Friday, July 18, 2008

Are people the problem or is religion?

Is religion inherently dangerous? Oxford theologian Alister McGrath would argue, and I think rightly, that people are the problem; not religion per se.

“All ideals—divine, transcendent, human, or invented—are capable of being abused. That’s just the way human nature is. And that happens to religion as well. Belief in God can be abused, and we need to be very clear, in the first place, that abuse happens, and in the second, that we need to confront and oppose this. But abuse of an ideal does not negate its validity.”

This observation is important because it removes simplistic statements about religion being the root of all evil and violence in the world today. The issues are far more complex because human beings, who posses freedom of the will, are involved.

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