Monday, December 1, 2008

Religion - the root cause of evil?

I think not. It has come into prominence now for lack of other issues. I personally feel the human race is bound to be and determined to be at conflict and maybe even genetically programmed to do so at every point of time. Somehow, the inherent barbaric nature takes over.
At a time when conflicts between nations have reduced to the local Indo-Pak, Israel-Arab (waning), South & North Korea (I haven't heard from them for so long I am disposed to ponder if they united :)) skirmishes, the man-beast requires something to fight over. Religion has been in place for a long long time. There have been fights over it, the crusades come to mind immediately. After all, the concept of God has always been higher to country or clan in the human mindset.

Scuffles between countries though are long standing too and more vehement. We know of the outcome of the Franco-German and Russo-German conflicts in the past century. To elaborate my point, the worst genocides in history have rarely had religious undertones.

Mao Zedong directly/indirectly killed around 70 million in China through purges, famine and war, thanks to his tiff with Chiang Kai-Shek (the then overlord of China) who fled to a small island called Formosa and formed, you guessed it right, the country of Taiwan (and the tiff continues!)

My favorite Herr Stalin killed 30 million Ivans and everyone he remotely suspected in the same way through his Siberian Gulags and other prison camps and famine. But of course, in the eyes of the ignorant world he isn't remembered much thanks to the efforts of his arch-nemesis and image supplanter, the equally megalomaniac Comrade Hitler who exterminated 5-7 million Jews, Gypsies and gays (yes, he was a homophobe of sorts, after all, he killed his first ever ally and lieutenant Ernst Rohm, who was unfortunately gay, when he no longer needed him in 1934). Of course, I am not counting the civilian casualties of the Second World War here.

Then how can we forget the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Pol Pot and his inane urge for a back to prehistoric lifestyle killed 1.7 million. Kim II Sung with 1.6, Menghistu in Ehiopia with 1.5, Saddam's offence against the Kurds (0.6 million). I find it ridiculously disgusting to even throw these numbers in the air like loose change. The list is endless. The astonishing fact is none of these exterminations were aroused out of a religious disharmony! It was ideological, at times ethnic, at times plain hatred without reason.

This is just a passing phase. Religion will cause many problems in the portended future. Human lust for a fight will move on to better things when they realize their God won't supply them water, but their neighboring country will when their rivers run dry. Lack of food, population bursting at its seems, bad air, melting icecaps and displaced land are the things we ought to look out for. Religion will be outmoded in a few years.

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