…If a compass is lost in the wilderness, what’s the solution?…..
News like this is so commonplace people don’t get shocked anymore to hear such. Killing in the name of the Lord, or, in the name of religion?
Karl Marx said that religion is the opium of the people. Religion is not meant to be imbibed hook, line and sinker to achieve an inebriated state.True religion should have a purifying effects on our thoughts, speech and comportment. It should also play a cohesive role in bringing together all the constituent parts of a being… the physical and the spiritual. It should serve as a moral / spiritual compass in the ultimate purification of the being. True religion should guide in the worship of the creator,not the created (like, man, stone, or other material things or symbols). It should provide answers to questions about the great mysteries of life.
These were the postulates of some great minds.
Three things. The countries that are atheistic (e.g Sweden), would we say they are lost, or lack morality? Do all humans need religion to leave a purposeful and fulfilled life? Remember, religion is an not an end, but a means to an end.. With Nigerians generally being so religious but mostly ungodly, how well has religion been, as a compass, or pillar of support, seeing that religion is often a potent and divisive force, rather than an oasis of peace and humaneness, on many significant portions of the world?
Those atheistic countries are not necessarily less moral or evil than, say Nigerians. The problem here is that we seem to define morality based on outward appearance and exposed platitudes. It is well. God will do it. I cover myself with the blood. Etc, etc.
Weakness in character isn’t really considered a moral defect here. Stealing, lying, cheating, in the pursuit of livelihood is totally accepted in our society. We reinforce these immorality with silly sayings like “na where person dey work e dey chop.”
A person can be as rotten as they come, but just don’t be immoral!!! Dress properly, and you are seen as being on track. You may be a ritualist, baby factory operator, it doesn’t matter, just be moral. What are we recognizing when we give awards and titles to known thieves?
The same people get postions in churches and other trophies settings. Religion, organized religion in Nigeria, has lost its ability to serve as a moral compass.
A society gets more of what it accepts. That’s why the distinction between physical and moral courage is very important.
Another jumps in with this line of thought:
It is said that “bad workmen blame their tools, good or bad” and “good workmen blame their bad tools”. If the compass points north and people go south and miss their destination, it would be unfair to blame the compass. The tool is not the problem. But if a tool is useless, or being persistently misused, why not discard the tool as it serves no useful purpose in the hands of the workmen.
The average man is too lazy to read and analyze the holy books. Organized religion plays that role – sometimes intentionally misinterpreting for selfish reasons. This has become the case of the “custodians of the compass”, intentionally manipulating the compass and indirectly, the workmen. The end result is a compass pointing people in the wrong direction. More wars have been fought for religious reasons than for any other reason – including conflicts over material resources. That surely can’t be God’s intention.
Or, the original purpose of religion.
The one who believes that religion is playing pivotal roles inhumanity continues:
If only chopping off one’s head was the cure to headache…we are not self-regulating autonomous systems like we want to believe – instead we are “free radicals” that are kept in harmony only by a bonding of the body with its spiritual pair (soul). That bonding is facilitated by religion or call it spiritual guidance/compass.
The one who thinks spirituality and being religious is not necessarily synonymous gave his final thoughts, viz:
Equating religion with spirituality is part of the problem. It is sometimes the reason why people don’t want to exercise the deep personal reflection that is a requisite for spiritual growth. So looking for shortcuts, they just swallow without reflection what the “religious leader” teaches them. In the same way, the word of the Pastor / Imam isn’t necessarily the same as the word of God. It would be helpful if more people understood that the Pastor’s or Imam’s word is an attempt at interpretation of God’s word.
Al Bagdadi’s (ISIS’s leader) may have a twisted interpretation of Islamic doctrines, but it hasn’t stopped followers in their thousands from believing him, and believing in his twisted message of hate.
I’m convinced that Bagdadi’s fight can’t he the holy Jihad that Allah approves of. While we may be encouraged to obey spiritual leaders without question, an adventurous mindset is helpful in the search for truth.
Indeed there is a burning need for people to search for the truth. Differentiating the opium from true religion. In any case, most religion already deny being religions and instead prefer the label “a way of life”.
If religion doesn’t seem to be playing the correct role of the moral and spiritual compass, can we then say that humanity is doomed, or what?