- Religion and Philosophy
Is religion the root of all of today's problems?
The role of religion in today's world and its repercussions
These days some of us ask, what is the real cause for so many problems in our world today? What is what really causes society to go “downhill” as so many of us say? We generally blame governments, the way we are being grown by our parents, lack of morals, and even Satan or the equivalent of the ruler of evil in the spiritual world, but could it be that so many few really target the real root for all of the situations affecting our world?
Generally, we choose to view how the world is- positively and negatively, sometimes doing both at different times. There are people that no matter what bad things happen here, are always looking positive and forward for new challenges and take the best from the experience of living in this world, while others look always at the negative, focusing in the faults and defects and overall falling in the trap of confusing pessimism with reality.
To understand the root of the problem happening today, using as examples the bad economy, the increase in unemployment, the persistence of wars, the lack of morals, and so on, we have to view the world in its realistic perspective. Realism requires viewing the world in the way it really is, which sometimes is positive and sometimes is negative. Depending on each one’s opinion, mostly based on culture and religion, what can be realistic for someone, may be positive or negative for another. But what is real, is real- it cannot be denied even if some people try to. Fear makes people to deny what is real, which causes someone to become either illusory or pessimistic.
It is very important to state the difference between realism, positivism, negativism, illusion and pessimism. Something that is real can be positive or negative, but cannot be illusory or pessimistic; negativism is regarded as the bad aspect of something- it can be real or it can be pessimistic. To believe that the world is going to meet its demise if we continue our path of greed and selfishness is real. To believe the world has no remedy for this to happen can be regarded real if we look at the history of the world, but it is also true that if humanity decides to change its way, it may not be necessarily true that the world will meet its demise, thus this being a pessimistic view instead of real. This shows how something can be taken as real or pessimistic, but can’t really be both at the same time. It depends on the panorama.
Now going through this example, we are very used to read and hear people about how things are going worse and worse by the minute. Less jobs, less opportunities, more debts, more complicated processes, more costs, technology and machines replacing human labor, more divorces, less stable relationships, and so on. Even when this is real, truth is that the world goes into a pessimistic destination if humans don’t stop for this to continue on and on. If we really want to give our future generations a better world and nothing worse than what we live now, it’s time to locate the root, the “nucleus” of the problems we are facing.
But this is indeed difficult. Definitely, problems and situations have always existed so we cannot find the core of today’s problems in a perspective that ignores the problems in the past. Intolerance, disrespect and selfishness are well old, so what we face now is a modern type of problem. And in fact, though it cannot be taken for sure, what really “approaches” the source of all problems may be related to what apparently and ironically serves as the “solution” to make the world better: religion.
Let’s define religion- that tool created by humans to understand the spiritual world. Thus, the spiritual world is not dependent on religion, but it is the other way around. Since religion is a human creation, it has flaws, and such flaws have caused a gigantic amount of problems which include wars, murder, social division and lack of quality of life. Humans have always believed in some sort of “supernatural” essence, yet they don’t get to know what it is and reduce it to human limitations. Today, we have two big religions and thousands of others worldwide, as well as philosophies, each one claiming to be the real and only one.
Today’s laws here in the United States and most of the Americas and Europe are shaped having their principles on the Bible. This book is a great source and guide for living a great life- if taken the right way, but taking it in a convenient way has proven devastating. Today, most of the mockery against people who do not follow the general norm comes from the basis of a very bad and wrongful interpretation of the Bible. Example is the homosexual people. Because the Bible “stays clearly” (in the opinion of most Christians) that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Such perception of the Bible’s verse insists on refuting what has been undeniably proven- gays are born that way. Interpreting this verse this way means that there are people who are born hell-bound, as is the most widely misinterpreted verse in the entire Bible that Jesus is the only way to heaven, meaning that billions of people who are unlucky to being born in a non-Christian country are going to hell without any way of escape.
Although some state governments have evolved way beyond those dogmatic errors, most states and many countries still keep ignorant in the matter, and thus millions of gays are still discriminated against and mocked at, just because they were born with a different orientation. Even today there is racism and there are movements that state the superiority of races. This caused one way that cost millions of lives in the decade of the 1940’s. Not to mention the Inquisition and Crusades, that almost cost the life of a brilliant scientist for discovering that the Earth is not the center of the Universe and not even its galaxy. This situation also happens in the Qur’an. Intolerance and denial of acceptance for others’ views have kept people away from reaching harmony and worldwide peace. Again, to be able to reach them, we cannot continue this fanatic and convenient, closed-minded way to understand God. We cannot “humanize” God because there are many social issues that have been caused because of the convenient way of following a religion. There is nothing to fear. It’s ok to select a religion and feel it drives us to God, but religion is like a language, is not unique and is not the only one capable of making us understand what God is.