12 August, 2013


Elsewhere on this page a good friend made the following remark in connection with the perception of the non-believers towards religions:

"There are some atheists for whom religion has no redeeming value, and there are other atheists who while disagreeing with some of the assertions embodied in a religious approach, nonetheless would like to understand how within a religion human kind and civilization tried to grapple with issues that are intrinsic to human individuals and collective. Typically the first type has no patience with religion while the second type tries to understand even while not being in agreement."

I am tempted to frame the following issues for discussion:

a. Briefly, how did different religions attempt to grapple with issues concerning the conduct of the individual towards the advancement of the civilization, including, if you so think, if they did not.
b. Were religions inherently different in any significant way and in historical context from other social movements such as Marxism in their approach towards humanity?
c. Did any religion/s dismiss the individual or the collective, as being subordinate to the other? Which? How?
d. Was the empowerment of the individual and/or the advancement of the civilization an avowed goal of the/any religion/s at all, independent of enforcing the divine Will?
e. Should religions be examined in terms of their impact on human societies at all? [What if "the only true religion" ordained by the Almighty was accepted by none but a lone seer who died in oblivion?]
f. Can the divine truth be subject to critical evaluation by the mortal humans with their present knowledge? Can it be said that per se divinity is not subject or amenable to logic and analysis? Do we need, as Arthur Koestler suggests, a different set of tools and methodology than our familiar tools of study, to "experience" religion?

Please feel free to explore your own understanding of religion.

Of course, you know that decency, sensitivity and respect towards all types of believers and atheists alike are imperative.

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