This week’s “hot & cold 10” religions. Part I

Diderot once said “One will never become free until he gets rid of God in his mind”. But do all people who haven’t “driven God out of their minds” deserve to be labeled as slaves? Can it be true that all religions, beliefs, cults and ideologies spotted their reputations by exerting pressure on their “flock” and investigating thoroughly “thought crimes” of their adherents? I’m sure that among them there can also be found some concepts that don’t give mixed messages and don’t make their votaries blush with shame in front of skeptics. There’s no doubt that all readers are aware of the largest religions postulates and are able to tell a lot of interesting things about Spinoza’s pantheism and deism that of course claim to be named among the most intelligent “God” concepts. That’s why I decided not to consider religions as a whole, but bring attention firmly to the degree of an individual's freedom in any given system of beliefs. “Am I a trembling creature or have I the right?”
Maybe it’s not the most objective index and it would be better to count the number of people who fell victims to deeds of various cults or do something else. But nobody claimed that the comparison was going to be fair.  It seems like it is the freedom of speech and action given to its adepts that lets us make assertions about the real power of a belief system.
So, here’s our hit parade:
* Author’s note: For the contrast I also gave the examples of religions where people are kept on a tight leash by force of their belief system. And this leash consists of rules and bans that sometimes explicitly go against each other. I didn’t consider various sects because in this case a person is only free to do what the head of this cult wants them to do. And this dependence is of a slightly different nature. I had the entirely opposite reason for not including agnosticism, apatheism and other concepts in my rating. They leave way too little room for God in the world.

This week’s “hot five” religions:
Curiously enough, but there is not a single traditional religion in top-5. There are more likely philosophical concepts that haven’t “driven God out”.
1) Buddhism (about 780 million followers).
Some Buddhist representatives define Buddhism as a “science of mind”. Indeed, even Buddha himself denied the divine origin of his doctrine. He realized the truths by meditation and contemplation of the world. In Buddhism, as opposed to Abrahamic religions, people are not God’s playthings but the creators of their own destiny. The main thing is to find the right path. Buddhism has the same rule as the universal moral principles do – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That brings up the question: but where is God? In classical understanding there is no God in Buddhism but a lot of people identify God with Buddha himself.
 The ultimate goal in a life (lives) is to stop suffering and reach nirvana. It’s uneasy for the westerners to deal with the intricacies of Eastern logic but nirvana really worth it.
2) Sikhism (about 22 million)
After becoming familiar with this religion, you start wishing all politicians would become the Sikh people.
The idea of reward in the next life, necessity for     confession, absolution from sins, fasting, chastity and “good deeds” – all this, from Sikhs’ point of view, is an attempt of one mortal people to manipulate others. It’s hard to argue. Sikhs preach about love and brotherly relations with all people on Earth regardless of their origin. They think that a person is free to express his or her will. As for God, he created Nature with its laws. You can consciously keep or not keep within them.
The deepest sin is manipulating people, enforcement and violence – this is the hateful manifestation of egoism. Sikhs, of course, have their own faults such as, for example, negative attitude towards science due to human excessiveintervention in nature. But they are a little bit right here. Ecological problems haven’t appeared from nowhere.
There’s no doubt that Sikhism is one of the most “humane” religions.
3) Satanism (no exact information).
Of course, freedom here is almost absolute.  But freedom, just like everything else, is a two-edged weapon. It is Satanism where the unpleasant aspect of freedom reveals itself in full. Is there any use in discussing it?
4) Deism and letsism (no exact information).
It’s hard to choose which of these religiously-philosophical trends attracts me more. On the one hand there is Deism. It admits the existence of God and the act of creating the world. But it providently says no to the superficial, mysticism, dogmas and other delights of life. God doesn’t meddle and doesn’t have control over people’s lives. In fact, we bore him and he moved over. On the other hand there is Ietsism. Its adepts think there is something between us and the universe. Some higher reason. But they are far from any doxies and dogmas as well. People are accountable to themselves only. And to their relatives. And to society. And to the state. And to…
Actually, the Big Bang Theory may seem even more unbelievable than some of Asimov’s works. The same thing may be said about some other physical concepts. The logic of Deism and Letsism adepts is understandable. The world is too magical. But the idea of our world being the effect of some basic laws is much more magical.
5) Pantheism (no exact information).
Pantheists don’t believe in anthropomorphic God. God for them is nothing else but the Universe (the Nature). Consequently, there are no superficial limitations and prohibitions. Just the regular human morality. Of course, there are a lot of Pantheism forms that differ in rendering one or the other aspect. These forms resonate with some religions (for example with Buddhism), but it’s impossible to call Pantheism a religion in a traditional sense. God is more like the literary device that helps to pay obeisance and express the awe in front of the unimaginable arrangement of the Universe. Any unbiased and at least a little educated person will recognize that the concept is right and logical. Science has still a long way to go toward giving us the answers to all the questions being generated every other minute by the acquisitive mind of any Homo Sapiens representative. And it’s better to wait than to be satisfied with primitive answers.

0 comment.:

Post a Comment

Tell a Friend