Religion is a system of values, beliefs and practices. People value what they believe in, often to a great extent, and are willing to live according to and even die for their beliefs. Religion is the primary form in which people express their valuations and transmit them to future generations.
The most important basis of religion is faith, the conviction that man has been raised to a special supernatural end, and that he can attain this end only by Divine revelation, which reveals the means for his fulfillment. A deeper foundation is a sense of human helplessness in the face of the forces of nature, the recognition that only a mysterious and supernatural Being (or Beings) controls these forces, and can direct them for man’s weal or woe. This perception of profound need leads to religious efforts, and to the belief that the effort is rewarded by sensible tokens of Divine good will.
These efforts are in themselves the act of religion, and they are accompanied by a number of emotions, which vary according to the nature of the faith and the beliefs. In general they are hope, confidence, love, joy, patience, humility, the purpose of amendment, and aspiration towards high ideals. In the higher forms of religion there is also a sense of filial affection for the Deity, which in turn engenders reverence. In lower religions, this affection is largely, if not wholly, absent; the Deity is honoured chiefly for the sake of material benefits.