I find religion and a huge number of its followers regressive—and most religious people have not taken time to appreciate the core elements on the back of which religion flourishes and spread; Indoctrination, Ignorance, Illiteracy & the Fear of the Unknown.
Speak to a religious person (currently, there are about 4200 beliefs or religions in the world) and that person will confidently tell you his or her religion is the one true one, and he or she serves the one true God.
I have tried it with Christians; and they are more than sure, hold unfettered conviction that Jesus is the son of God—and he is the way, the truth and the life, no one can go to the father, except through him.
My muslim friends have told me and believe that; there’s only one true God—and Mohammed is his messenger, and the last prophet. Through the teachings of Mohammed, you will have access to Jannah.
Hindus somewhat believe that there are about 330 million Gods who ought to be worshiped.
The Buddhists lack a God conception, they believe religious ideas and especially the God idea have their origin in fear. This seems plausible.
What most people belonging to any of the 4200 religions have in common is the conviction that where they belong is the true way—missing the truest fact; that they like about 95% of religious people only belong to a particular religion by accident of birth or geography.
If you were born in Saudi Arabia to Fatima and Yussif, there’s about 99% chance that you would have been a muslim and largely remain so for the rest of your life—and proceed to regard Islam as the one true religion.
If you were born in China, there is the same percent chance that you would have been a Buddhist, and paid more attention to the teachings of Buddha, instead of Christ or Mohammed.
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If you were born to a Christian parents in Ghana, there’s a 99% chance that you would have become a Christian and tow the line of your parents.
My family is a Christian family, and 99% of all it members are Christians—that of my friend Rashida, is a Muslim family and 99% of them are Muslims.
It doesn’t take a degree in reason or logic to understand this common breeding ground of religion; that, people largely belong to a religion by accident of birth.
Belongingness is never the indication of the veracity or otherwise of a religion.
Then the second defining element is indoctrination; people wrongly assert that they became religious or belong to a particular religion by choice—largely, that’s not true.
If you are born into a Christian home, you are indoctrinated the Christian way, that serves as the pushing factor to what you would mostly become. Of course, a few when they are old, are able to break away. But look around you, how many people reside where the indoctrination took them? The majority.
And then others will say, I made a choice myself. How do you choose from 4200 religions when you only really know about just one? That’s not a reasonable choice—for there to be a reasonable choice, you must have equal or close to equal knowledge and experience with the things you are supposed to make an unbiased choice from.
If I have eaten Kenkey all my life and have grown to like it, and you present Kenkey together with some other foods I have never even seen or heard of before, and ask me to make a choice, what do you think I will reasonably go for? For there to be any well balanced choice, none of the things to be chosen from should have an undue advantage over the other.
Now, let’s look at ignorance: most religious people count the mystery of the world as evidence that God exists and they ought to worship Him. It’s no doubt the world is mysterious—the vast universe is full of mystery. But not knowing what something is or who caused something does mean there’s a God who for sure caused that.
That’s some stupid conclusion; in philosophy, this I believe is called the appeal to ignorance fallacy.
‘A’ does not know how malaria is caused, therefore, “A” says, God causes malaria.
This was the thinking of the world many centuries ago; people did not know what caused malaria, the high infant mortality, ulcers, leprosy and the many diseases—and said, God caused them, out of ignorance. People didn’t know how earthquakes came about and placed it on the shoulders of their God or Gods.
Today, my 3 year old cousin-Tracy, can even explain to you how malaria is caused and surely knows, God has no damn hands in causing malaria, any earthquake or flood.
On illiteracy; all I’d say is that, there are countless researches, one going back as compiling data for 100 years, which conclude that, the higher a person’s intellect, the more likely that person wouldn’t believe in a God. This ties in so well with ignorance.
We fear what lies behind the grave, we fear and do not understand what happens when we even sleep—that’s a human feeling but to go ahead and invoke an imaginary God to shadow the fear is pathetic and a lazy approach to trying to understand the unknown.
No one for sure knows what happens when someone dies—and yet, some people have come up with absurd places, with detail map and layout of where people go when they die. If you are good, you will go to a certain heaven and if you are bad, you will go to a certain hell, all created by their God.
Interestingly, all these are somewhat linked to which of the 4200 belief systems you ascribe to; because to the Christian, heaven is more plausible, to the Buddhist, that’s all nonsense and to the Muslim, Jannah is the place.
Don’t try to say Jannah, heaven or paradise are the same; no, check the detail map out of each—somewhere, you will even have 77 virgins at your disposal. They are never the same.
This is religion in the nutshell for you.
So note that, your religion is determined by not the truth but by accident of birth, geography, indoctrination, ignorance, illiteracy and the fear of the known. None of these is the measure of truth.