Saturday, September 17, 2011

Religion – accepting inheritance or making a choice?

I wanted to write about this for such a long time but, frankly speaking, I was afraid to make waves. Religious issues have caused wars in the past centuries and even nowadays people continue arguing about religion and keep imposing their religious beliefs on other people without realizing that such an attitude endangers our freedom of thought as individuals.
Every human being has the right to believe in whatever he/she wishes to believe in and nobody is entitled to compel him/her to believe in something else or to question his/her choice. But most of us do that consciously or unconsciously during our entire life.
Unfortunately, even atheists tend to engage into religious debates and never miss the opportunity to display the rationality of their own considerations on this subject. No matter our religious education we just cannot help trying to force other people to share our beliefs. I cannot understand why. Although we more easily accept vegetarians or homosexuals, when it comes to religion, conflicts always turn out to be deep and dangerous.
I was born in a Christian Orthodox family and baptized in an Orthodox church at a very early age, being unable to agree or disagree with my parents’ decision to make me an Orthodox. In our country children are simply condemned to continue the tradition, based on a decision that has never been theirs.
I have read many things on different religions ever since I grew old enough to ask myself various existential questions and the subject started to interest me as from a philosophical point of view. Like everybody else, I used to share my family’s beliefs out of habit, but as I continued to build my own assumptions I gradually realized that the religion chosen for me by my parents does not define me at all. I am not in any way against it and I would never try to convince my family that being an Orthodox is wrong, however I prefer to be offered the freedom of choice at this age, without being misjudged or looked upon as a traitor or a freak.
Theoretically I have this freedom but breaking up with tradition would definitely mean alienation from my family, a hostile social environment, and having to deal with people’s incapacity to accept my new beliefs.
I don’t want to criticize any religion in particular, but I perceive Orthodoxy as primitive, pessimistic and depressive, inducing a gloomy state of mind. The churches, the songs and the manner or praying inspire me nothing but sadness, melancholy and black thoughts (entirely personal & subjective perception).
In conclusion, I would like a different life for my child. I want to encourage him to make his own choices in every possible matter, including religion. At the right age, he would probably show some interest (or not) in reading about religion and decide what he wants to become. I would be fine with him not wanting to embrace any religion, choosing something among the existing ones or even creating his own personal faith. I still hope this beautiful perspective is possible and applicable without causing a social scandal.
We are not obliged to adopt our parents’ religious, political or any other kind of views. Religion is not a disease we have to live with, it is simply a choice we make. The important thing is to believe in what makes us happy.

5 comments:

Oana said...

The problem with religion is that all of them consider life as it is as a trans-passing to another thing, good or bad, so according to it, there are only two things you can do: be either good (by their rules) and go to heaven, or be bad, and go to hell. All which i find extremely sad and unfair because it doesn't let you live your present life as you'd want...being either good or bad..

Stela Gheorghe said...

Oana, in my opinion this is a totally different issue. I was talking about the fact that we as children inherit our parents' religion and apparently can do nothing about it, being forced to adopt their views. I am determined to do something about it, but i'm still afraid of the consequences...

Nic Briel said...

Big changes are ahead , and i don't think the consequences will interfere in your choice.You are absolutely right , we enherited as children not only the religions , but also many things ..ha..many things ..That's why we need a big change , because the people like you , like me ..and like MANY others , are starting to rise belief to these things to.I think that in a few years the diversity of the religions will manage to install in the world.And i honestly think that this is not a bad thing.God is only one , if you believe or not is so much overrated.I'm not an atheist , but i believe in a force out there , a God , a Creator , a matrice ..there's gotta be something :)

Stela Gheorghe said...

It's not easy to rebel against society's prejudices (ironically freedom of thought is seen as rebellion!) but it can be challenging. I am not sure exactly how much we can change but at least take awareness as a big step forward.

Nic Briel said...

The change has already started :)But people are having difficulties figuring that out yet.Why ? Because every single human is more or less "brainwashed" as child. And yes you are totally right..there will be a BIG step , but i don't think bad about this ..i think we actually need this.I think this is meant to happen.

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