Nigeria, amidst other countries, has been termed the most prayerful, with our fervent belief in God that could easily get us the description of Chinua Achebe’s popular proverb; “the one that cries more than the bereaved”.
As a young Nigerian, most of us are birthed into a family that either has a strong belief in Christianity, Islam or the traditional religion, with the incessant influence of our thoughts and beliefs from our parents and elders in the family and society. We are made to sit through and memorise the religious guides that has being laid down from time immemorial and it is also quite bemusing that within the same religious belief, there are other denominational beliefs that has makes the whole thing quite complicated.
While religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence, ethics (also moral philosophy), on the other hand, is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.
Religion has its guidelines when it comes to how to live our lives, but then everyone has the moral power to judge between what is right and wrong as regards our daily engagements. Religion has, for example, the rule not to be involved in fornication, killing, stealing amidst other social rules, but then there is the role of the conscience on what we ought to do and what we ought not, especially if it involves hurting other people or causing social havoc.
The question then is, does religion justify an individual turning out good and becoming the ideal humanitarian or self conviction and judgement does a better job.
I have seen the most religious set of human beings that are conceited, greedy, stingy and selfish. Does it then mean that the religion they practice has not taught them to live otherwise for the benefits of mankind? Is it not that they have personally chosen an ethical line of conceit that satisfies their personal judgement and means of livelihood?
Likewise I have seen and I know people who do not believe in religion, do not attend any religious gatherings, but could give their lives for the growth of humanity.
The question lingers…