appiah 4). Alternatively, The Falungong and the Uighur Muslims have two religious institutions that stand out due to their faith and exercising of those beliefs. Individuals have been considerably mistreated, detained, tortured, and sent to prison due to their adherence to the beliefs proclaimed by these institutions. There have been accounts of Catholic ministers being abducted, besides some even being buried alive (Appiah 4). People must respect the faith of others since this will help to eradicate conflicts witnessed around the world.

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Whether My Approach Is Similar or Different to Appiah

In the given analysis, Appiah exhibits the opinions against the conservation regarding the way of life and spiritual beliefs. Upholding culture helps in protecting diversity in religion and it also connects the past to the present. Allowing other religions may also be a way to help persons pursue new thoughts in addition to their philosophies. It can also benefit the less predominant beliefs by splitting their faiths. Having new spiritual views in a nation cannot help people socially or economically. The new religion will cultivate different concepts, opinions, and cultures into their world. An exceptional person will provide counterpoints to the ancient customs and beliefs, propelling the state onward and into a more varied country.

In essence, many different cultures and backgrounds exist everywhere a person may go; therefore, having a common faith amongst most people is unifying and inclusive. It seems right, but not in today’s world. The analysis provided by Appiah allows the readers to conclude that people who do not believe in the common faith keep dividing others based on religious diversity. In addition to that, westernization and globalization can influence the thoughts of a person and might affect the worldview even of deeply religious people.

Work Cited

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “The Case for Contamination.” New York Times, 2006.

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