There is a lot of blame going around nowadays. I’m not sure if this is something that has always been a part of our collective discourse—have humans always focused so much of their energy on finding someone to blame for anything they weren’t happy with?
As someone who is very religious, I have found myself the focus of blame quite often in the last few years. More specifically, I have been blamed, as a religious person, for making the world an insecure place. And this, despite the fact that my religion is a very peaceful one, encouraging all to actively work on creating vibrant, united, diverse communities.
Religion: Good or Bad?
While history is weighed down by some unspeakably horrible things done in the name of religion, it has also benefited greatly from the light and life it has shed on humanity. The same can be said for the present; while indeed, there are still some horrific things that are being done in the name of religion, there are also some amazing, life-giving things that are also being done in its name.
So what is the true reality of religion? Is it the harbinger of death and calamity, or is it the bountiful rainfall that confers life to all it touches?
Let’s Talk About Mathematics
Admittedly, the topic of religion is a very sensitive one that makes even the most logical and objective ones amongst us go a little off-the-rails at times. So let’s think about mathematics for a bit.
If you are a mathematician and can’t solve a formula, whose fault is it, maths or yours?
If math is used to solve an equation leading to something horrific, is math in itself bad? If math is used to solve an equation leading to something amazing, is math, in itself, good?
Neither can be said about math; it is only a tool that can be used for either bad or good. How it is used says something about the person using it, and not the tool itself.
Just because the followers of a religion do terrible things in its name doesn’t mean that the religion itself is terrible. And just because people don’t follow a religion, doesn’t mean that what they are doing isn’t terrible, either. I find it most ironic when someone oppressed a religious person because religious people have oppressed them; it only continues the cycle of oppression, instead of breaking it.
Perhaps, instead of focusing on if religion is good or bad, we should look for people who are open-minded and willing to make things better. Because, at the end of the day, there is no way 7 billion people (and counting) are going to live the same kind of life. We urgently need to figure out how to live harmoniously in an increasingly diverse world and let go of the unhealthy urge of trying to prove everyone different wrong.
Have you ever been oppressed? Have you ever been oppressed because people “like you” were oppressing others? If so, how did you deal with it?