“It is an ancient and venerated custom of people in my country to start a story by praying to a Higher Power.
“I guess, Your Excellency, that I too should start off by kissing some god’s arse.
“Which god’s arse, though? There are so many choices.
“See, the Muslims have one god.
“The Christians have three gods.
“And we Hindus have 36,000,004 divine arses to choose from.”
The very human desire for a God stretches back as far as the historic eye can see, With each culture spawning forth a wide array of gods and goddesses. The Greek’s worshiped the Olympians, and built temples in their praise, from Zeus to Hera and Aphrodite . These gods have even percolated into our modern day stories like Percy Jackson and Good Omens ( A wickedly Good read)
The Hindus worshiped Gods like Shiv, Durga, Rama and Balaji Whilst the Christians sought reassurance in the benevolent figure of Christ. There are countless other Gods from Countless other cultures but this is general evidence that they are there. We ask Christ for forgiveness for our sins, We believe the goddess Saraswati will bring us luck and good fortune whilst Allah shall release us.
Having a religion and a faith is a pillar of support for most people, it reassures us that there is a benign one watching over us which allows us the abstain from sin and indulge in goodness and indeed religion is a positive force.
It allows us, used rightly to be kinder, to care more about others. It serves to melt the ego also with sufficient emphasis on helping others in most religions.
However there are way in which men can perversely twist the sanctity of a religious belief for their needs. This is chiefly to attain some king of ulterior motive like a job, power, wealth and such. It is saddening to see how even in India today, the Caste-ism mentioned in the Rig Veda, a holy text permeates to this day. It depicts how in one sense there is no progress in this matter.
Even the political parties play on these pesudo religious factors to gain votes, seen so far as the Karnataka elections held in India a few days ago. Even sacred Christian texts like the Bible had its words manipulated to enforce African Americans into slavery. The scripts of the Quran are also often misread.
It would be easy and conclude then to do away with all religion but then that would be the easy unwholesome solution. The solution I then I believe is to find rootedness in two often under mentioned or underappreciated qualities.
Reason is one of them. The other one is an internal moral compass.
One often attributes reason to coldness and. And the presence of a moral compass to something reminiscent of a conscience. Then one, will a bemused look on the face will remember the likes of Jimmny Cricket and Pinocchio. Who not only reasons with the boy but tells him wrong from right.
However, now it is in this glorious modern age, it will do us well to remember that there is still a moral compass that does not reside in any external source but rather in our own person. The Skepticism of science as Mr Miller calls it may not be an all bad thing.This reason must not eliminate our god, quite the contrary. It must reinforce the fact that any God we worship will not be beyond the scope of reason of the empathy of a moral compass.
No goddess or god or creator or messiah or prophet will ever advocate racial supremacy, the killing of millions of innocent lives, of discrimination or prejudice. When we are sure about this in our heart and soul, we will not cling onto a God so much as believe in them and trust them.
Eve when all of religion seems twisted before our minds in ways that we find hard to untangle, we will have the ability to seek out the guiding lights of reason and morality within us.