I remember taking this extraordinary class in school called Western Philosophy & Religion (the ‘and’ isn’t used to imply a connection, well, not a water-tight one but it was a class on philosophy as well as religion)
So okay, I think of God more as well, this guy somewhere who has a terrible sense of humour, a sense of humour that I will find funny once I am dead and sitting with him getting drunk (me getting drunk, not Him) and okay so I have a slightly irreverent view but I would prefer a god who has his/her own quirks.
I don’t like the Old Testament version of an omnipotent and fierce God. Why do we need one like that? I think back in the day (back in the day being OT times) since people were in tribes, they needed something like a parental figure to keep them in check. Also, natural phenomenon like thunder and lightening were scary. So, attribute whatever you don’t understand to an all powerful being that can be harsh. Same with the flood and Noah, rain is one thing but the deluge had to be caused by something harsh. So either you create the devil or you make God mean at times. The idea of the devil isn’t really there explicitly in the Bible. Its usually a fallen angel and I think Satan means ‘the opposer’ who isn’t evil but inherently opposes everything God does. So, the idea of the devil is done away with and that leaves God as being a strict parent.
I do like the Buddhist view of having a human who is far beyond this plane and knows better and I really like the idea of getting along and peace.
But I think Christianity and Islam are a little too fanatical. I agree the Inquisition had political roots but still, don’t bandy the banner in the name of God to kill some innocents. And don’t say that whoever doesn’t believe in your religion is a kafir or infidel.
I do like Hinduism that accepts other religions and says, fine, if they believe in something else, then so be it. But then again, I think it would be necessary to understand the genesis of these religions to understand the level of tolerance.
Christianity absorbed pagan rites like Easter (what on EARTH do eggs have to do with Christ?). However, it became a state religion almost. So, if slaves pick up other religions, it’s a smart political move to break them down, especially if another religion is a unifying factor.
Islam would have been conceived with nomadic tribes in mind right? So you try and unite them under a single banner. Again, religion. To wage war on another tribe, call them infidels, say your prayers to Allah and charge. Of course, then when all of them became Muslims, come up with sects and rinse, wash and repeat.
Of course, Hinduism has its own defects but I blame it more on misinterpretation. I would like to believe Vedic texts are more like guidelines i.e. this is what you should do to be a good human being instead of you better or else!
What I don’t get however is how much time and energy is spent on something that I feel should be personal. Look, I would like to believe in god (why is another question) but lets just leave it at that. Okay, I know how to do a havan and I know shlokas but I learned that purely as a way of continuing tradition. I want my kids to know it as well. Part of who I am is that long line of ancestry behind me. It’s part of my identity. While I don’t believe in havans, its I guess part of my heritage and the world’s longest continual religion deserves some respect.
While I do respect it, I don’t believe in it.
PS: am not trying to ruffle feathers here, am just being me...if my views are completely out of whack, sorry!