Posts Tagged ‘sikhism’

Sikhism in review

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 | Humanism, Religion & Politics

Last Friday we were joined by a representative of the Sikh faith at Perspective.

While Sikhism is often seen as preferable to the major monotheist religions, I think it falls into the same trap as Paganism in that it mixes some good stuff in with a load of rubbish and then tries to use the plausible aspects as all true. At least Christianity offers you wholesale bullshit, you either accept the whole idea of Jesus or you don’t, there is no trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

First off, I want to say that in general, the concept that most people used to describe it this time (which is actually something I coined last year 😉 ), that Sikhism is just “Humanism plus god”, I agree with. I was perhaps a bit harsh in my initial review in The Old bar on Friday night about my thoughts on it. However, I stand by my stance that it is very much disagreeable.

Firstly, it has a concept of god, or “the Devine” but it doesn’t actually define what this is. According to the speaker, their holy book contains about 4,000 pages explain what god isn’t, but never explains what god is. This seems very confusing an ill-defined when it comes to building a belief structure around it.

It has the concept of a traditional family unit – you are commanded to get married and have kids. This is common among many other religions, especially Catholicism and Judaism and inevitably leads to an intolerance of homosexuals and even on a more general level creates judgement in the community of those that don’t choose to live as a traditional nuclear family.

They don’t cut their hair or shave. There is just no reason for this. You might be able to come up with some justification as to why this is done in terms of being one with nature but any such justification would almost certainly indicate you should do this with all your body – yet they are quite happy to cut their nails or shower for example.

Finally, they fall back on the favourite religious past time of trying to suppress and control natural human behaviour in order to exhort control over the follower’s life.

The best example of this is that Sikhs are forbidden from indulging in anything that could be harmful to their bodies – such as drugs, alcohol or meat. Not only to most people naturally crave these things but actually, there is nothing wrong with having meat or alcohol as part of a balanced diet and many studies have shown that they have a positive impact on your health. Particularly because I have Sikh friends who regularly eat at McDonald’s (having the vegetarian option of course but it’s still fast food1) so the rules then seem to become rather less meaningful.

1 I should point out that McDonald’s does not identify as a fast food restaurant. I use that term to describe the kind of food McDonald’s serves but they never call themselves it so don’t get arsey next time you’re waiting a whole three minutes for your food and making sarcastic comments like “you call this fast food?” because we don’t call it that, we never promised you it would be fast, we’re just so damn good at it that nine times out of ten we do have it all ready in under a minute.


Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 | Religion & Politics

So it turns out that Sikhism is just Humanism.

It has a bit extra, some stuff about “the Divine” but basically they believe that everything is god pantheism style so basically there isn’t a god and we should just all be nice to each other.

The other fact we learnt about Sikhism is that it’s followers are not big fans of sandwiches. We made a lot of sandwiches most of which went uneaten. Luckily however the CU were right next door and so gave us a hand with the whole sandwich consumption thing.

It’s interestingly really because it goes back to the whole Atheists and Christians are united by their love of sandwiches. We really need to do some kind of joint sandwich event in the future.

Perspective: Sikhism Perspective: Sikhism Perspective: Sikhism