19 July 2007

Questions for all who'd bother to answer

I got a couple of questions. I'll list them below, I'd like to know everyone's idea on these, so please comment if you have the time. Questions are not based on any particular thing or person or situation.

Question 1: Is love ever wrong? I mean romantic love in this case, and if yes, when?

Is it when it's between two people who don't embrace the same religious faith, who pray to different gods? Or is it when it's between two people who belong to different castes and/or communities? When and what makes love a 'wrong' thing? When/how can it be a 'sin' to love someone, no matter who that person is?

And if yes to either one/both of the above, why?

Question 2: Do you think the world would be a safer, more peaceful place if we were all either atheists or agnostic? If yes or no, I'd also like to know why you think so.

I'm neither. I believe very strongly in a one and only true God. But I still wonder. And like me, most of the people I know, most of my friends also believe in the same thing. It would be interesting to know what you, who could be an atheist/agnostic/liberal/radical/unitarian/Hindu/Jain/just plain spiritual/whatever thinks.



Macabreday said...

1) Love can never be wrong. Nothing can come in the way of real love. Religion, age, belief traditions and what not. I guess its important we define what Love really means. Two people can be way different and have two different polarities of faith and if they really love each other, then then they would do so in spite of the differences. If they don't, then they only think they are in love. They really are NOT. Love has no boundaries. At least, that's how it is supposed to be.

2) Would the world be safer? NO... absolutely no way. i agree that majority of problems in the world are a byproduct of religion, but assuming we did not have religion, mankind would have found something else to fight about. As human beings we all have that irresistible strong urge to show power. for some of us it is a conscious feeling, and for the rest of us, it is a subconscious feeling. One way we can show our might is by putting someone else down and i believe that we would be doing that anyway, even if we were all atheist. If not religion, something else. If people did not fight for dominance and power, the world may just stop turning.

My personal views....!! LOL

Jason said...

1) Love is never wrong. Love people for who they are, not because of what they can do. Just love without any expectations. I love my pet cat, and you wont believe it if i tell you, but my cat has never said she loves me even once. :-( But life goes on. I dont even know what caste/religion/community my cat comes from. Wondering if that is gross!

2) No. I think it would be like user generated content. A free for all. There will be heroes and villains. Like copyrightists and copyleftists. It will be the same story, if not worse. Religion is not the only divisive factor there is, we also have all the regional, ethic and the blah blah bloo bloo

Your first question reminds me of the First Paradoxical Commandment by John Kent. I'll just paste them all here ..

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

10.Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.


FunnierNowThanYesterday-TheEternalCynic said...

Wow, a friend of mine asked me to try and answer these questions, it couldn't come at a better/worse time, whichever way you look at it.
I say this, because yesterday i completed one whole year of being in love with a Hindu guy(I'm catholic).

So to take one your first question, is love wrong?
Love is NEVER wrong. So then you would counter-question me as to what happens to inter-religion, inter-caste, inter-race love?
Well, we live and we still are in a society where moral double standards exist.(Did your parents have a love marriage? Ask them what they did in their past. No love marriage? Then i bet you they still hold fondness in their heart for an old flame.)
Such is the state of modern India, On one hand we say that we are liberal, on the other we cannot see eye-to-eye, just because someone is different (think caste, religion,blah,blah..)
So we wrongly tend to think that our actions of loving a person who is "different" is wrong, therefore such a love cannot be anything but wrong Right? Absolutely One hundred % wrong.
Love is not wrong. Our mind set is. The mind set of our society is.
So what can we do about it?
Ah,So far this is just reply has been only about feeling, now we're coming to action.
It depends on what sort of a person you are, what kind of a romantic relationship you share with the "different".(real love, fling, etc...etc..)
And most of all it depends on how much you're willing to be a crusader. :)

So coming back to me, would i be with my love in another 10 years? Honestly, i dun no, only time will tell.

Whew, i got full senti there..

Coming to question 2:
would the world be a safer place if we were atheist? Let me tell yo one thing dear, we humans have a affinity for violence and destruction .its wired in our genes and there's nothing we can do about it.
Don't believe me? Look what we've done to our environment.

In all honestly, killing in the name of religions just a way to get out our violent streak. I truly believe that even if we were all atheists, we would have found another topic, based on which mass killings would be a condonable act.
There's no helping it.Its just the way we are.

So how have we survived for so long? Well you kinda answered it yourself in your question("I'm neither. I believe very strongly in a one and only true God".)
its coz of that one true god, i prefer to call him/her/it a spirit. The one loving spirit that covers the world with a watchful eye.
The same spirit that whispers in my heart when i do something wrong.The same spirit that makes me joyful and childlike, when I'm happy.

So you see this also brings me back to question 1..Love is never wrong because, GOD IS LOVE!

Everyman said...

It's very difficult to make a generalization and say love can never be wrong..It's very tempting yes..like Mac said,i agree that its not wrong to love another without worrying whether she's got a rosary on her neck..

But if one person's love is hurting another..then...now there's something to discuss..

2) NO! Religion doesnt have much to do with it..Man has a strong primal urge to destroy..religion is just one of his excuses..if it wasnt that, then he would find another..

freak-y said...

1) love can be wrong. if two people in so called love, expect two different things to come out of it.

2) no. we will still discriminate, if not religion then something else will do. But then again, when religion is gone, it is one less evil to deal with. But in programming lingo, one bug dealt with is two created. so.. I hope you get the point :D

illusionaire said...

Great answers from great minds posted above. My answers would be extremely minuscule compared to the lovely comments already here. Hence I will only give a small personal opinion on just one particular issue.

Regarding the love between two people who have a different religion, the answer is not simple. There is the mushy Hollywood movie/ M&B novel answer, and there is the reality answer.

If the love you mentioned is between a catholic and a protestant for example, then the only actual barrier between them would be their particular community (that is, if there indeed exists such a barrier). Apart form that, being Christians over all, there is nothing wrong in the love.

However, when it comes to the love between two complete different faiths, then there are many complications involved. In most such relationships, one of them will have to convert to the other person's faith. It's only the extremely liberal (metropolitan culture) who don't care much about religion and go ahead with such a marriage where every member continue with their own religion after the marriage. However, most religions consider such marriages as void/null, and the only way of legalizing it is via Court, sans any religious ceremony.

Even I had girlfriends of different religion, ethnic background and community during my college days. It was great fun, and I truly enjoyed all the moments. However, as one grows older and older, one needs to think about the future, and the family. Suppose you marry a person of different faith, would your children want to follow your Christian footsteps? Even though the teachings of other religions are excellent, can you really convince your subconscious that that's ok? It's all up to you.

My cousin fell in love with an Arab student a couple of years back in Delhi. Since her parents were dead set against the marriage, he converted to Christianity for her! They got married, and now he is one of the most devoted Christian I've ever known, preaching the Word of God to any visitors who come to their house. Of course he was excommunicated by his family in Saudi Arabia, some even threatening to kill him, but his spiritual love for God and earthly love for my cousin surpassed all that.

And yes, like some of the comments above, if all of us were atheists/agnostics, there would still be divisions formed. It is human nature to create groups, and groups. Even without religion, divisions such as those based on region, city, locality, color of skin, color of eyes, length of hair, etc will definitely arise.

Phoenix said...

1) Love per se is never wrong. It can be forbidden, but never wrong, and for the sake of religion/caste and all those differences, even the forbidden bit is crap. You love a PERSON, and thats enough.
What may be wrong, however, is when love ceases to really mean love. When you stop to give in love, when you stop respecting and start possessing, when you can't forgive, when you can't understand, and when you become too selfish in love, that's wrong.
Love that's forced on someone, is wrong. I may love someone with all my heart, but if he/she doesnt, to make him do so by any means at all, is wrong. Then, my love is cursed too.

2.It would be peacefuler, but more chaotic too. Faith, in any case, needs to be retained.

claytonia vices said...

1) There are so many definitions of what's love out there that there is always scope for disagreement without even knowing what exactly the other person means. According to my definition it can't be wrong. Only people can be wrong...

2) As long as there are people, the world may not be a safe place :). People will always find something to fight over unless every one of them get enlightened... or atleast learn to tolerate and respect differences in personal beliefs and preferences...

Jerusha said...

Thank you all! Much much appreciated. I think I should put all your comments together and put them up on a post of their own.

ian said...

hey i am new in dis stuff,and tryin...... haa... love is possible and very good for the soul but it's easy to hate in one swift betrayal,thinkin abt de world, it's only fair dat everyone mind der biz surely,u don't want ur neighbour minding ur biz for u,..... god and dis world r just one and every moving object in dis wrecked earth knows abt destiny even de wanabe atheists and dem beliefs,....think abt dis gifts of nature dat we enjoy.. 'love','peace',somethings r de way de r coz u found dem der ur parents( peros) found dem der, wat de bother abt dem things that ur eyes have never seen change even in de movies,... life w'd b hard if u always had to figure out why ur fingers r movin over de keyboard or de coffeee cup. please forgive me for my spelling but english is alittle bothering the or de, cool or kool or kul.

Jerusha said...

ian - thanks for commenting. And forget about the spelling, it's all cool/kul/kool :)

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, love can never be wrong. Love can never be wrong, no matter the age, religion, region, race, etc etc.

I do not think the world will be safer if we all are atheist or agnostic, it will be the same. Personally, i think that all those people who call themselves atheist do believe in something, for example nature, or some high power than human but they just dont call it, 'God' or something as like using the word, 'worship'. So thats my opinion.


Jerusha said...

anon - thanks for commenting. This just makes me wonder about a lot of things, since almost everyone seems to agree that love is almost never wrong, and yet, if you look at reality, it would seem like love is almost always wrong..

Me!!! said...

I'd like to answer the 2nd one... Man take away his religion, he'll invent another one!!! hihi

Jerusha said...

Religion is good, as long as no one gets too radical about it I guess...also makes for good reading.