Religious Taboos

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Updated: Mar 18, 2023
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Category: Religion
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According to, A taboo is defined as a religious or social custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing. One can find taboos across any religion because religion is a code of morals, practices, and beliefs that a person follows in order to live a better life, and some religions provide themselves with a happy, fulfilled afterlife. This precedent of living is crucial to the functionality of religion because without a sense of right and wrong, how does someone establish a guideline of ethics to reach the desired afterlife. Today let’s look at the taboos of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s witnesses, Confucianism, Taoism, and druidism.

According to, marriage is arranged by parents due to the belief that the parents are older and, therefore, wise than the child. Buddhists also believe that it is the family’s right to decide since their marriage will be conjoining the two families together. It is hard to find many taboos on Buddhism since today’s Buddhism is focused on the scientific explanation for things that happen to an individual. But according to, life is full of disappointments, illness, and desires. The only way to get rid of these and not reincarnate is to rid oneself of all desires and become one. Therefore, those who truly believe would find it taboo to desire, and it would cause one to be reincarnated instead of becoming one. All individuals should work towards becoming one to rid themselves of the enslavement of reincarnation.

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Hinduism’s sacred animal is the cow, the largest taboo that this culture has is the consumption of this animal. According to, cows are actually a symbol of the religion. Many cities in India have cows roaming the area and cannot remove the cows because laws protect them from being touched. Hindus have set gender roles in their society, they go as far as segregating schools to keep students from dating or partaking in other activities. Like many other religions, Hindus do not condone sex outside of marriage. Suppose a child is born and proven not to be made by a married couple, that child is outcasted. Feet are another form of taboo in Hinduism, they are seen as unholy, and therefore, when a person enters a temple must take off their shoes. It is also very disrespectful for an individual to step on a book or other papers as these are seen as teachings of their god. A woman menstruating is seen as the woman being unclean, when this occurs, the woman is not allowed to cook or clean. In some serious cases, the woman is told to leave the house until their menstruation period is over.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a fairly new religion in terms of time, but they still practice many traditional taboos that many religions have. For example, according to, Jehovah’s witnesses have a strong negative stigma towards homosexuality, premarital sex, incest, and watching porn. They also believe war is a sin unless it is the final armageddon, only then, when Jehovah calls to them, can they participate. Therefore Jehovah’s witnesses will not join the military. Greed is another taboo focusing mainly on gambling. Like Christianity, though, a person can be absolved of their sins. It is also taboo to be given blood because of writings in the new testament stating that an individual must abstain from blood.

Confucianism started in 500 B.C., playing an important role in developing a culture in China.

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Religious Taboos. (2023, Mar 18). Retrieved from