Mixing culture and belief?

Humans tend to believe many things for many reasons, both good and bad. I think that humans give our culture too much credit.

Now please understand: I’m not saying that people should ignore their cultural identity, or forget about their cultural heritage. Our culture makes us who we are, whether we like it or not.

However when it comes to our beliefs, I think we need to leave our culture behind.

For example, in a country like Afghanistan, many people become Muslims as a result of their cultural upbringing. Similarly, in a country like Sri Lanka, many people follow Buddhism or Hinduism simply because it is their cultural identity. Sadly, in the western culture of Australia, many people are Christians simply due to their parents or their background – once again the influence of culture. Even more terrible is that within many universities and schools, the culture is atheism – you can see this because people who don’t hold this view are jeered at.

A person should adopt a belief because it’s true. It’s as simple as that. Culture should have no place in the choice of a person’s beliefs. Sadly, the truth is that highly religious and the highly non-religious often fall into this same problem.

So as you go from here, I’d like to invite you to consider leaving your culture separate, and spend some time thinking about your beliefs, and whether they are true or not.

[By Jonathan Jayanthakumar]

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