You were born into this world, into a certain belief, into a certain culture, into a certain practice that has shaped your life.
As you grow, you begin to learn or rather say look for facts, ideas, or statistics to either support your beliefs or debunk them.
We are just trying to be less correct because we can never be perfectly correct, why? generations after us also continue the quest for knowledge to debunk or support the ideas that we claim we have now.
Religion and Culture are two different things that have over the past century been forced to become one most especially in Africa Nigeria.
I will say this, culture in itself is a way of life right? Religion shapes our beliefs and beliefs determine our way of life. So can we then extract culture from religion?
Religion is related to the almighty or the creator who created the whole universe. On the other hand, culture is related to the evolution of humans and their practices and beliefs.
In the early 19’s, as a Nigerian boy when you wake up or you see your parents you prostrate and as a lady, you kneel.
Over time, the western world ideology begins to dominate and we begin to see the needless reason to do this act. To the older generation, we are rude but to us, we have just evolved.
I still remember the story of the killings of twins that were stopped by Mary Slessor, now I might end up dating a twin but that’s not the point, the point is that culture evolves but religion can only be put together due to different beliefs from different cultures coming into it.
Borrowing the words of Bros J: “I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama.”
Culture has come way before religion because it’s based on people’s ideology but religion connects you to a supernatural being.
Whatever you believe in, whatever you are, whatever you become as a person becomes a culture, and when your beliefs connect you to a supernatural being then it becomes religion.
Culture doesn’t have boundaries so you can believe anything because you don’t have to choose to believe what you want to and what you choose to buy from as little as everyone in your house has his/her cutlery to cooperate with workers wearing English dress to work except Fridays but religion, on the other hand, it has a boundary, guidelines, and rules that you must follow.
This is where the big problem has been. Where does belief come from? From what we know, we are raised with, and also what we choose to believe. Could come from religion or not.
This is just to differentiate between culture and religion.
IS RELIGION NECESSARY?
We have heard over history how a lot of discoveries or discoverers brought the concept of religion or spirituality into reality.
A very simple one, The famous story about Kekule, however, concerns a “dream”. This story has been told in various ways, but one version has Kekule falling asleep on a London bus while trying to work out a structure that would explain the peculiar properties of benzene.
In this dream either a snake bites its own tail (ouroboros), or a group of six monkeys (imps?) join hands in a circle, but either way, Kekule awoke with his answer; benzene was a ring of six carbon atoms!
This was the structure that made him well-known around the world. Each of these symbols has a spiritual meaning so the concept of another realm cannot be fully write-off.
Religion in itself is not the problem, divers beliefs in religion are the beginning of so many crises, gender discrimination, gender bias, etc which will degenerate into so many things.
Some time ago, I was speaking to a hijabi friend of mine (no intention to be offensive) about marriage and I told her, I was asking her about how her religion accepts a man to marry many women and mine is strictly keen on one man to one woman.
I was feeling for her because for me, I believe it is intimate and lovely is it’s one to one marriage (belief) I was actually kind of pitying her because of her religion and she’s come with the statement that “I’d like to even be a second wife”, I was like “enipé” see the person I’m pitying didn’t even care about it. Then I realized that beliefs are very much different.
If that happened in the early 19’s and my beliefs or religion was the dominant factor and she comes up with the ideology of the second wifey, I could have probably killed her just to die down the ideology and that’s how so many people have died in the cause of religion, we have heard the killings of Christians in so many states, the gender inferiority, and discrimination with Muslim women and girls currently happening in Afghanistan and so many other ones not mentioned here.
The idea of the western world of individual domination versus the eastern collective domination is causing wars in the world. Everyone is just looking for beliefs to please supernatural beings from
giving alms to the extent of taking another’s life. Which has better utility to God.
A WORLD WITHOUT RELIGION
Morality is essential for sanity and preached more about morality, culture, or religion?
You guessed right, religion but then that includes biases in terms of preference eg, my religion doesn’t accept wearing trousers so seeing people wear them is evil and so much more.
Biases in preference then degenerate into judgemental perceptions, what you think is moral in your religion is not accepted by another person then you degenerate which then leads to condemnation.
So then, let’s try and imagine a world where religion doesn’t exist.
People are encouraged to be good people based on karma and religion. And the law of karma itself is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism which means it’s also part of religion.
If religion is then erased, the incentive to do good is erased, and the criminal justice system will just be responsible for people not doing evil.
The criminal justice system will appear because religion won’t be there to tame people.
Dishonesty will be more rampant in society, and things that are not necessarily a crime like petty lies become rampant.
Time for personal reflection and medication won’t be fully there, especially in developing countries like Nigeria where therapy isn’t fully a go-to means for us.
Personal reflection is removed, growth is stopped and if this happens then there is going to be a lot of chaos in the world.
Without religion, you would be free and not bound by any beliefs yet the atmosphere of living a life of lies becomes everyone’s reality.
Also, the spiritual realm won’t be explained, and no connectivity.
Religion or not, knowing when to separate your religious beliefs from absolute reality makes you a better person and makes you grow. Imagine a world without religion, there will be so much harm done to the status quo than good.