Some insights from Valerie Tarico’s “12 worst ideas religion has unleashed in the world” which I wish to share, and expound a little on, since it is already thorough and well explored:
Forms of righteous torture –
- Flagellation (Christian)
- Matam (Shia Muslims )
- Fasting (Christians, Hindus , Muslims )
- Animal sacrifice (Hindus, Muslims)
For one’s “own good” –
- Self-immolation : by one’s own willing
- Sati : forced immolation if widows, which lasted 2000 plus years in some parts of India
- Ashram for widows [after sati was abolished]
- Genital mutilation: Jews & Muslim circumcision; female genital mutilation of girls
- Karma (Hindus)
Karma is good insofar as it is good engendering good, but if it is forced – as it is in some eastern cultures – then it can cause cultural passivity and act like hell, with the same goal: to make one “not” live while on earth, but for another life. To pay for karma is unreasonable if one suffers for something one knows nothing of/about in this life. How on “earth” can one be paying in this life for a sin or wrongdoing committed in another life? Why are we held accountable for an “evil” deed when even ‘evil’ differs from place to place, situation to situation, or from era to era?
If we accept ‘destiny’, ‘maktub’, ‘kismet’ we are being ‘fixed’, already written, as though it is not us doing something, but someone else. If we accept ‘destiny’ we accept everything, and nothing can change or transform. We are born an empty slate which gets written on by others. Accepting destiny then is not always for our ‘own’ good, but often for the good or profit of someone else doing the writing on our slate. We should be aware, too, that we are the ‘chosen one’ for our blindness to new or other ideas.
We must be vigilant that religion NOT make us passive Godots: waiting for someone/ something who / that may never come.