According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world
This blog is about the position of ethics in our lives as compared to our own biased religious beliefs. Since religion is one of the important topics of ethics [I belong to Pakistan and my religious belief is Islam], so in my lectures on ethics, whenever I tell my students something about religion, they always think, I am talking about Islam. They are not to be blamed for it, as the majority population of Pakistan follows Islam as their religion.
Also most of the time, in order to make them understand the concept of ethics in religious terms, I often quote Quranic verses and Hadith, as everything taught in ethics is very much in Islam as well.
Religious beliefs often are very much deep-rooted in one’s heart and anything said about it, directly hits one’s heart [here I am referring to religion in general, so my words should not be taken for or against any religion].
At one point in time during my lecture, I told my students that ethics has emanated from various religions, existing since time immemorial, but once ethics emanates, it takes precedence over religion.
And then I was bombarded with a volley of fire by the whole class. Everyone, in the class, thought, as if I am undermining Islam and talking something against Islam without an inkling of the concept I was trying to establish. This is what happens when we listen to react, and not to understand, [a common trait of most of us].
Fruit cocktail is often sold canned and is a staple of cafeterias, but can also be made fresh. The use of the word “cocktail” in the name does not mean that it contains alcohol, but refers to the secondary definition “An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood”. [Wikipedia]
Not a single religion [not the followers] in the world allows its followers to lie, or kill fellow humans in the name of religion. Ethics, on the other hand, talks about humanity, offering a cocktail of best practices of these religions for the uplift of humanity. Probably that is one of the reasons why atheists are more ethical in their wheeling-dealing then the religious zealots, even though they (atheists) don’t follow any religion.
If I or for that matter anyone tries to convince someone to follow something good and to make one convince using religious anecdotes, the counterpart, if not belonging to the same religion, might argue not to follow the advice. Because s/he will presume that advice being given is based on one’s bias against one’s religious beliefs. But if the same argument is explained using ethics [which is more rational than emotional], it will have more acceptance to anyone, as it will not be based on one’s religious biases to convince.
It’s as if, one is being offered a cocktail [advice] containing a tinge of all the flavors [religions], which can easily be consumed [acceptable] rather then having a glass of juice [religious sermon] containing only the fruit [biased religious belief] you like.