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Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:33 PM

On Religious Intolerance And Ethnic Hatred

An interesting opinion article in one of Nigeria's online news outlets. In my POV, it asks some of the nagging questions that I have about religion and humanity.

I am neither a preacher of religion nor a disciple of an ancient 'holy man'. Even though I have learnt from both, I see no necessity to define myself by either what I believe, or where I was born. I choose to see life through the prism of values because they are encompassing and exclude none. I am a proponent of enlightenment, justice as fairness, equality and peaceful co-existence.
In my world, whatever Jesus, Mohamed, Abraham, Buddha etc., said, is no different from what Plato, Socrates, Homer, Seneca, Shakespeare etcetera, said. They are all men of exceptional wisdom, understanding of humanity and compassion. I judge all on the altar of morality, reason and fairness. I accept Nothing that they or any one living today have said, without critical appraisal. I hold a faith informed by reason, common sense and evidence.
Until we learn that there are a thousand ways to seek God and every one of them is right, that there are twenty-one ways to pray and God approves of them all, there are one hundred names for God and He answers to all, there are one hundred and forty four routes to heaven and each and every one of them leads to the city of four square with streets of gold and sea of glass, there is one broad way to hell and it is lined by faith, greed, hate, prejudice, pride and intolerance and, anyone can find it. Until we accept that all men and women are brothers and sisters, we will not stop disparaging, hating, squabbling and killing one another.

If religion is the means to God and we have each chosen a different route, and heading to the same destination, why are we so intolerant and hateful of each other?
A man who will see in belief and ethnicity, the eternal truth of God, is not only wilfully ignorant and infected with prejudice, hubris and greed, but very dangerous because he can justify anything, including murder. God is love. The Kingdom of God is in our minds and God made us many nations, of one blood. Let reason inform our faith. Let us end hate in the name of God??


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Reply On Religious Intolerance And Ethnic Hatred (Original post)
mazzarro Dec 2015 OP
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2015 #1
TygrBright Dec 2015 #2
AtheistCrusader Dec 2015 #3

Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:35 PM

1. "there are a thousand ways to seek God and every one of them is right"

That right there undermines everything he's trying to say. If every path to God is correct, then how can you say Boko Haram is wrong?

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:52 PM

2. The hardest thing for believers and unbelievers alike to deal with...

...is the lack of validity in absolutes.

That is, "right" and "wrong" are context-sensitive.

We can generally find some "virtual" absolutes (the Golden Rule is the best-known example of this,) but even there, it is context-sensitive.

Just ask an addict in recovery after having felt "coerced" into seeking treatment for their illness.

Attempting to enforce our own notions of "right" and "wrong" on others depends on how carefully we stick to those "virtual" absolutes where a broad almost-consensus has temporarily emerged.


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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 02:20 PM

3. Yep, as soon as you establish that there is a path that cannot be seen, felt, proven, etc

then you open the door for others to piggy-back on that assumption, and describe a slightly or even radically different path, which you absolutely cannot disprove.

As an atheist, this is where I stand apart; I don't assert there's a path, let alone a destination. Want me to assume it? I refuse, burden of proof is on the one that makes the claim, so you must prove it.

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