religion and morality

Has religion hijacked morality?

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religion and moralityPreachers of religion who have harbored ill will, discontent or hatred must not be allowed to poison the minds of the children with all sorts of teachings. The successive new generations of mankind will ultimately create a new world order, where reason and logic will be the sole guide, and also the sole savior!

Nazarul Islam

Close to the Vatican, a fellow-tourist in Rome had shared his thoughts: “Religion my friend has simply evolved out of fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”

I couldn’t stop smiling. I replied him with a question: Is man merely a mistake of God? Or God is merely a human error?

Interpretations apart, Religion indeed is an excellent tranquilizer, universally used to keep the common people quiet. Because, this really is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich! Its practice has given people hope, in a world torn apart by religion itself.

In my quest, I am still looking for answers. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought – The Universe is much bigger than what God’s messengers of religion had said— in truth, grander, more subtle, more elegant.” Instead we keep hearing: “No, no, no – My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”

A religion, old or new, that has stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe —hardly tapped by other, conventional faiths, we follow today.

Long ago, I had drawn my conclusion that all religions were essentially true. Perhaps all had some issues of interpretation in them, and while I had held by my own religion, I must also hold other religions as dear as other faiths. So we can say our prayers to worship our Creator.

Religion and Morality-00If we were followers of Hindu faith, or Christianity or Judaism or Islam—what we cannot aspire for is that a Christian should become a Hindu; but our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, and a Christian a better Christian.

I am also completely in favor of the separation of Religion and State.

… These two institutions have screwed us up enough on their own, so both of them together would be a crushing burden on our lives.

I believe in God, but not as one Spirit, who does not resemble an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is a spirit that is present in all of us. I also believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest had said was just right. It’s just that the translations and interpretations could have gone wrong, over the ages.

Our pillars of faith stand on authority, not vice versa. Total reliance on the authority has measured the decline of religion, and the withdrawal of the soul. The lofty image that men have created for Jesus Christ—that has continued for many centuries is really the personification of authority.

Religion and Morality-0Preachers of religion who have harbored ill will, discontent or hatred must not be allowed to poison the minds of the children with all sorts of teachings. The successive new generations of mankind will ultimately create a new world order, where reason and logic will be the sole guide, and also the sole savior!

Criticizing the foundations of religion practiced around the planet, Karl Marx had defended his beliefs by teaching: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again.

However, man is no abstract being which squats outside the world. Man is the world of man—the state and the society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world…

One of the greatest tragedies in mankind’s entire history may have been that morality was hijacked by religion. Every day we hear that people are straying away from the church, and going back to God. The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, is true perversion!

I must share a story of a public sinner, who was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church. He took his woes to God. ‘They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.’

‘What are you complaining about?’ said God. ‘They won’t let Me in either’.

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Nazarul IslamThe Bengal-born writer is a senior educationist settled in USA. He writes regularly for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.

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