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Essays From the Heart. Easter Sunday.

Essays From the Heart. Easter Sunday.

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Published by DrChris James
This short essay argues that we should understand peoples' religious choices rather than just condemn them.
This short essay argues that we should understand peoples' religious choices rather than just condemn them.

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Published by: DrChris James on Mar 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Easter Sunday. Sunday, March 31, 2013It is Easter Sunday and the usual rituals are taking place, but there seems to be something horribly skewed about the way we valorize brutality andmartyrdom and then use it as some kind of stepping stone to social resilience.
 Nonetheless, I think it is important to understand peoples’ religious choices
rather than to simply condemn them.I am not a religious person, nor do I call myself an atheist, because thatsimply places one into a duality and open to contest like that currentlyexperienced by Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. To me such contests arean absolute waste of time.I believe
instead of condemning peoples’ religious
or atheistic choicesmaybe we should try figure out why belief [and non-belief] might be attractiveoptions. Let me be clear, I am not advocating any kind of cultural relativity.Rather, I am offering the view that psychologically faith helps people to offsetthe anxieties, fears and pains of daily existence.Religion need not be a tradition that is currently in or out of vogue; it caninvolve a whole gambit of individual choices and behaviours such as treating
one’s body as a temple in n
eed of proper maintenance and nutrition.Environmentalism, ecology, capitalism can all be regarded as forms of religionand interchangeable. Religion is a slippery concept, not a fixed idea.I have argued elsewhere that humans may well be predisposed to a naturalreligiosity regardless of what we call it, or how we acknowledge it [even if wefail to acknowledge it]. Hence, I am not advocating a religious discourse, but acognitive, neurological and scientific way of seeing human behaviour.Today Buddhism has become a popular alternative to the Jewish/ Christian/Muslim faiths. The first noble truth of Buddhism is that all existence issuffering. I personally find this a very negative view, but I understand how itinvites a shared set of experiences
in peoples’
pain and sharing pain is often agood form of relief from long term suffering; it also has many anomalies.For me all of existence should be a balance between pain and pleasure. If we did not experience pain how would we be able to identify and appreciate pleasure?

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