Friday, June 05, 2009

On religion

I wrote this on twitter:

Ecumenically religion is not an opiate of the masses but a revolutionary force that can transform the inner self and reconfigure the spirit.

Do you agree?

7 comments:

donplaypuks® said...

Marx was spot on. To paraphrase him, the spectre of religion continues to haunt us as the opium of the masses.

Yeah, I know what he actually wrote, but I thought combining those two famous quotes would be apt.

Just look at the world post 9/11 and you will see it now more divided by religious blocks than political ones.

Office boys and fishmongers' wives will today talk in M'sia and Indonesia about the injustice of USA invading Iraq and the dastardly acts of Zionists against Palestinians. And if you ask them to point out on a map where Iran and Israel are located, most will fail!!

Religion may be a revolutionary force that transforms the inner self and reconfigure the spirit, but rarely has it done so beyond national borders in the last 200 years. More violence and atrocities have been committed and wars fought, in the name of religion than any other.

We can't even discuss Art 11 and provisions in our Constitution. What more, should a non-Muslim question the Koran? But it's all right to make movies about the Church and Pope and Jesus and insinuate he had an illegitiate child and screen them without censorship!

There's God and then there are 'Holy Books' and there are religions. I think most can just about only agree on God; but on religion and 'Holy Book'none is prepared to surrender an inch!

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

ROLE OF RELIGION

When we talk about a worldwide religion
It's not just any belief for a small region
It will be more than merely life's caption
When it is what is needed every stage of life's station

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 060609
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Sat. 6th June 2009.

amoker said...

Faith is as much personel as much as it is for society.

Anonymous said...

Religion need to be fully understood and a continues learning that one must not stop. Believe me if everyone fears ALLAH the almighty, and you are right on the spot.

Yen said...

You are right and you are not. Not many peole can think like an existentialist, like those main figures in Russian novels.The masses tend to run away from self-introspection. This is one of the weakness in human nature. Sadly

francis ngu said...

In asmuch as religion is such a diverse spectrum, even within a religion bearing the same name, history has shown that it can both be an opiate, but that it can just as much be a powerful force for democracy, nationalism and social justice as well.

In western world, it emerged from the dark age of the Inquisition in Europe and went on to influence the concepts of democracy and human rights, and their adoption in both the "Christian" and non-Christian world.

May Islam also not be said to inspire Attaturk's Turkish secularism? and the Arabic nationalism of Nasser of Egypt? and Arab socialism of Gadaffi of Libyan Arab Republic? For all the Iran-phobia, Islam is certainly the bedrock of the Iranian revolution, the positives of which many in the world refuse to acknowledge.

There are also other major instances of the positive role of religion:e.g. Hinduism (as well as Islam) which has a major influence on Ghandian nationalism on the Indian sub-continent), Buddhism (monks' self emolation) in the defeat of USA in the Vietnam War, the Catholic church in the Peoples' Power victory in the Philippines and in Poland, and the Christian force in the demise of apartheid in South Africa. More controversially, rebel Catholic clergy have given religious leadership to revolutionary Catholicism in the Philippines and many Latin american nations in recent history.

In Malaysia, the opposition rooted in Islam in the case of PAS, and inspired by Islam in the case of Reformasi is now joined full circle by other major religions in subtle and not so subtle ways.

I think when the emphasis is on shared universal values, religions contribute their spiritual best to societies and nations, and when there is over-emphasis on man-made externalities all too prominent in all religions, that civilizational development is retarded.

Francis Ngu, Sarawak

Gadfly said...

When a human being turns inward to the deepest depth of his/her psyche(or soull or spirit or self), two things can happen: the self explodes or implodes. The self either tries to grasp everything (power, wealth, fame) for itself or the self tries to let go of everything including itself. The self becomes either a monster or a saint.

Religion is constructed out of a self that tries to make the inauthentic self real and solid or to accept the inauthentic self as real. For the former, religion is a psychotic drug that enslaves the self. For the latter, it liberates the self, not just transformative.

Quantum mechanics tells us that it is the method that we see and not the realty as it is. Similarly, what we see is not whether religion is an opium or not, but the method to construct or to deconstruct the inauthenticity of the self.

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