- Religion and Philosophy»
- Exploring Religious Options
There are many religious sectors in society today ranging from Christianity to Jediism. The latter of these is one that perhaps is not taken so seriously but arguably is considered by some as an idea no more feasible than the former.
What is Religion then?
To some Religion is a home, somewhere they can turn to when all else in the world seems unfriendly and unaccepting. To others it is the centre of everything they believe. A strict guideline of how one should live life and the basis of all moral decisions. Religion is used as a tool for evil, good and everything in between. The crusades were launched in the name of Religion letting it be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Terrorist attacks and violence between many nations of the world can also be accredited to Religion. Whilst being the greatest source of hatred, it is also the greatest source of love. Religion has been used to create hospitals, missionaries, homes, orphanages and charities.
The question 'What is Religion' seems to have no answer as it is something that depends on the person to whom the question is addressed. An atheist might say Religion is the giant prank played on the world whereas a fundamentalist might say that Religion is everything that is good or necessary in the world. The interpretation of Religion is something that is much talked about but hardly understood.
Do YOU believe in God?
God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus - all deities who are supposedly omnipotent and omniscient that is to say all loving and all knowing. Both those descriptions can be argued against for any of those Gods but nonetheless God is a being who is unfathomable to the human mind. Belief in God can range from belief in Religion or a practise to belief in God and Religion and everything that it encompasses. Many people believe in God yet not in Religion. They argue that Religion is flawed and is mans creation but that there is a God. Some believe in Religion but no God. Atheism is a Religion in itself, but one which aims to unite those who do not believe in God. My personal opinion is that yes, Religion IS flawed, it DOES produce evil and CAN go very wrong BUT only because mankind IS flawed, produces evil and goes very wrong. It is important not to make God and Religion one thing. They are separate. Religion is mans way of worshipping God, but as man has capacity for evil, so does Religion and as a result, all the terrible things that happen in the name of God are actually in the name of Religion, and at that, man's Religion. God is something quite separate.
There is much opposition to religion in the modern world. Authors such as Richard Dawkins have incredible success in writing anti-religious books showing that the support for Atheism is vast. However, these writers miss one crucial point in their onslaught to prove God does not exist. I will use Dawkins as my example, he states that he can prove with his various scientific theories that God does NOT exist. Well what he has got mixed up is that he can (debatably) prove that man's God does not exist. What i mean by this is that he can come up with arguments which disprove what man says about God, which conflicts the bible and the church and the way in which religious people say and religious theories. There is a difference here, He cannot disprove that God, separate to man's theories of God, exists. And i would ask, if such an entity as God does exist, in all his awesome power, how could we possibly expect to completely understand him? To rationalise something that is so irrational. The idea is ludicrous. There is no doubt, that Dawkins' book is a great book, excellently argued and laid out, brilliantly expressed and so on, but i still cannot help feel a little bit sorry for a man who is so anti-religion that he tries to create a religion out of anti-religious people by preaching anti-religion. This is all very contradictory.
That is one argument i have against anti-religious and active atheist people. I shall now give one that i have against religion. People get the true meaning of Religion and of God so very wrong. And it is sad to see Religion used as the excuse for so many monstrosities. I went to an Alpha group meeting a couple of times just to experience what sort of thing went on there. I had heard some fairly weird stories, mostly bad, about Alpha but i was surprised to see that actually it was just a very nice community of people gathered together. Food was given out freely, a very interesting talk was given and then a group discussion, all very interesting. Sure, I did not enjoy the songs that were sung, but that is just my personal taste but apart from that i thought it was a very good thing (and not once did anyone ask me for money!). However, my group leader said something which made me think to myself, this young man, who tries to be a religious inspiration to others and a good person has got the true meaning of Religion, or in this case Christianity so very wrong. He said that only those who believe and who actively believe in Jesus Christ may go to heaven, I found others agreeing with him, and this belief seemed something that was not questionable to anyone in their eyes. There are the obvious questions such as what happens to the morally correct and loving tribe of Africans who have never heard of Jesus Christ - is it not a little unfair that they should never go to heaven? But then i thought, the idea of God only letting those who believe in Jesus Christ into heaven is the same as only allowing the 'cool kids' at school to get an ice cream purely because they are cool. It is almost an act of bullying. It is religious naivety. An all loving God would never allow such a thing. If God is just and fair and the supreme being then surely he would allow those who are WORTHY into heaven and those who are NOT, not. Not just the cool kids who believe in Jesus Christ. This shows how wrong people interpret Religion. They distort it to their own advantage they make up rules that benefit them and condemn others. The message of true Religion is so confused amongst the false messages that it is no wonder Atheism has grown so rapidly.
So what is the message of 'true' Religion?
The message of true religion is simple and the same for all religions. Whatever you decide to be, whether it Atheist, Agnostic of Religious, it simply does not matter. What matters is that you live your life in a morally correct way. All religions (even Jediism) teach that 'good' is what we should aim for. To help others, care for others, do charity, be good people, and to LOVE. That is the message of Religion, the true message. Not that you must eat fish on a a Friday. Do you really think God will be overly concerned with your fish consumption of Fridays, I think he will be more interested in the good deeds you do.
That is my interpretation of Religion.
Can only people who have accepted Jesus Christ go to heaven?
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