Religion, God, Belief and Coffee

What is God?

Debates about this have been on since God knows when (:)). So we at Christ University had our own discussion on  17th September in Chatting over Coffee on the topic ‘Religion…?’ Thirteen of us talked about what religion meant to each of us personally, what implications the concept of religion has on our society and whether this has been advantageous or not.

There were many interesting opinions that came out during our discussion. One being that religion along with the customs and rituals associated with it have become more of a commercial enterprise, and a lucrative one at that. People often take advantage of this and claim to have powers and abilities, using these as an excuse to earn incomes that are greater than those which most average families earn. Another aspect to look at this is that a person who believes in these ‘specially gifted’ people also spend a considerable amount of money on them and at the end of the day are left with nothing except a blind trust.

Religion is a sensitive topic, and a discussion on it has the potential to turn into a very heated debate. CoC almost did, not very heated, but it did become a debate of sorts. This proves another point that came up- religion, whether we believe in it or not, has been so deeply ingrained in us from the moment we are born, that it is, somewhere deep inside, very close to our hearts. So then the question comes up- how does a person, who does not believe in God, feel so strongly about religion as a idea?

The answer to that is simply that religion does not only mean God. As one of the participants said, we often narrow our scope to think that religion refers only to that idea of a God, and lot of rituals to either please this God, or to gain something out of Him/Her. Religion, she said, could mean diferent things to different people. A person who loves his  or her work would consider work as his or her religion. Restricting ourselves by tying the concept of religion and the concept of God so tightly together would be problematic because it blinds us to the many other aspects of this concept.

To many, love is the only form of religion. Love and service are considered the two very important embodiments of the ‘God’ in a religious belief.

To some, God is simply an entity that one believes in. It can take up any form, it can even be oneself. If one truly loves oneself and believes in oneself then there is no greater temple than one’s own heart.

We also touched briefly on the different kinds of collective emotions that religion has evoked in us. Some say being God-fearing is being religious, some say that you cannot fear and love God at the same time. Again, how did these concepts of God originate? Probably these were moulded through the ages and evolved through human needs and aspirations.

‘Is religion only about God? And what is God? or who is God?’ Answers to these questions are intensely personal and subjective, and so we leave it there, to find out for yourself, for your answers will be different from ours.

The views presented in this post are just those which came up during the discussion and are not the authors personal views. Differences in opinion are welcome in the form of comments

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