If, as is posited by many people (and I would tend to agree), that the major religions of the world share a great deal of commonality, why has religion been the source of so much violence and pain?

Not a new question, of course, but one I think about a LOT.

And after reading this post, I wonder if the busyness of our lives is contrary to finding a spiritual place.

From The Bad Chemicals, used by permission.

4 Responses to “UNANSWERABLE QUESTION about God and religion”

  • Uthaclena says:

    “If, as is posited by many people (and I would tend to agree), that the major religions of the world share a great deal of commonality, why has religion been the source of so much violence and pain?”

    I would argue that it is because there is a huge gulf between Spirituality, which seems to be a natural and almost universal experience, and Religion, which is culturally-bound rules and regulations. As neuroscientist and noted atheist Sam Harris notes, all religions seem to START with a spiritual experience, but are then encumbered by the rituals that could allow repeat access to these experiences (prayer, meditation, fasting, chanting, etc.), then the community “membership-requirements” that are usually loaded down with the prejudicial baggage of the day that becomes encoded in its dogma.

    This is why I pretty much loathe religion; seeking spiritual understanding from Iron or even Bronze-Age perspectives strikes me as absurd, and the only way religious people seem to be able to match their religion and lives is by either ignoring a lot that’s in their scriptures, or by “spinning” it and calling it “allegory” or “metaphor.”

    Yes, there IS poetry, prose, and metaphor in some of these writing; but commands as to killing infidels or oppositional tribes, or “universal” commands not to mix fibers, or avoid pork, or sweeping the ground before you to avoid killing insects are pretty unambiguous.

  • I know where Uthaclena is coming from. The problems seem to start when we take a faith and turn it into an organised religion with all the power issues that that entails. I suppose it proves that as a species we’re more than capable of mucking up even the things we hold most dear.

  • Got very excited by this question and tried to answer it on my own blog:

    http://shoreoforion.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-has-religion-been-source-of-so-much.html#more

    Basically, I came to “It’s not religion per se. It’s trying to win an argument with violence.”

  • Lisa says:

    This side of heaven, we can’t help but muck things up with religiosity and man-made rituals. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fabulous places to worship that really “get it.” And when you find one of those places, it’s beyond anything you’ve ever experienced from a spiritual perspective. I believe if Satan can’t claim our soul outright, he does the next best thing…makes you too busy to think about what’s truly important. Here’s wishing you a joyous Easter, my friend.

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