Do We Really Need Religion To Show Us The Way Of Life?

Abhinav Ramesh
Jun 27, 2019   •  24 views

I'm about to stir up some controversy here, but I think that this makes for an interesting article. Are you an avid follower of God, or are you an atheist? Or do you lie right bang in the middle, being an agnostic? Does religion really help us in becoming 'purer' than ever?

It can pretty much be said that one of the reasons why the world is in divide is because of religion. As a result, we witness conflict, both verbal and physical (wars), and this conflict between religions has been going on for ages. The idea of religion is to ensure that its followers have a clear, pure mind. What we see right now however between religions are battles for supremacy. It has gotten to the point where religious extremists forcefully impose religious ideas to others, even going as far making use of violent means. Gatherings happen everywhere to spread desperately the ideas of their religions to get people to side with them.

However, the above doesn't really answer the titular question. Perhaps it does, because extremists exist in every religion. Is it because of the powerful teachings that have caused followers to become extremists, who in turn may cause problems to others by action of imposition, or is it because of the follower's allegiance towards his/her religion that causes conflict with others? Who is at fault here, the religion or individual?

Religion may cause confusion for an individual. Perhaps the individual wants to do different things, not follow a set of rules. I'm not saying that every religion has a set of rules that must be followed. Some may even offer flexibility for an individual, which is what Hinduism was intended to be. There is no rule that you have to visit a temple on a particular day, for example. However, what Hinduism has turned into is this propaganda that is being 'forced' into everyone's minds in India. We have seen the controversy surrounding the singer Sudha Ragunathan's daughter Maalavika, marrying Michael, a Christian. Long story short, intercaste marriage and as a result, religious groups have attacked the family through social media. Is this what religion has turned people into? Extremists who priorotize their religious beliefs over others' happiness? Or is it the individual that has complicated ideas of his/her religion?

This brings us to morality and religion. When we're unable to differentiate between good and bad, then do we lack morality or religion? Religion is an experience, one that has been proposed by others who have undergone that experience. It is what they have felt. Morality lies within the person. It is in the person's interest to be able to make right decisions, not just for the individual's self, but also others surrounding the individual. For a person to be able to grow on his/her own, he/she must have a good sense of morality, not religion, in my opinion, to be able to survive in this world. Self-realization is the key to one's survival in this world. The world is a harsh place, but when us as individuals grow in this world without having to depend on anything or get anything imposed upon us, then the journey of life is a much smoother ride.

I am not trying to fault here with religion. All I am doing right now is raising a few questions that hopefully can help us think from different perspectives.