Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why do we need religion?

A status message on Facebook by a friend, a reply from me and comments by others in the known made me sit up and think on this subject more deeply. So the post that follows, is what I actually think about religion -
Let me make it clear at the very beginning - 'I believe in the concept of religion and feel that it is necessary for mankind'. Now, if you are liberal enough to accept that people can believe in their religion and also the existence of other religions, please read on. If not, you are exactly the kind of person for whom a religion is badly needed. :-)
To begin with, in whatever way life started on earth, I am sure there wouldn't have been any religion. There were people, geographically separated and who would be classified based on their build, language they spoke etc. They would all have their own life style considering the environment they lived in. For the generations to come they would have to set norms, a sense of what is right and what is wrong, some sort of guiding principles to live by. This would also need a vague idea of 'the ideal' - the God. This set of rules we all were supposed to live by is religion. It will be your guide to making decisions. A sort of reference.
So where did all go wrong? Why do we hate it so much today? In my opinion there are 2 reasons for it - 1. there were people who manipulated the guiding principles to their advantage. For those who understand geek-speak, the kernel itself got corrupted. 2. With education we began to think that mere rationale is sufficient for us to make decisions.
So should we eliminate all religions?  The idea of a 'unified humanitarian world' looks attractive. But we need to look beyond ourselves. It is not possible to get such a diverse human race to agree to a single point. So it becomes next to impossible to have a larger overarching concept for the entire humanity. There will always be non-believers who would want to start their own sect!
So what can we do now? For point 1 above, we need to correct it. We have to realign the core religious ideologies to what makes sense not just for us but for the entire mankind. And the onus of this lies on the literate, the thinkers and the well read. For point 2, well if work towards point 1, point 2 will self-resolve.
I am open to ideas on this and would really like to hear people speak their hearts. After all, this is how I believe religions have evolved.
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