Jemila Samerin hits the nail on the head saying “We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another” (“Relegate religion,” Open Page, March 7).
Since there are so many gods and religions, it is clear that men created them. Too many religions, each one of them preaching its own set of rules, pave the way for hatred towards one another. Religions have also become commercial with places of worship turning into collection points for money. As long as we hang on to religion, progress will be difficult to achieve.
The article rightly points out that there is no need to be threatened with eternal torture or tempted by eternal bliss to form a civilised society. It can be achieved by inculcating humanity and empathy, which is better done by non-religious means. This has been amply proved by centuries of violence unleashed by the so-called believers of different faiths and creeds.
The perennial argument about true religion teaching universal love and only its followers being mistaken does not hold ground inasmuch as religion has proved capable of being misused. All claims about existence of any world beyond this earth and its so-called elevated nature should be deemed as wild hypotheses fit for rigorous scientific enquiry and discarded if found wanting in essential standards of truth.
As Arthur C. Clarke said: “Perhaps, our role on this planet is not to worship god, but to create him …”
No religion preaches hatred or violence. We conclude our prayer saying Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu (May all beings everywhere be happy). The popular Bible precept is “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” Similar is the case with Islam and other religions.
Sporadic irrational acts by misguided elements are no doubt a blot on religion, but to attribute them to religion is unjustified.