Renaissance of Religion to Pin Down Bigotry

There are two aspects of human life. One is physical aspect while the other is spiritual aspect. Corporeal part is for ethereal grooming of person. All revealed religions believe that divine facet is the fundamental raison d'être for human existence in the world. They have conviction that there will be life after death and accountability after resurrection. But paradoxically majority of the people have thrown religion to the backburner from soup to nuts that has blue ruin and gimped in their moral fiber. Grunge dwellers of the globe have become captives to their inexhaustible aspirations and sky-rocketing cost of breathing. Eat, drink and be merry have become rationale of living because a great deal of the hoi polloi have botched to grasp purpose of their life due to myopic vision. A materialistic society tapped out of humanity and probity can barely be called human society. Man has drawn a blank to envisage beyond his bread and butter that has basket cased the length and breadth of his spiritual lust. He spares no effort to use his toil to churn out utmost profit to lead a luxurious life. Therefore, tortuous journey of his life stains his persona by entrapping him in an endless vicious cycle of materialism. A Punbabi mystic poet fittingly ascribed:

Door azal ton nangay pinday aya ais jehanay;

Banda ik kafan de khatar kinan painda karda ay.

(Ever since his creation man has come into the world in his birth suit

and he travels a long distance just for the sake of a coffin)

Despite watching demise of near and dear ones, greater numerals of mollydookers are left high and dry to adjudicate and believe that they are also bound to kick the bucket. Therefore, multitudes of baggage-smashers have a circumscribed vista about life and for them glittering earthiness is everything. The stumblebum does not find out anything from his astringent experiences to perk up his persona. Brecht, a German dramatist, rightly attributed, that man learns from his experiences only as much as a rabbit learns about his anatomy after a dissection. Due to his ludicrousness man didn't ameliorate his disposition and stance towards life even after lapse of thousands of years carrying millions of diverse trials in its chronology. Notwithstanding the latest innovations and material advancements crackpot is becoming more apathetic and overwrought with each fleeting moment. Therefore, all his illusory dazzling progress is counter-progress that has folded up and crinched his temperament.

Almost all religions preach good things and curse malevolent preoccupations. But their followers deliberately mold and mutilate religious doctrines according to their own desires. Due to divergence from authentic religious teachings the retinues carry on to tread on tenebrous and stubborn thoroughfares that peg out spirituality. Ironically purblind man seeks differences in various religions instead of finding common things to develop interfaith harmony for peaceful coexistence. These downbeat attitudes create bad blood among the devotees of various religions that can wreak havoc by igniting warfare on religious grounds. Despite having bare knowledge about different religious convictions everyone considers his own faith true while tagging the followers of others groping in the dark land of bewilderness. This is a bald fact that the hardhead live wires are perpetually frittering away thinking faculty and tolerance to listen to the views of others that may enable them to distinguish between right and wrong by broadening their outlook.

Caste is by birth that cannot be altered but ideas can be modified after sifting truth from falsehood. However, incongruously preponderance of people in the world are blind followers of their parents' religions as quick fix because they have jack up to explore the mystery of life. In majority of the cases the subsequent progeny is more well-informed than the previous one but the time pay out by adherents of succeeding generations to comprehend religions is perpetually trimming down that has bred dogmatism and redundant zeal. Most of the people inherit religion or sect as possessions or caste without any sense of comprehension and appreciation. This reveals that man is least caring about numinous segment because he has no time to make out purpose of his vitality.

The secular western countries have pushed religion to the background. During the Dark Ages the Church was so commanding in the West that it distributed certificates of the Heaven. Even the kings and emperors were subservient to the Pope. Men of brain like Socrates, Aristotle and Galileo suffered gruesomely at the hands of church authorities. All and sundry were denied access to education. No one was permitted to criticize vindictive activities of cathedrals. Due to infliction of injustices and cruelties upon innocent people by popes and priests the rank and file started detesting religion because considered clergy as custodian of religion.

After American Revolution of 1775 and French Revolution 1789, the dwellers of the western countries raised their voices against religion and blamed it for spreading evils and conflicts in the world. After establishment of democracy in several countries of the West the teeming millions enjoyed freedom of expression and liberty of choice. Due to reactionary cerebral evolution of the western people, religion was declared as a private matter by severing it from the state affairs. The canopy of national chauvinism emerged as an enthralling force that persistently marginalized religion. This blind nationalism led to sparking off the two horrible World Wars resulting in horrendous consequences. Delusion of race superiority generated abhorrence among various nations that generated cracks in fabric of humankind.

Secularism emerged as self-satisfactory persuasive dynamic after giving air to negative role of religious institutions. Secularism means the belief that religion and religious bodies should have no part in political or civic affairs or in running public institutions, especially schools. Thus secularism has deprived countries of fulfilling spiritual needs of its subjects. The secular developed states are encompassing almost all requirements of their public except highly desirable spiritual needs while the non-secular states are relentlessly stepping into the shoes of spiritually clapped out nations in this context. Therefore, the numbers of people who practice religion in letter and spirit are steadily dwindling all over the world. Ultimately, large scores of liberal natives of the planet have turned to agnostics and atheists by permanently excluding religion even from their private lives. This is the eventual phase of spiritual washout. There is no difference between atheists and other subhuman creatures because both have same aims and objectives in their life, i.e., dine to glut tummies, gulp to quench thirst and derive pleasure from scintillating earthy things. Man should identify purpose of his creation and strive to sieve veracity from mendacity.

Sectarianism is acting as blight by fanning fanaticism that taints true image of religion. The people having religious inclinations sent their children to particular institutions and the kids during their formative phase of life imbibe a confrontational sectarian view. The tutors hammer into their minds that their approach is accurate while that of the others is wide of the mark. Almost all armies of the world recruit cadets at the age of 15 to 25 years so that they can easily brainwash them by indoctrinating national spirit to safeguard state interests. Therefore, they remain stuck to their guns and are not easily dissuaded from their basic principles and beliefs. Therefore, like inflexible soldiers the tough customers emanating from sectarian institutions also never change their blinkered opinions because after passage of certain period their truculent beliefs are baked that louse up judicious sprucing up of personage.

Governments of various states have utterly neglected spiritual wants of man. They have funneled all resources to fulfill corporal needs of the public. It is difficult to telescope state owned religious institutions because majority of establishments are imparting only materially engrossed education that teaches means of raking up fat wads of bank notes instead of performing role of spiritual grooming. The contemporaneous global community is a besmirched society without any feeling for humanity. Its sleaze-spattered ambiance props up evils by stemming cardinal virtues. In this milieu the globe resembles a fertile land in which weeds have mushroomed that impedes outgrowth of flowering plants. This murky scenario has taken the wind out of moral sails and chiseled man to a mere cog in a rattling machine. Thus man has reduced himself to physical being by turning a blind eye towards his moral indigence.

Everyone is mortal; therefore, each person is bound to deeply think about discursive reason of his existence. If we exclude spiritual aspect from life of a man then he is mere a moving pile of stinking heap on a barren terra firma. Therefore, there is crying need to rejuvenate true religious doctrine that can fulfill spiritual requirements of the contemporary man. Revivification of original prophetic religion is mandatory to spruce man as moderate citizen of the international community because mutilations and misinterpretations of religions have given birth to extremism in the world. Everyone should judge each religion disinterestedly before practicing it instead of blindly following the religious canons trailed by their forefathers that may be off beam. Everyone born into this world as a lone figure and each person has to lie in his own grave under mound of mud. After Resurrection everybody would be accountable to his personal deeds on the Day of Judgment. One should not adjudicate verity of any religion by watching the practices of its followers but by broadly studying fair-mindedly its true set of guidelines.

Obtaining an Online Education in Religion

Obtaining an online education in religion prepares students to enter a wide range of careers depending on their concentration. Students can learn about religion in regards to faith, the world, pastoral work, and more. Many online colleges offer degree programs at all educational levels.

Students that complete a degree program in religion can enter fields such as teaching, ministry, administration, journalism, and history. The main areas of study that students can enter include:

*Pastoral Counseling

Students learn the different methods used to become spiritual and religious counselors. Students learn about the different aspects of their chosen religion and the proper counseling techniques to work with clients. Education focuses on sociology, religious perspective, counseling theory, and human growth.

*Seminary

The goal of education in seminary studies is to prepare students to enter careers as priests, pastors, and other religious leaders. Education focuses on exploring the Bible and history of a particular religion. Many online programs dedicate schooling to Christian studies where students examine theology, divinity, and music.

*Theology

Theology degree programs focus on the spirituality of religions and teach students how it affects people and society. Students study how to live out their chosen religion and understand the philosophy behind it. Most students that complete a theology degree program go on to enter religious careers where they become youth leaders, missionaries, and pastors.

*World Religion Studies

Inside degree programs in world religion students explore a broad view of the field. The relationship of religion and society is studied to present students with a thorough understanding of religion and how it impacts everyday life from politics to art. With this type of degree students are able to pursue secular careers in a variety of areas. Undergraduate study focuses on world religion. Students that go onto graduate level training typically want to enter a religious career.

To better understand what a degree in religion looks like students can research the different options. A bachelor's degree in religion with a focus on entering clergy careers, for example centers on the history, text, and theology of a chosen religion. Undergraduate training gives students the opportunity to step into entry-level positions as Sunday school teachers and program coordinators. Graduate study prepares students for work as ministers, counselors, professors, and researchers.

Online education in religion covers a wide range of subjects based on student's area of interest. Major topics studied in the four main areas of learning may include:

  • Addictive Behaviors
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Political Religions
The goal of education is to train students to enter a career based on their area of interest. Students can learn about all of these areas through online study, which prepares them to take on leadership roles within their religious communities. Students that pursue a secular career are able to apply their understanding of religion to government, education, and more.

Students can find the right program for their goals by researching what accredited degrees are available. Full accreditation is offered to qualifying programs that offer the best quality education. Agencies such as the Association for Biblical Higher Education ( http://www.abhe.org/ ) can fully accredited online religion programs. Enroll in an accredited online college today and begin training for a fulfilling career.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Harvard Creates Science and Religion Chair

Theologian Harvey Cox, who chronicled the rising popularity of religion studies in his 2004 book When Jesus Came to Harvard, may need to write a sequel: When Jesus Came to Harvard and Taught Science.

That's because Harvard Divinity School, where Cox teaches, has accepted an endowment from alumnus Richard T. Watson to create a Professorship of Science and Religion. The school is now searching for a visiting professor in science-and-religion for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The appointment, so far, has caused few ripples -- a noticeable change from 2002, when the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics drew protests after inviting physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne to speak on intelligent design.

This time around, theologians were predictably encouraged, Harvard scientists were standoffish but pleasant, and secularists warily expressed a glimmer of hope that such a professorship might lend support to their causes.

The Watson professorship is the latest in a series of similarly prestigious posts that began with Princeton Theological Seminary's 1992 appointment of J. Wentzel van Huyssteen as the first James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science. Oxford University followed suit in 2000 with the appointment of John Hedley Brooke as its first Andreas Idreos Professors of Science and Religion. Others include Marquette University's 2001 naming of Jame Schaefer to a newly created science and religion professorship and the 2005 appointment of Andrew Lustig to become Davidson College's first Holmes Rolston III Professor of Religion and Science.

"The research grant and endowment for a religion-science professorship affirm the ongoing interest in relating the disciplines as a bona fide field of academic inquiry," said Schaefer. "Harvard joins Princeton and other major universities in the world in exploring the religion-science relationship in a prestigious way."

The news comes on the heels of a $1.5 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to a University of Missouri religion research center to study the relationship between religion and health care, and other topics. (See "Other schools encourage dialogue.") It also comes as the John Templeton Foundation, which funds Science & Theology News, makes a grant to Harvard Divinity School and the university's Faculty of Arts and Sciences to study the origins of altruistic behavior and their relationship to biology, theology and ethics. The John Templeton Foundation has been making such grants to Harvard since the 1990s.

"I'm a big believer in the proposition that science and religion are complementary and not contradictory, and I am much concerned about the fact that the world looks at each differently," said Watson, a managing partner of Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell Co., a Cleveland law firm, and a chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. "This gift is designed to attack that conflict."

Greg M. Epstein, who as Humanist chaplain at Harvard has found himself at the center of such conflict, reacted to the news with caution. "I think the idea of studying science and religion is one that can lead to useful academic scholarship and the enrichment of an entire scholarly community but may very well not -- depending on how the project is framed," said Epstein.

Some wondered about how much latitude the professorship should be allowed. "If [Harvard Divinity School] gives the scholar free rein, then the possibilities of religious naturalism might get explored at a prestigious university, which will show HDS as being on the progressive cutting edge of religious studies," said Thomas W. Clark, director of the Center for Naturalism in Somerville, Mass. "Of course, saying that the mandate is to study science and religion as complementary suggests that the conflict between science and faith-based religions might be papered over or finessed, which would be too bad," he said. "But pseudoscience isn't about to gain traction at Harvard, which is why the new chair won't reflect badly on any of its science or medical departments."

For many Harvard scientists, there is, in fact, a role for science-and-religion studies at the university -- as long as it remains at the Divinity School and does not seep into the research labs and lecture halls.

Daniel Hartl, a Harvard biology professor who specializes in evolution and population genetics, said he does "not perceive any particular conflict between science and religion, at Harvard or anywhere else, as one is a matter of evidence and the other is a matter of faith."

But although there seems to be little grounds for believing in a higher being, there is room for such a program at the university, said James Hanken, also a Harvard evolutionary biologist. "Your day-to-day activities of your average Harvard scientist won't be affected," he said.

Watson hopes to change that. "Those are the people into whose minds I would like to creep," he said.

The One Religion - The Religion Of Mankind

In today's world, all that we see or hear, is the mindless killing of innocents in the name of religion. Be it the total destruction of the world trade center, or the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai India, or the senseless massacre of the Christians in some eastern block countries, or vandalism of churches in Orissa in India, it is the innocent people, mothers, fathers, who suffers the most. They are forced to leave their habitats, homes, jobs, schools, and live in dilapidated refugee camps. No sectarian groups who perpetrate such senseless mindless war think about the crying child, the wailing mother,or the hapless father.

Their only aim is to spread fear and terror all in the name of Religion. The perpetrators feel that they are doing a tremendous job and that by doing such an act they will be rewarded by the Divinity. God, Bhagwan, Allah, Christ, or any other name that one might give, will bless them with martyrdom. Can anybodies conscious sustain such concept?? Does Bhagwad Geeta tell us to kill people?? Does Quran teach us to inflict pain and agony to our fellow human beings?? If not Then why in the name of religion such acts are perpetrated??

We must have some idea about the evolution of religion to understand that religion helps us to bind together within the group and between the groups.

From the very beginning when man was an advance ape, scientifically termed as Australopithecus, he lived in a group. Living in a group has lot of advantages, one of the prime being safety. Then there was the economic reason for man to be in a group. During the early Paleolithic period when man was a hunter gatherer, he needed a well defined group with a well defined division of labor among the group for the group to be economically viable. The animals that were hunted were as mammoth as the wooly mammoths. When the economy shifted from hunting gathering to agrarian, the groups needed to be much larger. Therefore there needed to be some rules, rites, rituals, and certain norms that gave the group an inherent control from within. Thus becoming a well structured social group. The rites, rituals, and certain norms were basically made for the groups to be more economically viable by creating an atmosphere of harmony and not discord at any times. Therefore we see the development of religion or a spark of it among the Neanderthals.

Neanderthals were the first hominids to intentionally bury the dead. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. Some scholars, however argue that these bodies may have been disposed of for secular reasons. Likewise a number of archeologists propose that Middle Paleolithic societies such as Neanderthal societies may also have practiced the earliest form of totemism or animal worship in addition to their (presumably religious) burial of the dead. Emil Bächler in particular suggests (based on archeological evidence from Middle Paleolithic caves) that a widespread Middle Paleolithic Neanderthal bear cult existed.

The evolution of religion is closely connected with the evolution of the mind and behavioral modernity. Evidence for Paleolithic burials is often taken as the earliest expression of religious or mythological thought involving an afterlife. Such practice is not restricted to Homo sapiens, but also found among Homo neanderthalensis as least as early as 130,000 years ago. The emergence of religious behavior is consequently dated to before separation of early Homo sapiens some 150,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of symbolic ritual activity besides burials may be a site in South Africa dated to 70,000 years ago.

Does evolution of mind and behavioral modernity justify killing of thousands of innocent people?? No religions in this world, in its truest sense preach cruelty and killing. Every religion in this earth preaches unconditional love, brotherhood of man, and love thy neighbour. Quran, Bible, Bhagawad Geeta and all other religious text preach only one thing and that is help mankind in his hour of need irrespective of caste creed sex, propagate love and not hate. Here in modern time we are all doing just the opposite.

The religious ideas also make their impact by crossing the boundaries of their origin (or dominance) to far off places. Religious faith of economically and militarily strong race (or nation) tries to dominate the weak and the underdeveloped. The mode of penetration and percolation of religious ideas may be through missionary activities, or through persecution by the sword and the pen. Tactful, but definite, attempts may also be made to derogate the native religious beliefs and customs, and to eulogize the religion of the strong. Thus, customs and rituals, religious faiths and traditions, art and literature, all find free flow from dominant culture to economically weaker one. The resistance of the native people is chiefly through the strength of their own religious principles and traditions. Militarily the native may not fight back, but the religion of the land might be capable of keeping its head afloat if its level of growth, faith in scriptural tradition, and history are strong.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa lived such a highly spiritual life that he made India strong in this field, and thus, Vedanta could sustain and extradite itself from the influence of narrowness of religious dogma. Moreover, in the process, a wonderful synthesis and harmony of religions was established as the basis for universal religion. In addition to Hindu ways, Sri Ramakrishna undertook the sadhana of both Islam and Christian faiths. Between 1868 and 1874 a devout Muslim and a Christian initiated Sri Ramakrishna in their respective methods of worship. On both the occasions, he had visions of the great Prophets of those religions, who merged in his body. On both the occasions Sri Ramakrishna was established in Nirvikalpa Samadhi state after the visions. He could then emphatically say: "As many faiths, so many paths!"

He explains that every human soul has an objective and that is to connect to the divine. It is like a mountain top and there are umpteen number of ways to reach the top. If one takes a route to climb the mountain top and half way through he decides that this route is treacherous and he comes down to take another route, he will never reach the top of the mountain. He has to take a route and stick by it. The route is the religion and the top of the mountain is the almighty. The Divine. Which ever way he chooses his ultimate destiny is that one point -The mountain top, The divine.

As intelligent creatures and as gods finest creation we must realize this and stop all this senseless and mindless brutality. In the vast space earth is like a pin head and the only place where Gods most precious creation "MAN" lives. There can be only one religion and that is the religion of Humanity.

Is Scientology A Religion?

This question is asked over and over by different people of differing educational standards.

To answer it, we need to look at the earlier question, what is a religion? I am an Australian, and the High Court of Australia, the highest court in our nation, defined religion, and ruled most certainly that Scientology was a religion. But if this is the case, then why do people keep asking this same question?

The answer is easy. Religion can best be described as that which answers the aged old question of what are we, where am I going, is there more to me than my physical body? These questions are ancient.

There have been two major divisions of how this question has been answered. The first is that you are a spirit - something possibly still to be defined, and the other is that you are just nothing more than the clay you were said to arise from. Both have passionate debaters, and I might even suggest that the most passionate religious haters, in answering this question, simply have another religious platform they are arguing from, atheism. Yes, I would argue that atheism is a religion, as it is an attempt to answer the question of what is the cosmos and what part we play in it. But that is not the point in this article.

Getting back to the spiritual world, we find that there are two further sub categories. The first is that man is a spirit, and that he is answerable to those who speak from God. These are revealed religions. The other subcategory is the natural religion. This is whereby a man or men have tried to fathom and get answers to what is the universal law that governs man as a spirit - that is, what is man, what is this spirit, what is this life force that we all answer to as "I", and how do we relate to the allness of all, or creator of creations.

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, wrote that Scientology would be a close cousin to orthodox Buddhism.

So when people state Scientology is not a religion, they are usually westerners stating from their own cultural viewpoint that any spiritual philosophy cannot be a religion unless it has a God acknowledged spokesperson interpreting God's message. Of course this removes over half the world's religious and spiritual beliefs and their members, including Scientologists.

Hundreds of years ago in the West if you had a faith that was not Roman Catholic, you did not have a religion. You were a heretic, a pagan, a heathen, and even worse. During the inquisition time many Christians were killed, not just the Jews and Muslims. The Cathars, for example, a Christians religion from north Africa, to the Balkans, up to Holland, and who believed in living again in this world, were hunted down and murdered all over Europe.

But over the centuries, the definition of religion broadened to include all Christian groups, then Judaism, Islam and finally it has generally been accepted that the eastern religions are indeed great religions of this world too.

I recall fifteen years ago being at an international religious conference in Korea. After a couple of days an American religious dignitary made the comment that Buddhists attending should not really be there as Buddhism was not a religion. The Buddhists laughed and laughed.

Such comments are aimed at my religion. But they can also happen to the members of a religion that has over a billion members.

The Scientology belief is that you are indeed spiritual. You are life and that life is something separate and outside of the physical universe. Furthermore, there is such a thing as a creator, an infinite beingness behind all creation. Scientology is an attempt to understand what we are and how we came to be here. However it is a natural religion, not a revealed religion. That is the difference.