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Just showing love because someone tells you to do so

September 14, 2013

When reading about religion, it is sometimes very interesting how the rules which have a certain ethical value are becoming the principal values.

I recently read the blogpost Youre so close minded really and a lot of the things mentioned there are explaining this. It’s interesting though to look into the reasons why people do it.

Plurality religion by state, 2001

Plurality religion by state, 2001

Converting

One of the reasons to convert people to your religion, is to have a better position yourself within the religion. Not only will people respect you because you spread their religion and increase the members within your group, but you are also increasing your changes of becoming a better person according to the religion. In contrary it seems like those people become worse persons because they totally forget the universal ethics which are present within their religion and which are the reason why people need to convert. If we look at religion with an evolutionary perspective, it seems very logical, because religion contains aspects of ethics which can be easily spread among the population. The problem is that the consequence of religion is often that it harms and damages instead of healing and contributing, because people which convert, often do this because their Gods tell them to do so and not because they understand the values of the religion. This means however that if a person is doing evil things, but tell you to do something nevertheless, you would do it too. If you would understand the twisted ethics though, you would never do this. That is one of the problems, because the ethics aren’t a reason to spread religion, the religion can be spread without ethics. In the United States there were christians who justified slavery, just because Jesus gave permission to have a limited amount of slaves within the Bible, the thing which they forgot though was that the Bible was written in a certain time and that certain laws and things in books can’t be applied in every time. That’s the reason why we don’t stonify people anymore.

A loving christian

I think it’s very incompatible how a lot of Christians tell you that they are loving, because that’s what their religion is about, but when you try to discuss their religion and criticize it because you are an honest person who wants to be rational, a lot of rigidity can rise, but in some cases also very grisly traits and everything what is opposed to love. There are of course Christians which show true love, but I think that the problem might be that there are especially in the United States, Christians who limit their love to the elements of their religion and only apply their love to the spiritual aspects of their religions, but they don’t apply the love at a human level, what humanists do. That may have to do with what they are taught. If you are taught to believe and you limit it to your religion, it is possible that you dissociate yourself from the people within your proximity, while even non-christians can be loved by christians and would increase the chances of being able to convert other people. One reason why people convert to another religion is because they realize that there are good aspects within the religion with which they can identify themselves. One good example is an Imam who was raised as a christian, but converted to islam after he found out about Sufism, a mystical movement within Islam which propagates showing love.

It’s very likely that all religions are in a development and the more the religions are about the human perspectives instead of abstract, spiritual perspectives which cause a detachment from other people, the more the religions might be attractive to adhere.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Religion as the key to a higher society

According to the philosopher Hegel, christianity was one of the highest religions which existed and it was also a high development within his system of theses and antitheses. Maybe he was at some point right, since protestantism and capitalism are related to eachother and concerning our welfare, capitalism is the economic system which proved most succesful, and protestantism has a direct relationship with this system. Hegel didn’t have a superior ethical system though, when we take a look at his ethical system with our knowledge of nowadays. One example of a flaw in his ethical system is how there were certain racist aspects within his religion, this however was also shared with protestant christian groups around the same time and little after. It isn’t until the 20th century that people with a dark skin are considered humans, before that time they were often seen as another species and in the best case as lesser humans. We still have to go through a long development until we will reach the highest form of equality between people with a different skin.

Although this has been the case, a lot has changed too because of religion. Protestantism has made a more tolerant society possible and the cruelties of the Catholic Church stopped after a while with protestantism as one of the reasons. The reason might be that a lot of rules couldn’t be changed anymore but that people were really just limited to the Bible, including the Old Testament (Thora), New Testament and the Mosaic Law.

Catholicism couldn’t make this possible, because there was (and still is) too much corruption within their system and the rules could be changed. Changing rules is much harder within protestantism, because of their system which can also be criticized, since the Bible wasn’t only available in Latin, but also in other languages within their communities.

Although not everyone agrees, there are  values within religion which would create a much better society in contrary to the society we have right now. There are rules within religion, like taking good care of animals of which a lot of farms of nowadays can learn.

No God is the best?

There has taken place a development of multiple Gods to one God and finally no God, the system with multiple Gods doesn’t seem to be always the worst system though. In Mongolia a lot of tribes nowadays still believe in multiple Gods and in some cases their shamanism might be better than our modern society. They have a certain connection with nature which we seem to have lost within our society. Within our society it is normal to analyze everything and give solutions if possible, but it is all also very individualistic and not in connection with other people and nature. The emotional dimension is lost within a materialist society, and we could learn from shamans from these tribes with ancient traditions, because their way of living might be a way of living which is better.

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