Essay on Salem Witch Trials And Religious Extremism, Fear, And Delusion

Essay on Salem Witch Trials And Religious Extremism, Fear, And Delusion

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The unknown in the universe makes humans uncomfortable. Throughout history, people have emerged with answers to mind-boggling universal life questions. Why do humans exist? Are supernatural forces real? How was the earth created? People have attempted to answer these questions with science, theories, and most of all religion. But humans don’t always get the answer to the mind-boggling universal questions right. Salem’s colonial witch trials were horrific examples of religion encouraged by fear of the unknown and imagination. The Salem Witch Trials were a direct result of religious extremism, fear, and delusion.
In Salem’s isolated colonial community, religion was the most important factor of life. Everyone in Salem would travel to the church on Sunday to listen to the Priest preach about the importance of God and the Puritan religion (The Salem Witch Trials: A Reference Guide). The Puritan religion was very strict. Puritans often took the bible’s text literally because they believed it was the perfect word of their God. If a believer didn 't live up to God’s word, they were perceived as allowing Satan to control their soul. Puritans also believe the universe is God-centered, and man is born sinful and unscrupulous. People could only be saved from damnation by living through the bible and by the grace of God (Cody). As the hysteria began, Salem turned from a Puritan society into an extremism society and everyone converted to the Puritan faith out of fear of the consequences (Cody).
One reason why Salem turned from a Puritan society to an extremist society was biblical references. Witches were also mentioned in the bible in multiple places. In Hebrews, Exodus 22:18, one reads, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (The Sale...


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...onally of “signing the Devil 's book, flying in the air upon a stick, seeing cats, wolves, birds, and dogs, and punching or choking Parris’s girls.” (Barillari) Her vivid and outrageous confession supplied the evidence needed to begin a witch-hunt in Salem (Breslaw). If Tituba had not confessed to practicing witchcraft The Salem WItch trials may have differed drastically.
Overall, The Salem Witch Trials were a direct result of religious extremism encouraged by fear of the unknown and delusion. This tragic event shows how easily a hysteria can begin when the conditions are right. Fear became a motivating factor and ironically even inspired innocent death. The fear of the unknown can push humans into committing horrific acts that would normally be considered a sin. Extremist Puritans allowed their fear to drive them into becoming what they feared the most, a sinner.

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