1) (a) belief in a superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshipped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of this universeThe concept of religion as a primitive form of philosophy, an attempt at understanding the 'truths of the universe' has been dealt with in other places in AntiBJP.
(b) expression of this belief in conduct and ritual
2)any specific form of belief, worship etc., often involving a system of ethics [e.g., the Christian religion]
Suffice to say that, religion is a 'system of thought' with the following characteristics;
(a) the tenet that all entities of nature, all actions and errors of man are controlled by a 'supernatural' force (God)
(b) the existence of this supernatural entity should be taken as an irreducible primary, i.e. God's existence must be assumed, accepted without question.
Since religion was the first form of philosophical thought, all other fields of human endeavor; the sciences, arts, ethics, were linked to religion intimately. Science was the first and the last one to break the chains of religion completely. Our arts and ethics are still with religion.
How will arts and ethics be freed from the shackles of religion? Ideas are beaten only by better ideas. Only a clear and objective definition and validation of the arts and ethics can beat religion.
The nature of man's mind is to find explanations, to find cause for effect. Although religion is an attempt by man to comprehend reality, its reliance on the existence of a supernatural being to explain things only tries to negate the functioning of man's mind. Religious matters are 'understood' only if God's control on all entities and God's existence is assumed. Since there can be no logical proof that a God exists, religion resorts to two other methods, faith and force. Both methods are in effect, a non-cognizance of the mind. Faith is the negation of the validity of the mind and force is the negation of its functioning.
The mystic appeals to the faith of the devotee, the Kar-Sevak uses force on the non-devotee. This pattern of behavior is the only consistent form of action open to those who choose live by a code of religion, whatever the religion may be. For those of you, who think of themselves as devout Hindus and yet can't understand the reason why the Kar-Sevaks attack mosques and churches, I have two questions:
To those of you who answer the first question by saying that violence is unacceptable, I have another question:
It is this question that the Kar-Sevak has failed to ask himself. For the Kar-Sevak, a valid answer for this question lies beyond his comprehension because the brute Kar-Sevak is none but a defender of religious beliefs and a defender of a religion cannot be its own enemy; it is his faith in his religion that makes him use force. If a man cannot be convinced by argument, the Kar-Sevak has to cudgel him. Because he cannot argue with anyone anyway. Because he doesn't reason things out, he only believes in them.
So, you devout Hindus who worship Lord Ram everyday and do puja every week, let me tell you; it is the Kar-Sevak who is the purest and the most sincere of the devotees to the same God you worship because he is ready to kill or even lay down his life for that same God. So the next time a Kar-Sevak kills someone and you are pained by that, it would be time to ask yourself: "do I live by the same code which the Kar-Sevak lives?".
The real enemy of religion is reason. If there has been a general decline in the influence of religion on men's lives especially in the last two centuries, it is solely because of the advancement of reason.
For those of you who cannot comprehend why religion always has been a destructive entity in the history of man, the answer is simplereligion is a system of thought which is the opposite of reason. The choice is clearlive by reason or live like a Kar-Sevak.