On analysis, it should turn out that all the so-called fundamentalists are actually superficialists, because by their insistence on a literal interpretation of the scripture, they are missing out on the core essence of their religion and end up being obsessed about the superficial layers.


desiskeptic said…
But the details of the religion *are* what distinguish it from other religions and what make it stand out. The core essence is much more universal and shared by many other religions and philosophies of life.
It is because of this reason that I think that following your religion because of its core essence isn't a good reason to follow your religion; you can believe in any other philosophy and lead an equally good life.
karachi khatmal said…
@ desiskeptic

what that would mean then is that whether it is monotheistic or polytheistic, or any other distinction religions draw there is nothing that essentially seperates one religion from another?

it is a valid point i suppose, and perhaps if i'm not mistaken what the bahai'is believe. but i think the point is that you enter a religion and its philosophy through the superficial layers, armed with the desire that you wish to delve deeper and deeper into it. once you arrive at its core, i agree that you will come to the realisation you point out. but it is the process, or journey, i think that is the most important.
desiskeptic said…
@karachi khatmal

I agree that the process and journey is important.

The essence of most religions (or what most people consider to be the essence) is based on a message of peace, love and harmony. Whether I believe in the angels, fate, afterlife, the finality of the prophethood or even the oneness of God is superficial and inconsequential in my view.

I am not familiar with the Sufi tradition but listening to this song by Rabbi Shergill almost makes you think that Bulle Shah was a kafir, at least according to the strict literal interpretation of Islam.

After realizing that the core essence of most religions is so similar and their details are so particular and divisive, I have come to realize that I no longer consider myself to be a Muslim. Its just a label that serves to divide the world into believers and non-believers instead of serving any useful and worthwhile purpose.
Awais said…
The post wasn't exactly in the favour of "core essence of religion" ;) I am not sure whether the essence of all religions is the same, but one thing which can make it all same is the spirit of mysticism, and perhaps that is what the religious world needs so badly right now: a sufi revival.
desiskeptic said…
Well, the discussion drifted :)

Yes, a Sufi revival seems to the next practical step. Its much less dogmatic and much more universal and tolerant as compared to other brands of Islam.
Salman Latif said…
Sufi revival is as impractical as the political-only dimension of religion.
An ideology essentially necessitates the change of certain parts of a society - religion isn't meant solely at having mysterious, mythical beliefs for most part, with few genuine ones here and there and abandoning the social soul of it alltogether. That's a downright wrong view of things!
Coming to the issue of fundamentalists..they mostly comprise illeterates, those entirely unfamiliar with religion, those barely ever practising religion and the similar lot. Ignorance comes even with a lot of knowledge if a true understanding of that knowledge is lacking.