In Your Face

In Your Face
Thought provoking opinions on topical issues.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

What Use Is Religion?

Mankind throughout the millennia has believed in one, or many, omnipotent beings; who have the power to influence events on earth, and create a spiritual paradise or hell in the supposed afterlife.

These omnipotent beings have been given many names including; Allah, Apollo, God, Osiris and Zeus to name but a few.

The one strand of commonality that links them is that they all, according to those who believe in them, require to be acknowledged and worshipped; thereby necessitating the creation of religions, designed and instigated by mankind.

These religions, by the very fact that they are human creations, contain all the faults and weaknesses of the human character including; vanity, aggression, pride, greed, lust and envy.

Many religions claim to be tolerant; yet their actions, in asserting their own dominance, belie this assertion. Taking three “mainstream” religions as an example; Christianity has throughout the centuries sought to convert the heathen, extreme Islam seeks to eliminate the infidel and fanatical Judaism seeks sole occupancy for those of the Jewish faith of the land in and around Israel.

Throughout mankind’s history, wars have been fought in the name of whatever omnipotent being of the day was believed to be in charge.

In short organised religion, because it is organised by humans, is used as a means to extend the baser instincts and desires of human nature.

There are individuals, such as rabbis, priests and mullahs who seek to do good and to comfort those in distress. However, they do this out of their own inherent sense of decency and affection for their fellow man; not because of the decency of their particular organised religion.

Even those who claim to believe in the same omnipotent being, such as Christians, manage to find ways to use religion against each other. A fine example of this is the animosity between catholics and protestants in Northern Ireland; they so loath each other that they choose to live apart in segregated areas of their cities.

Mankind will always look for ways to factionalise itself, and fight one another; religion has given it another means to do this.

Should an omnipotent being exist, I doubt very much that he/she would wish to be associated with this.

Therefore I ask, “What use is religion?”

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