Google+ Studio 25: Building Faith

14.4.12

Building Faith

Faith. Religion.

Where do they come from? Why do they exist? Some might say they come from the sick but intelligent mind of one individual (or group) that had the insight and charisma to gather more weak minds to follow their beliefs, that religion exists mainly because humans, when faced with their own mortality, can’t admit to themselves that death is absolutely the end of everything the individual stands for; others say that religion is just the book of prejudice, where everything affecting us is the result of a pre-determined set of rules. Some, like me, tend to believe that religion is the first state, the basic form of social organization, the first lawmaker. To have a state you need two important things: Kings and laws. Whether we have a finite number of kings (gods), or just one, in all cases we talk about set of rules by which, one should live his life.  And to ensure this, we have the reward, thus the afterlife was created. Be it the Elysian Fields, the Christian Heavens , Valhalla etc. And to ensure continuity, here comes the institution. Call it Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, they all are an organized monopoly of the spiritual identity, and faith is their engine, and as part of an apparatus, it needs building, with all its processes, from idea to design, implementation and commissioning, and from then on, evolution and adaptation that continue to this day. The worst adaptation, I believe, is the need for money (cause, boy, do they make the world go around!). The idea of using money to build instruments of faith (among other non spiritual assets) is the very sign of hypocrisy in the basis of a religious organisation.

Lets take the Christian example... preaching humility, love for thy neighbour... I dare you to go in Europe and find humility in any cathedral...among golden artifacts. I have to mention the Inquisition, and the control the church had over every aspect of life, and the toxic effect over the development of humanity (I wonder where would humanity be if people like Galileo would have been helped, and not persecuted). A similar phenomenon takes place in the Muslim world at present time. How did they grow so much to justify murder, forgiveness, love or hate, cry and laughter?

How come they still have power over us? Well, they do... many countries have a cut of the budget going to religious organization in one way or another. There are many countries where the number of religious assets far outnumbers the number of hospitals, or that of schools (sad, isn’t it?). In many countries religion plays a role in elections. The established religious institutions managed to take advantage of the political system, while being taken advantage of. In some, it identifies itself with the political system, and this is where the horror begins to unfold to its maximum intensity, and gives the worst example of religious establishments given free hand, starting with the Inquisition, persecution of Jews, systematic persecution or condemnation of great minds,etc and ending with the horrors that took place in Afghanistan, or the inquisition styled regime in Iran.

The worst crime is hypocrisy. Islam’s adepts claim it is a religion of peace, but its been brought to us in violence, and has violence and terror as instruments of control. Christians claim theirs is a religion of love, forgiveness and compassion, yet has a history of wars, conquering, oppression and ruthlessness. And it all comes from institutionalizing it, and by that, having  the power of organizing it went beyond the boundary of helping humanity deal with life to making policies.

I end this now, with the firm belief i haven’t said it all, that there are still issues I didn’t cover. I encourage dialog, and the comments will not be moderated. Feel free to add your thoughts, suggestions...

Live free and prosper!