No Virginia, all religions are not created equal
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." [Moral Decay (first published 1937)]
OK, I get what the great man is trying to say here. But was he right? Or was he rather engaging superficially as a Westerner - having a Westerner's view of individual piety and private, personal religious observance - with non-Western religions? Was even this great thinker therefore imposing his own limited worldview and making baseless assumptions?
Similarly, I hear this argument all the time: "Religion is the real problem - religion has caused more wars and suffering than anything else in history".
It seems to me that in order to make this statement one must view "religion" as either a) the same way one views disease - there are no good diseases, all cause suffering and misery. Or b) all religions are neutral and equally open to distortion by politically motivated individuals for selfish gain.
But there are some religions which genuinely ennoble human dignity and lead to kindness, forgiveness and patience. While others may teach vengeance, warfare and political domination. One improves our condition and draws us closer to our Creator while the other does not. So how can they be the same?
So are the genuinely pacifist followers of Fundamentalist Jainism just as much to blame for violence as the followers of Fundamentalist Islam? Preposterous.
People can only make such sweeping statements without taking even a short time to research and reflect on the subject. Gad Saad uses categorization theory to explain the nonsensical "all religions are created equal" meme in this 5 minute video.
He makes it very simple, which I appreciate.