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final Essay Compassion Altruism

 
Amanda Balomaga
11/20/2011
Final Paper: Modification and Identification
I cannot say that my secular world views have made tremendous bounds and leaps during
the course of this class; I’ve experienced
 no drastic changes or total deviations. I can, however,
say that the knowledge I have gained in the past few months has affected my views on other
religions as well as my own religion. The most notable change is not much of a change
 – 
 rather it
is a modification. What I have learned has further
reinforced my respect for the world’s religion
s.
I have found that it is nearly impossible to spend time in one

s shoes without feeling a sense of
respect for that one’
s views and values.
I believe in tolerance and respect for all religions (when I buy a
car, I’ll definitely buy a
coexistence sticker to go with it). Yet I confess, while I try my best to be neutral, I pass judgment
and prejudice certain groups and certain people more frequently than I like. Looking back on my
 begin
ing essay
 – 
 although I did recognize that there are positives to organized religions, I still
discussed the subject with a bias. I focused on the negative - the higher ups who abused their
 power, the wars and violence in the name of religion, and the enslavement of others in the name
of religion. I was definitely aware of the positive, but this awareness certainly increased with the
experiences I had in class and at fieldtrip activities. I had prior sense of the positive from my
own experiences going to Catholic mass as a child and being student at a Catholic high school.
However, I never cared much in church as a child, and in high school, I
didn’t agree with a lot
my high schools teachings. I was given a sneak peak of the strong communities organized
religion can create when I visited the Philippines last summer and my mother
 – 
 who is hardly
religious
 – 
 stood transfixed at the steps of a church in the middle of mass, drawn and nostalgic
towards what used to be such a huge part of her life and culture.