Religion as Socialization - What does the Holy Qur'an say?

Here is the problem statement:
Does Islam in its Book the Holy Qur'an condone socialization as religion?
There are three possible answers to this: yes, no, maybe. That covers the full gamut of answers.
The following verses seem to suggest that the unequivocal answer of the Holy Qur'an to this question is a loud NO, and there is no other answer:
[ here is homework assignment for the reader --- can you find and enumerate these verses ]
The condemnation of the above verses is universal and categorical --- it does not say that it only applies to non-Muslims and idol worshippers alone, that Muslims born into Muslim homes are absolved from its condemnation. It is not a conditional condemnation dependent on what beliefs one is born into. It is a categorical condemnation and applies to all.
Consequently, due to the unequivocal and universal condemnation of the Holy Qur'an against following the religion of one's forefathers, whatever religion or belief system that may be, every Muslim, man and woman, born into a Muslim home really ought to introspect whether they too are fundamentally socialized into their religion? Specifically, socialized not just into being a Muslim, but also socialized into one of the many Muslim sects or groups that they open their eyes into, mainly under the rubric of the two macro Muslim sects Shia and Sunni which are further subdivided into myriad other subgroups and subsects.
Again, this introspection can only lead to one of the following answers: yes, no, maybe (or partially). That covers the full gamut of answers.
If they don't answer No, i.e., if they answer yes or maybe or partially, then it behooves a rational mind to reflect on how he or she might rise above that socialization into one's religion of birth. An irrational mind is absolved from such obligation because it is fundamentally ill-equipped for this task.
If they answer No, then it still behooves a rational mind to prove that assertion that one is not socialized into one's religion and belief system of birth, at least to one's own intellectual, spiritual and emotional satisfaction --- for religion is always intensely personal choice and one need not justify that choice to anyone else.
The problem inherent in seeking such self-satisfaction are of course many fold, that inevitably lead one to being deluded and subjective rather than objective, often despite all pretenses to objectivity. These pitfalls include: the problem itself being self-referential, prone to confirmation bias, data availability bias, perception bias, emotional bias, spiritual bias, to mention just a few psychological and subconscious cataracts that get in the way by self-servingly “preloading” that self-satisfaction with one's own preference and presuppositions without one being consciously aware of it.
As one may perceptively note, this fundamental question of religion as socialization is orthogonal to the banal question of mutual co-existence --- for the latter is but a truism, a platitude. One can, and sensibly should, always seek to co-exist with those whom one disagrees with, whether or not the disagreement is religious, scientific, philosophical, or petty. That is but a fundamental human right to be able to live in peace without being forced to conform to the thoughts and beliefs of others. Whether or not this basic human right is honored is an orthogonal question to the question at hand.
Try not to confuse the two questions.
The article Averting Shia-Sunni World War perceptively probes the Religion as Socialization aspect for individual responsibility to oneself with its concomitant existential impact on society, and does not waste its time with obvious platitudes on how to treat others unlike oneself. Mutual coexistence among all mankind in the Holy Qur'an was previously explored in What does the Holy Qur'an say about Multiculturalism and Pluralism? Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization.

First published Sunday, July 10, 2016 03:30 pm 682

Religion as Socialization - What does the Holy Qur'an say?

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