At best, any religion will be an effective vehicle for mystical revelation and an organ of charity and community. Confusing mystical revelation with civil law and science is malicious and regressive. Apples should not be used to comment on oranges.
For any religion or creed to have any value or dignity, it must be chosen freely. If forced or enforced, the exercise is mental slavery and extortion. Islam, in particular, calls for harsh punishment against anyone who leaves the faith. This threat is anathema to mystical insight.
My advice to any and all so-called Muslims: forget the Koran and Hadith, drop the label and threat of Islam and just read Sufi poetry. The mystical seed which should be revealed by Islam can better be found in Sufi writings. In fact, Allah has given you a heart and a mind, the finest instruments in the known universe, and they are all that is needed.
Dogma is for suckers and schmucks. The very best things in life cannot be uttered or described, this is why silence is golden and even the wisest axioms are silver; once spoken, once formulated into language, silver mixed with dross.
Proudly wearing the label of any faith is an admission of bigotry.Trading the ability to change one’s mind for the illusion of safety in the herd is not progressive or self-interested or altruistic. Accepting wholesale one blanket explanation of the universe (often from the stone age) and never questioning this explanation is a behavior that retards progress, thought and growth. This retardation harms the individual and the group.
There’s been a strange idea floating around popular culture for some time: You can believe whatever you want to believe. Have you heard this? Does this sound accurate to you? You can believe whatever you want to believe. This is obviously NOT so, no matter how sweetly it sounds to our ears. You cannot believe that fire will not harm you. You cannot believe that acting like an asshole will have no consequences. You can’t believe that praying for food is the same nutritional value as eating food. Okay, sure, you can believe whatever you want to believe if you don’t care about living and thriving on this planet with other people. If that’s not important to you, all the other people and living here in peace, then yes, you can believe whatever you want.
“Oh, so you’re going to tell me what I can and can’t believe?” the believer might say in righteous indignation.
Not me. Have you not already abdicated your right to choose? I merely remind you that you have the right to choose what you believe, and to change your mind, although you’ve given up that right. You silly Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Baha’i or Scientologist.
People are just people, the world over, so drop the pretense of specialness. And whatever violence you are engaged in or support, stop using the lame excuse of your religion or nationality and just admit it: violence stems from simple human viciousness and ignorance. Honestly own your brutality and stop dressing it up in holy or patriotic garments. Any insistence that violence is righteous only shows desperation to hide immaturity and willful ignorance.
The question you dare not answer, dear believer, is why. Why do you believe such and such? This question is not about any twisted line of reasoning, this is about benefit. What do you get out of your profession of belief? What does it do for you? Honest answers to these questions may lead to a sudden Recto-cranial-ectomy. Side effects include momentary dizziness, better posture and improved respiration and perception. Life is much easier without your head up your ass.
Many seem to think than morality is impossible without religion. Not at all. Only by relinquishing dogma, only by stepping through and past all religions, is Morality possible. Only the free choice has a chance of being the moral choice. Be free.