This planned series of posts is primarily geared toward two audiences:
- Muslims who want to know a little more about Christianity
- Christians who want to know a little more about Islam
First, I must disclose my perspective as a non-believer in either of these religions. These posts are not meant to argue for or against either religion. Instead my goal, for both Muslims and Christians, is to illuminate the similar patterns of the human mind that created these religions.
It is my further hope that in doing so, both my Muslim and Christian audiences will soften the specialism, the exclusivism and the legalism in their religion, because I view these three traits as being the most dangerous aspects of any religion. Religion is an organizational form of thought like many others: political, economic, or social. But I am not solely critical of these forms of though. Religion, like governments, for example, can have both helpful and destructive elements. Here I am aiming at mollifying the harmful elements. I think comparative inspections can help us see our commonalities and possibly broaden our communities.
Finally, for religion-free folks (atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularist or whatever you call yourself), these simple posts may offer a different way of looking at religion. The classic, over-simplified way of understanding a religion is simply to think of religion as a list of beliefs. Beliefs are important, but I do not look at beliefs in terms of being simply either true or false. I instead look at the function of our beliefs — how they interact with our personality, our environment and history. The truth of religious beliefs is what most people argue and debate about, but in doing so, they hugely misunderstand the nature of the human mind and our behavior and our rhetoric. They misunderstand the nature of religion itself.
This is an ambitious goal, and like many of my other series I may end it very early, but even this introduction in itself says enough to give me a degree of satisfaction. To keep it going, however, it will help to have constructive or inspiring comments. So, let me know your thoughts, doubts and criticisms.
PS: I will explain the meanings of the header for these posts later, if you haven’t already guessed it.