The purpose of this article is to present an unbiased layman view of religions as of today. Majority of us fail to understand the apparent confusion of so many religions, all seemingly claiming to be best. Religion has become the prime pretext for all the violence, terrorism, fights and havoc all around the world. Religion seems to be the primary theme governing the world politics and society, yet most of us do not know what exactly it is all about. Most of us simply know the names of major religions – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Bahai etc and keep hearing how basically all teach the same good things and how all religions are equal. We also keep hearing lot of irrational stuff from all religions and hence tend to believe somewhere deep inside that it should not be taken so seriously.

Religion has become PSPO. I recall that famous ad of some fan company where people used to say that this particular fan has PSPO in it. And then someone would ask: What is PSPO? And no one would know what it is. Same is the case with religion.

Taking advantage of this gross confusion, many a self-proclaimed experts of comparative religions would then start marketing their own theories on religions to convince people why only their religion is true and rest is false.

In this article, we shall avoid getting too much into history and simply try to put a framework to understand the confusion of religion as it exists today, from a common man perspective. This would be helpful to then understand the gravity of the problem of religious fanaticism and the tremendous business that goes all around in name of religion. The article shall provide only preliminary pointers and expects the readers to research on the details themselves.

Why Religions exist?

Religions exist because all living beings take birth and then die one day. No one clearly knows what happens after we die. A natural trait of living beings in general and human beings in particular is to avoid the very thought of self-destruction. This urge for self-preservation has been very critical for nurture and growth of society.

We all see happy people, animals, insects etc moving around, interacting with us, with nature and then suddenly they turn mum forever. We see all the living beings ultimately meeting this fate and hence we all know that the same shall happen with us also one day.

This cruel reality conflicts with our core trait of self-preservation and gives rise to variety of personalities, complexities and other variations that give colors to what we call life.

Different intellectuals have provided answers to this mystery of ‘what after death?’ in different manners and that becomes the genesis of religious thought.

Religion of Scientists

Those claiming to be ‘scientists’ refute any existence of afterlife because they have been unable to find any evidence of that through their crude instruments. But they also fail to answer the most basic questions

– Who is the ‘I’ observing and feeling everything?

– Why does ‘I’ abhor death or self-destruction so much?

– Why only human is the intelligent species and nothing else?

– Who is controlling everything so intelligently?

– How can you claim to have most accurate instruments to measure and negate existence of afterlife?

The more rational ‘scientists’ follow a more reasonable approach. They say that modern science is a conservative approach. It shall comment only on what it can measure and deduce and shall provide no comments on the rest. So they simply remain agnostic to presence of afterlife or a controlling mechanism.

This ‘agnosticism’ or ‘scientificism’ is the most basic human religion for the most paranoid among us who trust only what their myopic eyes can see.

Next : Religions of ‘Visionaries’

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