Ten Commandments of a Good Religion
What a religion preaches, undeniably, has a profound effect on its followers, and on the world at large. Countless wars have been fought in the name of religion. Most religions have both good and bad points. Some religions have more good points than others. It's time to evaluate what makes a good religion. Below are ten rules to gauge your religion. Give yourself one point for every rule that is not broken by your religion. If you’re unsure, give yourself half a point. I leave it to you, the reader, to evaluate, for yourself, where your religion stands on a scale of 1 to 10. Be honest.
A Good Religion:
RULE#1: DOES NOT promote inequality or casteism of any kind.
RULE#2: DOES remain tolerant to people of other religions, and accepts them for what they are. There are many paths that lead to the top of a mountain. And if there were only one, it would be the most dangerous path to the top.
RULE#3: DOES NOT encourage war of any kind in its name.
RULE#4: DOES NOT try to convert people, either by force or coercion. There is simply no excuse, nor loopholes, for killing, torturing or hurting people to get them to convert to your religion. Nor is there an excuse for taking advantage of a person's vulnerability (either social or economic) in converting him or her.
RULE#5: DOES NOT prevent or threaten you in any way from leaving the religion. You should be free to have your own views and ideas on god and the universe - and free to change them whenever you want.
RULE#6: DOES promote concepts and philosophies that are universal to all species of life. After all, religion is supposed to be laws directly from God, so how can it be specific only to humans, or worse, specific groups of humans. Any religion with rules that speak only to humans (e.g. Thy shalt not have more than five children) is bogus because it breaks the universality rule.
RULE#7: DOES NOT disillusion people on the value of leading full lives. It does not devalue the present life because of the nature of after life. Just as cells in our body have to perform their full function (irrespective of whether there is death or afterlife of the higher being), we have to continue performing our lives to the fullest for whatever be the higher cause.
RULE#8: DOES NOT promote superstitions of any kind. Superstitions are the cobwebs in our heads from generations of lies (for e.g. no sane god would teach you to kill an animal in sacrifice to make him happy).
RULE#9: DOES teach good social etiquettes : how to treat elders, children, women, neighbors and society in general. It also teaches sacrifice for people in need and how to be accepting of other religions, castes, creeds, colors, races.
RULE#10: DOES teach morals and values in the form of sayings, fables and stories, which can be transferred from generation to generation. #9 and #10 are the most important function of religion, in my opinion.