I am pain stricken to say that, various “educational” institutions have adopted the medieval doctrine fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom as their motto. Let me tell you this, fear of the Lord, Santa Claus, Krishna, Thor, Hulk or any other imaginary being brings merely the illusion of wisdom, not wisdom. And illusion of wisdom is a billion times more harmful than lack of wisdom.
A religious individual may most gloriously carry out his or her own rituals, as a part of his or her cultural identity, but the moment, that person starts to build a wall of separation between the self and the rest of humanity, coaxed by the textual commands of a scripture, the healthy religiousness turns into dangerous fundamentalism, which is a threat to both the self and the society.
Killing a bunch of Jihadis may be morally justified, to save humanity from their wrath, but it won't terminate Jihad for long. Jihad or Holy war would keep festering one way or another, until religious fundamentalism is eradicated from the human society. Until the whole humanity learns to scrutinize its most revered scriptures with the sharp tool of reasoning, Jihad will keep on striking over the world. If one does not have the basic conscientious capacity to refute the primitive textual verses of the scriptures that demand one to kill or torture another being for holding a different belief system than one's own, then that entity is no being of the civilized human society, it is merely a pest from the stone-age. No Quran, no Bible, no Gita, no Cow, is greater than the human self. There shall be hope for harmony and peace in the world, only when fundamentalism is destroyed forever. Harmony is not a luxury, it is an existential necessity of the species. And to achieve it, if a hundred Bibles have to be sacrificed, then be it. But for no Bible, Quran or Gita, can harmony be compromised.
The moment the religious population of the world begins to see the prophets what they really were - mortal teachers of the mortal world, a great portion of the world's religious conflicts shall vanish into thin air.
Mother Nature created God as a neurological anti-depressant sentiment, but Man tore that God apart into pieces and made citadels of differentiation out of them.
The most sensitive period of their developmental age, when the kids are supposed to be taught to question everything and nourish their reasoning skills, they are taught that God created the world in seven days – that the human race did not evolve from apes through millions of years, rather it came from the amorous congress between two God-made humans, named Adam and Eve. And if you ask why? The answers of the uneducated primordial teachers would be that the scriptures say so. And now if you ask, can’t the scriptures be wrong – do I have to take these stories literally? They would lash out with rage and shout at you – how dare you question the scriptures! Every single word in it is true. There is no greater truth than the truth of these sacred texts.
London is one of the world's centres of Arab journalism and political activism. The failure of left and right, the establishment and its opposition, to mount principled arguments against clerical reaction has had global ramifications. Ideas minted in Britain – the notion that it is bigoted to oppose bigotry; 'Islamophobic' to oppose clerics whose first desire is to oppress Muslims – swirl out through the press and the net to lands where they can do real harm.
The belief that the world was created yesterday seems to hold great appeal to those born at that time.
Any book that spreads weakness in the heart of one gender, and authoritarianism in the other, must be burnt to ashes.
People fight over religion, because they don't understand religion. They think reading a few Bibles, Qurans and Vedas makes them religious. Books are not religion my friend. Real religion is realization of the Self.
Christ the man died long ago, but Christ the idea of love, still exists, not in any church, rather in the mind of humans.
Forget all the formal decency of tolerance, and simply love your fellow humans. And the Self within you shall attain the highest pedestal of greatness, way higher than all the book-learned preachers in the world.
I do not hail myself as an atheist, for I am not an atheist. In fact, I have met God, felt God and even lived in God, same as the prophets of human history. But mark you, humanism cannot be compromised because of some doctrines presented as God’s command. In the domain of transcendence, all commands received by the mind, are created by the mind itself. They manifest as divine revelations, but in reality, they are revelations rising from the mind itself. And as such, they have potential to be both good and evil.
Harmony also is not a luxury, it is an evolutionary necessity, if we are to advance further. And harmony cannot be compromised for any book in the world, no matter how ancient, or who wrote it.
The sacred texts of human history from all over the world, can never be perceived by the rational mind as texts of historical accuracy. They can only be a glaring representation of the traditions and ideals of the people. Now, it is up to the rational mind, to analyze those texts and thereafter consume the good elements from them, while discarding the rest.
Brutality goes hand in hand with orthodoxy, be it Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Atheistic or any other.
All these stories of Janamsakhi were like an artistic instrument that was yielded more to spread Nanak’s spiritual sovereignty as a mystical prophet than as an effective teacher in flesh and blood. In the midst of ignorance and mystical craving, they provided a simple method to guide people, or rather allure them to a newly formed religious path by sermonizing through stories of mystical non-sense.
We don't have the luxury to say that, there is no hope for reform in Islam, because by saying this, we would be disavowing the entire peace-loving Muslim population of the world. We cannot leave our Muslim sisters and brothers behind to be oppressed by their own priestly tyrants, while the rest of the world keeps progressing with an open mind. The entire civilized society of the world, must put their heart and soul to get Islam liberated from the shackles of fundamentalism. Conscience must triumph over orthodox barbarianism, otherwise there would be no hope for the progress and wellbeing of humanity as a truly wise species.
In my experiences, the common critic of Christianity, when he thinks of Christianity, imagines a sort of elementary, Sunday School blunder of elements: fiery Hell, an angry God, 'try not to sin', 'be good so that you can go to Heaven', absurd miracles, hyper-fundamentalist tales, religious hypocrites, and Jesus telling people not to judge. There is no horse more dead than such. I maintain that understanding Christianity and the Bible is quite like painting a piece of art. Let a toddler paint a puppy; then let an adult who is a long-time painter paint the very same puppy. They are both paintings of the puppy, but one is far more detailed, rational, realistic, and believable than the other. One is distorted and comical; the other is proportional and lively. One can write off Theology if he so pleases, but he might not be very wise in using the toddler's painting when it comes time to identify the real puppy or when trying to confront actual men of the Faith.
Accepting evil is worse than committing evil. You must – I repeat – you must, as a human being, stand up on the side of humanism, against barbarian inhumanism, for it is your action, that shall determine whether your children shall live in a world of peace and harmony or a world of chaos and discriminations.
Discriminations are never a sign of a civilized society. What makes us civilized is our act of liberated kindness with other people beyond the man-made primitive citadels of gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.
Discriminations suit animals, not humans. And yet, the unfortunate reality is, it is the humans that discriminate each other on the grounds of imaginary labels, not the animals. This way, animals are more civilized than humans.
Religious fundamentalism advocates homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, polygamy and many other primitive evils. Can you imagine, somebody telling you, your love for your dearly beloved is a sin! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, women are inferior to men, and are meant only serve the men! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, a man can have multiple wives, and yet be deemed civilized! Here that somebody is a fundamentalist – a theoretical pest from the stone-age, who somehow managed to survive even amidst all the rise of reasoning and intellect. Such a creature with no modern mental faculty whatsoever, knows nothing beyond the words of a book, written hundreds or thousands of years ago, when ignorance was the default mode of thinking in the society. It does not only believe every single word of a book to be literally true, but puts all its efforts to convince others to believe the same. This way, it would be an understatement to say, such is a worthless creature. In reality, such a creature can cause a catastrophic contagion in a society, especially if that society is already going through socio-political turmoil.
Can you imagine, somebody telling you, your love for your dearly beloved is a sin! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, women are inferior to men, and are meant only serve the men! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, a man can have multiple wives, and yet be deemed civilized! Here that somebody is a fundamentalist ape - a theoretical pest from the stone-age, that somehow managed to survive even amidst all the rise of reasoning and intellect.
Acceptance does not mean accepting those who disregard humans on the basis of race, religion and sexual orientation.
Terrorism has nothing to do with religion, Islam or otherwise. Terrorism is born of fundamentalism not of religion.