Religion is a riddle that has been, in one form or another, with humanity for a long time. It is the center of life, if not life itself, to some, while some see it as the culprit for much of mankind’s suffering. Interestingly enough, although everyone seems to know what religion is, in actuality there is a huge divergence of views regarding the specifics of religion.
Perhaps it is useful to attempt to de-mystify this riddle called religion and examine it as objectively and rationally as we can. I fully realize that the subject of religion is extremely emotional, complicated, and it does not lend itself easily to unbiased and calm discourse. Yet being of the view that the difficulty of a challenge does not constitute the necessary and sufficient grounds for not attempting to solve it, I am calling on the collective wisdom of everyone to take a whack at it. We may not be able to solve this riddle of religion, but we all may end up with a greater insight. Below are some questions that should serve as starters for this discussion. They are neither exhaustive nor are they listed in the order of importance.
* What constitutes religion?
* What are the criteria that qualify one as divine religion as opposed to man-made religion or cult?
* What are the costs and benefits of religion and which is greater?
* Should humanity choose a religion from among the myriads in the marketplace? How and which one?
* Should humanity consensually create the Universal Declaration of Religion that would establish a uniform set of standards on moral and spiritual matters?
* Should religion and the state be one and the same? This arrangement would give religion the power to enforce its prescriptions and proscriptions.
* Would humanity be better served by completely ridding itself of any and all religions?
So you have it. Take a go at it. Let us have fun, share our thoughts and feelings as openly as we care to do so while refraining from attacks that would run the risk of making this discussion a free-for-all exercise in mud-slinging.
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