Firstly, in the context of religion, for all the STRICT christians especially those whose definition of “relationship with god” i denounced, I’m sorry. To be religious isn’t as black and white as “devoted to a specific lifestyle”. Yes, there are traditions and practices in ALL religions but some, if not ALL are more cultural or based on interpretation rather than the scriptures and moral teachings.
Having been brought up a christian, dated atheists, having muslim and sikh friends and being engaged to a hindu; it’s fair to say the topic of religion has been quite prevalent throughout my life. For such a personally defining issue, little research or understanding has been sought before the time at which I write.
Let me establish that I am NOT looking for spiritual guidance and the rest of the yada yada yada that goes along with someone looking INTO religion. I simply am seeking to understand what I do not in terms of morality, philosophy, perspective and teachings. I’m not going to revert, convert, take pleas and such. This is simply me TRYING to be the best human I can be. To fulfill my role as an individual, a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a husband and father. These are all roles that when distinguished, will create the person you/I are/am to society/humanity on a whole. In the words of my own dad, “you cannot seek to take care of someone else, if you cannot willingly take care of yourself”. So here I am, taking care of myself. Establishing the man and person I want to be.
So religion, is it all about believing in god, following guidelines and rules? Well no. Religion, as in every walk of life, has those one-liners. Those sayings that your dad, your mother, or grandparents give you advice on how to deal with a situation in LIFE. The one liners that you never forget and will probably pass onto your children. Religion is defined in general as a moral code defined by beliefs regarding both abstract and concrete themes in human conduct.
It is usually defined as those who believe in god, and those who don’t. Religious people and atheists. Now I am of the logic that “if u dont vote, don’t moan”. Apply this to atheists, and you will still find many praying when death or luck is respectively signified or needed. Issues that can’t be explained simply have just happened. In MY opinion, based on my understanding, you can never be an atheist and speak of feelings, morals and behaviour on a human level. Everything stops at chemicals and 1+1 must always equal 2. BORING! These people believe that they are in charge of their own destiny. So according to them, determination/hard-work/appreciation/ideas are all hereditory and genetic…you can see where I’m going with this right? That in itself is stupid. Stupid is the definition for an ABSTRACT term describing the characterization of a theory upon which your behaviour resembles? etc…yer, DPMO.
Now this isn’t about bashing atheists and the undecided agnostics. They’re not all psychopaths and indecisive. Some just haven’t bothered to define themselves. Some don’t want to. But it is the fact that some find it so difficult to that is understandable, yet worrying. In a world where; (and I use this word STRICTLY in context of the modern world’s general definition of religion); you belong to a group/religion; You immediately are defined by the “religion” you represent. MOST are born into one, influenced into it. Off the top of my head, I can honestly say I know probably THREE genuinely religious people. People that have studied the lessons that are not only taught in books, but from living life itself. They have studied and lived both lives as a believer and non-believer and have definitively chosen to believe. I myself am now studying the main 4+ religions with the aim of education, not association.
Remember, I said “belief” defines their true religious beliefs. Not the sector they belong too. For religion to the general and either ignorant/arrogant is a sect or group. For you people, it is not. It is a stereotype. In the same way that people, regardless of the depth of BROWN in their skin, continue to be called black. People of varying beliefs and morals based, more often than not, on a GOD; are called religious.
It is stereotypes like these, a lack of education and to an extent the media as well that have caused this to be the issue. The great philosophers, who debated pretty much every aspect of anthropology - from society and welfare to war and justice argued on the basis of their beliefs. Not the stories and interpretations that are used SIMPLY to define them. < THIS religion, especially when they themselves by definition are to a degree, but would rather not be identified as such. It’s no wonder that events like the crusades occur, groups like Al-qaeda/EDL/Tea Party etc form, when the very leaders who preach AGAINST ignorance, are the ones practicing it. Every time they bring up an event like the crusades, like creation, like adam & eve, like JESUS from both Catholic/Islamic and every other “religious” view point, to justify WHY it was written in such and such a way.
How about focusing on the ACTUAL literal meaning of the the lessons you’re supposed to be teaching? They’d end up agreeing to the principle, but practicing it differently according to culture and self preference. Which is UNDERSTANDABLE (think democracy with different voting systems/representations) The individual extremity might be disagreed upon, but the principle to which it owes it’s creation will remain undisputable. YES, some cultures will be based upon certain ideals and there may be conflict between these ideals on a social scale, but compromise and understanding is not hard when discussing a principle you both agree on and should be aiming to promote no? (Think hijab/burqa/niqab/abaya and standard western clothing that doesn’t reveal flesh etc)
Round up: We live in a world where; even though both the Qu’ran & Bible prophecise that, as the HUMAN race, we would rather idolize celebrities than each other and god; religious leaders will discuss and argue about the stories, rather than the the lessons on life and perspective we gain from these “idols”. The level to which we adore them and (because there are) the resulting social contribution and economic issues. Arguments of this kind therefore lead man to neglect the very surroundings he cannot ignore and would rather condemn. His instincts, intuition, emotions & feelings are all objectified in a bid to escape the negative connotations associated with “religion”. They are not solely to blame, yet they are not doing what they claim to do. Educating people about their beliefs, or set of beliefs in accordance to humanity. It is not difficult for a person to read books and educate themselves on that which they want to be educated. To learn and understand the very people they need to engage, create and maybe even hurt. Religion is to humanity what the moon is to earth. Yes, the earth would still exist without having a moon; but having one defines it as the earth. Having a moon/conscience/ = beliefs/religion is key. It’s about time we started to discover, identify and embrace our morals, principles and have no shame in attributing them to life lessons or lessons you have learnt from a book.
It is what makes us human after all.