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Opinions of Monday, 21 May 2018

Columnist: Raji Yekinni O. & Sanusi Yahya O.

Religion: The supposed catalyst to unification

Religion is meant to teach us true spiritual human character. It is meant for self-transformation. It is meant to transform anxiety into peace, arrogance into humility, envy into compassion, to awaken the pure soul in man and his love for the Source, which is God._*-Radhanath Swami.

There are some times people do ask, Are you religious? Technically ,If we extend the definition of religion it goes on to discuss the meaning of life and our purpose in it – or relationship to it. As you can see, the question is deep. It’s not a surface question like “do you like Horror movies ?”... Religion is said to be man's opium with the objective of establishing a Fair and Humane Society, free from any form of aberrant activities.

But has it achieved that? To what extent? And if not, what are the reasons?.
Although, one can say following a laid down pattern from various religion we have will all get us to the same goal ..But in what way has it been carried out?

_*"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives." -*_____ Dalai Lama

Religion in its meaning, is a set of beliefs concerning the cause,nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. That has been the basis of the advent of religion with and withiout the consideration of creed,race,ethnicity,colour, or class. The fundamental truth of all great religions of the world are yet absorbed by man and still never cease to term himself "religious". The progress of any state is dependent on its interaction with other states,internally and externally.

Whereas the building blocks of modern nations is made up of self-centered persons. Unfortunately,its no ones obligation to castigate human nature for such an action of selfness as it is inherent in every living Individual.

The social and economic advance depend on private vices - on what he called the sordidness of selfishness - Bernard Mandeville.

That man has tried to unite his nation with other human nation is undebatable but the questions to ask are; Have they successed? On what basis does he stand to interact with others? If failed, what are the causes?.

History and modern practicals have shown that nations does not hold an agreement with other nation(s) without becall to authority. Issues can be resolved through diplomacy or settled through war. Obviously,the war that man engages today is not in totality as that of the days before but the effects remain unchanged. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in his words,
"The evils which sapped the nation's strength had all been wrought in the name of religion".

The conceptualization and practicalization of religion is perfect but the reasoning and justification of human action remains everly questionable. Talk about the theories,laws etc. The universality of these (theories,concepts,laws) are of adverse effect from states to state. What more do we seek for?

The impact of religion in a secular state seems to have played out negatively in Nigeria, as politics and religion are mixed in the attempt to gain political hold on the population. For a very long time, religion has been used by the (Nigerian) oligarchy as its main weapon to hold on to power (Kukah 1993). The situation seems to be gradually changing with the waning of oligarchy's influence over citizens in specific states. Of note is that, whenever an attempt is made to explore the leadership gap created by the waning situation at curbing influential resistance of government or members of religious groups, it generates a state of insecurity.

Religion seems to have always offered us that false duality ... Especially the cozy comfort paradise. If I can be objective about this, I would say some religion evolved as a result of imagination or fear, don't take me as an atheist, but it's the fact. Behind the mask of Religions, rreligious campaigns have brought terror, misery, destruction, poverty, torture, forced confessions, compulsory conversions and countless deaths in various country.
According to William Scott Downey, Religion is the clearest telescope through which we can behold the beauties of creation, and the good of our Creator.

There’s no denial that many wrongs and injustices, in the history of human existence has been perpetrated in the name of religion. Even those who profess to worship the same God have been at odds with each other, often to the point of spilling blood. Such has been the case between Northern Ireland’s Protestants and Catholics for generations.

Religion—after dangling before their eyes the promise of entering “paradise”; The illusion of all active participant—has deceived zealots into killing victims who are against their idea...let take a case study of the AL Qaeeda group, the issue between the Palestinians and Israelites, even the Boko Haram group tormenting the peace in our very own country. This all resulted through the influence of making one religion a dominant one over other through the wrong interpretation of religious book by over zealous individuals self motives.

The question that requires attention is how religious beliefs and practices affect people’s attitudes towards tackling worldwide challenges.

However the Golden Rule that guides human morality – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is emphasized by all major religions. But there is need to know that the morality of an individual can not be questioned, there are various alternative to choose from, one can never fit all. But there is need to ask this question, To what extent do prevailing religious beliefs and practices foster individuals’ commitment to the global common good?...Has it even done anything atall?

I embrace the words of Dalai Lama,
" *_This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy of kindness_ ** ".*