A Brief Introduction Of Abrahamia
Last month, BBC News Hindi released a video on Youtube about the reports of an upcoming rise of a new religion in the Middle East. According to the reports, the new religion is going to be named Abrahamia after Abraham. Further reports suggest that it is more of a unification project rather than a completely new religion from the scratch. This project is aimed at unifying the three major Abrahamic religions.
The details about how it is going to be done, what is going to happen with the followers of the current religions, and other complexities of religion is still not known to the public. Even though the ‘new religion’ is not on the ground yet, people are not holding back from criticising it.
We can talk about all the political angles related to it but that is not the topic we are going to entertain in this article. Here, we are going to look at it from the perspective of the general public and see if it is any better for its potential followers i.e. the current followers of the three religions and whoever else joins it than their previous religions.
Before judging if any religion is going to be good enough for its followers or not, we first have to set a benchmark against which we can judge it i.e. we have to establish the purpose behind the concept of religion itself.
What Is Religion And Its Purpose?
Different people might have different definitions of religion, but in this article when we say religion, it means:
Faith on some idea that is yet to be proved by reasoning; it can be a group-based faith or individual faith.
It’s a very broad definition and possibly the definition of religion in the strictest sense. Let’s take an example.
I believe my kid will be walking by the time he is two years old.
Can the above belief be termed as religion? No, because there is enough evidence that kids generally start walking by the age of two. But if someone or some group starts believing that the kid will start flying by the time he is two, then that might be a religion because of belief in something without evidence.
The reason why we are taking individual faith also as a religion for the course of this article is that technically speaking, if every person on earth believes in something which is yet to be proved by reasoning, then we cannot call it a religionless society even when the belief of each one of us is different.
As we established the definition of religion, we will now try to answer the question about its necessity.
What is the purpose of religion?
When we look around ourselves and start observing, we see that different people want different kinds of things in their life. A five-year-old kid just wants to play with their friends; adults want a nice home, a car, family, money, etc; old people want something different; and so on. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like everyone wants to move towards the same thing but that indeed is the case.
No matter who it is; a kid, an adult, an old man, a businesswoman, a farmer, a doctor, a terrorist, Asian or European; everyone craves for the exact same thing and that is peace/salvation/moksha/kaivalya/nirvana.
I understand that it might sound like a very idealist thing (especially on the terrorist part) but it is as true as it can be, but explaining it requires an article of its own. Everybody wants peace but everyone has a different understanding of the world and that is why everyone acts in different ways to move towards this one goal, and one of these ways is called religion.
And to quench this thirst for peace is the objective of all religions whether it is defined explicitly somewhere or not.
A Combined Analysis Of Abrahamic Religions
Let’s take a look at all the three Abrahamic religions together as they are very similar.
The first proposition is that there is one god which keeps itself separate from the material world. Other similar propositions include judgement day, creation story, and some form of heaven and hell.
The propositions of creation and heaven-hell shattered with the dawn of the age of enlightenment. It is now very clear that the creation doesn’t happen as said and there is no space for neither heaven nor hell in the galaxy. As for the concept of God who is looking and judging everything from the above, it is a very interesting idea but it’s not faultless.
Suppose there is a god somewhere looking and judging everyone. Now, because of this, one of the primary needs of everyone is to find a guiding manual that helps them to keep God on their side. After all, you can’t expect a peaceful life knowing that the strongest entity in the universe is against you. But then again, you cannot directly ask God about what he likes and dislikes. For these reasons, Abrahamic Religions has the concept of holy books and Prophets; holy books as guiding principles and Prophets as someone who can connect with God.
Now here comes the issue with this philosophy. The guiding principles given in the holy books were revealed at a particular time and general observation around us indicates that it is not timeless. How did we reach that conclusion? Because most of the followers of these three religions, at least once in their life, do something which is not acceptable according to their holy books. So, how can someone be at peace knowing that their own God might be against them?
Of course, someone can argue that there is the concept of forgiveness and confession, but how much can someone rely upon them? As the world keeps on changing, many principles are going to be outdated or unfollowable. One cannot just keep on deliberately making mistakes and then ask for forgiveness.
Analysis Of Abrahamia
Coming back to Abrahamia, if it is going to be based on the same principles as other Abrahamic religions i.e. one defined set of guiding rules, then it is difficult to think how it is going to be any different from them. Even if someone creates a new holy book with a completely updated set of rules, then those rules are also going to be outdated in a few decades or centuries.
Then if not for holy books or Prophets, who is going to decide the moral rules, who is going to decide what is good and evil? This is again a very interesting topic which needs to be entertained separately. As this article is just for Abrahamia, we will just restrict ourselves to it.
So, in conclusion, even if someone comes and unite all the three Abrahamic religions, it doesn’t seem to be of any use, let alone something revolutionary.
Why are we only talking about only one aspect of these religions and not others? Two reasons; first, it is the cornerstone on which other propositions build upon and second, to prove a theory right, we have to prove it right multiple times but to prove it false, only once is enough.
This brings closure to our article. Please mind that the objective is not to look down upon any religion or its philosophy but to point out what I see as its shortcomings. Arguments are welcome.