Jose Silva on Religion
In this article, Jose Silva gets a little controversial. He would always remind people that he was expressing his personal opinions when he gave these comments.
As always, you are free to accept them or reject them - or to "mentally shelve" them for now, and come back to them later on when you have more experience and information.
By Jose Silva
This column will not be popular with some people. I've been advised not to talk about politics and religion. Well, I'll meet them halfway - I won't talk about politics.
Why talk about religion? Because we hope that this will get you to examine your beliefs, to analyze why you
believe what you believe.
Throughout history we have seen that virtually every religion insists that their followers accept their doctrines. Some religions become very violent if you do not accept their doctrines - sometimes they become violent if you only question them. Unfortunately, we have experienced that personally.
But we are not the first to face this kind of arrogance and fear. Yes, fear. History has shown us that some religious leaders are so afraid of being proven wrong that they will even kill those who dare to challenge their dogma.
A TORTUROUS EXPERIENCE
Take Galileo for instance. More than 300 years ago, he confirmed what Copernicus had figured out: That the sun and stars and planets do not revolve around the earth; it is just the opposite: the earth and planets revolve around the sun.
That was unacceptable to the Catholic church. Their insisted that since man was made in the image of God, it had to follow that everything revolved around man -- that man was at the center of the universe.
This was not their first mistake, of course. For centuries everybody agreed that the earth was flat. Wrong.
In Galileo's case, his discovery proved to be very painful. He verified Copernicus' explanation of why some planets - like Mercury - seem to stop and back up from time to time. But they only appear to back up - which would be a physical impossibility of course - if you think that they revolve around the earth. Once you realize that they revolve around the sun - as does the earth - then you realize that they all keep going the same direction all the time.
But the church didn't like their teachings being challenged. After all, according to them they got their messages directly from God. So church officials took him into custody and tortured him until he recanted, and agreed to agree with them that everything revolved around man.
A few years ago, the Catholic church officially apologized to Galileo - three centuries too late to make any difference to him, and a feeble gesture that could never erase the horrible pain that they inflicted upon him.
TRUTH EVOLVES SLOWLY
We could give many more examples besides these two, to illustrate the mistakes that people made in times past. Even religion has evolved through the years. We have moved from human and animal sacrifices, and from worshiping animals and idols, into the multitude of religions that we have in the world today.
Yet for all of that religious evolution, there is still no universal agreement.
All religions believe that they have the answer, and that others are wrong.
And unfortunately, most of those religious seem to be willing to fight to the death for their beliefs!
They are very quick to destroy the highest creation of the Creator in the name of the very Creator that created that creation - and we're talking about human beings, of course.
*Catholics and Christians are killing each other in Northern Ireland.
*Arab and Jewish children are taught to hate and kill each other.
*Hindus and Moslems and Sikhs and other religions are not exempt from this tendency to hate their rivals.
Just as Christians say that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ, most other religions can point to their scriptures - the divine messages that they believe that they get from God - to prove that their way is the only way!
Could they all be right?
Might they all be wrong?
Is it possible that there is some truth in every religion, but that no religion has the complete answer?
By now you have probably figured out that whe