Religion or Soccer?

I have a friend who keeps bringing up religion in conversations. For him, religions are responsible for all the evil in this world (he is especially afraid of Islam). Since I love arguing with people, I decided to defend the cause of religion (maybe also to annoy him). I came up with the following argument: conflicts based on Religions, Racism, Sexism, Nationalism, Political activism, Terrorism, Violent soccer support are all manifestations of the same phenomenon.

In essence, people agree to adopt certain criteria to form a "definition bond" with others: White Australian, Liberal lesbian, Protestant, Black Muslim, Freedom fighter, Manchester United supporter, etc... Due to the limited scope of such definitions, anyone outside any defined group, just by being present, directly challenges the foundation of any "group" and who they really are.

Such a challenge make people distressed and angry. The thought of having lived by the wrong values, being inferior, defeated, being a "monkey", going to hell etc.. is too painful and too difficult to handle individually, therefore people reinforce the definition bond with others. Hence fanaticism.

Although a "group" is composed of many individual entities with apparent free will, it's macro behaviour is closer to the behaviour of a vulgar infection. The Communist party members might say: "Let's bring social justice to the world ", but if the group as one entity could talk it would say: "mmm, I’m going to devour all theses juicy competitors and oponents by any possible means". Such groups must be the strangest creatures in the universe. David Atenborough's nature show explains that "The rogue organism is primarily composed of an aggregation of surrendered free wills and is fueled by money."

In conclusion, the path to hell is paved with good intentions - let's all be aware of our groups macro behaviors and avoid the hazardous "definition bonds" for the much safer "love bond". (sounds cheezy doesn't it?)

Jacques

I agree that anything that divides people into categories creates a danger of conflict.

You need to be careful about your conclusions, however. A "love bonded" group can be as bad as any other "social justice" group if they ignore CONDITIONS that need to be achieved and maintained before True Love can be experienced. Examples of such conditions for love are Acceptance and Tolerance. Can you really love someone if you cannot accept and tolerate his/her existence?

It seems that nothing can really replace studying the Self and working on self-integrity... Any "recipe" is no better than a meaningless word unless it is analysed by the Self and individually acted upon.

Tom

The problem is that the potential for dividing people is unlimmited- people have the freewill to decide which category they belong to! Until all people start redefining themself in a wider - more universal context we will always be competing against each other for resources.I doubt that Acceptance and Tolerance are enough as they aren't unconditional. Can you tolerate or accept someone who whishes to exterminate you?

Jacques

Of course I can. This is the best choice that I can make. If you read The Freedom of Choice book again, you may discover how to turn your enemy into your friend.

I disagree with you that Acceptance and Tolerance are not enough. Their LACK is the essence of all problems on Earth.

Acceptance and Tolerance CAN and should be unconditional. Everyone is an integral part of the Universe and we should unconditionally acknowledge this fact.

Without Acceptance and Tolerance one will NEVER experience Love.

Tom

Recent studies published in Science on 4th July 2014 give some insight why people joing "groups". The Science article demonstrates that people prefer to suffer electric shocks rather than being alone with their own thoughts, hence their need to join or follow someone.

More details in the topic "Electric shock or meditation?"  Tom, 13 July 2014

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