Saturday, November 1, 2008

Believe It Or Not

Had a great yumcha session with Sam and Kit earlier and we ended up discussing about religion and beliefs. I'm always of the opinion that religion and culture is a different thing. As Chinese, we have a culture that dates back thousands of years...we cannot deny our heritage. On the other hand, religion is something we choose to believe a guiding force in our daily life. That's why there are many races in the world who are not practising the same religion as their ancestors. There are also many who refused to practise any form of religion at all and they are considered "free thinkers" but that doesn't mean they do not participate in any cultural activities. A very good example is Chinese New Year celebration. It's part of the Chinese culture to have a reunion dinner, fireworks and also handing out of "angpau" (red packets) for goodluck. It doesn't mean that only Buddhist can celebrate this special occasion or it must only be celebrated in China or only Chinese can receive an "angpau". Culture I believe, give a person a sense of identity. As Mum says, we must always remember our roots.

Why do I think religion is a guiding force? Well, some people are just lost without directions. And religion provides such direction for those who needs it. I liken religion to a road in the middle of a desert. With a road, we know we are heading somewhere (whether good or bad is another issue) instead of risking going in circles. People can choose to either follow the road or not. It's their choice. By following the road, it doesn't mean there are no crossroads or you won't make a mistake and get into an accident. On the other hand, if you decided to not follow the road and take a chance on the vast desert sand, it doesn't mean you can't find your way to your final destination. Different methods doesn't mean it's not the same destination.

In my opinion, which God to believe in is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to belief in something. If you do not belief in any God, then please belief in yourself. Humans are constantly questioning everything around them and as we evolve. We get sceptical about answers given by those that came before us. Thus, we seek our own answers with better technology and better understanding. What is right before, now, might not be right at all.

No religion in the world would guide its followers to do evil things. I believe religion guides one to be a better person and find fulfilment in life. Of course every religion has it own guidelines on what a person should or should not do. I don't believe these guidelines are to be forced on a person as we do have a freedom of choice. Embracing any religion should be done voluntarily and not out of fear. We should not fear but seek to understand one another. Do we all not have blood which is red?

So many people are vary of adopting any religion as they have lost faith in such a practise. We see many people who claimed to be super religious, even praying constantly, but still commit unspeakable sins. Why is that so? Didn't the religion teach them to be good people and not hurt others? Didn't the religion control their desires to rape and kill? How can the religion still accept such a person and not punish them? What makes it worst is that the so-called religious person do not suffer after sinning. Instead, they seem to lead a happy life. So where's the retribution? If bad people commit sins and get away with it, why should we be good and suffer? I really do not have any answers for that. I guess it all depends on how strong is that individual's faith and how they want to live their life and be remembered after they are six feet under(if they're lucky, if not, they might be fish food or be blown to pieces).

A person's belief can be very powerful. Remember Nostradamus and his prophecies? He predicted that the world will end at the turn of the Millennium at year 2000 and many actually believed him and began to make preparations. How about the Y2K bug? People all over the world was so freaked out about this little bug and began to stocked up on necessities as they thought the world would come to a stop as computers go nuts because of some zeros. Maybe the Y2K was the Nostradamus prophecy =P Buy hey, humans and animals are still alive and kicking in year 2008 and I'm sure they still will be in year 2020. Unless global warming kills us first at the rate it's going.

At the end of the day, we have to live with our own actions and decisions. Retribution might not be in this lifetime, it might just be in the next generation. Why choose to do anything bad when you can do something good?

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