The recent news of the Ayodhya verdict have started a spate of debates across all media (from NDTV to Facebook!).
That apart, so many discussions wherein people end up confusing religion and god. I thought it was high time I pen down my thoughts on the difference between the two and whenever such a discussion occurs, I’ll proceed to give the link instead of going into the details of explaining the difference (funda re-use!!).
All religions have been started by men in order to lay down a set of agreed upon rules and norms for their community. This community could be brought together through mutual agreement (pagans, hindus, etc) or by instilling fear. Fear of being a heretic (islam, christianity, etc). The details are irrelevant, since in either case one thing rings true – its a social construct.
A social construct which generally pre-supposes the presence of a superbeing to keep all the community within line of the norms. If you break the norms, your soul will rot in eternal hell/netherworld/underworld/etc. If you follow all the norms like a good little boy, then you have chance to enter heaven/valhalla/olympus/etc. All these created craftily to breed only one type of behavior from the masses –
Now this superbeing, is usually god (sometimes it is the devil), but most of the times; it is god.
You take away all these rules and faff (the stuff I generally call as कर्मकांड), and you are still left with god. So what good is god without religion.
A lot. The idea of god, gives us faith, the faith that even if one fails, by some miracle (and these do happen :)), the intended outcome will be met. God is faith, and that’s precisely why atheists and theists will keep on arguing about God … because each will not let go of their faith.
So for god’s sake don’t waste time on religion, but still keep the faith :)