Friends, during the writing of the previous post, I was struck by what can be seen as the sad plight of the Jewish people throughout history.
Over millenia their strong involvement with their religion has involved them in endless trouble. They have been hated for centuries in part because they set themselves apart, called themselves The Children of God. They then suffered the Holocaust.
Now, in endeavoring to re-create a homeland they once occupied thousands of years ago, they are again hated by many because of their religiously-inspired, extremely brutal, repressive behavior. Why don't they change themselves, become affable, secular good-old-boys? The answer is that they can't! They've got religion.
What causes people to accept at face value fantastic primitive beliefs that are supported by no scientific evidence? Believers not only accept incredible theological propositions but they run their whole lives on the basis of them being true and they bring up their children to accept the same beliefs. What is most surprising is that they continue with their beliefs (which includes fanciful notions of immortality) despite the fact that billions of other people have entirely different beliefs and gods.
The very number of different gods would suggest to a rational mind that two plus two don't make four, that they can't all be right, even that they might all be wrong! For example:
-3.6 billion people follow Abrahamic religions (Christianity 2.1 billion, Islam 1.5 billion, Judaism 14 million, Bahai 7 million).
-1.4 billion folk follow Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism) and
- 0.5 billion people are involved with Far Eastern religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, etc). There are of course many other splinter groups.
That makes up a total of 5.5 billion people which is most of the world's population of 6+ billion (figures from Wiki)! Is it any wonder there is such division in the world?
I wonder if one day scientists will discover the gene that predisposes humans to believe in this or that God? I wonder how different mankind would be if there were no gene that allows religion to take root and flourish or if that gene was to be removed from the human gene pool. I suspect the world would be a much more peaceful place.
For example 14 million Jews probably wouldn't be putting the world in the position of an imminent nuclear war! And Christian America, claiming God is on its side, probably wouldn't be trying to form a dominant empire using military force. And Muslims probably wouldn't be seeking to create an Islamic Caliphate!