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Old 05-16-2005, 06:45 AM   #24
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I am shocked and disappointed that people said religion should play a part in aikido. Ueshiba specifically said that he was not teaching any religion (he expressed things in certain religious ways because that's how HE understood aikido).

Least cynically, religion is a belief system which people use for interpreting reality*. Aikido may be a way of examining certain underlying physical (and even psychological) principles - however, unlike religion, it is dynamic and flexible and utlimately should be judged purely on the experiences of the individual.

Todd suggests that it is individuals which are to blame for the atrocities performed in the name of religion - and I would agree. However religion allows these individuals to hide behind a 'cause' and thus permits society to excuse them of these atrocities, and can also incite these atrocities. Religion almost always creates a them and us situation, despite what is said in (often contradictory) texts. Also anyone that believes religion (rather than spirituality) is not created by man is a fool and doesn't know the history of their own religion. (for example how many Christians have read the book of Thomas, one of the oldest gospels, which was ommitted from the bible because it didn't agree with the Catholic view of Jesus?)

Sorry to rant - I get offended when people believe that religion is more valuable than reasoned argument. Religious groups have far too much say in politics as it is; why does the public assume that a cardinal, for example, has more right to voice an opinion about world issues than a philosopher?

* (Most cynically, it is a way of changing people's behaviour to suit your own objectives.)

Last edited by ian : 05-16-2005 at 06:57 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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