by Anita Thomas
What are religions meant for? I have often asked this question to myself and after much thought, have come to an answer. I will hold this opinion until I am challenged with another satisfactory answer.
Religions are to curb the savage attributes of humans through fear of ‘god’. Thousands of years ago, looking at the abject savageness of the fellow beings, a great thinker came with the idea to proclaim that an almighty god exists and he would punish all who misconduct in society, by dumping them in the eternal fire- hell. The great scholar added omnipotent and omnipresent as attributes of the almighty. Omnipotent because he could punish the wrongdoers however he wanted, through flood, drought, fire, etc, thus adding more reasons to fear. Omnipresent so that the sly ones would know that someone was watching them doing wrong deeds, that too an invisible and powerful someone. The scholar was happy with the results and passed down various codes of conduct for the civilians to follow.
Thousands of years later, the violence and animosity increased again. It was time for other scholars to step in. They came and went, leaving behind scores of commandments and parables. This time they became the sons of the earlier gods. There is no doubt that these were great people, they wanted peace and harmony among the people and they achieved it in great deal. Thousands followed them and the descendants still follow.
This doesn’t mean that the earth was rid of violence altogether. The idea of spreading non violence through fear of god worked among who came to believe in the concept, but those who didn’t believe continued with their former thinking. So there were wars for land, for women, and for ego.
Soon came an era where if the scholars were present they would also give up ‘god’- war for gods! Now the various gods want recognition. They want to be the god of the other gods and mind you there are so many of them that every human on earth could be fighting for an individual god.
So were the scholars wrong in introducing the almighty? I think not, they just did what deemed fit in that period. They could not possibly know that the idea would backfire a thousand years later.
The more important question here is -what next? What do we do now when we even fight in the name of the one thing that was meant to spread peace and brotherhood? After pondering over this question over and over again, I am left with nothing. Or maybe we should just wait for another scholar who would again with his/her idea redeem at least some of the world for the next thousand years.