Saturday, November 15, 2008

Proselytisation-2

Well, it's veterans day over here today, and got time to crack some knuckles and begin typing a post, which might take me a few days to complete.

In reply to my last post, one of the blogs co-contributors wrote on October 21, 5:48 a.m.

"So whats the underlying problem?
Where does this proselytisation ultimately lead us to?
Why should we be wary of it?
Is there any loss to the country, or to the humanity or the world as a whole because of proselytism?"

You have not dwelt on these questions. Please consider them as well."

Time to type something out on them.

Q 1. So what's the underlying problem?
Ans. 1. I assume that he is talking about proselytism over here. The idea thrives on two things. Local insecurity of the people targeted, and the ideology of the proselytizer.

It is common knowledge that pangs of hunger, poverty, and disease are too hard to digest for the common man. It is indeed against the morals of the land to abandon the religion and switch onto another. No culture would support that directly. But when in today's morally bereft world, when the rich do not show any inclination to obey the cultural norms and continue their rather rash quest of material advantage and power, and that without facing any physical limitations on their existence, do we really expect the poor and needy to abide by the rules, when there's is a matter of life and death?

Countries and populations cannot survive on just talks on dharma and air. Those times are long gone. Thus, socio-economic welfare for the entire populace, along with physical and mental security should be the key motive of the state. By physical security, I mean security against terrorists and rioting bigots, and by mental security I mean their protection against propaganda spread by foreign agents inside the motherland.

This is where the last post comes relevant. When there is resentment in the society, class conflict gets inevitable. But should this conflict have players other than the local populace affected? Should there directly be any external benefactors of this class conflict? You decide.

Q2. Where does proselytisation lead us to?
Ans. 2 The ultimate goal of proselytisation driven by either religion/personal initiative is deprivation of individual intellectuality. It will give rise to transnational organisations that will be run from a central power center. There will be nations, but the soul of the nations, the independence of the people's mind will be lost.

Well, what after the world has converted to the one true faith, the one honored by God? Shouldn't a boundary-less world be the ultimate goal of humanity?

Yes, but the necessary precondition to this that the individual is left independent to be what he wants to. Is there a guarantee over here that the religious elite seating at the power center of this true faith recognize the problems ailing the people of the other corner of the globe? Our experience is that empires of the state have not been able to do so, which could be the reason behind freedom struggles of the people, and their ultimate victory. And empires of the mind/religion can only do so by making people zombies to their order, incognizant of their individuality, and doing stuff for the elite by misplaced zeal without knowing little of what they are doing. People would end up as willful slaves of the religion. While the elite will enjoy the spoils of this cultural war, the laymen would have the most dogmatic aspects of the religion thrust down their throats.


Q3. Why should we be wary of it?
Ans2. For this, it is necessary to look into the dogma of the religions that proselytise. The dogma that is frequently espoused by the clergy of these religions is that the way of worship of these 'religions' is the best, and the rest need to be saved/killed/etc.

Thus, there is no concern of the law of the land. Whatever way of life exists in one portion of the globe, if it is not palatable to the locals, who viewing the way of life of the outsiders find their ways better, there is always a way to reform the local customs and traditions and take the best of their ways. The abhorable indigenous practices can be removed, while the best can be retained. Common sense says that the ancients cannot be entirely right, in the same way, they cannot be entirely wrong.

This will not be acceptable to the proselytisers. Theirs is a method of either labeling the locals as 'unbelievers' and killing them outrightly, or as 'heathens' and the need to 'save' them. The locals are made to reject their native customs completely, assimilated into the proselytic faith either at gunpoint or allured through fake promises. If at all any attempt is made to legalise native customs, they would be mutated as if to be invented by the proselytisers.

Thus, the eventual aim of proselytism would be to expand the following of that particular faith, at the cost of others. There is no 'live and let live' philosophy. There is always an urge to convert, by both the moderate and the radical even under the slightest of excuses.

In this melee, the native cultures are lost forever. The native faith, which is almost always inclusive in nature, will welcome trojans intoxicated by proselytic faiths. In today's world, with nukes at large and countries spending alot on defense, it would be a massive pain to conquer people and nations by the gun. Instead, nations will get conquered by religion. And the newly converted, will be made to parrot the lines of the headquarters of the religion. Say hello to the new weapon of imperialism, religion.

Q4. Is there any loss to the country, or to the humanity or the world as a whole because of proselytism?
Ans 4. The biggest loss to proselytic faiths is the loss of individuality, the lack of criticism or introspection on the basic tenets of the faith that would allow a process of natural reform, doing which an individual could be ostracized from the community as a whole.

The only way out of this grip of proselytism is spreading awareness about the proselytising faith among the masses. Religion is not what it was in the bygone days. In those days, it could be considered as a set of ethics, which could help govern a society when the state wasn't so powerful.

Today, with less damaging wars to the state (who knows what happens tomorrow, but at least there are not frequent changes to country boundaries and we don't see many grand conquerors rising in today's world except for this last maniac) state rules should suffice to govern the society.

So, then what is the need of religion? Perhaps only to provide ideals of human character and what we should aspire to be. And then, if one religion has those ideals already, why do we need to switch to another? The only reason could be when people are deprived of basic needs or when they are fed false propaganda regarding a faith.

Thus, to fight this renewed scourge, socio-economic reforms of the people is a must. Next step would be to encourage people to read about the new faith and its history before accepting the new dogma. Even then if he wishes to convert, inspired by the new doctrine, he should be allowed to. Blindly mugging people of their local faith without spreading awareness in the lust to increase numbers and region of spread will only lead to greater turmoil.

(Disclaimer: The following are solely my thoughts, which are very very remote from being implemented as law in any place in the world, considering my political inclination, and also the professionin which I am currently embroiled. So the point is, do not lose any sleep on what you may read here, as I am somewhat radical in thoughts. Also, due to some constraints based on the fact that I am an Indian by origin, I will write from an Indian PoV and be a critic of the known proselytising faiths. I have tried to keep it as generic as possible. Again, there is no inspiration from the Gita for this, but in the interest of holding a discussion that started off from some Gita quotes.. am just trying to end what I started.)




4 comments:

Gandaragolaka said...

Welcome back, and thanks for responding to my request!

An excellent explanation and the best part it is that questions have been answered from a neutral humanist perspective, and not even needing to use our Hindu ideals of Dharma na Nyaya. This is good because proselytisation is evil in itself, and one should not need to flip through Dharma-Granths to find out why. We should be able to tell there proselytising religions that they are wrong and destructive to the humanity ON THEIR FACE.

Bikers Blog said...

This is very good, a blog to keep our country's reputation on, and moreover I like the way you are writing new posts to reply to commenters, keep this work up bro !

Karmasura said...

Thanks B.B.,.. the whole point of replying to commenters by writing posts is that the message would be lost in the comments section.

Moreover, me not being an established blogger, there would be few willing to take the pain to read the comments section. So replying in this manner.

Hope you loved the message as well!

Kumaran Raman said...

quite insightful.. you follow a nice blogging method..

http://www.itsteekays.blogspot.com/