Religious Beliefs and Living in Harmony
Apart from the International Space Station, this is where we all live - Planet Earth.
A religious pamphlet was placed in my hand.
Whist walking with my wife in our local shopping centre today a young man stepped up and stuck a brochure in my hand. On the front of it it read: Islam – Most Frequently Asked Questions. Well, I’ve never personally felt any need to ask question about this religion. Most of what I’ve learned has come via hearsay, or television and radio news. Though I did read in a book many years ago - it was called, From Cape North to Cape South - where an Arab in the middle of the Sahara, deliberately gave an unwary traveler misdirection’s which would have led the author to his death. It was an act of malice. This, of course, stayed with me. My thought being, “How much hatred a man must have in his heart that he would deliberately try to do a complete stranger this sort of harm?”
Of course I'm biased - we all are.
So, you can see I am biased. I admit it. But I do try to keep an open mind, for I’m also aware that all I know is based on my own mental conditioning and not necessary on how things are.
Anyway, I open this pamphlet and, on the way home in the bus begin to read. Well, I don’t really read; I peruse. Perhaps deliberately searching out those passages for which I can find some sort of disagreement. They didn’t take long to find. There were heaps. But I won’t go into all of them here because not only will I upset a lot of people, and am, of course, coming from that bias I mentioned earlier. We’re all biased. It’s the way of the world.
Is there really something special about this part of the world?
Be wary of unsubstantiated statements made by people you've never met.
Here is the final few words in that pamphlet before one is invited to ‘become a Muslim.’ And it is with these words that I shall deal with as best I can – based of course upon my own conditioning.
“Allah warns us in the Qur’an: “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared. And die not except in a state of Islam.” (as Muslims) Qur’an 3: 102)
Fear and Love are incompatible.
Now, I don’t know if the quote is correct. However, I’m a little confused here. Reason? We are told in both the Christian and the Muslim Religions, it seems, to “Fear God.” We’re also told in the Christian Religion, “To love our god with all our might, with all our soul and with all our mind” – or some such. Now, it is impossible to love someone or something you fear. Fear and love are incompatible. In fact I venture that they are the opposite of each other.
Our Solar System is just one of countless billions.
Fear breeds hatred not love.
Let’s get back to practical human relationships. You can respect someone you love. If you fear them it’s a different matter. You are loath to be with them. You want nothing to do with them. Fear breeds hatred, not love. So this is one reason I would say I doubt whether I could take the religion being advocated here onboard.
If you were in outer, outer space, do you really think you could pick out our sun - let alone Planet Earth.
Seven Billion Opinions - What makes you think you're right?
Further, to my conditioning anyway, I believe that any religious order that condemns another to the point where they become its enemies, has something seriously wrong with it – or rather, those who adhere to its tenets have. There’s roughly seven billion people on Planet Earth. And as William Shakespeare said in one of his plays, about a Jew by the way, words to this effect: We’re all born of woman. We all die. We all cut when we bleed,” et cetera. In other words there is really no fundamental difference – I stress the word fundamental – between us.
Just another shot of our beautiful, visible universe.
Emphasise what we have in common, not our differences.
So, if we really want to make a difference in making this world a better place in which we can all live, the emphasis should be on what we have in common, and not on those mind-made conditioned beliefs that keep us apart.
I hope you gained something from reading Religious Beliefs and Living in Harmony.
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