It is unfortunate that, as soon as one wonders about religion - and about Islam in particular - believers of all stripes feel assaulted, humiliated, insulted. One feels that their faith is more important than their reason. One has the impression that their devotion erases their individuality; that it submits them irremediably without the possibility of sharing anything other than their conception of the truth.
To try to explain to them that their vision of the world, of the universe, of the place of Man within them, is not the only one who has the right of quotation, to try to make them realize that to question their doctrines, is not to deny them or to disrespect them. To risk to jostle them, to mishandle them, to make them discover other aspects of them that are not revealed in their holy books, does not make his detractor an impious, an evildoer, or a heretic. To venture to demonstrate that science is capable of revealing, invalidating or confirming that the precepts which are theirs are apt to be invalidated, thwarted, desacralized, is not to kill them. As if demystifying religion, its dogmas and traditions, was like an unbearable, intolerable, dangerous?
As if to upset her, to disturb her in her most fundamental principles, and anchored in the collective and secular consciousness, would destabilize her forever?
Religion, whatever form it has taken over the millennia and centuries past, has always existed. Since the dawn of the ages, since the human being has a minimum of intelligence, feelings, and notions about his place within his environment, has always wondered about the existence of deities. For a long time, he believed them multiple. He attached them to the elements - trees, plants, rocks, winds, rain, storm, etc. - to a nature of which he had not pierced the mysteries - Mother earth, shamanism. He has long personified them - Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Inca, Hindu, Celtic, etc. religions. Then, with the appearance of the Jewish religion, monotheism gradually replaced polytheism: Christianity and Islam have imposed themselves following it.
Obviously, I simplify and shorten. If I had to develop, I should take up all the 1800 pages of notes I wrote when I studied the origins of Religion during my years of research at the National Library of France. And, believe me or not - it does not matter - I have deconstructed the foundations of each polytheistic or monotheistic religion as deeply as possible and necessary. And all, I say all, rely on original patterns roughly equivalent. With some differences constituting their originality and their specificity.
Nevertheless, they all relate more or less to the fundamental myths that have existed within the collective consciousness since humanity developed. The myth of the Savior, the myth of the end of the world, the myth of paradise, the myth of the founding father - sometimes of the mother-goddess; it is often forgotten, alas, and many others find themselves in one form or another at the heart of all our past and present religions.
I have no illusions: I am aware that once again, an army of shields will be raised by affirming this. Some will swear that the truth in their holy books proves that this is not the case. They will claim that the words that are uttered there come from the mouth of their Prophet (Quran), the Son of God (Bible), or the Patriarchs (Torah). They will never stop proving and insisting, in good faith and sincerity, that I am wrong. I will not be surprised or outraged. That does not scare me because I know their arguments on the fingertips. They are always the same, and all resulting from passages of their holy books.
Which, for me, does not corroborate their vision of their truth. On the contrary, they will demonstrate in this way how they have no other reference than their religion on which to rely. No scientific or material proof, no historical trace, etc. do not come to support them.
However, Muhammad did indeed exist, and his personal journey is known. From there to believe that he has been penetrated by the word of Allah, there is a step that I will not cross. As for Jesus, Abraham, Moses, etc., their existence is pure hypothesis. And even if this is the case, the stories evoking their initiatory journey refer to facts and undeniable historical periods. But the importance of their influence on them is very exaggerated.
Starting from this postulate, I seek to draw attention to this: the perception of what we call "the truth" is very volatile. It changes according to the places, the traditions, the societies, the ways of thinking, the personal itineraries, the family origins, the education, which are ours. I will add that it also changes according to each person.
There are as many "truths" as people traveling our planet. And they are just as religious as they are philosophical, traditional, scientific, societal and historical. The truth, if it is supposed to exist, is by no means monolithic, immutable or definitive. She evolves continually over the ages, according to events, in relation to her own perception of "Reality". Now, since reality itself is a notion that is constantly being questioned for equivalents to those mentioned above, the truth is also subject to interpretation.
Is it good, is it bad? This is another debate. As far as I'm concerned, I think it's good because, from my point of view, certainty is always a source of conflict: "I'm right, so you're wrong. And if you are wrong, it is natural that you submit to what I believe. ". It generates intolerance, a desire to enslave the other to his will or his precepts. It is giving up one's free will to the benefit of the one who proclaims himself the holder of the truth. And, from the furthest antiquity to the ups and downs of the most recent news, the misdeeds resulting from this constant are innumerable.
As a result, I remain convinced that one and only "truth" - religious, ideological, philosophical, scientific, etc. - can be trusted. - is the most dangerous thing in the world. My personal observations during my years of research at the National Library led me to question these commandments. I have discovered that the more sources we have about this or that subject, the more we are freed from die-cut judgments, preconceptions, or prejudices. For we are all, more or less unconsciously, tributaries, whether we like it or not. And they chained us to their demands, their certainties, their "infallibility".
With all the excesses they inevitably engender.
Man, it is a fact, has always tried to go beyond the limits that were enacted. Whatever his intelligence, his wisdom, his possibilities, or his abilities, he has always tried to transcend the boundaries that have been set for him. He overthrew all the ideologies, all the traditions, all the authorities who wanted to durably constrain him. The ideal of freedom - of conscience, of expressing oneself, of property, of traveling, of trading, of thinking, etc. - is innate. No one can muzzle him.
All those who, in one way or another, have been persuaded in the past to be able to do so have been crushed. They were convinced that they had the only truth that was tolerable, satisfying, worthy of being taught and propagated. They have been dismissed. Their hegemony, their imperialism, their tyranny, was crushed. And whether in the name of a religion, a philosophy, a dream, etc., none survived.
We are only a few things within this universe. Our Earth is only a grain of sand lost in the midst of an almost infinite immensity. Our species has only about 10,000 years of civilization behind it. It's only a second of Eternity compared to the billions of years since the world is world. There are so many things we do not know.
We still have so much to discover, to learn, to experiment. Our intelligence is limited. She is in permanent conflict with the instinct that drives us. The knowledge that we hold is tiny in the face of the immensity of space and time. Our perception of ourselves, of others, of our environment, is derisory.
In fact, we are still children. However, phenomenal challenges are already discernible before us. So, instead of clinging desperately to our certainties, to our truths, to our pre-priorities, let us use our differences of view, our divergent realities. Let us serve the multiplicity of our beliefs and our achievements, to ensure that our civilization, our species, can evolve. Rather than force it into sterile quarrels that blind and condemn it to extinction, in truth ...