A look at Religion

The general tenor of recent literature, on the state of universalism, shows that a consensus exists to indicate all of humanity is inextricably linked with the universe, whose scope and magnitude is not understood by all of humanity irrespective of the level of effort put forth to understand this mystery of life. Socrates made an error in thinking that the cause of evil was ignorance with the implication that the more information (or facts) you give to people through education, the better chance we would have to get ride of evil in our lives. Socrates over looked the fact that the training of characters is important for man in his search for values.

The will is our character, the sum of our choices and decisions. As long as educational systems continue to emphasis the pedagogy of the mind and neglect the pedagogy of the will, of character, society will never reach the necessary levels of altruism needed to enhance humanity in search of itself. And, as men are in this search together because of our social and gregarious nature. Man is not self – sufficient even for any of his basic needs. In the ultimate and final analysis man cannot stand on his own feet, as it were: he did not do so at his birth he does not weave his own clothes, cook his own meals play football alone, go to the moon on his own – he needs other men in the pursuit of his goals, in the realisation of his self-actualisation. Suffice to say any society that does not provide for a comprehensive plan to eradicate poverty in its midst fails to enable humanity to find meaning in quest for meaning in life.

Man is gregarious by nature. He appears on the landscape of history not as a lonely forlorn creature, but as a social being, linked to others like him by strong ties of kinship and consanguinity The vicious clash between the evolutionary theories derived from Darwinism and the traditional beliefs around the origins and creation of man cannot stop us from asserting that when man first appeared on the creature endowed with reason (ratio) and will (volition). Man is a creature of purpose – a purposefully being – because of the two faculties in him: ratio and volition. Man lives his life in constant pursuit of ends, goals or purposes. He is always out to achieve values. At the bottom of this constant quest for values, lies a substratum quality of self – actualisation that informs his search for the ultimate values. No man is exempted from this search. He, unlike others non-rational animals, has the frightening potential to become something he is not, the urge towards infinity. But in his quest for this ultimate value, he encounters countless obstacles and distractions. As he struggles to overcome these distractions, he soon realise that his faculty of reason alone cannot rescue him from succumbing and losing the battle in his pursuit of his ultimate purpose in life. He soon realizes that man is not self sufficient for any of his basic needs – let alone for his ultimate needs. This is particularly true of our contemporary age belief in the power and supremacy of reason (ratio) has urged us to stuff our children’s minds with “facts” devoid of principle – and thereby neglected to teach them how to live. We seem to have completely forgotten that any system of religion which fails to focus on the will (volition) also fails to train the character. Such a system of religion may turn men in to walking encyclopedias but fail dismally to make them responsible citizen in democracy. Religion provides knowledge through the strengthening of ratio but cannot make a man better unless it teaches him the true purpose of man as a collective and as an individual in that social collective. In societies that relegates poverty to individual failure rather than social collective is bound to collapse with the progress of time.

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