Religion Shouldn’t Hurt

Jesus is the son of God–who is the creator of everything we know. When we die we rise to heaven or descend to hell. When one dies they continue the familiar route of samsara until they escape and reach nirvana. Truth is one, Brahman is truth and reality, the Vedas are the ultimate authority and one should strive to achieve dharma. What do all of these things have in common? They are all neither completely false nor absolutely true.

It is no secret that there are constant battles between people concerning many things, one of those being religion. In regions such as the United States, Sweden, and Denmark where religious freedom exists (YES THE UNITED STATES IS NOT THE ONLY COUNTRY WITH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!!), there is a daily power-struggle of “who is right and who is wrong.” Now, for those regions where following a religion is strictly required under the law, then it is expected to see less disagreement, as there are usually dire and deadly consequences for disobeying such a law. When tackling the issue of religious disagreements between citizens and governments within regions with religious freedom, it has to be known that religion is purely a belief–meaning that there is no wrongness to any religious belief. Even in countries without religious freedom this is so; however, it is a much more difficult situation to work through. The reason for a large number of disputes and constant quarreling over “whose religion is correct” is due to the fact that we tend to misconceive truth when we think of several commodities, one of those being religion. To the one that conceives, the belief holds great truth; however, for others, this may not be the case. This disagreement does not have to turn into a battle of wills, it is simply just a disagreement and one should have enough pride and respect to agree to disagree.

The comical part of the “battle of religions” is the widespread religious belief that one should respect others. Whether it be the Bible, the Torah, the Vedas or any sacred text there is one common theme that arises throughout them all: be altruistic. Another point in this argument is that, unless another person’s belief directly or indirectly harms someone, there is no fault or trouble with their actions. Yes, some religions use the slaughter of animals in ritualistic purpose and I am not saying that I am a animal hater or that I promote violence against animals, but unless every person fighting those religions has never eaten meat or an animal product a day in their life, they cannot really argue on such a topic. Religion and violence against animals are two different topics. Besides, if someone is so against animal violence then stop getting the vaccinations with aborted animal and human fetus cells. Don’t believe me? There are two links at the end, I ask that you check them out. If violence is such an issue, then why are the very religions that want to stop violence against animals promoting violence on our own species because they follow a different religion? Some people use religion to protect members of their own religion, but basically dehumanize someone if they are of a different religion. The desire to control is such an issue when it comes to religion and people are willing to do almost anything to brainwash people into following a singular set of religious principles. I don’t want to get politics involved into this, but that’d be like creating a law based off of what is said to be wrong or right in a sacred text that applies to a religion that everyone does not follow and forcing everyone to abide by that law (but a government wouldn’t do that…right?).

Having indifferent beliefs does not mean that you can’t enlighten others on your own personal beliefs. However, one must be careful when doing so, as it is quite easy to make something that is purely innocent sound inflicting and forceful; especially when it comes to beliefs. Many people enjoy telling others to follow their religion and oftentimes they try and make the person believe that that is the only belief they should hold. Instead of doing this, people need to just provide knowledge and a general understanding of the basic beliefs of the religion they follow and then if the listener feels as if those beliefs suit them, then they will ask for more information. This is why religions and their history need to get taught in school. The education is not to convert, the education is to enlighten. The more educated we are, the more we can understand others. And the more we understand others, the more we can grow to respect others and appreciate our differences. In fact, maybe we would grow to learn that all of these religions aren’t so different after all.

So how does this issue get fixed? Well, I am no societal mastermind that knows how to restore eternal peace in the world, but basically there are two options: open your mind to other beliefs, or just stop caring what other people do so much. Starting with the former way, if one just opens their mind and gains empathy and sees things from other points of view, the world would be a much better place. At first, other religious beliefs may sound absolutely crazy and obscene, but talk to people, do research and try and understand why people think that way–because there is going to be a reason. This doesn’t mean you have to convert, it just means that you understand. Now for the latter, it may sound wrongful to say that being ignorant can lead to a more peaceful world. The definition of ignorance has been destroyed much like religion itself. It is thought that ignorance breeds characteristics of pessimism and negativity, but that is false. Yes, ignorance can lead to the cultivation of such feelings and actions, but that is not always what occurs. Ignorance is bliss. By this, I mean that not having an outstanding concern for others’ beliefs and focusing on your own self is bliss. You are aware that other people follow other religions that may not align with yours, but that does not bother you. You simply do not know about other religions, so the presence of others that follow them does not bother you. The thing about this, though, is that people in places of power such as the government can’t really follow this mindset because it is their job to understand “their” people. If the ruler of a country based a law off of their own personal religion, not even considering the views of the people that reside in their country, then that doesn’t make them that good of a ruler does it?

At the end of the day, religion is merely a belief, and beliefs are not absolute truths; therefore one cannot simply hold disputes towards someone with different beliefs unless subsequent evidence provides facts that prove their personal beliefs to be an absolute truth. In a sense, all religions are true beliefs, as a belief cannot simply be false because there is no truth attached to it. I guess one could say that religious beliefs are both true and untrue. They are all neither completely false nor absolutely true.

Just respect everyone and accept that everyone is different. Try and get yourself some knowledge on others because you will soon realize that although we are all different, we will never be as different as we are similar.

Links: (FYI “MRC-5 human diploid cells” are cells from the lung tissue of an aborted male fetus and “bovine serum” is harvested from bovine fetuses taken from pregnant cows during slaughter.)

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