Religion Makes Us Kind and Good!?

I read a comment that says Religion Makes Us Kind and Good.

I have no doubt that religion was created to make us kind and good.

But unfortunately for centuries (and that is a lot of trial time!)

1. Religion has been open to misuse and misinterpretation, and has always been open to modifications by local social customs. Most of the time the followers can’t make out religion from custom.

So widows are still looked down upon, girls are still not individuals, they are a family’s ‘honor‘, innocent babies born to unwed mothers are still left to grow up in orphanages, homosexuality is still considered a sin and some of us (including women) are always born lower than the others.

2. And all religions are biased against women. Most religions don’t even talk about gender equality!
Laws not religion support women and for that, in India, we better thank our founding fathers!!

3. All religions were suited for the time they were created. Maybe.
Or were they created with the sole aim to gain power? Whatever …
Today most religions have definitely outlived their use.
Today we see ignorance and superstitious dogma being passed off as ‘tradition‘ and religion all the time.

I wish I could believe that religion makes us Kind and Good!

I think it’s not religion but our Constitution that has changed the lives of Indian citizens and even more powerfully, of Indian women.

Law helped Raja Ram Mohan Roy ban Widow Burning. (Sati).
It gave us Equal status.
Gave women (and other unequal citizens) the Right to vote.
Made giving and taking of dowry an offense.
Gave us the Domestic Violence Act,
– This made marital rape a crime
– And this also protects live in partners from violence and abuse.
Made sex-selective abortions a crime.
Made Polygamy an offense.
Gave women equal right to their children (not sure if it is still totally unbiased).
Gave equal property rights to women. (lots more needed here)
Sexual harassment was made a crime.
It allowed the children born to unwed mothers to get maintenance and a share in their father’s property.

Basically undid a lot of damage done by religion, culture and tradition.

What makes an offender think twice, fear of God or fear of jail?

Advertisements

66 thoughts on “Religion Makes Us Kind and Good!?

  1. I am first here !!! yay yay !!!

    We need one religion only, Indianism… nothing else…

    now lemme read this post and comment again !

    Like

  2. I agree with the point, these religions were formed centuries ago and like everythign they must evolve… they were good then… cant follow the same things now can we ???

    Like in us jains… we must eat before sunset, practically not possible now.. at 7 i leave office how do i do it ???

    I think religions are totally useless. They have been used as means to divide us all the times…

    Its time we gave up religions and took up nationalism.

    Like

  3. Many believe religion is just belief.

    Religion was supposed to be a disciplinarian. It was supposed to teach you how to live. As you said, it has been overly misinterpreted.

    For me, religion is a way of life. The way I live is my religion. And it is a beautiful mixture of so many religions. And the way I live now is based on the way I was brought up.

    Although, I was born in a particular religion, I was given the freedom to learn others and take the best from them.

    So, what really empowers people is education which leads to equal laws.

    Did religion make me kind? May be, I don’t know
    Do I fear God? No Sir

    Like

  4. Lovely post! Never thought about religion in these terms. I still think religion gives me structure but its very true that laws have made life easier for me. By the way do u have any idea if kids can take their moms surname? There was some talk about it sometime back but I dont know if its possible.

    Like

  5. @Homecooked I know one family where the kids have taken their mother’s surname and another where one child took his Hindu mother’s surname and another his Christian dad’s surname πŸ™‚
    With our kids we have chosen names according to what is more convenient πŸ™‚
    Never heard of anyone facing any problems in this…so I think it is perfectly fine if they do.

    Like

  6. Fantastic Post, IHM! It is so true.. Call it misinterpretation of religion or misuse of religion, but more often than not, religion has been used as a reason to oppress and suppress.. Anything goes in the name of religion. And you are right when you say that this is true about every religion. Women, especially, has been at the receiving end. While, I agree, that religion is meant to be a way of life – but it is hardly that anymore – its all about rituals, rites and discrimination more often than not.. I think we learn to be kind and good – more from the way our parents bring us up.

    Like

  7. Religion? What religion?

    The one that says women are “dirty” and should not be touched when they have their periods?

    Or the one in which girls have to start fasting when they are 5 in the hope of having a good husband?

    Or the one that says its wrong to drink water from the home of someone following a different religion? (My grandma used to enforce this…wouldn’t even let us step in the muslim section of the village)

    Or the one…oh never mind…no I don’t need any such thing. I am happy as I am with the guidance my head gives me.

    Awesome post IHM. Am loving your blog πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. @Hitchwriter I always say the kind of people who need religion to behave themselves are the ones who care for no God or religion, they are the ones who use religion to exploit and abuse!

    @Shilpa I agree. The biggest and saddest part is a refusal to let religion change with time and the misinterpretations. Not to mention the inequality !
    Now what we follow is our heart, we all know when we are being cruel, selfish or unfair – if we are going to listen to religion chances are we’ll also listen to that inner voice.

    Like

  9. @Smitha Maybe most religions were suited for the time they were created, but unfortunately anybody can interpret them anyway and there are plenty who are doing it .. how can ‘might is right’ be a way to reach salvation?!

    @Aneri_masi Women and weaker sections have been exploited very openly, imagine punishing a woman for her husband’s death? Shaving of head, not letting her attend religious functions, and dress well and even eat well All in the name of God!

    Like

  10. did you ever watch Patwardhan’s “Father, Son and Holy War”…I think it articulates (far more eloquently) some of my arguments (courtesy the email exchange which I should have had included as comments!)..its the patriarchal stream in organized religion to blame.

    Yes, the ‘state’ does intervene (and capably) at times…its a paradox..one blames teh state for our problems and we still look for it as ‘the solution’…with all my problems with the Pakistani military there have been times (gen ayub and his family laws..musharraf and his half-hearted ‘enlightened moderation’) when they looked out for women…even zia with all his problems did bring in some semblance of women reservations et al..but there are instances when ‘man the state’ rears its head, so I doubt whether one should think of it as ‘the be all end all’ in its current form.

    P.S: when it comes to taking the father’s name, isnt it a ‘colonial legacy’…when it comes to our part of the world there have been ‘pockets’ where the children took their mother’s family name, and though I dont want to think of religious traditions as the only ‘answer’ but one should bear in mind that when it comes to Muslim traditions one is called on the Day of Judgement by our mother’s name (as in son/daughter of XY) …and ditto how Krishna is refered to.

    and IHM I Did Comment (jo waada kiya nibhana pareyga)

    Like

  11. Fear of the danda is greater than fear of god! And that is the only thing that works.

    The trouble is, religions have taken to dictating the daily lives of their followers. And that becomes the problem. When they talk about the “right” way for widows to behave, or how women should “appropriately cover themselves”, or how contraception is a sin – that’s the root cause of all problems facing us today. From here, it’s a small step to believing that “non-believers are evil”.

    Quirky Indian

    Like

  12. “Religion Makes Us Kind and Good” is a naive statement, in the same intellectual calibre as a five year old child would narrate a fairy tale with a happy ending.

    Religion IS the opium of the masses; and it has been used for ever to rule, misguide, confuse, divide and subjugate the masses.

    An interesting explanation of how religions function/ survive, by Vir Sanghvi here: http://www.livemint.com/2009/01/01214536/Does-life-after-death-exist.html

    As they say about god – is it god that created man, or is it the other way around? Well, religions survive only by ensuring such questions are ignored or, ideally, suppressed.

    Like

  13. Fabulous post IHM.Who teaches us the religion? Our parents,g-parents,our surroundings etc.i am not blaming parents, they have learnt from there parents,surroundings etc.I think it is we who should change and stop misusing the religion.

    Like

  14. Exactly IHM, I mean when you tell this to people, they think you’re questioning their faith. But they fail to understand that one can still have FAITH without being religious.

    As you said, the confuse customs and culture with religion and similarly faith with religion.

    And this is not something that even highly educated people are sensitive about. I know friends who for a fact still think that a woman is supposed to stay at home, because God made it that way. And they quote religion as their source of this information. I don’t find it sick, I find it sorry.

    Like

    • I agree that people tend to mix up religion and faith. I think faith is far more important than religion. It is what tells you that you should treat fellow humans with respect and dignity regardless of which religion you belong to.

      I don’t practice rituals associated with my religion, caste and gender. And people in my circle probably think of me as Godless and put pressure on me to conform. I oppose of course. But battling all the time kind of makes me weary. I wish people would just let me be.

      Like

  15. Agreeeeeeeeing to u totally.
    I think spirituality makes u feel good and kind, believing in one god, and i feel religion and god are the two things that has been misused the maximum times and still its the same.

    Like

  16. @Gopinath’s *Artickles*
    I agree religion has been misunderstood.
    I also agree that

    //We need to get rid of religious fanaticism and superstitious rituals associated with rituals. Our population of billions have been swayed by several dhongi babas who have misled the lay public in the name of religion.//
    I also ask myself, //Should we then blame religion for it or should we blame those who have misinterpreted it and have misused it for their own benefits?//
    And obviously it’s those who misinterpret who should be blamed!

    //No religion teaches hatred, enmity or ill-will to its laity.//
    But even in our blogosphere we hear voices that claim every religion but our own is creating hatred!They propagate against secularism by using religion to create divides!
    //Even if we have another dozen new religions, a person who has learnt the right things from his/her religion will not hate members who follow other religions.//
    It’s good, no great to hear such wise words, I believe the same!
    //Practices like sati, offering animals as sacrifice, and several others have been correctly dealt with by law.//
    Yes it is really creditable! I am a fan of the brilliant minds who drafted our Constitution πŸ™‚

    //Yet in another setting we openly criticize our laws.//
    But Mr Gopinath isn’t that the beauty of our Democracy, nobody is unaccountable?

    //Though what we really are against is not laws but the administration of justice.//
    True! But some laws also need another look …

    //Do we want to have youngsters live in disbelief of our religion,//

    I only think they should be able to question and use their judgment. My own two kids are taught to follow their conscience …
    //our politics,//
    They must know that the politics of the country needs their awareness and involvement.

    //our laws//
    They have to know the laws!!

    //- our entire life? I believe that responsible citizens are already taking the good parts of religion and avoiding the age-old practices by themselves too.//
    Yes you are right, I do realise they are! What worries me are those who are learning to hate with religion as an excuse! The last year was so full of strife and violence … and you have to agree that all religions do suppress women? As a woman I feel cheated by my religion. Even today … I was for example not allowed to perform many ceremonies at my own father’s funeral? I have told my children they are to follow no such customs and both the son and the daughter are equally entitled to every right and responsibility. Knowing how they have been raised I know they will be fine … but this is in defiance of what our religion teaches us. Isn’t it?

    //My comment cited was one such effort to bring some kind of belief in “religion” in its purest forms.//
    I totally appreciate your point of view. We fear that if there is no religion the masses will be left with no moral guide lines? I know there are a few who do follow the true meaning of what all religions aim to teach, but I wonder if that is because they are basically decent people and would have remained good with or without religion?? just wondering not too sure …

    On a lighter note, I was on the phone with a friend in Delhi, when your comment reached the in box and I read it out to her she insisted I say that she supports your views. She feels that the masses benefit from religion, religious rituals and fasting – it disciplines them …and only a small number of fanatics turn violent.

    I do not totally agree with you or with her, but I won’t totally disagree either.

    Like

  17. Frankly speaking, every religion was born out of a need to instill some values, some discipline and lay down certain rules to do away with the evils of the society. But with the passage of time the actual purpose was lost and the clergy imposed their own set of rules and regulations on the followers. I should here talk of my religion (sikhism) first.
    The foundation of Sikhism was laid by Guru Nanak Dev to do away with certain practices followed by other religions like superstition, multi idol worship, and too much of ritualism. But today even the sikhs have started following too many rituals while doing their prayers or solemnising marriages or other religious ceremonies. Guru Gobind Singh gave only one second name to every sikh ie, Singh and laid the foudation of a classless society. But today the sikhs have thier own surnames, castes and classes. There are dalit sikhs, jat sikhs and khatri sikhs brahmin sikhs etc etc. Again the sikhs were ordained by the last and tenth guru Gobind Singh to follow only Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs) as the living guru which has some shlokas which go against growing long hair. But over a period of time the clergy came out with their own set of rules and imposed them on the followers of sikhism. My comment is getting too long. You can read the following posts in my blog

    “Faith or Superstition ?”

    “Amrit, the Elixir of Life” and

    “Safety Ropes– The Articles of Faith”

    and also a comment in my post “Hair Cut” where i have given the reference to above refered shlokas of Guru Granth Sahib.

    Like

  18. A “militant” atheist, I completely agree with you. I think that religion developed as a means for keeping order in ancient society (what with the taboos and the cleanliness rituals)and also as a means to explain the unexplained- you know the spirits to explain rain, water fire and so on. Unfortunately, since it does not follow a path of development, only of belief, not logic, it tends to get stagnant. And that is the way we find it now. Religion is just out-dated, frankly.
    Religion can be used for good just as for bad- it is a personal thing. The good use god to justify their goodness, the evil doers again use religion as a crutch.
    Feeling good or kind, somehow loses its value for me, if I do it in the fear of Divine retribution- as does the innate selfishness in looking at one’s loved ones being untouched by a tragedy- as a proof of the divine looking after you.
    Law, on the other hand is objective and evolving( despite some rather anachronistic things we have in place). Also it offers no discrimination( unless it is religious law, which is another can of worms).
    Kindness, goodness and morality are as much a part of animals as they are among us- indeed the evolution o these has been studied- and religion has little to d with a person being good.
    That apart, I do no think religion has a role to play- except probably in enforcing somethings( now if we could get religious leaders to make violence a sin, empower women, but on a human level it is more of bondage than anything.

    Like

  19. I agree with what you have written, but I do believe in Religion and God… if not overtly, a bit!

    I think that religion, scriptures, “who-said-what” has all been twisted way out of proportion to suit man’s selfish needs

    Like

  20. While we have our faith and follow “religion” of different types, there is one, ultimately , we forget to do the same for. The universal religion of Universal Humanism. Will there come a day when all these streams flow into this one?

    I do Imagine, as John Lennon sang!

    Like

  21. Can I just say ?true ,true and TRUE!!beautifully put,very concise and straightforward…n a coincidence…a post on religion is coming up on mine(in a couple of hours rght after I get bk home:)) :)..and I was zapped to see your post on what I was thinking too..”great minds think alike eh??”:D..lol!joking n all that….and its wonderful to see that u also have ‘BRILLIANT’ as a new option … the earlier options gave me no choice..nw I hv one..:)..kp writing..kp making us mortals think..:)

    Like

  22. @Aneela Z (huge grin) How nice to see this comment!! LOL The email exchange was also welcome!!
    Agree with everything you have said and thank you for (jo waada kiya nibhana pareyga)

    @Quirky Indian – Very well said as usual!!

    @Does it matter Nice to see you back πŸ™‚
    I agree with you … πŸ™‚

    The line is from a hymn we sang in our school, it goes “Father we thank thee for the night …. Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good …” I assumed many readers will be familiar with this, or similar lines …

    @Varunavi I guess we are learning to keep our eyes open and not allowing our faith/religion to be used against us!

    @Shail Like Indyeah says in her comment, great minds think alike πŸ™‚

    @Rakesh Absolutely agree with you !!! Sorry is what I feel too 😦

    @Devil Incarnate Yes and they are still being misused!

    @Sunder YES!! That’s the simplest answer, and sums it up!!

    @Pixie I believe in God too and that is why this bothers me more. Take a look at @lankrita’s comment above !

    @Usha Pisharody Human values are totally forgotten in all this 😦 If we just follow that little voice inside we will never go wrong …

    @Indyeah Yes changed the options on a reader’s demand πŸ™‚ And lol @ great minds think alike, am dying to read your post now!!

    Like

  23. @lankrita Yes. Yes. and Yes. And also
    Religion can be used for good just as for bad- it is a personal thing. The good use god to justify their goodness, the evil doers again use religion as a crutch. and, ‘Law, on the other hand is objective and evolving (despite some rather anachronistic things we have in place). Also it offers no discrimination’

    Like

  24. Even the law has loopholes . And we have quite a few laws which are archaic and are being misused . Gay Rights , that says it all . And why blame Religion for everything that is wrong with this World ? What about our own intelligence , the power to think and reason . I guess it was Buddha said so , to NOT take anything at its face value , even if it is coming out of a “holy or sacred” book . I remember opening the Manusmriti , and reading a few pages . I had chanced upon the part which dealt with the rights of woman . And that was enough for me to decide , that this book is never ending up on my shelf . As far as the Santana Dharma is concerned , it is not your conventional religion with a set of rules . Whatever evils the Hindu society has , I guess Hindus , more than Hinduism are responsible for it . And who taught us “Sarvadharma Sambhava” and “Vasudeva Kutumbam” ? The bottom line for me being that my power to think and reason will always be there between me and what my religion preaches .

    Like

  25. @Kislay Those who like you, have the power to think and reason need no religion, they will be fine anyway.
    Those who don’t have any capacity to think will not care for religion or God, but they will at least be at least be afraid of the law?

    Secondly (I am quoting @lankrita here)Religion can be used for good just as for bad- it is a personal thing. The good use god to justify their goodness, the evil doers again use religion as a crutch. Law, on the other hand is objective and evolving? (despite some rather anachronistic things we have in place). Also it offers no discrimination …

    Like

  26. I totally agree with the fact that all those religions have been extremely cruel to the women folk. Women still find it difficult in our country to co-exist with all those set of rules. Is there atleast one woman behind all the epics that we follow today? All created by men, and all dominated by men ! Religion/caste all that were made just to divide us !

    Btw, please do check this link if you’ve got time. The title in itself is remotely close to something that you had written in the post :

    http://vimalsparadise.blogspot.com/2008/10/i-just-hate-my-forefathers.html

    Like

  27. IHM, I believe that religion has been misunderstood. People confuse religious beliefs with religion itself. We need to get rid of religious fanaticism and superstitious rituals associated with rituals. Our population of billions have been swayed by several dhongi babas who have misled the lay public in the name of religion. Should we then blame religion for it or should we blame those who have misinterpreted it and have misused it for their own benefits? No religion teaches hatred, enmity or ill-will to its laity. Even if we have another dozen new religions, a person who has learnt the right things from his/her religion will not hate members who follow other religions. Practices like sati, offering animals as sacrifice, and several others have been correctly dealt with by law. Yet in another setting we openly criticize our laws. Though what we really are against is not laws but the administration of justice. Do we want to have youngsters live in disbelief of our religion, our politics, our laws – our entire life? I believe that responsible citizens are already taking the good parts of religion and avoiding the age-old practices by themselves too. My comment cited was one such effort to bring some kind of belief in “religion” in its purest forms.

    Like

  28. @ Sunder – “Religion makes us kind and good – if so most of us should be kind and good”
    I believe that most people are kind and good. and they are so because of the role of religion that plays in early childhood. I think many of us forget their child hood, because after we grow up we begin to think and we find the liberty to criticise everything and everyone including religion. Even if all the bloggers disagree, i still have faith that a vast majority of us are good because of our upbringing of good religious leaders. In the absence of which, we may have had several more crimes and sins than we have today. Our media keeps focussing on evil and crime and we dont realise how much good people and kind acts are going on just as i write this comment! Just an appeal “Have faith”

    Like

  29. “We need to get rid of religious fanaticism and superstitious rituals associated with rituals.” Ooops.. the last word in my first comment should have been ‘religion’. Sorry!

    Like

  30. IHM, religious rituals are a matter of individual beliefs. It is due to these beliefs that one gets offended. The basic message of love, respect for others and respect for self is lost in the process. It is great to know that you also agree and agree to disagree on some points. That is what bloggers need to do. I would like to conclude that the evil, hatred, oppression etc that we see is because one doesnt understand the very essence of religion and not because of it. It is inspite of it.

    Like

  31. Well, IHM religion is something debatable πŸ˜€ and I am happy as I have just finished writing the Feminism piece you tagged me for.

    Like

  32. I think whole confusion started when we started equating religion with rituals. and even worse God in terms of these two things.

    i just feel that faith is a very personal thing. by this i mean faith is a greater being and not the sham that passes of religion.

    what pisses me off is how easily so called middlemen like priests, mullas and pujaris twist the teachings to their liking.

    if religion has done anything, its only given more power to divisive forces and the ones who stay in power by keeping weaker section weak! we are waging wars for this religion (in the name of God, mind you!). and yet we dont realise the importance of going beyond it and living alawful life in every sense of the term.

    great post IHM!

    cheers!

    abha

    Like

  33. @Chirag I have read and already commented on your brilliant, absolutely amazing post πŸ™‚

    Chirag, this post is also about how Law comes to rescue where religion deserts or suppresses, and how perhaps we should revere our Democracy before our religion πŸ™‚

    Like

  34. I love today’s post, but I am not so sure religion was created to make us kind and good, IHM. I think it is possible it arose as a way of preserving the social status quo. Or perhaps it simply fulfills some deeply rooted need of human psychology. I can think of other reasons, too, that religion might have been created. But if it was created to make us kind and good, then it must be admitted it was created by our village idiots working in the dark from a set of flawed blueprints — for anyone else would have created a much more effective means of making us kind and good than religion. That’s just my opinion, though.

    Like

  35. But then IHM, why does religion still rule the constitution? WHy is no government above offending the religious high an mighty? Something lacks even in the constitution. Even the constitution needs a re-brush today.
    Agree on your stance on religions.

    Like

  36. @Abha Did you my read my response to the astrology post? Will love to see what you say.
    About this I strongly agree that ‘what pisses me off is how easily so called middlemen like priests, mullas and pujaris twist the teachings to their liking.

    @Paul Thank You! I have the same doubts! Quite possibly as a way of preserving the social status quo. and yes it had to be a from a set of flawed blueprints 😦

    @Nita Thanks You πŸ™‚ Yeah, it does seem we fear ‘danda’ more than hell’s fires or being reborn as cats and dogs :

    @mampi Religion should have nothing to do with Governance. I am with you on that.
    The good thing the Constitution does evolve and can be adapted according to these times.

    Like

  37. @ Mr Balvinder Singh – Thanks for such an insightful, informative comment!
    Guru Gobind Singh gave only one second name to every sikh ie, Singh and laid the foudation of a classless society. But today the sikhs have their own surnames, castes and classes. There are dalit sikhs, jat sikhs and khatri sikhs brahmin sikhs etc etc

    How we are capable of refusing to accept something good in favour of our social norms !! I am definitely coming to read your posts, thank you!

    Like

  38. @Tailblazer What I am saying is that religion is open to misinterpretation – not that religion is good or bad. If religion was not open to misinterpretation it would not be exploited like this!

    Like

  39. Religion brought solace to suffering humans.[This suffering may be physical or in the mind].Many a time it was also an expression of protest against suffering.[This was much before concepts of equality and democracy became fashionable]. If our society becomes more and more democratic and injustice, inequality and suffering become a thing of past, religion’s role in public sphere may reduce very much.

    Like

  40. @vimmuuu I totally agree with the fact that all those religions have been extremely cruel to the women folk.
    Da Vinci Code is a book I loved, it talks about all this …amazing, bold book!
    Women still find it difficult in our country to co-exist with all those set of rules.
    Such comments and posts make me think times are definitely changing for the better!Thank You, acknowledging is always the first step!

    Is there atleast one woman behind all the epics that we follow today?
    The epics might have been written so differently if they were written by women … I am sure Mahabharat would have not have been about glorifying war but about the lives lost, and the children orphaned .. I blogged about Panchali’s Mahabharat – (by Chitra Banerji Divakaruni) – have you read this book?
    All created by men, and all dominated by men !
    I read somewhere about the biggest invention for women is the contraception – in that era women had poor health and no free time, because they had so many children.
    Religion/caste all that were made just to divide us !
    Vimmuuu The original purpose one cannot be sure of … take a look at Mr Balvinder Singh’s comment above, and Paul’s … you might agree with them.
    Btw, please do check this link if you’ve got time. The title in itself is remotely close to something that you had written in the post :

    Vimal’s take on Religion

    Checked, found it brilliant (and polite & bold) and left a comment when I read it the first time πŸ™‚ Yes it says the same thing!!

    Like

  41. @Charakan Religion might have been intended only to bring solace, but it does get misunderstood, and it is rigid…

    //If our society becomes more and more democratic and injustice, inequality and suffering become a thing of past, religion’s role in public sphere may reduce very much.// I totally agree and that is why I think religion should have no part to play in politics and governance. Parties that make religion an election issue take us back in time … instead of ahead.

    Like

  42. Dear,now I am bored of this religion drama..Did you read that talaq in drunken state is declared valid by some morons..uh..Drinking alchohol itself is forbidden and these guys say that it is ‘islamically’ valid to divorce when drunk…I don’t know whether to laugh or to spit at them..

    Religion is mostly all about controlling,especially women.

    Like

  43. I think religion was created to differentiate between humans and animals. However, in the present scenario, its just doing the opposite.

    Like

  44. We cannot totally ignore the influence of religion on our moral code. It was religion that established the code and in general urged people to be “good” even if we today don’t agree with the definition of “good”. However, I agree that religion has outgrown its purpose in today’s society.

    The thing is, we as humans are constantly evolving, and hopefully correcting our mistakes as we go along. Religion and its codes unfortunately are stuck in the past and there are people who refuse to allow them to change and progress with the rest of us.

    Like

  45. Religion was “created” to give us answers to questions that we can now resolve with scientific method. Why does it rain? Why do we die?

    It was also a way for people to deal with the mystery of death. Death scares people, always has. Religion takes away that fear (for some) by offering an existence afterwards.

    Religion was also a way of controlling groups of people and concentrating power and wealth to a select few. It works great for that — look how rich the Catholic church is.

    I am an American. I’ve grown up here exposed to fundamentalist Christians of the worst stripe. They’re trying to hijack our government for their god, forgetting that America is more than just Christians. it’s left me disliking religions intensely and I have become a strict rationalist atheist in defense.

    There was a time and place for religion, but I think that time is past. Religions, however, are ancient and powerful memes and will take a long time to change and even longer to die out. Spiritual practices such as meditation are more in keeping with a modern human’s life.

    Blind dogmatism holds back the human race and does much more harm than good. More people have died in the name of “god” (take your pick which one) than for any other single cause in history.

    One can be an ethical person without a higher power to direct them. Secular groups can do as much, if not more, to feed and clothe the poor, cure disease and minister to the ills of mankind.

    I personally don’t care if a person is religious, but if their religion affects their functioning in a modern society, or leads them to discriminate against others because they are “other” and “outside,” then their religion has outlived its usefulness.

    I had my own time in churches when I was young. I was raised secular, and wanted to find out what all the religious fuss was about when I was about 8 years old. I learned quickly that there was a lot of inconsistencies in the teachings of the three or four churches I attended that year and upon reflection of such things as, “why does the preacher think rock n roll is evil when it makes my mom happy while she’s cleaning the house?” and “why would a loving god need to throw you into eternal fire if you don’t do what he says?” I got over it in a hurry.

    I only embraced and accepted the fact I am an atheist about two years ago. The word has such a stigma in our culture, and probably in others. But I’m proud to be an atheist and proud to have thrown off the mental shackles of thousands of years of superstitious history.

    Some people ask if life isn’t dull and boring and what’s there worth living for if I don’t have a belief in an afterlife or a god, and I say that it makes life all the more precious and the universe all the more wonderful for the fact that it came about on its own, through natural processes, and will go on without my presence after I die.

    Kerie you have expressed it so well, I am overwhelmed. I feel the same way. Nothing to add, just hats off to this wonderful comment – it’s an eye opener – I hope it is read and understood by a larger number of people… Thank You, IHM

    Like

  46. I also have to disagree with the poster above me: religion doesn’t make us moral, our biology does. I have to go pick up my kid or I’d type a lecture on reciprocal altruism and its contribution to evolution and genetic advancement.

    Like

  47. You’re welcome, Ms. IHM. πŸ™‚ I’ve spent the past two years arguing theology and Christian Biblical superstition with hardcore fundies on the internet, so I’ve really got my spiel down. LOL

    Like

  48. Oh, and BTW, you might find this extremely interesting and/or amusing: http://godisimaginary.com/

    It’s aimed at American Christian fundamentalists but it can be applied to any religion. I’ve made great use of it on forums, pointing it out to the more dogmatic and waiting for them to hysterically flame me after they’ve been to see.

    Oh, yeah, I have a bit of an evil streak when it comes to dogma. My bad. πŸ™‚

    Like

  49. Such a lovely piece of fiction organized religion is, with its “after life and the rewards we are supposed to get there”.

    In this world we kill, miam, oppress and fight in the name of religion.

    To alter the words of George Bernard Shaw “I believe in Jesus and his teachings, not in Christ and Christianity” I would say I believe in the concept of the divine entity, but refuse to believe in any kind of organized religion

    Like

  50. Pingback: Why are religions getting irrelevant today? « Carteblancheleeway's Weblog

  51. Pingback: How do women benefit from religion? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  52. Pingback: Narayana! Narayana! | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  53. Pingback: I don’t understand unquestioning faith. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  54. Pingback: “Nine out of ten families in my colony worshipped Asaram like he was Lord Vishnu’s avatar in Kalyug” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  55. Pingback: “If I was born somewhere else, sometime later, in a more liberal family, in a more equal world.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  56. Pingback: Every Hindu woman must produce at least 4 kids: Sakshi Maharaj | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s