~ religion and stuff ~

03 October 2003

i was reading slesta’s journal entry regarding the war based on religions, and it makes me think. it bugs me a lot, but i have never been able to articulate this issue in writing. so, ehm, lemme try it now (props to slesta :) …

imho, religion is just one of those things that people use to differentiate themselves with others. it’s like a part of their identity. it could be religion, race, even types of music or football team. i think there is nothing wrong with that. everyone has preferences. and i bond closer with people who share the same preferences with me.

what bugs me is why do people need assume that other preferences are wrong and push their preference to others? where does this hatred between religions come from?

is that what you call fanaticism? (is that a word?) . i identify myself as a fan of Björk. does that mean anyone who do not like Björk are wrong? do i have to hate them?


when the clash between the preferences involves only individuals, the worst you can get is the two people would beat each other up to death (which is not good anyway). but when it involves groups of people that hold the same belief (i’m not talking specifically about religion here), for example countries, unfortunately, the result is much more catasthropic.

and i think, the difficulty of resolving the differences has the same proportion as above. individual differences can be resolved easier. if you would like to initiate the “peace”, you could find other common grounds besides that particular preference. and you can go up to the person and apologize for the earlier missunderstanding. in the bigger scale, even if you try to apologize to one person, there are thousands more that still bore the hatred.

… but that should not mean that people who do not like Björk have to be wiped out from the face of the earth, right?

ahh, just a thought.

~ comment (7) ~

how about profiling ? don’t forget about that …

emon | 4 October 2003 - 12:30 | reply

props to you too.. it’s a good analogy.. but you know.. even music creates war, hence, the west coast-east coast differences. isn’t it stupid to take one’s life just in the name of my preference is better than yours??

i agree more with you to focus on the common grounds than just on the differences.. good one, thal! :)

sLesTa | 4 October 2003 - 01:47 | reply

nice post. totally agree about the right and wrong thing. never have understood why one has to be right and the other wrong according to whichever view you take. as you say, its all preference. i could care less if someone likes pepsi more than coke, even though i like coke. for some reason, when you carry that analogy through to religion (and politics, sex, morality) people think the choices or preferences they have are much more white and black and either/or. maybe people just need to be exposed to different religions,morals, races at an early age to try and teach tolerance and respect. i grew up in the southern US which was historically a place that had more intolerant people as far as race is concerned. i found it to be the opposite for me personally. growing up around many people of a different race made me respect them more, understand them more and less likely to judge because of the color of their skin. if i hadn’t grown up around people that were different than me, maybe i would have bought in to more of the stereotypes about them (right and wrong), been quicker to judge, be more critical. i never understood what gave someone the right to think that they were better than someone else based on some of biological/genetic thing like race which they had no control over.

in the end, i think a lot of it had to do with growing up in a family that didnt allow that kind of thinking and certainly didnt encourage it. as with many other things, i think tolerance for race, religion, morals and ethics starts when you are a child and the types of people and influences (or lack thereof) you are exposed to.

scogin | 4 October 2003 - 05:09 | reply

ha, i like your point about growing up in a family that didn’t encourage that kind of thinking. i think you’re certainly right on this. even if you’re exposed to diversity in your whole life, but the value of tolerance and respect has never been introduced to you, it won’t make any difference. in fact, there are many cases that intolerance and hatred to the other groups will become the solution.

thalia | 4 October 2003 - 04:48 | reply

hmm, i was just thinking, maybe i didn’t use a good analogy afterall. race is not preference. it’s given.

thalia | 5 October 2003 - 03:06 | reply

religion is not a thing to differentiate to other people. religion is a way of life. Religion is not a tool to judge other religions. The hatred in people come if people think outside the religion. the middle-east conflict is not about religion but yes, it became religious conflict one of the countries in middle-esat can not seperate religion and state. but remember in islam there is a verse: bagimu agamamu dan bagiku agamaku. just that simple. don’t bother about anybody’s religion. and again the middle east conflict is not about reliogious conflict. please read history about middle-east and to know you people in palestine lives, just read comic book (yes comic book:-D ) called Palestine by Joe Sacco.

bobotohbandung | 4 October 2003 - 07:44 | reply

i agree. religion is a way of life, and thus it is a very personal thing. to take it beyond that is not only wrong, but also dangerous… as we have seen plenty examples of.

d | 5 October 2003 - 01:38 | reply