Sunday, August 9, 2009

Has religion succeeded in its job turning us into good people?-RPK

As the title suggested above, this is one must-read article. One of Raja Petra Kamaruddin best, i guess. Before that, i am going to answer his question. So far, surely religion had not succeeded in its job. It is because religion is partially a lie. Islam is not, Islam is more or others than that of a religion. It is a set of law that Allah gives to simplify the human life. Religion can be created out of nowhere but Islam is already there, it is set. In conclusion, too much religion had caused many problem with our life. We begin his article here:-

They say there are two types of people. There are leaders and there are followers. 1% of the people are leaders while the majority are followers.

Within these two categories are further sub-categories. There are good people and there are bad people.

Within the good people category, they can again be subdivided into two more categories. There are people who are good by nature and there are people who are good because they are scared of being bad. If they were not scared of being bad then they would certainly not be good because being bad is more fun than being good.

And within the bad people category there are people who are bad because they are bad by nature while others are bad because they feel they can get away with being bad without getting caught or that later they can always repent and become good whereby they would be forgiven for all the bad they have done.

And this is why people need religion. Religion stops you from being bad and forces you to be good. Without religion there would be no stick and carrot. You get the stick when you are bad and you get the carrot when you are good. It is a form of punishment and reward system. You get punished when you do bad and you get rewarded when you do good.

In short, religion works on the concept of the bribery system. You are bribed through the punishment and reward system when you do bad and good respectively. And since most people are susceptible to bribes they would conduct themselves accordingly depending on whether they wish to be rewarded or whether they do not fear the punishment and do not care much for the rewards.

Over thousands of years mankind has had to conduct itself based on what religion tells them they should do. Religion has been the guideline for our conduct long before the invention of the police force and the legal system comprising of laws and courts.

The history of religion, however, is a history of violence, persecution, cruelty and brutality. In the name of religion mankind has been subjected to much suffering.

The question is who invented religion? And is religion something that God sent us or something that man created to conveniently oppress and suppress fellow man?

I do not wish to engage in a debate as to the existence of God or otherwise. There are some who believe that there is a God (or Gods). Others believe in the existence of a higher power although they are not quite sure what it is and whether God is the correct word to use for this higher power. Then there are others who believe that man is the product of nature and not of a higher being named God or whatever.

I leave it to you to decide how you came to be.

All religions have what we could call holy books. The ‘main three’, also called the Abrahamic religions, have the Old and New Testaments and the Quran. A study of all three holy books would reveal that there are a lot of similarities and overlapping doctrines. You would not be mistaken if you were to think that the three Abrahamic faiths are actually one faith divided into three sects. Of course, these three ‘sects’ are further divided into many sub-sects who are at most times in conflict with one another.

Man has a natural instinct to be bad. But they are forbidden from being bad basically because the religion they believe in forbids it. If the religion they believe in were silent on the issue then most would choose to be bad rather than good. But they have no choice but to be good because they fear that if they are bad they would receive punishment and not receive the rewards promised to good people.

You could say that most people are not good by nature but are reluctantly good. It is not that there are no good people who are good by nature. There are, although they would be in the minority. And you will find that most of the people who are good by nature do not have any religion. Some do not even believe in God. They are good just because they are, by nature, good and for no other reason -- in particular not because they believe in the system of rewards and punishment that religions propagate.

Has religion succeeded in its job of turning us into good people? Or has it instead turned us into hypocrites? How many of us are good because it is in our heart and how many are good because we have no choice but to be good? If religion were silent on what constitutes good and bad and if there are no rewards and punishment for being either what kind of person would we become?

That is something to ponder upon this Sunday. And before you adopt that holier than thou attitude and start moralising, ask yourself: are you really a good person who has earned the right to preach or are you actually a hypocrite who is not really good but is just a coward who does not dare become a bad person like how you would rather be if given that opportunity?