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Which aspects of religion do you consider to be the most dangerous?
It is to be accepted blindly on mere faith. Surely nothing could be further from the process of independent searching for truth and wisdom.
For centuries people have been ridiculed, banished or even executed opposing the official doctrine. Italian astrologist and philosopher Giordano Bruno was charged of heresy by the Roman Inquisition for denial of several core Catholic doctrines. The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake. Likewise, seventeenth century Dutch philosopher Baruch de Spinoza was excommunicated from the Jewish community for ‘abominable heresies’ and ‘monstrous deeds’ for his ‘free-thinking’ philosophy.
In addition to the above, it is obvious that there are two major problems provoked by dogmatism, with mind-narrowness being the first one. Dogmatism is opposed to critical and rational thinking. Eastern philosophers like Thich Nhat Hanh think that the world suffers greatly from our tendency to be dogmatic. Freedom is freedom from our notions and concepts which can trap us and cause personal and interpersonal suffering.
The second problem is in the last part of Seneca’s famous quote that says: Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. What it indicates is that religious and political institutions find these doctrines as a mere instrument of control and manipulation, a way to keep common people in line, as they are seen as the absolute truth.
Thich Nhat Hanh (2003) – No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life.
Blago Kirov (2016) – Seneca: Quotes & Facts.
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