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Friday, January 9, 2015

Religions and their role

We can deal dearly with all religions to ensure peace and social harmony, but how and why?
1.     I always believe that one can never defy or deny the importance of anything or anyone but must deal with it/ her/ him dearly based on the inherent merits/attributes and modify it/her/him as per the imminent requirement of the present situation.

2.     Tolerance of others’ views and ways of life, compassion and non violence must be made a compulsory part of any or all religious indoctrinations. While all religions preach love they do not actively ensure practicing and indoctrinating the important components of love namely care and compassion, attitude of adjustment, temperament of tolerance, worthy wisdom of a willingness to learn from any source and accept changes.

3.     Human race, especially those in political power, in educational activities, in corporate world, in media etc can help towards achieving this through stopping publicizing the craze for claiming head counts i.e. number of adherents/followers of any faith and also stop all tall claims or taking credit that a particular religion or religious dispensation created or contributed to many great truths to humanity, introduced a specific great human activity etc.

4.     As these sort of endeavors will indirectly stop too much of money spend on unproductive activities in the name of religious identity advertisements, stop political leaders from misusing religious denominations as vote bank, will make available lot of money, time and energy for many productive activities for human development.

5.     What at present every human being, every society, every nation contributes to the betterment of life of humanity and environment will take precedence over religious identity promotional activities.

6.     All employment and admissions to any institute or corporate house must do away with requirement of column for religion.

7.     People at personal level must stop financing or funding or sponsoring any activity that directly or indirectly promotes to increase only head counts in a   religion.

8. Religion can never be ignored because of the sheer ancientness or antiquity, enormous literature, vast cultural activities, various socially binding and highly revered traditions, myriads of sacred ceremonies and rituals, elaborate customs, banks of beliefs, fountains of faith and the halo of holiness and sanctity surrounding everything that is religious etc

9. Besides these, obviously there are millions of vested interest groups who draw their very identity, survival and sustenance out of religion and the beneficiaries of unquantified financial and commercial interests etc make religion a very strong force which can never be done away with.

10. Every religion has its own beauty, beliefs, benefits and banalities.

11. While all other domains of life or activities connected and involved with human life like science, technology, biology, philosophy, psychology, laws of physics, sociology etc have subjected themselves to scrutiny by or through reason, contextual relevance and compatibility with the evolution and growth of civilization which involved modifications, acceptance of change, accommodation of ideas and suggestions from new and hitherto unknown and unexplored sources etc and hence the negative impact of these domains are comparatively less and positive contributions , acceptance and utility are more.

12. Whereas in the case of religion some or most of these factors mentioned above, have not taken place. We are not going to sit on judgment as to whether it is correct or wrong for the following reasons:-

13. Religions have pre-dated most other domains of human activity or at least they included in their purview many aspects of human life, knowledge of cosmos, various theories of evolution etc much before other sciences evolved and are therefore time-tested tools of exploring and understanding life.
14. Religions, especially their doctrines and edicts, have had a very great influence, immense impacts, dominance, authority and control over human beings for a very long time and much before the advent of other subjects of human knowledge systems.

15. Naturally, therefore, religions were not merely a part and parcel of human life playing a limited role but they permeated into almost all aspects of life at once giving explanations to cosmos, evolution, laws of nature, types of social laws that a group must follow the duties of individual, moral obligations, ideas of social ethics, the customs, traditions, rituals to be followed, rewards to be given and punishments to be meted out, codes of conduct etc

16. So, all religions, in terms of their influence have almost became a second nature for human beings, no one can either ignore their role much less question their relevance. Even kings and dictators had to bow down to religious authority. There was no need for vindicating anything in religion, but, only veneration, unquestioned faith, total surrender etc and you can find these elements in all religions in some form or other.

17. I am neither a scientist nor a religious person nor a spiritually enlightened person nor a philosopher. So my entire observation is to make an unbiased journey into and through all these in general without any specifics to understand all these and learn as to why they [religions] are like what they are now.
So I have taken the only path known to me or at least I am comfortable with i.e. to plough through loads of existing material in all these domains.

18. Gradually as human beings, at least some of them, emboldened through intellectual reasoning and through knowledge of other domains which helped them decipher many aspects of life as good as religious doctrines or in many cases much better than religious edicts, slowly started questioning certain practices prescribed by religion, the relevance of some doctrines to understand life and cosmos etc.

19. Most of these initial conflicts and confrontations came through philosophical inquiry, spiritual enlightenment and then sciences etc. So religions, religious authorities, institutions etc tried their level best to initially destroy, then suppress but having failed they continue to view these domains with uneasy lurking suspicion and simmering discontent. That’s why we have the never ending debates on Science versus Religion, Philosophy versus Religion, and Spirituality versus Religion etc

20. I have always wondered why and how come religions wielded such a great influence for such a long time and continue to do so. For, even now it occupies a predominant position among people involved in or experts in various other domains of human life.

21. I felt that we cannot brush aside their influence and impact as a mere result of  blind beliefs, fettered faiths, enforced authority, traditional pressures etc

22. Religions must have had or do have something inherently valuable and/or important or it must be including aspects of life which are not tangible, visible, obvious, material etc or appealing to something beyond the realm of reason etc

23. When viewed from the above perspective, I have found that they have initially played lot of roles, many of which are better addressed to by other domains of knowledge to such an extent and with greater clarity and efficiency that the role of religion can be dispensed with totally in these domains. But still human mind and heart have a weakness for atavistic tendencies and derive pleasure in repetition.

24. However, because of the multiple roles initially played by religions.  They continue to be the unquestioned and unquestionable final judges in almost all domains.

25. Most importantly, basically what differentiated human beings from other species, is their conscious awareness and the ability to gain knowledge through this faculty [other than or even beyond the mere physical senses, sensations] and to store this knowledge in memory as a thought or idea and retrieve and reuse it.

26. The greatest advantage of this faculty is that human beings need not have to rethink and work hard to redo most things very often because the knowledge gained already and stored as thoughts is available as a readymade template to tackle most of the situations and therefore most actions become more of a mechanical routine or repetition. This process of operation includes even some very complicated activities.

27. It was this great advantage which allowed human beings to evolve from hunting tribes running around nakedly with spears and arrows to hunt down other creatures  to feed themselves and merely survive into lead life as civilized beings using the most advanced knowledge, sciences, technologies to deal not only with life on earth but also probe other planets.

28. I feel religion in its avid stride and acute curiosity to find explanations or pronounce its version of what a thing is? And why something is so etc took interest in this faculty, namely conscious awareness of human beings.

29. It grabbled with a find that remained unexplored, unexplained and unauthenticated by science and other domains of human knowledge streams and started exploring and explaining that human beings had something beyond body and mind and labeled it in many ways as soul, spirit, divine energy, universal energy etc and fed lot of literature [either imagined or perceived spiritually or mere conjectures and in some cases, very recently, experimentally attempted to be proven by certain scientific methods too] and along with it, perhaps, also enhanced the much needed greater dignity to human life and filled the void and much needed consolation to human mortality saying that this soul/spirit outlives the physical life and it is the manifestation of divinity in human being and all the concomitant literature and proof for after life or reincarnation etc.

30. It also provided an easy means to explain away situations, problems etc encountered by human beings which are beyond the realm of reason or sometimes devoid of any reason, in short  all things that are unknown, mysterious and remain unexplained convincingly by any human reasoning.

31. Of course, we cannot totally deny the fact that there are many such situations in everyone’s life, which defy rational explanation.

32. Religious authorities being past masters at dominating used these exceptional situations/cases to question the very validity of assigning the role of ultimate authenticity or authority or arbiter to rational thinking or scientific reasoning.

33. Thus ensure that religions remained the ultimate adjudicator in all aspects of human life starting from individual life to social systems.

34. However, in many societies, where people prefer to be grounded and rely more on the faculties with which they lead their day to day life, namely, the rational mode of living which cater well to major aspects of their life especially physical wellbeing, intellectual understanding, aesthetic appreciation, mental calmness, human happiness, environmental care, compassion towards all forms of life, social peace and harmony etc

35. In such regions science, political systems, legal systems, philosophical reasoning, spiritual wisdom [that the kingdom of God is within] etc have reduced or replaced the greater reliance on religion and all its concomitant demands, commands, rituals, traditions etc.
36. “Perhaps we even need to look behind consciousness itself, to find what is the foundation of reality” -Frederik Kerling.

37. We can slowly but surely make human race realize that religion need not be the only factor or most predominant factor in life.

There are times in our evolution as a cultural species when we need to unlearn what we think we know. We have to move out of the comfort of certainty and into the freeing light of uncertainty. It is from this space of acknowledged unknowing that we can truly grow. From my vantage point, this growth will encompass a sense of wonder”.
39. If we bothered to observe the socio- political systems that have made massive strides in economic development and dominated the political map of the world of improved human life. Then such thing has happened in countries which have given priority to promote scientific research, technologic development, industrial growth, commerce activity, promotion of trade and servicers, empowerment and education of the maximum number especially women, exploring new frontiers of knowledge rather than being obsessed with parading and prioritizing their scriptural ancient wisdom [which was one among the many professions carried on as business activity]. It is this aspect of history that we all must learn from which will explain how and why USA, Russia, China and Europe are economically prosperous. 
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors,"
wrote TS Eliot in Gerontion. If truth is to be the soul of history and if history has
to serve as our guiding star for walking on the right
path in the present as well as in the future, we have to
look at it with clinical precision and objectivity.
Passions, prejudices and predilections have no place in
authentic and instructive history. Knowledge gained from study of obvious facts and impacts of historical events must be correct, critical, with clinical precision and comprehensive.

40.If for a group of people observing religious edicts as per the literal word of any scripture alone can ensure everything, then, such extremely religious people must be not go to hospital for health care, must not attend any entertainment event, must not study anything, must not go for any employment for earning, must not do any business to earn money, must not seek legal remedy for any dispute, most importantly must not vote, must not take any doles from any government organization, must not use any technological gadgets because they were never mentioned in any religious script and so on  because sitting and praying can provide them with everything and take care of everything.

41. Every must realize the simple fact that life as human species is mortal whatever you may try to do and therefore must make the experience of living happy, enjoyable and peaceful for oneself and others with a sense of caring and sharing irrespective of any religious identity and also have space and time to attempt to get enlightened beyond the realms of reason, if possible.  Nature’s bounty and nature’s calamity, diseases and damages all these act on human species irrespective of any religious identity.

42. If we can without bias quantify the money, time and energy spent on all religious activities of all religions on earth and look at their reciprocal benefit to human race we all will know their correct estimation. If we had put in all these together we could have occupied three more planets by this time or at least provided all basic needs for all human beings across the globe.

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