image via flickr

What religion has given to mankind and how the mankind has responded to it, is something which has been largely neglected in the world, particularly in the contemporary growing materialistic age. Though the questions have been asked before and will continue to be asked by the people after us that: What is the purpose of religion?

Is it to satisfy human’s spiritual hollowness, or its purpose is to blame a superior deity for the matters not under human’s control. Or is the religion a divine creation, or it has been contrived by men out of fear or inspiration from something marvelous, impressive or transcendent. Or perhaps, religion is a guide to lead a moral life? But if so, what about those moralists who are not religious at all. Are we divided  or  united through religion?

What if religion is a thirst for power, or the quench of the thirst deriving from the spiritual needs. And if religion is the road that leads to God, then why are there so many roads to reach him? Or her?

If religion promotes peace, why then there is chaos? Why is history soaked in the blood of those killed in the name of it. Or is it all about a fantastic series of stories told by ancient men who were anything but moral upstarts seeking personal glory.

Why this exclusivism that my religion is right and yours not. Is there only one righteous path that lead to eternal being, or there are more? And if there is more, why then could it not be workable for the peaceful coexistence of humanity. Why is this supernatural being not in control or intervene in the chaos that exists today? Why there is such eagerness to hate a total stranger whose only sin is to be born in another religion?

History is ripe with intolerance and bigotry of the beliefs of the dominant individuals or groups over those dominated; countless battles, wars, and massacres have been resulted between the followers of different beliefs. Is religion all about power led by the motivation for the hegemony over civilizations? Or perhaps, Marx’s was not entirely wrong in his interpretation of history of civilizations, which is full of class struggle, where one class has always dominated another with ideological tool, i.e. religion as the superstructure of that society.

Not to mention the ancient ages, (I do not intend to name any religion or any country on purpose), when the kings, emperors, Pharaohs would use religion for their personal glorification and longevity of political power. Yet, they were pagan religions. What about monotheism, then? Aren’t they a logical thread of succession to each other? If so, why then there is no love lost between them? Why today’s world has become the battleground where three monotheistic religions have always been in a state of conflict, if not war.

More worryingly, why should my faith or belief hurt another, so much, so he bends upon taking my life? Who is to judge what belief one should hold or which belief is right or that what amounts to be blasphemous? If the state or government is empowered to do so, why then there are martyrdom, mob justice and lynching of individuals with ‘different’ views on religion? Are we as a society misguided? Can we do without religion? How would it be for the remote mind controllers, power hungry, the religious zealots? What would we live in?

All these questions have been asked many times, by many. I probably have amassed them in a single piece of writing. Until there is tolerance among people, this bigotry seems to stay, for reasons not desirable for the global peace of mankind.