Op-ed  

Creating the Common Enemy of Religion

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Creating the Common Enemy of Religion - Satan
Creating the Common Enemy of Religion - Satan

The contemporary world comes to our consciousness with a burden of problems. These problems sometimes brought a certain kind of conflict. For instance: conflict of interests, conflict of differences, conflict of power and more importantly conflict of legitimate visions. Why is this happening? Maybe we can’t get a convincing answer. But at least in my opinion that is always there because human being lives in two worlds, the mental world and the material world—subjective experiences and social conditions.

This seems obvious when we trace the past to identify our cultural infrastructures—as a tool to understand ourselves and the environmental conditions within historical continuity, for example, language and technique. With it, we enable to learn how our ancestors threatened the problems and what their insightful inventions are.

I suppose the emergence of ‘religion’ as a set of belief prepositions is a magnificent invention in human history. Whatever how we formulate to understand it, the spirit of religion tends to drive humans to acknowledge the limitations of their existential power and the only way to surpass it is to subsume the self into supernatural power. We can call it the first archetype of ‘religion’ in human history. And obviously, it necessarily grows and developed to be the cornerstone of human life while the interactions become complex.

There is an important thing to say that human civilization necessarily has a more systematic ‘religion.’ But historical narration tells us that civilization built upon centralized authority succeed monopolize the power (this can be military army or symbolic legitimacy) to make people comply. They hold the power tend to personalize themselves as a god or have god-like capacity. It is very effective to integrate and coordinate people in certain ways of conduct. However, while the kings or emperors ignore or sacrifice the live conditions of their people to shake their ambitions, it is absolutely the enemy of the human being.

I think religion as a counter narration has the ultimate role to evaluate the destructive tendency of human beings in history. The current world religions in their formative periods try to capture this evil tendency with the term or concept ‘satan’. This is obvious when we read how religious narrations draw the exegesis of the human being.

Adam in the Heaven
Adam in the Heaven

Adam was created by God from earth soil in the transcendental world called heaven. In there, Adam was accompanied by Eve. And the only prohibition is to eat the forbidden fruit. Once upon a time, satan enter heaven to sway Adam and Eve. Satan say “why you two did not eat the forbidden fruit? It is delightful fruit in the whole heaven. Do you think God does not have mercy while you misconducted? Because Adam and Eve conceive that God has mercy, thus, they eat the fruit. Afterwards, God speak to them. “you broke My rule in heaven, and the consequence is you must live dawn on the earth.” Since that time, Satan hasalways tried to deceive Ada’s descendants.

That story—despite the Biblical or Quranic version—gives us the matter of deception inherently within human existence. Therefore, prophetic revelation insists that satan is the common enemy to live in this world and return to the transcendental world. But what the satan is? According to the Quranic verse, satan is something that deludes our mental states to praise the living creatures as well as psychologically or intentionally. This means that one of the fundamental religious visions is to humanize human beings. But to maintain humanization religion provide transcendental narrations that all human being is equal.

While that narration infiltrates particular human cultures the principle becomes faint. It is the manifestation stage of the humanization visions of religion. Sure, this is a complex process and depends on the social and cultural infrastructure within it. However, the concept of satan, evil and bad thus still being interpreted as the main element of moral foundation accepted within a certain socio-cultural unit. This moral foundation thus enables people to behave as stable as possible to manage the chaotic effects of their conduct within society. My point is while we live in the fast-changing world one of the main tasks is to create a common enemy for human beings. Clearly, this is the enemy of humanism. Nowadays, we must be aware of the political movement under the banner of religion. They advocate religious supremacy but unfortunately, they seem to ignore the humanistic principles. The true enemy of religion is not something in external reality but the mental attitude that being deceived with the hate of human existences. It is the satanic personality that justifies conflictual reality in our times.

Read also: Making Political Myths: The Fate of Democracy in the Age of Information

Pewarta: Agus S. EfendiEditor: Moh. Sobakhul Mubarok
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