Thursday, February 08, 2007

Am I a Pantheist (not Panties!)? ;P

Today's Ethics class has made me think...hard. I have just realised today that many people who claim that they are of a certain religion, actually do not know the basis of the religion or do not question some practices in the religion. I mean, like if you were born into a family of Catholic or Muslim, you would have been trained since young to perform certain rituals, to memorize stories or words from the holy book. But in reality, how many of you would truly know why you perform those rituals and why some of the "questionable rules" are there (which in this case, I was going to talk about using contraceptives for family planning purposes)? Not many, is my guess.

Prior to the discussion in class today, I was actually feeling lost because I do not have a religion. It is not that I am an atheist, I just don't have a religion. I do believe in the existence of a God, mind you. It is just that I have been brought up in such an environment that gave me the opportunity to view religion differently than most of you: My family practises Taoism but goes to Buddhist temples. I used to go to church and attend Sunday school when I was in kindergarten. I tried to read the Quran when I was in secondary school. I tried to read more about Sikhism when I was in college. I show my respect to the Gods in the Hindu temples near where I live everytime I pass by. So, what does that make me? Definitely not an atheist.

The thing is, it is my choice to not want to follow any one religion. Some of my friends say that it is good because it makes me think and not just follow blindly as some of my friends are obviously doing. But most people, I think, would not look at me kindly when Itell them that I do not have a religion. I suppose these people think that it is a sin to not have a religion. Or maybe they think that I am deprived because I do not know what religion to believe in. However, if you think about it, I am not deprived of anything. In fact, my needs in life have been fulfilled to the point that I am now able to think of religion and looking for self-actualization (for those of you who don't know what I am talking about, research Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).

Well, probably one of the reasons I do not profess any religion is that I think I know enough of the major religions in Malaysia to decide that they all advocate good behaviour and practices. Since they are all equally good, there is no need to commit myself to one religion, right? Besides, I believe that it is human nature to be biased and think that all that is mine is better than what others have. So, it is my belief that if I commit myself to one religion, I would inadvertently be one of those people who insist that my religion is the most superior and the best in the whole wide world (stupidity at its "stupidest" moment). Anyway, if God truly exists, and He/She/It knows that I believe in Him/Her/It, would He/She/It punish me because I do not profess a specific religion?

Back to my classmates, when asked to define and explain more about some practices and beliefs in their religion, it was obvious that some could not do it clearly. I am not criticizing them (who am I to do so since I cannot explain any religious practices at all!), but it makes me wonder if these people truly BELIEVE in what they are practising. I mean, don't you have to strongly believe in something before you make it a part of your life?

Well, I suppose it has been a way of life for too long: parents pass down their religion and beliefs to their children, people profess a certain religion because of peer pressure and brainwashers (this is what I think of those people who try to convert others). It has happened since forever that no one questions anything anymore. Questioning what is written in the holy book is seen as blasphemous.But if you don't question, how are you to understand and believe? And God did not write those holy books. It was humans (men, specifically). It was their interpretation. How can we be sure that that was what God wanted from us?

Hahaha...I have a feeling that not many people would read this whole post because they might be offended or confused by what I am trying to say. Anyway, think about this: no major religion in the world teaches us to do things that are not good, no religion is superior to the other. So what's the need to fight over religion, right? If you want to be a Hindu, great! If you want to be a Muslim, yay! If you want to be a Christian, whoo-ee! If you want to be a Buddhist, yippee! etc. etc. As long as someone believes in doing good and believes that there is a superior power hovering around us, isn't that enough?

Oh, and I know some religions advocate that the followers enlighten those who have not found the path, my say on it is that: make sure you enlighten people who have truly not found the path, and not because the person is not on the same path as you.

Have I found my path? Well, can't you see that I am trying to create my own path by spreading my Jiawenism? Haha...
Have a blessed day, everyone!


1 comment:

melwin said...

hmmm looks like u were really listening in the ethics class hehehe

i don't how to say this but...
i feel that its all a learning process...
it not wrong to question what is written in holy books cause it makes us makes us choose what we can accept in life

i feel that it is all about the relationship a person wants to hv with GOD! i feel that everyone has his or her own ways..
some may choose to follow blindly but some may not...

i know that some people don't know much about their religion but they just follow..
i actually don't blame them cause i feel this is a personal depends on the the person really interested to find out...?

don't laugh but i only learnt a very imporatnt fact about my religion when i was in form 6... how worse is that?

u said..."But most people, I think, would not look at me kindly when I tell them that I do not have a religion."..
i guess we can't blame them..its their background..i hv seen that to some people their religion represent them ..they r attached that they get offended easily.. i guess as time goes by they feel that their religion is superior...hmmm

i think that all of the religion in this world talk about good stuff...but its just in different ways.. but we do find people arguing about which religion is superior! it sad to see such people

when u said to me that u don't know what religion u wanted to do for the assignment i really didn't what to say.but i remembered the time (i dont think u remembered) when i was in ur place at bayu mas..both of us did talk about religion..n both were lost hehehe... at that time i guess we were trying to understand religion...

i guess is a process.. a personal process .cause its not something that can be understood easily...

i better stop before i write a long comment hehehe
hv fun