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  #1  
Old October 17th, 2000, 12:51 AM
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Question

From many months I had been visiting few discussion forums,
and I was surprised to see that any thread which had religion in it, had statement "Hinduism/Islam/Christainity... is a way of life."

And a fullstop followed by some links giving details about the particular religion. But I could not find arguements where they can substantiate that religion is in fact a mode of life in today's world. I looked into my own life and never found a issue where religion had helped me out.

I tried to contradict myself saying that virtues that people possess, get imbibed into them because of religion.
But most of the time it is deterrence and not the pure uncorrupted virtue. (Fear of being punished by "GOD".)
But that does not seem to be the case because people go to temple/mosque/church and at the same time kill others, lie, manipulate.....etc.

World around me or I have have been affected by religion in only one way and that was the way of creating and proliferating disturbance, violence , superstition and funny, irritating customs.

In most of the discussion I found three groups, one of fanatics, one group who is atheist and last which ends all the arguements with one mantra "....is way of life" without any proof.

Can anyone throw light on how religion practically is a way of life and if it is then should it be with the current state of world where most of the wars/disputes are by-product of religion?




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  #2  
Old October 17th, 2000, 10:01 AM
The Real Deal The Real Deal is offline
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religion a way of life

Religion is the way of life. Do not confse yoursef. When we say religion is the way of life, in my opinion, its the defnition of the word religion. Now its upto you if you are following that way.

As your argument that it never help in your life, I agree if you have your individual way, that, you do what you like. Then certainly you are not follwing any religion(and we should have a name for it), you are following what you like to do or what your concious allwow to do.

Being born in one religion and thinking that you are of that fait but actually follow the way you like, what is good for you, in fact, does not actually make you of that faith in which you born. So no illusion.

A way always help you if you follow right way. Certainly if certain religion tell you some wrong way which might trouble other and troubling other which in your defnition is sin, then you will do not do that. So that religion is wrong at that place, but you keep continue that faith and just do not follow 'troubling other' part. Then actually you made your 'own way' which is borrwed fromm the religion you born in and your own defnition of 'troubling other'.

So 'own way' can not be genralisez as it may differ with people. Ultimatly these religious book is written by man and are not a gurantee that it contain somthing which is acceptable by all.

All we need a way which should not trouble other, which should incourage for progress of numan kind and oneself, which should not promote us any harm other and should be very persanal to oneself.

If religion does not teach us these then we should encourage to change those text of religious book. If you have your rigth way, I agree religion does not help, but there are those who can not be such educated so that understnd the truth of living, truth of world, religion is made for only those people to be in control and certainly it help their. And hence to you as if they are in control then you have better peace.

In last today people have much advantage to lern and understand world and hence there are more in number like you who do not need that certing religion show you path, they achive their path with good teacher, parents, sarrounding lots of book reading which make one inteligent enough to decide rigth or wrong. But their are those still have not much advantage, for them religion came in existance in form of book. But certain people have described it the way suited for their benefit and unfortunatly that continued. This happen in every religion.

Certain religion found time to improve on those curropted part at some extent but some do not even want to listen that we really need to correct those error of past. I hope it will answer your all curiosity.

Again religion is defined to reach to god. That is where people started getting confuse. Religion is defined to achive one's exilance in life and which further defined to reach solvation. All these are the path defined by certain part of world and language. All ment to only one god. It is language which discriminate, that God is different.

People should know it very clearly that calling god, allah or bhagwan have no difference its just the way europian, arabian or indian subcontinet have call them. I welcome if some other can throw some light.
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Old October 17th, 2000, 02:04 PM
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Cool I feel..

I feel that religion means a certain set of rules to be followed by scoiety for the general good of everyone. I am a Hindu, but I follow the rules the way I want. I mean, I go to the temple, when I fel like it. I pray to God the way I feel is good for me.

Basically, I feel that every person needs to adapt to religion as per his/her needs. I agree that prayer and meditation give a lot of inner peace and stress relief, but my idea is simple : I dont force anyone else to follow the religion as I follow it and I dont expect anything from others of my religion to do something for me.

Basically seeking inner peace by way of religion or by any other means is and should be a matter of personal choice!
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Old October 17th, 2000, 04:13 PM
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still question is unanswered.

Real Deal,

Ur explanation does make some sense to 'me'. But I wanted to have some real life examples where religion has done the act of enlightening the mass and removed some problems like hatred among caste, creed, religion etc. Please provide such links where religion has done a job which can be compared to the enlightement obtained due to education.

So how has religion helped those whom you have referred to in your post as those who couldn't get education? Again I ask for some concrete examples.

On the contrary, I see many religious bodies acting as catalyst in worsening the contentious issues. We have caste system in Hindus, sects in Muslims, sects in christainity....

-----------------------------------------------------------
Echarcha,

I want to know those set of rules. And how religion enforces them. How are they for general good of everyone?
Please do not forget to give those set of rules on this post, Its my earnest request.

I see that, for u religion is a theory that u can follow in bits and pieces according to ur feelings.
What makes u think that as amorphous a theory like any religion will get respect of all. Some may buy an idea from a religion of not harming others and some may not.
Now since you have made this theory so amorphous that people can go and say that this violence is called upon by GOD and its in good of humamity. Now because of your own premise you have no rights to condemn them.

Believe me, if some one comes up with a scientific theory as amorphous like this, he will be thrashed along with theory. But its this religion who has got so may followers with all its contradiction, Irony isn't it.





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  #5  
Old October 17th, 2000, 04:34 PM
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Cool See this is what I learnt

Hello me

See, as I grew up in Hindu household, I started going to the temple. I was educated in a Catholic School which introduced us students to Jeusus Christ and ocasionally took us to the church.

Basically as a child I learnt that one must do good deeds and not harm others. That you must pray to God (whether the Hindu concept of many gods or Christian concept of one Jesus Christ) and generally be a good citizen. I was a kid and did not understand why I must pray to GOD. Today I am older and I still believ in God, but realise that prayer is a way of releasing all that you have in mind to a being unseen by you and me. Also, deep meditation and prayer can relax stress induced by today's fast and hectic life.

As to the way some people promote their religion and indulge in violent acts - well, I never learnt that. That was never taught. I dont agree with it. I dont think it fits in with any rules of a good society. As a child I just came to know of our ancient Indian culture and great books like the Geeta and the Vedas by way of the Hindu religion that we followed at home. Simple prayers and some festivals like Satyanarayan Poojas.

If you ask me today - whether religion plays an important role in my life? Well, I do beleive in the nice teachings of religion that one must do good deeds and not harm others. I also like meditation because it releives my stress. Beyond that, I really dont get affected by religion in my daily life. If you ask me what else I enjoy? Well, Indian society has so many diverse cultures stemming from Hindu religion and hence we have Diwali and Ganpati and Dandiya Raas.. I enjoy all such social ocassions as it gives me a opportunity to meet all near and dear ones.

Beyond that I dont think too much about religion and all that you mention. For me, building a stronger economy and being part of a economic growth process to benefit the myself and the society around me and the nation of prime importance. With economic prosperity, a lot of problems can be solved. There are many frustrated people in society and they take recourse to religious fanatacism as a solution. They fail to realise that all boils down to progress and working in harmony for betterment of society - whether by following some religious principles or some other means.

All this religious fanaticism is a result of unawareness of what is happening in the world and indifference to others' sufferings on part of many people.

As they say "Khali paet bhajan na hoyi Gopala" - You cannot follow religion on a empty stomach!
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  #6  
Old October 17th, 2000, 10:08 PM
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umm...religion...what can i say?...the origins of religion lies in the fact that man was curious about his/her surroundings and started asking questions and attributing the answers/explanations to some supernatural force as they couldnt rationalise the world....if we look at it...the original religions say ....the primordial man....the gods were basically nature.....fire/rain/wind/animal spirits/mythical figures ...etc...coz that is what mattered to the wandering tribes at that point in time...mabbe u can call it polytheism...samething happened on a much organised level later in civilizations in mespotomia/indus/chinese/egyptian...and later the greek philosophers started rationlism et al...and gods attained more or less human forms and then came the appartent monotheism....some religions have adapted to time and survived...and others perished....science contributed a little to the shattering of religious myths....but some say aint science a new religion.....

well religion as it was quoted is nothing but the opium of the masses...it was created for masses to get some order and discipline and has been historically used by rulers to get into power and hold on to it.....

well..everyone have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe...but i guess shud be ready to question their belief systems at any point in time....as someone said "I respect faith ....but "doubt" is what gives me an education"...blind faith doesnt help anyone....

if we look at the current scenario we wud see most of the population is made up of believers and among the so called educated....the popular path is to say....i have been told god is there taking care of me...by believing in something i get peace of mind....so why question and take a path where there are no answers...where i have to do the searching and find peace of mind...i dont have the time for all this...religion or science have served humanity well till now...so i will just let it be...and live my life...take care of my career and my wife ,...my children....let the pursuit of truth be left to others....

religion as a topic has been debated enuff times in the history and still will be....the bottom line is science with its ancient (aristotlian) modes of rationality cant explain everything in the universe...and human beings will continue to take refuge in religion as that is what they have been taught by their parents and society ...and atleast they wont be looked upon as strange if they says religion sucks !
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Old October 18th, 2000, 12:15 AM
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Phaedrus,

That's quite good a post.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Echarcha,

My question is unanswered.
There are three things that u discussed in ur post.
Good deeds, not harming others and meditation.

Good deeds is a good phrase but good deeds for whom?
There's a basic requirement to define 'good deeds' and 'goodness' in absolute sense.

'Not harming others'. Are you proving that if there only atheist left in this world then world will be a chaos because everyone will harm others? Are u proving that there is no violence in today's world where majority follows one or the other religion?
I think 'not harming others' is requirement for co-existence rather than rule given by religion. Whenever people have denied to co-exist with other groups they have harmed others, irrespective of the religion they followed.
And the interesting part being, that pretext of violence has been may a times, religion.


I am surprised by ur statements like
"Beyond that I dont think too much about religion and all that you mention. ...... There are many frustrated people in society and they take recourse to religious fanatacism as a solution. They fail to realise that...."

It seems that you think that you live on an island where other's actions are not going to affect you and your's are not going to affect them. Tell me would u be in US if Indian economy was strong? Do you attribute the current state of the country to differences with a religion and differences among various religions? Have u forgetten how Babri Masjid episode affected everyone's life? How much are the chance that religion can spin off a war ? And do you have any idea about how any war can affect ur life?

If you have any idea then you would think more logically about religion than you do now.








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Old October 18th, 2000, 08:34 AM
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Cool Arey baba...

Arey baba, main jyaada nahin sochta een sab ke baare mein.

See as I told you, I really do not get affected too much by religion. I did not like thet people created a furore over the Ram Mandir- Babri Masjid structure.

I tell you what - I live a simple life. By this I mean, I really dontc are too much about religion and politics. I know that religion is part of India's politics. It should nto have been, but it is. Even in USA, they print "In God We Trust" on their currency.

So there is a basic belief in religion and God. But beyond that, I find it more productive and beneficial to enhance my life, the economy and the society around me.

Beyond that, main jyaada nahin sochta... I am not saying that non-believers of GOD cause harm or believers cause harm. Basically people interpret religion differently - some benefit the society by their good actions and some take it fanatically and cause harm like religious riots and all such non-sense.

If Indian economy was really good, then many young people would not leave Indian shores after their degree to seek a better prospect in life. So, I feel that India right now needs two things - the peace and harmony taught by every religion and economic growth.

Sorry, apne ko jyaada deep thoughts nahin hai eis topic par..
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Old October 19th, 2000, 02:00 AM
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hi adminstrator

well the topic needs some serious thinking...and use of hindi doesnt help people who can speak the language ...just feedback ....when ur running a site which is a discussion forum for serious topics...i guess u need people/moderators who can take care of the forum and have interest in it?

for me ...mate if u need more on the topic u can land up at infidels.org....damn nice place i can tell yaaa
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Old October 19th, 2000, 07:35 AM
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Hi phaedrus

Hi phaedrus,

What do you mean by serious thinking? Whatever my thoughts, I am just presenting them here. I mean, my thoughts on this topic are very limited because I never really thought too much about religion and daily life! And I choose not to. Why? Well, I feel whatever 'little' I know of religion and philosophy, I am content with it. I dont need to know more, atleast not right now. Maybe when I retire from active professional life, I will learn more about religion and philosphy.

The basics of religion (as taught to me at my home) that I know are: Dont harm others by saying bad things about their religion or insulting their places of worship. Try to lead a life as an exemplary citizen and benefit the society around you. These basic principles of religion and life are enough for me.

As for the use of English and Hindi in one post - well, I agree that you should not mix two languages, but since this forum is about India and Indians worldwide and Hindi being our national language, I felt that a little Hindi here and there would be fine.

As you have said that I need to have moderators on echarcha. Well, the DEFENSE forum has 'padhu' as a moderator because he really showed interest and I felt that he should be made moderator. Infact I am keen to appoint moderators so that people with different interests can really take charge and have a valuable experience online at echarcha.

Would you like to take over any particular forum as a moderator? Please write to me at admin@echarcha.com if you have any more concerns.

I appreciate your feedback and look forward to more tips and suggestions from you.

Thanks
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Old October 19th, 2000, 10:34 AM
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Thanks a lot

Phaedrus,

I am really grateful for introducing 'me' to infidel.org.
I went, just gave cursory look to the site and broke into laugh after looking at question "Who is John Galt".

-me
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Old October 19th, 2000, 10:46 PM
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I'm simple minded about religion. Religion has been the root cause of more deaths than any other cause. End of story
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Old October 19th, 2000, 11:40 PM
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:)

hey man admin chill...it was just feedback...

when i said the topic needs serious thinking..i meant dont dilute the seriousness of the topic by trivialising it...feedback me shall send....umm being moderator...if someone takes that post...needs to be a full time thing...
he he have to comment on one thing though...religion or philosophy are not that dense topics which have to be taken up only when one retires or has lots of time .....u will be surprised to know the avg. age of the circle (mine atleast) who indulge in them

me .. glad u liked it...that place has been my home on the net for couple of weeks now ....we been fighting about science and religion for quite a while ...i am i that place too ....

adios and peace
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Old October 20th, 2000, 04:39 PM
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Its for 'me'...


Ur explanation does make some sense to 'me'. But I wanted to have some real life examples where religion has done the act of enlightening the mass and removed some problems like hatred among caste, creed, religion etc. Please provide such links where religion has done a job which can be compared to the enlightenment obtained due to education.


-You are right, we have much hate developed in the name of religion. My understanding about religion is its mere a book written for people to control and guide them by few exceptional brilliant philosopher the world have got. For now I will give you some more info instead give you real example to understand in different way. I see 'Gandhi Philosophy as a new religion. But again we all know that his most of philosophy was already existed in this world. 'Buddha' have teacheases us those and same with Veda. Only thing with time we forgot these in our practical life what these Books (Veda or Buddha or far that matter any other ancient philosophy) teaches us. What 'Gandhi' did is, he shows us the same philosophy in practical sense. His inspiration was based on these philosophy and he was the man who followed these philosophy and shows us that those are not just a matter of book.

-From where his inspiration came, by reading those book? if you talk today in same language from where your idea came? People have read those book and have develop many other theory and have written many other book, made movie etc. This how we have transferred those knowledge in today's modern world. But then people just understand that these knowledge are merely bookish thing. Our philosopher had much better idea about this and tied these knowledge with god. Again these books were only for make one a 'good human being'. That is how these book have played their role. Religion can not be seen, people can feel it in all walk of life. When millions of people have followed Gandhi to get their life easier, it was religion, it was a way of life. Actually our institutions failed to transfer these knowledge to masses in right way. We can not say that religion do not play a role, it does. Only its name may have changed with good teacher/good parents/good neabhour/friend.

-If you go behind you will see that almost all these institutions had/have a system to transfer these knowledge to people by gurukul/mission/madarsa and it existed in all part of world, with time we got school and universities. I would like to mention, some religion have introduce other study with these institution like meditation/science/math's/yoga/etc. in Indian sub-continent and east, in eruption mission have included and adopted science/math's/etc. heavily and so did the madarsas in Arabian for some time. As a result there was a time when Indian subcontinent have developed a great deal of knowledge so did European. For some time it happen in Arabian continent also, but somehow it turns towards different direction(probably due to crusade etc.) in Arabia and due to corruption in Indian after 200/300BC and now its mostly limited to a transfer of knowledge which is wrongly interpreted. We all are suffering with this and forced to discuss Religion a way of life or a trouble for life.

-However I'm still firm about it that it does not play a role for those who are well to do and have environment/teacher/parents to guide them but cant you see the hidden theory behind this, all these people are merely playing a role to transfer those knowledge to you as they are intelligent enough to do so or they have money to buy this. Not all are lucky and for them it should play a good role but alas we do not have right body. Whatever body we have they fight to spread false culture in the name of falsely defined religion, so we are getting a 'hate culture' instead a 'human culture'.


So how has religion helped those whom you have referred to in your post as those who couldn't get education? Again I ask for some concrete examples.


-A long discussion above might help, but its a matter of transfer education by some good messenger of religion like good priest (I will force the 'good' word here) for hapless who do not have access of these either expensive educationsystem or discriminated education system with time.


On the contrary, I see many religious bodies acting as catalyst in worsening the contentious issues. We have caste system in Hindus, sects in Muslims, sects in Christianity....


-Again I would add religion is a very beautiful phenomenon we have got from our philosopher. We people have misinterpreted this system. We need to rectify it and reeducate people associated with. Hope may be in some time all defined religion have some good people come forward within it and reform it. Religion is not "a trouble for life", but its misinterpretation have made it so. It is also very shame for this civilized society, we have better resources to learn and have lot more example but we do not have people or can produce people like great people who have given great theory centuries ago.
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