As Muslims world over react strongly to the Pope’s wild comments or rather his reference to some long dead person’s comments; one thing comes out in the forefront: Since the crusades-jehad period; never has religion been so important in world affairs. People are getting killed in the name of religion at Bali, Mumbai,
Is there a solution for this? People must realize the uselessness of bull-talk like “all religions teach the same truth” and “religious co-existence is possible.” The fact of the matter is that religious co-existence is only possible when one group has totally crushed out the others as during the Mughal rule in
The only way out seems to be a situation where entire humanity follows the path of western Europe. The frequent bloody battles between Europeans ceased after Europeans learned to be dispassionate about religion and nationalism. Mass education may provide this. Our education systems largely ignore alternate philosophies about life. Children only receive one viewpoint: "that God exists in the form his parents say and everything is explicable through religious means." Children have to be given exposure to alternate view points about life like existentialism and absurdism. The horrors of war and terrorism because of religious and national fanaticism has be explained in detail; videos and posters of mothers crying over the dead bodies of their sons killed in religious feuds have to be displayed everywhere. An educational system that constantly encourages independent thinking has to be instilled. Let’s not forget that Hindu students of advanced physics still do a surya namaskara believing deep in their hearts that Sun is a god and not a star.
It is amazing how religious systems based on ancient men’s fear of natural elements have managed to entrench so deep in our day to day living. We forget that ancient people were wrong in saying that the sun rotated around the earth, that the earth was flat and that the world is made up of ether/ musical notes/ or elements like fire, water etc. We forget that ancient people had no medicines for the fatal diseases; had no cars, aeroplanes; washing machines. We forget that ancient people wrote books that justified slavery for the blacks, celebrated monarchy and stoning by death of women. Because of our forgetfulness and ignorance, we still believe that ancient people who wrote those religious books had enough wisdom on the basis of which we can kill each other. Let’s stop paying obeisance to the agents of the past like the popes, imams and swamis. Let’s respect the achievements of our own generation; we have paid enough homage to those old books and their writers; let’s have faith in our abilities to think independently.