- Religion and Philosophy
Religions that Advocate Unity Unintentionally Divide the Human Race
Division is an unintended effect of attempt to unify
Given that the goal of religions that advocate unity is to unify the human race.
The division is an unintended effect of the attempt to unify.
Religions can be classified according to their origins. One is legendary. Another origin is a real human being. Christianity belongs in the legendary. Confucianism belongs in the real human being. Both are advocated by human beings.
In Christianity, Jesus said he is the son of his father. Or he is god who became a human being. Now as a human being he is advocating what his father says.
In Confucianism, Confucius did not say that he is god. He wanted to give order among humans. His teachings have no other origin but himself.
Why division is an unintended effect of the attempt to unify? One reason is that the legend is unverifiable. In Christianity, god the father is unverifiable. Granted that god the son is verifiable. But his statement that he came from his father is unverifiable. His statement that he is also god the father is unverifiable. His statement that his kingdom is in heaven is also unverifiable. This absence of verifiability is root of disbelief.
In the human-based religion, the preacher is verifiable. Belief in him is based on agreement. A disagreement with him is root of division.
So division is brought about by disbelief and disagreement. In legend-based religion, belief is by faith and judgement. In human-based religion, agreement is based on judgement.
We see, or it is an empirical fact that there are several human-based religions. it is a fact that there is only a few legend-based religions.
The legend-based religion is more aggressive than the human-based religion in advocating unity in belief and agreement.
It can be said that it is tautological to say that the presence of several human-based religions means that several people are capable of teaching and want their teachings adopted by other people Alternatively, a general statement can also be drawn from observations that several people have come up with a set of judgements who want other people to agree with them.
When such preachers gather other people around themselves, division of human race ensues.
In legend-based religion, resistance to the set of beliefs and judgements a religion advocates leads to division. The unbeliever may come up with a rival set of beliefs and judgements.
Resistance to the belief that there is only god is another matter. A consequence is: an unbeliever of this one god starts to advocate another god who is the only god. Or this unbeliever starts to advocate that there is another god who is not necessarily the only god.
The communities around mount Olympus who had several gods were at peace with each other.
When a legend-based or human-based religion uses naked power (force) to unify people, it turns into a power religion.
Christianity started advocacy using persuasive power, and priestly power that demands blind obedience. Then it added economic power (use of moneys, material rewards and heavenly rewards). Then it added naked power or use of force. That was the time when it had converted kings or princes to its beliefs and these kings used their kingdoms to propagate Christianity.
This started with Charlemagne of France. Early on, Charlemagne saw that he could rule more effectively with Christianity around. Later on Christianity saw that it could assert its power even over kings. It had subjugated several kings with the use of excommunication, denial of heaven to the king upon his death. That denial is proclaimed by the pope or his bishops.
Excommunication can be used on ordinary people for disbelief or disobedience. The Council of Trent in i445 made a list of books that people should not read Anybody who read any of them is excommunicated. For his discovery and writing that the earth revolves around the sun Galileo was excommunicated and sentenced to life imprisonment through the inquisition.
Any king or prince who did not launch a crusade to retrieve the holy land from the Muslims was excommunicated. One prince did not mind excommunication. He married a Muslim princess.
The extreme of faith and blind obedience is mysticism. That is, the object of belief is asserted as existing. Or it could be the reverse. A material thing is reduced to mind.
Power can be used for good or for bad.
The Spaniards colonized the Philippines with soldiers and priests. They did the same to colonize Latin America. The Portuguese did the same to Moluccas.
"Do not do onto others what you do not want others to do onto you."
This is the piece of advice by Confucius. (Peter Drucker, a management author, said it can be more forceful if turned into: "Do onto others what you want others to do onto you.")
It is hard to find disagreement with Confucius on this exhortation. However, being human-based, this exhortation can lead to disagreeable twists. A culture may find one practice agreeable that another culture may find disagreeable.
Take the gunpowder. It had been discovered by the Chinese long time ago. They used it to highlight celebrations or to drive away misfortune. They used it to celebrate good harvests. They used it to drive away bad luck.
Westerners used it in bullets and canons to kill people. The gunpowder made the catapult obsolete in attacking castles.
The use of the gunpowder by Westerners is disagreeable.
The world might be better off if some peoples believed in their own god or judgement so long as they did not do harm on other peoples.
The rust that erodes any religion be it legend-based or human-based is systems building. A scripture or bible or set of beliefs and judgment is erected and made immutable. Then people are forced to believe in them. One unintended consequence is division.