Isn’t it just appalling how the media is surfeit with heinous acts of terror and other injustices which have undeniable religious overtones?
Examples include the ISIS/Boko Haram agenda which is often said to find its justification in Islam scriptures, the recent gun attack on Planned Parenthood by a man who clearly has some Christian affiliation and the Happy To Bleed Movement of Indian women who are expressing their grievances about how Hinduist beliefs have somewhat been inteprated against feminism- or at least against a fair understanding of menstruation as perfectly natural and devoid of any spiritual or physical uncleanliness.
In trying to tune the tone between political correctness and fair assessment, these roots of injustices (presumably laced and propped by religious undertones) often go unaddressed for fear of stepping onto people’s toes.
The fact is that it is religious ideas, be it an understanding or misunderstanding of them, that often times incubate some terroristic or injustice acts that are getting more frequent and more commonplace in societies all across the world. In our misconception of political correctness and religious tolerance, our approach barely addresses anything and could be the reason why terrorism and injustice fester.
In aggregate, this is the equivalence of spraying insecticide to unblock the light at night. This may suffice as an immediate solution but if the hive is not identified and dealt with, more insects will block your light from time to time.
I would like to suggest that religious views be placed under a microscope and religious discussions be encouraged to thwart off any misunderstanding or inherent errors in judgment in the religions of the world.
Here’s is my opinion about what good religion comprises:
1. Moral Relevance.
There are some moral imperatives that generally everyone around the world can agree upon. Every human yearns for love, hope, tolerance, justice, respect of property, respect of life etc.
Even the worst of us are receptive to these aspects and that explains so much about human behavior, the nature of happiness and wellbeing among other things. It is when these moral imperatives are fulfilled that a person feels the happiest. This confirms a common denominator in the human psychology.
Partly because of this, a good religion should advocate for these imperatives.
Any beliefs that thwarts any of these aspects should be labeled as a social disorder hence criticised and criminalized.
2. Logical Consistency
A religion inherently assumes, by definition, privilege to decide upon its own doctrine or set of beliefs and partly because of this, ancient scriptures are held as infallible and sacred. However, it is getting more apparent how some unjust beliefs are smuggled into society through this window.
In light of this, religious leaders should be able to justify the logical basis of religious doctrine -a set of beliefs- and explain why a certain belief system is the best plan to lead society in liberty and progress. Religious people should also demand clarification on some curious issues and should feel free to challenge some religious ideas where necessary.
Moreover, it is no secret how religions of the world are superficially similar at best, but fundamentally different, and thus to suggest that abusive or unjust ideas may persist in some of the contradictions is quite reasonable and a cause for concern.
3. Freedom, Liberty and Tolerance
Some religions have been strongly intrinsic to some societies around the world and this has made religion somewhat sacred, in a similar sense to Race or Gender. This has culminated in what I call Zombie Perception about a belief system by which the intellect of an individual is totally detached from his belief system. This inherently thwarts freedom of religion and leads to intolerance in society since there will be no emphasis on how religious beliefs simply started off as guidelines that solidified into fast rules with time.
Furthermore, a good religion has to acknowledge the free will of someone to opt out, opt in or chose a different religion based on intellectual appeal, informed consideration etc. After all, a religion is defined partly as an attempt to find answers to existential questions ( about Purpose, possible existence of God, Joy, Suffering etc).
We happen to have so many possible truths in the market place of ideas and in acknowledging this, there should be respect and advocacy of religious descretion. Constructive criticism on religious enquiries should be welcomed in good religion so that people can make informed choices.
It is amazing how far we have come as humans; the civilization and the potential of even more. It’d break my heart to see all this being thwarted, ironically, by something which hinges much of its weight on claims of unity and wellbeing of people and of bridging the emotional to the intellectual.
Any belief system that leads to confusion, murder, injustice, hatred etc. is simply a social disorder. I challenge you to evaluate what you believe. If you’re a Truth Seeker, you’ll understand the necessity for this but if you’re just zombie following a belief system blindly then there is a possibility that you’re incubating the eggs of contention in the world- the eggs that gave the terrorist mindset.
P.S: Thanks so much Mary for helping me proofread and brush off some kinks from this. Bless you!