- Religion and Philosophy
The Focus on Religion
The Focus on Religion
By Tony DeLorger © 2010
How many people have died in the name of religion? How easily can human beings justify crime in the name of a higher power? Spirituality and indeed religious belief is a good thing, surely. It is interesting that we can use it as a justification to do just about anything. Equality must have a place in religion, even for those apart from your own religion. Anyone’s view must at least be respected. The arrogance in thinking that one belief is right and another wrong simply shows ignorance. We are discussing faith here, not a concrete scientific fact. How can anyone be stupid enough to believe that their concept of God is more right than anybody else’s concept? Then, as if arrogance wasn’t enough, to persecute and indeed kill someone just because they didn’t agree with your view is utter lunacy. So why does this happen?
I’m no atheist but then again I don’t adhere to any dogma, to do with religion or anything else. My personal belief is that spirituality is of importance and I adhere to a philosophy of respect and compassion to the plight and experience of others. What I do not believe in is any form of religious or racial hatred. If we let difference divide us, then there will never be any form of harmony, because as human beings we are all different. That difference should be the spice in our lives, the means by which we learn and accept all views and ideas as having a part of our earthly experience. Instead, look at what we have done with it. Look what conflict has evolved from this difference and contention, and continues to do so.
Religion should never divide- ‘us against them’. Religion is surely a belief in compassion and accepting all God’s creatures. The holy books state it in black-and-white, then why don’t people adhere to it? It is a fundamental ideology of all religions, and throughout history it has been the very reason for war- simply being different.
So why do people cling to ideologies and then act in such uncharacteristic ways to uphold their connection to them? The answer is security. Human beings need to feel like they belong, they have importance and worth. These are basic needs and for our own peace of mind we need to establish connection to the world in a meaningful way. This need for many people, is so overpowering that they will succumb to any form of indoctrination that in the end will have them agreeing to do just about anything in the name of their belief. ‘Suicide bombers’ are a perfect example. Their indoctrination into their religious belief is so complete that they honestly believe that killing innocent people and themselves is positive, their actions in the name of God. This slow dismantling of the self is the tool that dictators use to establish and preserve power. ‘Being a part of the group’ is also the device that is used to disseminate hatred and aggression toward other groups of different belief. The catchphrase used here is ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us.’
This phenomenon, in regard to religion, is today the greatest threat to world freedom. Just look at all the major conflicts in the world and you cannot do anything but agree that most are based on religion, in one way or another. Again, our primeval urges are at the forefront of our actions. This is not to say that religion is wrong, but to believe in anything so totally that you cast aside all common sense and especially the respect for other human beings can’t be right. Further, to use that belief as a justification to commit crimes against humanity is not only against the fundamental beliefs of religion but also against the laws that govern us in our varied societies. Racial hatred and genocide can never be promoted by a religion of any worth. Such a religion would be about the will of men, not of God.
But man can use religion like any other philosophy, to gain some earthly advantage, whether it is power, greed or whatever. Much of the present conflicts are driven by such men, entrenched in their own beliefs and willing to do anything to destroy men of other beliefs.
Surely the differences we can share and learn from, must elevate our consciousness, not be a threat in any way. Having met many people of different religions, they all want what I want out of life ie. ‘to live in peace and harmony’. If this is what most people want, why does the world exist as it does, in virtual war? The answer is fear.
We develop attitudes toward peoples, toward wars, toward circumstances, all based on what we know about them. And how do we know about them? We can only know what we have been told or shown, by the media. They are the propagators of ‘the truth’, if that is what it is. But do those who control the media, have the ultimate of all powers? Yes they do, and they exercise that power every day. Inadvertantly, the media runs the world. They are not world leaders or religious leaders, they are the wealthy, the ‘nouveau riche’, and the people who can make or break political ascension. So, are these media moguls unbiased or without political agenda? I think not. With power comes a responsibility, and since governments oversee the activities of these powerful magnates, they themselves are indebted to them in many ways for their own power and maintaining it.
So governments make laws to control the media and the media make the politicians. It is not all that easy to see where the loyalties lie, but there are loyalties and that influence can govern what we see as average citizens of our modern societies. With this going on, whom do we believe? Again, whom do we trust? We must trust in our own hearts and not ‘jump to conclusions’, as the powers that be may want it. We, as citizens of the world must take responsibility for what is happening and refuse to take on the negative dialogue that is so often fed to us.
Do you honestly believe that all the Muslims in the world want all Christians dead? Of course they don’t. I have met many Muslims and have found them to be a respectful and peace-loving people. Again, most Christians want peace, so do the Buddhists and every other religion. How could anyone want conflict and death, when peace and mutual respect is so easily attained? We simply need to voice our opinion, to not accept the negative dialogue of the fundamentalist and lunatics that continuously escalate the lies between us. When we start looking at one another without the affects of fear and propaganda in our minds, we will see things differently. We will then see the lies are fed to us based on agendas, not truth. That is a hard pill to swallow, and it is a sad indication of what our race has become. However if we do not address this problem, it is only a matter of time before we do not have a life at all. Religion should be a way of honouring our creation, not a way of trying to segregate or destroy it.
It is a chosen few that sway the masses into false belief. The fundamentalists in religion look on the Holy Scriptures and interpret the writings written thousands of years ago, giving meanings that hardly apply to life today. If we adhered to such archaic ideas, we would simply be throwing away thousands of years of growth and social advancement. But this is what these fundamentalists want- to hold on to the past and to hold the reigns of power. This is rarely about religious teachings and more often about the will of men, intent on propagating the struggle to preserve life for their own advantage.
Again, we must see past the words of leaders, see the unwritten dialogue and the content of truth. The basis of all religions is the same and includes ideas such as compassion, understanding, respect, brotherhood, and above all love. Any religious leader that promotes anything other than these types of ideas does not represent his religion. Religion is not politics; it is not a commercial enterprise and can never be the promoter of war. So with this in mind, how can you as a citizen of the world, respond to any religious leader that promotes anything other than what religion should be about.
It is we the masses that have the power. If we follow the propagators of lies and destruction, then what other world should we expect to live in, than one at war with itself?