Thursday, October 29, 2015

Plea for altruism may not work; reinforcement of belief in God's reward/punishment for good/bad acts may work

My response to the article, Let's be altruists, http://www.asianage.com/mystic-mantra/let-s-be-altruists-260, is given below.

About altruism being inborn among humans - I am not sure about that. Yes, humans may be willing to help a fellow human in great trouble. However, in general, they will not go too far in terms of sacrificing their well-being for others. Especially in today's world.

Therefore those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for others get revered by many people as great persons or even saints (though a few selfish kind of people may consider them to be fools).

A plea to the world to become altruists based on humanness may not get much response, IMHO.

About what the article mentioned about Islamic scripture giving examples of God's love for his creation, is interesting. However, people are quite sceptical about such views today, to be frank. Many, especially among the well educated youth, don't pray earnestly to God. Or they make some small effort of prayer to God, and expect the moon in return! And when that does not happen, they lose faith.

Instead I think the world today needs reinforcement of simple teachings of God's laws which are quite similar, in large part, across various mainstream religions. Sri Sathya Sai Baba would teach, "Daiva Preeti, Paap Bheeti, Sangha Neeti" - Love God, Fear sin (bad/hurtful actions), follow morality of society. I think Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism etc. would also have equivalent teachings. Essentially there has to be belief in the TRUTH that there is God/Divine power who is watching all actions that man does and that man will be rewarded/punished for his good/bad acts - in Hinduism (and Buddhism & Jainism, I believe), that is belief of karmic fruit in this birth or a future birth, in Christianity and Islam I believe there is a belief of Day of Judgement after death where this reward/punishment happens.

For those with no faith there is the Golden Rule. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself".

All religions teach that charity by the well off towards the poor is a good activity in the eyes of God. The problem is that people have become very selfish and materialistic in the world today, including India. They are concerned about their individual material success and enjoying all material stuff without worrying about those who are not so fortunate and are poor. THAT IS THE BIG PROBLEM. Enjoying material benefits by itself is not bad, but being very selfish and focusing only on one's own material benefits without worrying about society's poor, is what is a BIG PROBLEM.

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