One True Religion: A Flawed Concept

1034 words - 4 pages

For me it would be easy to create an angry indictment of organized religion. Evidence of religious strife and abuse exist in almost every society throughout history. Modern examples include the pedophile priest scandal, the endless line of Islamists ready to blow themselves up in the market place, the machete wielding Nigerian who hacks up his neighbors, the junta beating monks in Myanmar, the countries which have or want nuclear weapons and are ready to use them against religions enemies. The list goes on and on. However, the point of this discussion is to get you to think about the nature of religion and our willingness to accept it as a major influence in our lives.

In case you believe your brand of religion is the only one anyone in their right mind should embrace please consider the fact that millions of people around the world subscribe to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, Judaism, Bahia, Candomble, Jainism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Paganism, Rastafarian, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Unitarianism and Zoroastrianism. Most of these folks are sure they have chosen the one true path. I personally prefer Unitarianism if I'm going to indulge but that is because they welcome all including the agnostic. When it come to matters of religion I'm big on the "faith is just another word for hope" school of thought. Faith by definition is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Put another way, just because you want to believe it doesn't make it true. So much religious rhetoric puts the needle on the crazy meter into the red zone it's often hard to believe in belief. Many people chose to ignore the rational or logical and instead accept the notion that ancient authors of various religious ideologies should have their every spoken and written word taken literally. Apparently they are afraid too much thinking and questioning will offend God. It's just hard to believe a wise and all powerful God would have given us frontal lobes and free will and expected us not to use them.

But hey, that's just me. Let me make it clear that what any person chooses to believe in the privacy of his own religion is fine by me so long as he feels no need to covert or kill nonbelievers. Most religions work hard to expand their customer base but seem more interested in power than public service. Religions have a lot of control issues. Over the years the high priest, mullahs, prophets, and other generally self appointed "holy" persons have mesmerized, scared, bribed and manipulated the people for their own personal, political or occasionally humanitarian agendas. Still, although I may not sound like a big fan of organized religion I recognize it has been used it for both good as well as harm throughout history. Sadly the harm seems to grossly outweigh the good. Philosophically it is somewhat confusing because many followers seem to believe it requires not only brotherhood, kindness and caring but also crusades, inquisitions, revenge fatwas,...

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