Saturday, July 18, 2015

Religion is like a personal medication, don't brag about it.

During one of my discussions on Facebook someone said that 'religion is also good when taken like medicine'. This statement might sound strange to some people but in a way it is true. I always believed that religion and religious beliefs are very personal matter of any individual much like their personal medication. Many people need some type of medication for some health issues, these issues can be physical or mental. Every patient who visits any doctor for some problems gets their personal prescription to improve their health. Apart from prescription medications people can buy over the counter medicines on their own for variety of medical conditions which are not that serious. Many people have to take these medications daily, some medicines suit them which they continue to take and some do not which they discontinue. But very few discuss about these things very openly in public, we don't go on telling all people around us what medication we take and how good we feel because of that medicine. We don;t start recommending those medicines to each and every individual without knowing their health condition. We don't do this specifically because we feel that it is not appropriate to share a very personal matter in public and also because we know whatever medicine is good or suitable for us may or may not suit other person. There are also very strict laws in many countries to protect personal medical history of patients. People do share these things with their close ones which is very normal thing to do but most refrain from boasting about this thing in public. Now I think that religion is also a very personal thing, many people need it for their personal well being. This need is very genuine requirement and it is quite reasonable that such people try to satisfy this need by using various products available to them. There are many options available in market for them, normally they get one by default (the one in which they are born) but they can change to whatever other religion they like. One can compare it very well with personal medication, people use religion for their personal well being as they use medicines to improve their health. Many of them get some benefits and enjoy the many good things which come along with it.

Things start getting complicated when people start to force their religion on others, that too without bothering to know if other person need it or not. When a deeply personal thing like religion is treated like a social phenomena it brings lot of problems along with it. People who didn't like it started resisting it, some people launched same or similar products which created competition and lot of conflict in market of religion. This competition created lot of bitter rivalries, somewhat similar like rivalries between various pharmaceutical companies. Only difference is pharma company rivalries ultimately help patients as it results in more medicines and cheaper price. On similar lines religious rivalries did create more religions but it also resulted in fierce competition between them which many times gets converted into violent communal conflicts. So far millions of people died in such conflicts all over the world. Even after all this people fail to understand that religion is very personal matter, there is no need to create a public display of it unnecessarily. Society also need to make various rules and regulations about advertising and distribution of various religions and their products.

Now one can ask why something like religion needs a rules and regulations like pharma products. This is specifically because like every medication religion also has many side effects and some of them are really serious. Tendency of many religious groups to indulge in communal violence is one of the major and fatal side effects. Gender discrimination, suppression of certain class of society, superstitions, etc. are few other noticeable and serious side effects. People who practice religion should be aware of these things as these things can directly affect them. It will be a really good idea for every religion to publish list of side effects which it may cause. It will be a really great thing to make it mandatory as it is for every pharma company to list all side effects of their products. It can help people a lot to choose religion which suits their need and style. Various religions can list these side effects based on their history. Most of them have very well documented history which can easily give them a list of various issues and problems caused by others to their followers as well as problems their followers caused to others. The point I am trying to make here is, in today's world religion is a very personal matter, please don't try to make into some sort of social movement. In past it was used as social tool but not that need doesn't exist because today situation is different, so it will be better if we adjust accordingly.  

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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