Tuesday, September 11, 2007
How Problematic Is Religion?
Friends, if I had to nominate the major cause of conflict in the world today most probably religion would top my list. The battle for hearts and minds between the major religions of the world has raged for centuries and many have died believing they were fighting for the one true God.
Problem is that there are many gods and variations of the main ones. We have the Christian one (even catholics and protestants do not agree on theological matters as the Northern Ireland issue showed), the Muslim one, the Judaic one, the Hindu ones, the Buddhist one...the list goes on and on and on. Each god makes different claims but one claim is common to all: ours alone is the one true religion. Commonsense tells us that they can't all be right. Some people might even consider the very numbers of them is in itself highly suspicious.
The strange thing is that all of the gods being worshiped sprang into being many thousands of years ago when human civilization was at a rather primitive stage and science was barely in evidence. The world has changed remarkably since yet religious theology is basically unaltered. The fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support any of the claims of religion has made little difference and billions are still deeply involved with their conflicting beliefs. Generation by generation parents indoctrinate their children and nothing changes (I myself was, for a period of five or six years, heavily caught up in religious belief and understand only too well how strongly it affects one's thinking processes and one's view of the world).
What has changed are the institutions which underpin religion. They have grown very powerful and very wealthy and they are caught in a life and death struggle with each other to gain new converts and to maintain or increase their power and wealth. They often influence Government policy and the war in Iraq can be seen as a few White Christian Nations invading and occupying a Muslim Nation. White Christian America can be seen as supporting Judaic extremists in Israel in their forty year occupation of Muslim Palestine which they are trying to steal.
How do we, in the year 2007, manage to extricate ourselves from a mindset that was prevalent 2,000 years ago? How can we make progress towards a better world when so many minds are filled with religious fantasies, ones they are prepared to die for? How do we get the influence of religion out of all Governments?
My feeling is that we'll never achieve peace while religion holds sway. What do you think?