Let me start off by saying this is an extremely controversial topic. There is such a difference in opinion across everybody in the world about this particular topic, that there is of course, not going to be a complete understanding.
Firstly, none of this has anything to do with hatred, or uneducated, unreasonable aggression. I have thought long and hard, and come to an understanding in my own mind of where I am at. Religion comes in many different forms,shapes and sizes. It gives people an identity, and to many, it can allow them to embrace each other in their own community. But do we have to be religious to have these things? The way that I see religion may be coming from a different, more complex angle than most others. People argue, especially in Islam, that humans such as jihadists, and the members of Islamic State do not represent true Muslims. The problem is, that the encouragement of violence, and fear are extremely prevalent in the Qu’ran. It is all well and good to argue that “true muslims” should not take these literally, but the fact that they are there, allows them to be exploited and misinterpreted. It is all too common, not only in Islam, but in other religions too, for violence to be encouraged. This only serves as a reminder that what we are reading in these holy books, are books written from ancient history. Ancient history, which had a far less understanding of morals and ethics, and the way in which it is right to treat people. This is why religion served as such a purpose back then, as well as the lack of scientific knowledge of course. But in 2016, a year so far apart from 33 BC when Jesus Christ died or 632 AD when Muhammad died, it is a complete mystery to me as to why we still need these laws telling you how to live your life in such an archaic fashion.
Spirituality vs Religion:
I believe that a possible substitution for religion, for people who still wish to feel connected to a “higher” state of mind, is for us all to become more spiritual. While religion is an institution established by man for various reasons, to exert control, instill morality or to stroke egos, spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person. True spirituality will allow you to live your life in the exact same peaceful ways that religion tries, and often fails to encourage. It is not something that is forced down someone’s throat as a youngster, ensuring that there life will be subjugated to believing a certain way. There is not one religion, but hundreds, yet there is only one type of spirituality. While religion threatens and often terrifies, spirituality gives you inner peace, and a life devoid of the stress and anxiety that you may otherwise face. Religion often represses humanity, and returns us to a false paradigm, whereas spirituality transcends it all and makes you true to yourself. I think the statement which really made me think, and which really struck me the most was this: “Religion is based on humanity, an organization with rules. Spirituality is divine, without rules”. If you look at the very core of each religion, they all try to similarly convey the same message, of love and peace. However, the inhumane, ancient rules that accompany this one simple message is what causes religion to be such a cause of suffering.
Where do you draw the line of giving people something to believe in, with it also harming humakind in such a negative, non altruistic way?
I hope that one day, people do realize that the world would be much better off, and able to communicate and work together with one another so much better without religion and the cultural diversities it encourages.
I shall leave with one last picture which certainly made me think: http://imgur.com/a/FbIbq