Identity and religion

Religion is the central foundation in family, community and education in Islamic countries. Iran in this case is my sample.

Personal identity is “What makes it true that a person at one time is the same thing as a person at another time?” or “What kinds of things are we persons?” if you ask these questions from Iranians, probably the first thing you will hear is that they are all Shia Muslim, and they are Iranian. It roots strongly in every aspect of their lives and it is almost impossible to alter.

Now, I am asking a question. How can we assist people in questioning their strongly stable faiths and beliefs?  As I am an atheist, I consider Islam and other religions to be man-made fictions, and their being strong in Iran, do not make them real or true!

Religious identity is the sense of group membership to a religion, and there is no problem with it. People go to church or mosque to fulfill a need. They form their identities in their groups. I do it too. Well, of course I don’t go mosque, but I certainly enjoy sitting with other atheists and share ideas. It gives me purpose and a better reflection of who I am. However, religious identity has gone beyond the limits of the group. As more people have shared the same memeberships for a long time, the identity has become an inseperable part of the society to the point that now we address and identify some societies mainly by their religious memberships. Iran, as an example, is defined as a Shiite Muslim society. This however can be problematic, just as most of the ideologies which went beyond the limits of their small groups caused problems. Take communism for example, or Christianity. When an ideology goes beyond its small groups and limitations, it becomes an establishment, it roots deep in daily lives and sparks problems. History has taught us this. We saw how Christianity ruled the world, massacred and enslaved people, but we stopped it when we realised that it has gone beyond its walls. A very similar story has happened with Islam too. I never feared criticizing the whole idea of religion, be it Islam or Christianity or Hinduism. Organized religion needs to be stopped. The only way to improve things is by criticizing only, however, if I criticize Islam, in a Muslim country, I would be a blasphemer, and if I criticize it in a non-Muslim country, I’d be an Islamophobe!

9 thoughts on “Identity and religion

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      1. Yeah, it’s going pretty well, but I can’t find enough time for blogging these days. I am. It’s totally opposite considering how open I am about my beliefs almost everywhere and how I as both a foreigner and an atheist am recognised and included.

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      2. I am slowing down too. I miss it a bit but building a house for my daughters family is taking my time. I start wiring tomorrow if I can finish the plumbing up today. She’s working in it with me so we’re having a lot of time to catch up.

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  1. “We saw how Christianity ruled the world, massacred and enslaved people, but we stopped it when we realised that it has gone beyond its walls.”

    The sad fact that you left out (an omission) is that those who were doing atrocious things even if they called themselves Christians were not acting as authentic Christians. We see numerous examples of hypocrites even among those “decent” atheists. As G.K. Chesterton observed: “The Christian ideal was not wanting, but was found difficult and left untried.”

    Today, we have those who claim to be Christians trafficking in religious error or really heresy in being Christian Zionists and worshipping the atheistic and the Talmudist Jews of today. There is need for reform and correction within Christianity today, but that does not mean that atheism and spiritual ignorance are to be preferred.

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    1. It very apparent Christianity is disconnected from the source (if there ever was one) and each is going his own way. Most Christians think the others are doing it wrong, and each picks and chooses the parts he likes like it’s a buffet. Personally I am looking forward to the collapse. It’s time we all started protecting our planet and each other. No one is coming to fix this. It’s up to us. But religious fertility rates are ruining the place. It’s time the churches quit competing and start using their influence to help instead of hinder good choices. We’re looking at 15 billion people by 2114 and the problems will just keep getting worse.

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