Tuesday, January 08, 2008

On Religion: Indispensible, but can be dangerous

The theme of the month is “religious dimension of sustainable development.”
There is a religious dimension to the United Nations’ “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs), and there is a religious dimension to human nature and everything we do. Religion is both indispensable and dangerous. It is indispensable to attain full human development beyond the physical, biological, and intellectual levels. It is dangerous when it degenerates into fanatical delusions about the absolute superiority of any particular religion, and then leads to religious intolerance and religious violence.

Many consider religion to be a controversial topic. But, after millennia of misconceptions about religion, we now have scientific evidence (initially via the Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung) that religion is essential for human beings to become fully human. This being the case, our 2007 analyses of the MDGs is incomplete as long as some insight of the religious influences on the implementation of the MDGs is not provided. A difficult subject, but it cannot be avoided.

In particular, religion is often an incentive (positive or negative) for the transition from patriarchy to solidarity, sustainability, and human development.

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