Sunday, August 10, 2014
This particular subject has many reasons, forms and levels of intensity. Among many others, this most likely is not a newly found accusation. I bet there have been similar discussions held on various forums for even more diverse collection of audiences.
Why are religious people considered as dumb, ignorant and/or otherwise less intelligent? During my short life I have encountered a few reasons. Now I would like to share them with you.
Tradition is a common card. A believer is a believer just because of tradition. It is part of the culture. He follows his parents. The core idea is that the believer does not think by himself and just takes what he is born with.
Partial or complete disregard of science causes much contention between the believers and the secular world. A believer refuses to accept proven and tested theories. He promotes ideas and behaviour that contradict research and studies of the better educated. The believer defends himself from something "more convincing" that seems to be not what he has thought to be true. Instead of facing this challenge with study and research he just rejects the whole of it. It is easier.
Insufficient understanding of the scriptures, teachings and doctrines is also a target. A believer might be new or old, a convert or born to the faith. A believer does not know everything. The world wants to know everything before committing to God or Faith. To a believer it often times is enough to receive a comforting feeling that tells it is going to be all good.
I'd say these are most common accusations of a believer's stupidity. At least they are the ones I have encountered the most. In short we are defensive fools who are not able to think by our own. Naturally we cannot allow this to be true.
In some faiths and cultures it is a tabu to question and ask if something does not make sense. It is a sad thing. God gave us an ability to think and reason. We should use it, promote and encourage it. We should never deny an individual's freedom to think and come to conclusions. Some go to the extreme. Sometimes violence and even death is used as a punishment. I don't believe a God who gave intelligence would then suddenly deny using it.
If you find yourself in one of these three categories, I encourage you to think for yourself, for your own sake. Even though we should look after each other and warn those who are in danger, we all work on our own salvation. One simply cannot be saved in ignorance.
If you are part of something because of tradition, stop it. Like sabbath, tradition is for people not the other way around. Find out for yourself if it is true, if it makes sense, if it actually works, if it takes you forward in life. Does it make you feel whole?
Religion and science, both are about truth. They go hand in hand. Do not reject the other because of what the other says. Study it, learn and you will go far.
Science attempts you understand how our universe and everything in it physically works. There is only one way how this clock works and science wants to find out what it is. Our knowledge of it gradually increases. Something that we thought we figured out today might be proven wrong tomorrow because someone figured out something new. Men and women who do this important work do their very best.
Religion is not attempting to explain how this physical world functions. It never was it's purpose. Religion tells us why all this. It reveals our relationship to God. It teaches of the spiritual things. Like in science, there is only one truth. If something exsists, there is only one truth of it. And that truth – the truth of morals, principles and what is spiritual – is what religion is after.
If you don't know your faith, study! God loves you, if there is something fishy, wrong or harmful coming He will warn you IF you want to know. Be sincere in your study. It is the most important factor. If it is true and right, you will know of it. You don't need to know everything. You need to know the basics. You need to have a foundation. Then on that you can build a house of true knowledge.
Now my friends, don't be ignorant but be careful.