It is often said by religious people that without its framework, there is no sense of right or wrong. My view is that religion comes after ethics.
There is nothing intrinsic linking any religion with any act of violence. The crusades don’t prove that Christianity was violent. The Inquisition doesn’t prove that Christianity tortures people. But that Christianity did torture people.
The answer to religion is not no religion, but another way of thinking of it. Another way of being in it.
I would argue that religion comes from a desire to get to the questions of, ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘How shall we live?’ And I would say I don’t need religion to answer those questions.
I was 21 in 1968, so I’m as much a child of the ’60s as is possible to be. In those years the subject of religion had really almost disappeared; the idea that religion was going to be a major force in the life of our societies, in the West anyway, would have seemed absurd in 1968.
If I were asked for a one-sentence sound bite on religion, I would say I was against it.
Haven’t two hundred years of failed missionary work overseas taught anybody anything? You can’t convert people to anything – whether religion, or something as inane as our flicks.
I believe in mysticism, with an interior goal, and you are your own temple and your own priest. I don’t believe anymore in religions, because you see today there are religious wars, prejudice, false morals, and the woman is despised. Religion is too old now; it’s from another century, it’s not for today.
Trading and religion have always been aligned together in the history of the world, and especially on the African continent.