Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On the taxonomy of the rational religious

The rational religious is a peculiar species constantly dwelling in contradictions and willfully ignorant of it. Here we discuss the primary classification into trivial and interesting categories.

Trivial rational religious are irrational and religious who claim to be rational. There is no other contradiction than this in your face lie. A perfect example of such is Bill O'reilly or Dinesh D'Souza. Since these fall under the broader classification of liars, no further inspection of this category is required.

The next category is of hypocrites who are rational towards every other faith than their own. With assistance of the magic goggles acquired through years of indoctrination, these individuals are eager to point out mistakes, irrationalities and plain stupidities in other people's faiths. These shall be called Rayban rationals. When it comes to their own faith, these stupidities according to them, are either absent or are present through a complicated process of misinterpretation. If this were to be true for one of the faiths, one would expect that such individuals tend to concentrate in that particular faith. Curiously, these species occur across all religions, this weakens their position on truth and misinterpretation as seen by an external observer.

For example, marrying four women in Islam is not a sign of male dominance but Manusmriti is. Similarly caste system is a stable social structure in which all factions of society are merry while slavery as was practiced by Christians and Muslims is sinful. Interestingly these individuals are known to be extremely apologetic towards their faith. Which makes them even more pathetic.

Further, we find some religious who tend to extract the common elements of all religions and rationalize those. From here onwards, these are termed, religious rationalizers instead of rational religious. These interesting species are sometimes found to defend faiths other than their own, to an extent where they misrepresent their own. This category is further divided into racist and non-racist.

The racist religious rationalizer generally belongs to the judeo-christian faiths. When referring to religion, this category of individual only has those religions in mind. Quiet interestingly, most of the religious rationalizers and surprisingly, militant irreligious (more on that later) fall in this category due to their western or mid-eastern upbringing. The unifying features of religion as commonly cited by this species appear to be the unifying features of judeo-christian faiths. Viz. a unique and almighty god, a moral code of conduct as directed by him and possibility of super-natural incidents on earth. Obviously a vast sea of atheistic, non-theistic, polytheistic, positivist and moral religions from the east and far east is invisible to this individual. The plain ignorance towards culture of the east carries no other name than racism.

One such example of contradiction occurs when a rabbi/imam is asked to argue for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ as a possible supernatural phenomenon. Either they refute it as an unreal incident (yet accept fairies talking to Mohammad as perfectly realistic) and fall into the category of Rayban rationals. Or, they defend the virgin birth and contradict their own religion. When asked about non-theistic nature of some Chinese or Indian religions, the imams,rabbi and priests are found to be silent in condescension, possibly thinking that their judeo-christian faiths are obviously better than the eastern crazies!

To this time, there is only one known individual who may be classified as the non-racist religious rationalizer. A mahatma who tried to integrate all faiths, from Ahimsak Jainism to conquering Islam, from moderate Buddhism to missionary Christianity into his life and living. A task so mammoth that a life abruptly ended at 80 years was too short.

The last and the most sad category is of rationals who are religious only for indoctrination reasons. To be called indoctrinated rationals. All their cognition supports a positive, realistic view of the world, yet the religious upbringing creates a barrier mostly unshakable. The degree with which they acknowledge the indoctrination and the real nature of the world varies from individual to individual. It is with these species lies the hope for a better tomorrow. Honest and struggling, truth seekers carrying the burden of childhood trauma.

1 comment:

Rajeev said...

Wow..awesome analysis..to the point i should say