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Don't convert

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nachi naga

Well-known member
Dont Target Converts” - DON'T CONVERT- Dr. Hilda Raja

Don't Convert!- A rejoinder
http://honestreporting.wordpress.com/
Dr. Mrs. Hilda Raja
-----
Dr. Mrs. Hilda Raja is a Retired Professor of Social Science from “Stella Maris College”, Chennai. She regularly writes Letters to the Editors and occasionally writes Columns too. Apart from being a practicing Catholic Christian, she is a true nationalist, who values the cultural heritage of this great country and respects the Hindu tradition too.
She has posted a rejoinder to the article “Dont Target Converts” by Michael Pinto in Times of India.
—————————————————————-
‘Don’t target Converts ‘by Michael Pinto (TOI 8th OCT) poses many questions than it answers. No amount of provocation can justify violence is easily said but humanly not easy to follow. All are not Gandhians or Jesus to show the left cheek when slapped on the right. Some countries follow a justice system which is based on ‘eye for an eye’.

Aggressive policy of conversion followed by some fundamentalist churches and fundamental Christians cannot justify taking law into one’s hand and no amount of provocation can justify violence is correct theoretically and logically.

But if such logic rules the hearts and minds of men/women why is there so much of violence in the world? Why do countries violate the rights of other countries? Why do law makers turn into law breakers? Why do those in the Khaki who have to operate the law on the streets become violators of human rights? In the midst of such oppression, exploitation can we expect the people to meekly be submissive and subservient? Or is the author’s theory held good only in the provocation rising in the business of conversion?

When Indira Gandhi was assassinated why thousands of Sikhs were butchered in the capital? Was it not justified by the Congress party? When the Brahmin pundits were killed and chased away from their homes in the Valley and forced to become refugees in their own country under ethnic cleansing no voices were raised against such an abuse and violation? When a holy man held in great reverence was brutally murdered with his three disciples in his own ashram will the author’s theory be strong enough to hold back the emotional, social, and religious upheaval of the hurt psyche?

Every action has a reaction. When a nun is raped then all hell breaks loose-Daily children are sexually violated and raped and murdered, no protest voice is heard -no church rallies are held, no Archbishop/bishop rebukes Chief Ministers and express pain and anguish.

And no EU raises the issue with the PM in a foreign land. So Christians have global brokers and Christian lives become sacred and the PM is accountable to foreign powers for their safety.-the lives of others can be snuffed out without even a whimper. What is the root cause of this warped perception but religion? This is not to down play the rape of the nun but to point out that it is a harsh world we are living in and to high light the discrimination in our perception.

Does a crime become more heinous because the victim belongs to a particular religion?

‘Terrorists do not belong to any one community knows no religion’, pontificates our political leaders. Is this again reserved only when it comes to the terrorists of the Minority community? It must be said that violence is nurtured within religious ghettos, madrassas, and only religions/beliefs are strong enough to provoke and sanctify spilling of the blood of the innocents. It is in the name of religion that the world had witnessed violence, genocide, torture and oppression and a Talibanism justifying the imposition of religious domination and curtailment of the rights of humans.

It is a utopia that Michael Pinto is envisaging when he states that no amount of provocation can justify violence. This is armchair wistful thinking. When the Christians were oppressors this theory vanished.

The tables are turned and when there is an assertion of the Hindus to retain their culture, their religion and their heritage then the drum beating of the Constitutional guarantees is heard. It is the right of the Hindus to protect the Hindu ethos of this country which they feel is threatened. Was Art 30 not enacted to ensure the Right of the Minorities to establish manage and administer institutions to safeguard their ethos?

It is shocking that politicians are equating the Bajrang Dal and the VHP with the SIMI. The latter is a terror outfit with its branches now functioning in new names.

The suspects belonging to these outfits are involved in serial blasts all over the country, they are trained in Pakistan and in POK .These are anti national outfits. What is the purpose/aim of these serial blasts-killing of innocent people who are about their daily business? The aim is to destabilize the country, create panic and insecurity and unrest within the country. Why was Parliament targeted? And who were behind it? But the same cannot be said of Bajrang Dal and the VHP. They are nationalists-they may be attacking a particular community for reasons of their own- the root cause being forced conversion and a reaction to the denigration of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Those involved in such violence and criminal activities must be apprehended and brought to justice. But where is the justification to demand a ban on such outfits?

This is indulging in vote bank politics. Till date not a single terrorist has been brought to justice. The reality of wars, underworld dons killing, custodial deaths, political bosses unleashing terror against their opponents are all part of the harsh reality of today’s world.

Conversion from time immemorial has a concomitant-violence. Indian history is replete with it. The oppression, force, torture, massacre of the Indians to convert them to Islam, and Christianity is not a fable. The Inquisition and all that it wrought is world record. Again it is in the name of religion. What you sow you reap. Violence begets violence-this is nature’s order. In ‘don’t target converts’ the author finds it strange that converts are targeted in a country which constitutionally upholds the right to preach and propagate one’s religion.

But then to preach and propagate one’s religion does not mean to force and use fraudulent means to pressurize people to change from one religion to another. I am shocked that in this context the author compares inducements like ‘buy one and get one free’ in the market of commodities, to faith changing. If the market goods can be sold with inducements why not it be extended to faith and belief changing is the author’s argument. Can faith and belief be brought to the market level of sales of commodities? By this analogy the author accepts that there is inducement.

Money is flowing from foreign based churches and the gods of these churches need recruits-the greater the strength the greater the power of these gods and hence the brokers of these gods are all out targeting the poor. The inducement-a plate of rice, a loaf of bread to the hunger, shelter for the homeless, and also the promise of the green pastures in the next world-

The strategy has first an entry point-first denigrate, abuse, degrade and demolished their gods and icons. Second instill in these victims the doubt that their gods are false and then promise to lead them to the true god. A vulnerable victim, with a vacuum inner self is then ready for the initiation into a “New Life”/to be “Born Again”. The false propaganda is vicious because of its attack on another religion. This kind of provocation is not easy to overlook because human nature is to refute and repel this atrocious slander/blasphemy.

What will the author say if one prints pamphlets that the mother of Jesus was a prostitute and Jesus’ birth was not a virgin birth? That after her marriage Joseph found her pregnant and toyed with the idea of putting her away. Only the intervention of an angel restrained him from taking such a drastic action. This is what the bible narrates. Will the Catholic Church and other fund churches sit back and humbly submit to such provocation? When posters depicting Jayalalitha as a Virgin Mary appeared in Chennai there were massive rallies and protests.

But if Madhuri Dixit is depicted as Durga and the goddess is painted nude it comes under the freedom of expression of a painter. Only difference is that the same painter will not dare to let his artistic acumen and constitutional right to freedom of expression to depict Allah even in the best form. This is how we perceive the operation of guarantees/Rights enshrined in our Constitution

If opting for a “New Life”/ “Born Again”, demands discarding of one’s culture, social practices, adapting a western life style and adapting western forms of worship then the convert becomes an alien to the Indian/Hindu ‘ethos’, and is sucked into a process of alienation. This has other ramifications.

Why did East Timor break away from Indonesia when its Christian population swelled to 27percent just in a matter of ten years? Similarly in our own context the partition of India was based on the theory that two religions-Islam and Hinduism cannot co-exist as a nation-that was the contention of then Muslims leaders.

World history and Indian history is replete with the experience that ‘peace cannot co-exist with conversion. The reason being conversion has an inbuilt violence: physical, psychological, social and cultural. It may even abet one to be anti-national.

At times church laws and rules are in variance with national rules and laws. The Christians and the Muslims have their own Personal laws. Whom will the Christians take orders from-their respective church leaders or the government of India when it comes to a national decision? When loyalties of a person are divided and clash then the likelihood of becoming a victim to schizophrenia.

A leader from Kashmir proclaimed on the floor of the Parliament that he is a Muslim and an Indian. No Muslim/Christian will state, ‘I am first an Indian and then a Muslim/Christian’.

One can change one’s religion but not one’s nationality into which one is born. Politicians too have abetted this by not addressing citizens but focusing on communal/caste/religious divide.

Another aspect to be noted in the business of conversion is that conversions are made even in proxy. A few years ago in Trichy district of Tamilnadu a whole list of names were produced in paper and the bishop of that evangelical church baptized them in absentia! Would this qualify as conversion?

I belong to the Catholic Church and my understanding of conversion is that it is a process-a life long search for truth. Conversion is a private affair and not a street tamasha-neither is it an activity intended to swell numbers.

It is not that conversion is from one religion to another the Fundamentalist churches poach on the grounds of other Christian sects. So the Jesus of one church is different from the Jesus of another.

This creates also distrust and disharmony among the Christian community. Freedom is always accompanied by restrictions. Freedom is restricted when it encroaches the freedom of others and of a whole society. Rights are not hierarchically.

When conversions are a threat to peace then it needs to be banned. Like the curfew order-the ban to strike etc. The million dollar question is why conversion? Is it a prerequisite for development work? Why are the foreign agencies funding conversion activities? It is strange that the fundamental Christians and the churches to which they belong do not turn their attention and energy in this salvation ensuring business to the Muslims.

Development and upliftment of the poor is the camouflage of evangelization all the more why the need for the churches to work with the Muslims. Because according to Sachar report the Muslims are the lowest in India-both economically and educationally.

Is it not strange that not a single Muslim has been converted?

According to Michael Pinto the Christian population has fallen from 2.6 percent in 1971 to 2.3 percent in 2001.This does not mean that lakhs are not converted by the hundreds of fundamental churches that have mushroomed in the country. Today we are one billion so what does the 2.3 indicate in absolute numbers?

When one reviews numbers a few other indicators must also be listed-Christians follow Family planning, the celibacy of nuns and priests, and the fact that most of the converts for the sake of reservation and other benefits retain the religion and the caste in which they were born on records.

Conversion has been commercialized by the Fundamentalistic churches. The number of converts is co-related to the quantum of funds that flow in. This must not be overlooked. Why not ban foreign funds and watch how evangelization evaporates? All laws have their accompanying lacunae/loopholes and difficulties in implementation, do we on such grounds fight shy of enacting laws?

Conversions must be banned to ensure peace and harmony. Let us give peace a chance-for peace and conversion cannot co-exist.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
(Former member of the National Advisory committee of the CBCI)

Also Read : http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Conversion.htm


nachi naga.
 

anandb

Active member
Nice article, Shri Nachi. I respect Hilda Raj a lot because she is one of the moderate Christians who opposes conversion. India is a ripe soft target for conversion due to the confused mindset of the Hindus. It has also got to do with the fact that Christianity is a dying religion in Europe with USA soon to follow as this old article says.
USATODAY.com - Is God dead in Europe?

It talks about low fertility rates to replace the aging Christian population in 2006 so the situation is possibly worse now. Except China, the countries with Hindu and Buddhist populations like India, Sri Lanka and Thailand are fertile grounds for Christian conversion. We cannot depend on our governments so it is for us to be ever vigilant.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
re

Nice article, Shri Nachi. I respect Hilda Raj a lot because she is one of the moderate Christians who opposes conversion. India is a ripe soft target for conversion due to the confused mindset of the Hindus. It has also got to do with the fact that Christianity is a dying religion in Europe with USA soon to follow as this old article says.
USATODAY.com - Is God dead in Europe?

It talks about low fertility rates to replace the aging Christian population in 2006 so the situation is possibly worse now. Except China, the countries with Hindu and Buddhist populations like India, Sri Lanka and Thailand are fertile grounds for Christian conversion. We cannot depend on our governments so it is for us to be ever vigilant.
Anand,

I agree with you.TN goverment once passed a legislation banning conversion,not only the goverment brought it back,but has consistently lost election.My small observation.Thank you.

nachi naga.
 

Nara

Well-known member
Hello folks,

I don't have a dog in this fight, as far as I am concerned religion is a bane. But I did take the trouble of reading both Pinto's article and its rebuttal by Raja. These two might as well be from two different planets.

In his article Pinto makes a cogent argument for (i) rule of law, (ii) fair implementation of the laws, and (iii) how good these laws are. The response by Raja is pathetic. She did not address even a single point of Pinto.

Pinto's point: Vigilante violence is not justified.

Raja's rebuttal:

  • not all are Jesus or Gandhi
  • some countries follow ‘eye for an eye’ justice
  • if such logic rules why is there so much of violence in the world?
  • ... and a whole lot of whys
  • thousands of Sikhs were butchered after Indira Gandhi's assassination
  • and a laundry list of more such violence

Why is all this relevant to Pinto's point? What is objectionable in the concept that people must not take law into their own hands and commit violence? Pinto did not condone any one of the instances Raja cites. This is quintessential strawman argument.

What I gather from Raja is restraint is a quaint concept, it is justified to go on a rampage if a slight is perceived. Can anyone get more reckless than this.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
re

Nara,
Hello folks,
I don't have a dog in this fight, as far as I am concerned religion is a bane. But I did take the trouble of reading both Pinto's article and its rebuttal by Raja. These two might as well be from two different planets.
In his article Pinto makes a cogent argument for (i) rule of law, (ii) fair implementation of the laws, and (iii) how good these laws are. The response by Raja is pathetic. She did not address even a single point of Pinto.
Pinto's point: Vigilante violence is not justified.
Raja's rebuttal:
not all are Jesus or Gandhi
some countries follow ‘eye for an eye’ justice
if such logic rules why is there so much of violence in the world?
... and a whole lot of whys
thousands of Sikhs were butchered after Indira Gandhi's assassination
and a laundry list of more such violence
Why is all this relevant to Pinto's point? What is objectionable in the concept that people must not take law into their own hands and commit violence? Pinto did not condone any one of the instances Raja cites. This is quintessential strawman argument.
What I gather from Raja is restraint is a quaint concept, it is justified to go on a rampage if a slight is perceived. Can anyone get more reckless than this.
Hilda Rajah has written:

It is not that conversion is from one religion to another the Fundamentalist churches poach on the grounds of other Christian sects. So the Jesus of one church is different from the Jesus of another.

When conversions are a threat to peace then it needs to be banned. Like the curfew order-the ban to strike etc. The million dollar question is why conversion? Is it a prerequisite for development work? Why are the foreign agencies funding conversion activities? It is strange that the fundamental Christians and the churches to which they belong do not turn their attention and energy in this salvation ensuring business to the Muslims.

Conversion has been commercialized by the Fundamentalistic churches. The number of converts is co-related to the quantum of funds that flow in. This must not be overlooked. Why not ban foreign funds and watch how evangelization evaporates?

All laws have their accompanying lacunae/loopholes and difficulties in implementation, do we on such grounds fight shy of enacting laws?

Conversions must be banned to ensure peace and harmony. Let us give peace a chance-for peace and conversion cannot co-exist.
A post, on the "Left Behind: World at War" forum:

"Religious debates are great. It's funny because there's never really a debate at all, it's just non-believers looking down upon god's sheep that will eventually be eaten, and those same sheep that look down upon the non-believers because they are so "lost".

If christians don't feel the holy pity for the non-believers, then they sell their tales of salvation to those non-believers. The problem is that you sheep are selling a life of slavery and servitude to what? A concept in a book, written by who? The "chapter" says John, but did he write it? Could he even write? Was there even a John?

Two things that you shouldn't talk about at work are politics and religion. Why is that? Because both subjects are so cut and dry or because both subjects are discussing the same things through different facts of everyday life. Politics rule your life socially, and religion rules your life morally. If I don't agree with your religion, then that says to you I don't agree with your morals, and if I don't agree with your politics, then that says I don't agree with your societal values.

USA's politics were founded on religion, and even though we claim to keep church and state separate, we are still living in the church of america. Iran is a "dangerous" country because it is ruled by strict Islamic codes; recently the president/leader announced that Israel should be wiped off the map. Our country is also living by a strict christian code and thus we are "dangerous" to other countries who do not share our same views on religion/politics.

It is a conflict of interest to run our country based on religion. People have a right to think what they will, but they should not be forced to think and act a certain way just because the Pilgrims unfortunately thought there was a bearded man playing "The Sims" with our lives on a cloud in the sky.

I didn't ask for that. Let's let history be history and live a new way, free of meddling politics based on religion. Society will be a much safer place. "
It is the right of every human being to choose things.
Bottoms up, Cheers!Happy Days are here again Thumbs Up!

Siva Siva.

nachi naga.
 

Nara

Well-known member
... It has also got to do with the fact that Christianity is a dying religion in Europe with USA soon to follow as this old article says. USATODAY.com - Is God dead in Europe?

... the countries with Hindu and Buddhist populations like India, Sri Lanka and Thailand are fertile grounds for Christian conversion. We cannot depend on our governments so it is for us to be ever vigilant.
The answer is education. Better educated populace will be free of the burden of superstitions and god will die in these countries also. Freed from the burdens of god and religion, and all the nonsense that come with it, conversion will loose all meaning.

Cheers!
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
re

There is too much heat and no light in the sparing between the Thackerays.and Rahul Gandhi . One need to objectively and dispassionately look into the issue. Among many things what is the need of Rahul Gandhi to be strutting around the country and that in University campuses and meeting students? What is his message?

To join politics certainly he is not promoting just awareness but building and shoring up the Congress cadres. No one will object if he addresses in public places and meets young and old or only the young for he believes in Youth Power. But to target students and to turn university campus into campaign grounds must be objected. Will the same be extended to all the other political parties? Can the party secretaries go into university campuses and campaign? It is better to leave students alone unlike RG they need to work hard and pass their exams-need to hunt for a job and need peace and tranquility. Not arouse enmity, instigate violence between parties within the campuses. Will State governments extend the same kind of security for other political party secretaries when they go for canvassing/campaigning for their respective parties?

Having stated this- next query why should RG visit Mumbai when it is already simmering-what is the urgency? Because he has all the security and does not care if violence breaks out-if the ordinary people daily routine is affected. RG being RG has absolutely no qualms in doing what he wants to do.

Now coming to the Mumbai migrant issue- Any sensible person will see that the Thackerays are not for building a wall round Mumbai and enclosing it. Even our borders between Bangla Desh and Pakistan are porous. The fact remains that there should be some kind of restriction otherwise dual fallout will result. Mumbai will become a festering city-it is bursting at the seams.Migrants settle anywhere and everywhere-resulting in an unplanned spread of slums. The physically and environmental hazards multiple. During the monsoons the floods and heavy damage is due to the clogging of the gutters, unplanned and/ or nil drainage system- etc.

This apart if the PM can state that the Muslims have the first share to development then why not the Thackerays state that the Maharastrians have the first claim to all the development programs. At least they based the criterion on region and not on religion. Be it language or rights migrants cannot displace Maharastrians,and not make them lose their means of livelihood in their State.In the case of language it is not that no one should learn other languages but certainly not at the cost of one’s mother tongue. Any one can pick up any language but to push the mother tongue to a secondary status will cost heavily in terms of learning, values, regional pride and belongingness.

All this may sound sectarian but a deeper study will prove that one can relate first to the immediate and in concentric circles this belongingness will connect to the larger country. To simply state that all are Indians and India belongs to all-is easily said but psychologically not possible to relate to the country over jumping regional identity and one’s roots. One must be well rooted to spread out.Take the example of the DMK-a party which was initiated only on sons of soil theory.It was only on this plank that it captured the imagination of the people and instilled in them a sense of pride for Tamil and all that was Tamil. Once it expanded its base then it tried to be magnanimous and parties were vying with each other to ally with it. Did the media write (as it has today in reference to the Senas) to isolate the DMK? In spite of all the sectarianism-language bigotry, anti-north and anti-Brahmanism the DMK was sought after and today is the closet ally of the Congress. Mrs Sonia Gandhi even put behind the Jain Commission Report findings-the shouting brigade stands before it in humble submission. The DMK calls the shots and Mrs Sonia Gandhi obliges-example A.Raja –cabinet minister of Information Technology and another cabinet minister does not know Hindi nor can he communicate in English.It is Tamil all the way! Why had the Congress not distanced itself from this party? It all depends on votes and allies to keep the Congress in the power seat.That is the sum total of be Indian and buy Indian! Another case which is worth mentioning in this context is Telangana. Who is the author of this problem and why?

Rahul Gandhi stated that anyone can go anywhere in India seeking employment. Again RG without the minimum experience talks. Has he hunted for a job? Does he have an iota of what it is to hunt for a job then he will know what the requirements are. First one needs potential. The poor unskilled labourers go from place to place working in construction, road laying, felling of trees, stone cutting etc.What happens to the local unskilled labour force? This is exactly why the Thackerays are targeting Biharis and UP ites.When there is job near at home and in the home state do we expect the Maharastrians unskilled workers to migrate and seek work else where? Is that practical and just?

There was a media write- up bringing to centre stage the undeniable fact that it is the Constitution that safeguards the rights of the citizens. There can be no second opinion on this. But does the Constitution automatically safeguard the rights of its citizens? Case after case can be cited where the Constitution has failed to safeguard the rights of its citizens for the simple fact that the Constitution does not operate automatically. One needs to approach the judiciary to come to the upholding of the rights of the citizens and here one needs money power. The best exponent of the Constitution can even argue so well and nullify the rights upheld by the Constitution. Can the ordinary citizens seek redress? Does not that call for economic potential? The right to work and live in any part of the country is guaranteed by the Constitution is only theoretically correct. In practice it is not so. Why are the roadside sleepers where they are? Can they not sleep in their homes,under a roof or even in open space else where? Can I buy a bungalow in Luytens?Can I buy land and seek employment in J&K?Equal rights for all again is only in print but have all equal rights as citizens? Why security only for the high and the mighty what about other common people.Is this equality in operation?Rathore the infamous cop violated all the rights of Ruchika and her family.What happened to the rights enshrined in the Constitution?Cops paid by the taxpayers money harassed and the dignity of the person violated–where was this Constitutional right. When those who are suppose to protect and safeguard common citizens indulge in dehumanizing the victims what good is there in citing the Constitution. Constitutional rights are violated with immunity-laws and regulations are swept away with immunity by the politically powerful and yet the politically powerful cites Constitution is there to safeguard the rights of the citizen.

Regionalism, parochialism, casteism and religious communalism have been all injected into the polity at different levels on different stages and through different methods to suit the vote bank politics of the Congress.Now to pretend that the Senas need to be isolated because of its sectarianism is like the pot calling the kettle black. The Congress has to do some introspection –it had never stood by any principles. Who is Narayana Rana after speaking and propagating for 35 years the doctrine of sons of soil theory he is with the Congress. Anyone who can bring votes and change over to the Congress the party will welcome.Lalu Yadav,Mayavathi are all communal to the core but the Congress has no qualms in allying with them or seeking their support. This because the Congress is communal to the core-its whole edifice is built brick by brick on communalism.

An important premise of the whole Sena sparing with Shah Rukh Khan must be also commented on. First why had the latter not betted on the Pakistani players for the IPL? The Khans have gone one step further in citing that anyone good must be taken-does that apply to only cricket or can be extended to other areas? If so then we could recruit expertise for the army, governance, judiciary et al. It is not the question of the best it is the question of Indians playing for India-it is the question of patriotism and national pride it is not the question of the best. It is the question of giving opportunities to what is second best may be….It is the duty of all the media, the Judiciary,the Executive and the Legislature to make the rights enshrined in the Constitution valid and automatically flow to the citizens. Instead of some citizens automatically falling below the Poverty Line-all citizens should automatically enjoy the Rights enshrined in the Constitution without any hinderance-towards this the political parties must rise above petty politics, vote bank politics, appeasement policies and work for creating a harmonious environment to made the tryst with destiny a reality.

Dr Hilda Raja.
 

anandb

Active member
The answer is education. Better educated populace will be free of the burden of superstitions and god will die in these countries also. Freed from the burdens of god and religion, and all the nonsense that come with it, conversion will loose all meaning.

Cheers!
I don't think education is the answer if you mean that more of it will stop conversion automatically. We think education is the answer to everything but sadly the world problems are only increasing even with increasing education. The crux lies in how we interpret god and religion. It is definitely nonsense if one wants to view it that way. For that matter anything is nonsense depending on the point of view.

Just looking at Islamic jihad-ism shows that even well educated people are falling a prey to it. So it is more a matter of personal beliefs than anything else. A secular, scientific oriented Western education has not really stopped it.
 

Nara

Well-known member
The crux lies in how we interpret god and religion....

Anand, the problem is god and religion. With more education, hopefully, superstition will wane and the concept of god will change dramatically as it has done in much of Western Europe and increasingly in the U.S. The same can happen in India and other East Asian countries also. Then, conversion will lose its meaning.

Jihadism is a different story, the causes go deep, can be discussed elsewhere...

Cheers!
 

amala

Well-known member
I agree with Anandji. Its not really about education, whether academia or otherwise or superstition. Its about people and feelings. Especially emotions.

There are various reasons why people convert or want to to Christianity. For one thing they (Christians) are so much kinder, sweeter and really good at targetting the vulnerable, lonely and emotionally weak people. However much their theology/doctrine doesn't make sense if you are vulnerable and they are kind conversion is not impossible.
 

anandb

Active member
Anand, the problem is god and religion. With more education, hopefully, superstition will wane and the concept of god will change dramatically as it has done in much of Western Europe and increasingly in the U.S. The same can happen in India and other East Asian countries also. Then, conversion will lose its meaning.

Jihadism is a different story, the causes go deep, can be discussed elsewhere...

Cheers!
Shri. Nara,

I would term your linking of superstition with god and religion as nonsense. God and religion are matters of personal belief. It will never wane as long as there is humanity. Even the people who term their religion as none believe in a Creator which is a fact. God and religion did not create any chasms in the world. It is the narrow interpretation of religious bigots which has done it. If you think that education is the panacea for all the trouble in this world, all I can do is laugh at it. When we talk about white collar crime, isn't it something which is perpetrated by so called educated people. Has this education taught them any kind of moral values which has stopped them from committing those crimes? So what we need is education tempered with spiritual values to lead humanity. You just cannot climb on to a wall called education and simply trash everything else just as I cannot do the vice- versa.

And actually, to me all this Western education does is survive and move ahead in the materialistic world for a profit and nothing else. As present day society plays only by those rules, it is still fine as long as there is also space for other aspects like god and spirituality. To say that god, religion or spirituality has caused all the problems is like creating a law and order problem in a place and then blaming the absence of police there. I am asking here. Don't we have a mind of our own and something of a free will? How long are we going to blame gods, religion and systems for the failure of human beings in general?

Jihadism is not a different story. It is a simple thing which I am stating that educated Muslims are falling a prey to it in spite of whatever the causes are to it. So "education" here has miserably failed and it has also failed in the case of Christian missionaries who are educated as well. It is a fact that these guys are only pushing for numbers than any other real concern for the converts.

Thanks
 

Nara

Well-known member
  1. I would term your linking of superstition with god and religion as nonsense.
  2. If you think that education is the panacea for all the trouble in this world, all I can do is laugh at it.
With #2 above, you and Amala have a point, education alone is not the solution. But I do think, a better educated populace will, in due course of time, become more prosperous and folks are more likely to have the opportunity to travel, have a wider level of experiences, get to know different cultures, and all these things will ultimately lead to the death of god concept and religion. This is just my speculation, just as good or just as bad as anyone else's.

About #1, you know where I stand on this issue. The very idea of personal gods like Rama and Krishna, is nothing but superstitious. A deistic god, a la Spinoza, is a different animal altogether.


And actually, to me all this Western education does is survive and move ahead in the materialistic world for a profit and nothing else.
Here, dear Anand, I have to completely disagree. At least in the U.S. liberal arts education is very strong. Most people get a B.A. degree. People do not clamor for technical degrees. Even those who pursue technical degrees are required to complete a base level of liberal arts courses from a broad range of fields like, music/art, psychology/sociology, US and World history, literature, philosophy, and so on. The emphasis is not on producing graduates who can be hired by corporations, but producing well-rounded people who can appreciate and enjoy life.

Unfortunately, in India, the complete emphasis is in making money. The entire emphasis of education is to get into technical fields so that a lucrative job is waiting at the other end.

Don't we have a mind of our own and something of a free will? How long are we going to blame gods, religion and systems for the failure of human beings in general?
I agree, god cannot be blamed, after all god is just a human made construct. It may have had a positive role for building large and yet cohesive society out of disparate tribes. But, IMO, in this modern age, god and religion do not come out ahead in a cost/benefit analysis. We have to agree to disagree on this point.

Cheers!
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
re

Nara,
Allowing myself to post within your conversation with anand,

Here, dear Anand, I have to completely disagree. At least in the U.S. liberal arts education is very strong. Most people get a B.A. degree. People do not clamor for technical degrees. Even those who pursue technical degrees are required to complete a base level of liberal arts courses from a broad range of fields like, music/art, psychology/sociology, US and World history, literature, philosophy, and so on. The emphasis is not on producing graduates who can be hired by corporations, but producing well-rounded people who can appreciate and enjoy life.
Unfortunately, in India, the complete emphasis is in making money. The entire emphasis of education is to get into technical fields so that a lucrative job is waiting at the other end.
When we hear the President Barack Obama speeches,trying to motivate american students comparing them with Chinese & Indians in particular,i wonder,which time warp,you are caught in dear Nara.The emphasis of making money,is something the entire world is learning from Americans,via capitalism & open market competetion,so much so,the USA economy is cruel to its own citizens let alone other nationalities.Americans are wizards in business,the whole world acknowledges it.

I agree, god cannot be blamed, after all god is just a human made construct. It may have had a positive role for building large and yet cohesive society out of disparate tribes. But, IMO, in this modern age, god and religion do not come out ahead in a cost/benefit analysis. We have to agree to disagree on this point.
God takes human form when the Godliness that is inherent in man is submerged : when the moral code and the spiritual discipline that have been prescribed by the experiences of Godly seekers are neglected; when man slides into beast from which he rose and becomes a terror to brother/sister of humanity.

(Gems of Wisdom, Avatar, pg 293).

Jihadism,is selectively choosing verses totally out of context from holy scriptures of Islam,and trying to control people,women and children.Its raw power politics.How can anyone tarnish any religion,is beyond me.

nachi naga.
 

anandb

Active member
Shri. Nara,

Here, dear Anand, I have to completely disagree. At least in the U.S. liberal arts education is very strong. Most people get a B.A. degree. People do not clamor for technical degrees. Even those who pursue technical degrees are required to complete a base level of liberal arts courses from a broad range of fields like, music/art, psychology/sociology, US and World history, literature, philosophy, and so on. The emphasis is not on producing graduates who can be hired by corporations, but producing well-rounded people who can appreciate and enjoy life.

Unfortunately, in India, the complete emphasis is in making money. The entire emphasis of education is to get into technical fields so that a lucrative job is waiting at the other end.

I agree, god cannot be blamed, after all god is just a human made construct. It may have had a positive role for building large and yet cohesive society out of disparate tribes. But, IMO, in this modern age, god and religion do not come out ahead in a cost/benefit analysis. We have to agree to disagree on this point.

Cheers!
What I meant by "education" is the technical education resulting in material pursuits. Agree I did not make it clear initially. Unfortunately it is this brand of education which has been exported by the West more than the liberal arts. But I do agree that liberal arts education plays a huge role in the U.S. which unfortunately is not so appealing to the "technical degree" mad Indians.

I do know your stand on "God" and "religion" so we will agree to disagree. But I will end with this point. I think God and Religion are more needed now than even during the "disparate tribes" times because there are more ills plaguing society now (all man made) than during the times of the tribes. At least the tribes lived with nature which modern society has forgotten now. Either we need man to awaken to stem the rot or some outside power to intervene to do it
 

anandb

Active member
Shri. Nara,

Here, dear Anand, I have to completely disagree. At least in the U.S. liberal arts education is very strong. Most people get a B.A. degree. People do not clamor for technical degrees. Even those who pursue technical degrees are required to complete a base level of liberal arts courses from a broad range of fields like, music/art, psychology/sociology, US and World history, literature, philosophy, and so on. The emphasis is not on producing graduates who can be hired by corporations, but producing well-rounded people who can appreciate and enjoy life.

Unfortunately, in India, the complete emphasis is in making money. The entire emphasis of education is to get into technical fields so that a lucrative job is waiting at the other end.

I agree, god cannot be blamed, after all god is just a human made construct. It may have had a positive role for building large and yet cohesive society out of disparate tribes. But, IMO, in this modern age, god and religion do not come out ahead in a cost/benefit analysis. We have to agree to disagree on this point.

Cheers!
What I meant by "education" is the technical education resulting in material pursuits. Agree I did not make it clear initially. Unfortunately it is this brand of education which has been exported by the West more than the liberal arts. But I do agree that liberal arts education plays a huge role in the U.S. which unfortunately is not so appealing to the "technical degree" mad Indians.

I do know your stand on "God" and "religion" so we will agree to disagree. But I will end with this point. I think God and Religion are more needed now than even during the "disparate tribes" times because there are more ills plaguing society now (all man made) than during the times of the tribes. At least the tribes lived with nature which modern society has forgotten now. Either we need man to awaken to stem the rot or some outside power to intervene to do it
 
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