Nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. But the truth is that religious beliefs almost universally contain ideas that are manifestly and often obviously wrong. And fundamentalist / extremist religious beliefs are colossally and disastrously wrong. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or whatever persuasion, these extreme positions represent possibly the greatest threat faced by humanity as a whole. Perhaps you agree that extremist forms of many religions, particularly the ones other than your own, are dangerous, but let me be unambiguously clear here: whatever your religion; whatever your level of belief, it’s wrong. Your immediate reaction to this is likely to be a tightening of the gut, shutting off of your higher brain function, and rejection of at least part of this paragraph, but I urge you to read on.
Given the environment in which you’ve grown up, that reaction is perhaps understandable. But the only way you can ever grasp the significance of this is to find the courage and strength to overcome this visceral reaction and plumb the depths of your beliefs in light of what all your senses tell you; to expose your most deeply held beliefs to honest and deep scrutiny. And after all, what do you have to fear? If your beliefs are consistent with reality, your intense introspection will support them. If, however, the result of your introspection is to shake some or all of those beliefs then what possible purpose can they serve but to retard your personal growth or inhibit it altogether?
If you’re like many, you have probably been exposed from an early age to repetitious influences that discourage you from questioning your religion. You are subconsciously and consciously trained to blindly accept certain ideas; told that this “faith” is a virtue. In reality, this programming is dangerous in the extreme.
In the privacy of your own mind, you can and you must examine your beliefs critically. Think things through. Leave no stone unturned. If you find yourself glossing over some detail to make another seem to fit, that should be your next focus. This is a life-changing experience, empowering, liberating, and in no small way joyful, as you begin to see the world as it actually is. This is a matter of the utmost urgency in this time of global unrest and conflict. As individuals, our greatest power lies in our ability to improve ourselves. Take the first step. Question, question, question, and never be satisfied with a shallow answer from yourself or anyone else.