God and Religion

December 19, 2007 at 10:16 am | Posted in Musing + Mulling | Leave a comment
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I shall begin by asking, was anybody a born atheist? I only know a very few people who are atheists and obviously, they have developed their own beliefs after they had questioned the whole concept of religion, seen its effects themselves and arrived at their conclusions independently. I’m an atheist myself. But I believed in God at first. I prayed everyday, I believed in Heaven and Hell, and all the crap that I was made to believe as I grew up by the adults. But what caused me turn away from it? Why did I cease to believe?

Most children are raised while being made to believe in religion and God. They are too young to question it, but once they begin to think for themselves, they question all that they were taught in their formative years. Of course, not everybody believing in religion turns to atheism once they turn twelve. Most people don’t. But the point here is, religion is force-fed down everybody’s throats since childhood. Turning to atheism is your choice. You aren’t born an atheist, you become one. At what age, it doesn’t matter.

The whole concept of religion is as old as civilisation itself. Wars have been fought, freedom stripped off, all in the name of religion. It was so thousands of years ago, it is so today. Religion influences everything from politics to Hollywood. But the question is, how exactly did the formation of the concept of religion come about, and how has it evolved? There can be several answers to this. But before I answer it, I need to define the line that separates religion and God.

I see God as the destination, and religion as the path. In the believers’ line of thinking, this destination existed before the path.

Now how did the destination and the path come about? Both are created by humans. The possible reasons:
1) The concept of God most possibly sprouted from fear.
2) It was created out of people’s feeling of gratefulness. (‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and things wise and wonderful, the good God made them all.’)
3) God is the outcome of humans’ greed. God is nothing but the manifestation of their selfish purposes.

God today serves three main purposes. Number one, humans turn to God when they want something; two, humans turn to God to blame and curse when they don’t get what they want or things go wrong; and number three, humans turn to God to sustain the concept of religion.

So much for God. To turn to religion:
1) Religion was born out of people’s fear for God (that’s the reason why ideas such as ‘sin’, ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ exist.)
2) Religion was created as medium to worship, to please, or ask something of, God
3) Religion is the outcome of humans’ greed.

Obviously it’s apparent that both the concepts of God and religion have parallels in the respect of their formations. They’re exactly similar in that respect. But the uses that religion is put to, are totally different. Religion has evolved from being a philosophical concept to a one of hatred, ignorance and greed.

The deadliest use that religion is put to today is being used as a platform to justify one’s actions. Everybody does it. To put it in better form, here’s a little list.

1) Al-Qaeda exists due to their desire of ‘converting the whole of America to Islam.’
2) George W. Bush justified his invasion into Iraq on the grounds that he did it ‘on God’s wish.’ God wants you to acquire oil territories, eh?
3) Hitler used religion to put 6 million people to genocide.
4) A middle-aged Muslim man married his own daughter, because he believed his religion warranted it and impregnated her.
5) Pope Innocent III used it to earn financial benefits by the sale of indulgences in the thireenth century.

Terrorists use their religion to justify their crimes. Politicians use it to justify their selfish interests. Tyrants, to justify their hatred and need to dominate. As for ordinary individuals, it’s just an excuse for their greed and lust.

This path that they created to reach their destination God, is in fact put to only other uses. It is only a path that gives people plenty of opportunities to hate, kill, and destroy one another.

It is a path that leads to nowhere but ends up swallowing those who journey across it.

It is a path that has no destination at all.

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