Something to Consider, Part 2

This blog is second in a series where I examine the intermixing of religion and politics.
  • The first blog asked the question, should religion or utilitarianism legislate politics?
  • This second blog reviews multiple religions to answer the questions, does morality exist in major religions, and what is the role of religion.
First, my disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are my own. They do not represent the views of any one faith, creed, church, denomination, sect, religion, etc. I hope to keep this blog as objective as possible, but with religion, I believe, for most people, it can be subjective. While I hold strong to my beliefs, I still try to remain objective in my blogs

When I consider religion, I see it as an individual’s duty to be obedient to his “higher power”. Whether we agree or disagree with who that “higher power” is, I think we can all agree that when we find a belief that seems true to us, our job is to hold strong to those creeds which make up that belief and, in essence, follow the guidelines expressed by whomever we feel is the highest inspiration of that faith. Understand, I am not saying that all religions are the same. What I am arguing is that in each religion there are commandments that adherents must subscribe to for themselves in order to truly demonstrate their faith.

Major Religions' Holy Books

I see this in the Bible, as expressed in the 10 commandments and Jesus’ succinct commandment in the New Testament. Christians are obligated to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love those around them. (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27)

I see this in the Book of Mormon where Jesus’ commandment is reiterated in Doctrine and Covenants 59:5.

I see this in the Torah. Again, with the ten commandments, Jews are instructed to be obedient to the laws given to them by God and issued by Moses. In the Jewish faith, these are called Aseret ha-D'varim. According to the Jews all other commands they are to follow are based on the Aseret ha-D’varim. (Shemot 20:2-17, Devarim 5:6-21)

I see this in the Quran. Muslims are instructed to serve Allah and to live charitably with all mankind. (Surat Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2 verse 83; Surat An-Nisa, Chapter 4, verse 1)

I see this in the Bhagavad Gita where Hindus are taught as part of their obligation to self-discipline that they ought to practice forgiveness and “non-violence to any living entity”. (Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 10, verses 4 and 5; Chapter 17, verse 14)

Finally, I see this in the Pali Tipitaka which describes the Noble Eightfold Path including right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness and right concentration. Each of these paths describe how a Buddhist must treat himself and how he must treat others. (Maggasaccaniddeso, Exposition of the Truth of the Path)

In each of these sections, I see that the rules talk about “you”. This is how “you” should live. In other sections of these holy books, there are consequences for “you” not acting according to these rules. I also see that these rules are given by the entity whom is considered the holiest or most blessed by their adherents.

Further, in each of these mandates, adherents are supposed to act according a standard of morality. In other words, morality is not exclusive to any one religion.

What are your thoughts about religion?

Check out my next blog for my discussion of politics.
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aijaz uddin said...

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