Sunday, October 13, 2013

What use is religion?


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“Why Blame Religion?” asks Matthew Adukanil in an article of that title published in the Open Page of The Hindu (Oct 13).  [In the online edition of the paper the title is Blame it on politics, not religion.]  The article is a response to an earlier article by Vasant Natarajan, Let’s aim for a post-theistic society.  While Prof Natarajan’s article was a rational and sensible argument why we should strive to create a world without religions, Prof Adukanil’s is sheer trivia fit for catechism classes.

Religion and science “are twins, one imparting wisdom and the other knowledge,” argues Adukanil.  There are many problems with such statements.  For example: Does religion really provide wisdom?  If it does, why is it the cause of so much misery in the world?  Why has it engendered so many crusades, holy wars, jihads, terrorists, and other appalling evils?  What about the numerous atheists and agnostics who were/are wise?  Aren’t they proof that religion is not at all necessary for acquiring wisdom?  How many people, in fact, become wise because of religion?  If we examine wise people who are also religious, we are likely to find that their wisdom is a product of their character rather than their religion, though religion might have played some (minimal, most probably) role in the formation of that character. 

According to Adukanil, the problem lies in mixing religion with politics.  What good is religion if it does not suffuse the entire life of the believer?  “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is,” said Mahatma Gandhi.  If religion indeed makes people as wise as Adukanil claims, it should be the guiding force behind the entire continuum of an individual’s actions as well as thinking.   That’s why religion was meaningful for people like Gandhi.  The truth is that people like Gandhi would have been eminently good people even without their religion.


And that’s precisely my argument.  Religion is redundant.  It does no good to anyone really.  Good people will be good even without their religion.  Bad people will use their religion for politics and other evils.  So who needs religion?

13 comments:

  1. Indeed religion is redundant and The Bad Ones are always in a Lookout to take advantage of this redundancy and many fools fall for them and create the Chaos which ultimately does harm to everyone...

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    1. Religion was a mean of amassing power in the olden days. Today it's a business. Politicians use it still for political power, though.

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  2. "Prof Adukanil’s is sheer trivia fit for catechism classes." exactly the same ran into my mind also. that was such a childish argument. Human history is the proof that religion and politics are two sides of the same coin.

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    1. Adukanil is religious by profession and is used to preaching sermons.

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  3. I don't like religion at all. It offers nothing but excuses to dominate others.

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    1. I love the way you bombard me with comments in a series. :)

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    2. LOL...told you before, I am seasonal rain :P

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  4. Very interesting point. Probably one can attribute the presence of religion to induce discipline by fear of something greater. I view it as a tool that was invented to keep a sizeable multitude at bay, for those whose intellect alone might not have sufficed to keep them from vices.

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    1. Yes, religion was required in the infancy of humanity as a means of controlling the savagery within the species. But now isn't it time to go beyond, time to grow up?

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  5. I think that it is the human tendency to go to extremes about their ideas - usually linked to religion, but if religions will not be there, will this tendency go away? Some of "science" persons are also very fanatic about the good their science can do and some of the financial fanatics or development fanatics that are dominating the world, how much harm do theiy create? :)

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    1. It is not as much a question of whether human behaviour will be much different if religion is not there as whether religion performs any meaningful service to humanity.

      Perhaps, human nature will be far better if liberated from the fetters imposed by religion and allowed to see things more rationally.

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  6. Nice Post, A G+ for Ur Post and Have a nice Day. . .. :)

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