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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What if you had been born in Saudi Arabia?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25547 points ) August 28th, 2012

What would your religious beliefs be?

How much of our spiritual beliefs are decided by the lottery of where we’re born?

If you care to take the time to think about it for a while, doesn’t the role of chance in where we’re born invalidate much of what we hold dear as far as religion is concerned?

I mean, if I’d been born in a Saudi Arabia, I’d be a fervent follower of the prophet Mohammed. They don’t tolerate minority religions.

So, how can one religion be true?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Your question is why many of us have a more ecumenical approach to belief systems. The Saudis don’t even agree with other Muslims on the ‘true” religion, some of the most vicious fighting in the world in the last 30 years has been between Shia and Sunni, and the Saudis follow Wasabi Islam.

So, yes, what religion you follow is most likely to be what your parents believe. And to answer your final question, most hardcore believers will answer it with “because they are wrong.”

ninja_man's avatar

If I had been born there I would very likely either be Muslim or a closet atheist.

The regional nature of religion does not preclude the truth of one or the other, necessarily. It merely means that geographical location plays a huge part in what you believe. Now, it does have certain implications about what religions teach regarding destiny and salvation.

CWOTUS's avatar

I was born Christian (even baptized), but I grew (evolved?) my way out of that. God made me an atheist.

I believe that most people simply accept their brainwashing training and upbringing and don’t give it a lot of thought. Those are the types, I fear, who ostracize, condemn and in some cases actually hate and harm those who do think for themselves and think differently.

Some, and in particular some of the jellies I respect in this forum, have given a lot of thought to the matter and have managed to accept the religion they were born into, or they have adopted, maybe even created, another one that suits them better. I suppose you could say that that’s what I did: I adopted atheism / agnosticism because it suits me better.

I think that either of those latter types are more likely to accept different-ness in others, provided the respect and acceptance are reciprocated. It’s hard to respect (except in a fearful and very defensive way), tolerate and accept people who want to kill you because you don’t say and seem to believe the same things they do.

reijinni's avatar

I would pretend to be a Muslim until I can find a way to leave the country.

ragingloli's avatar

I would probably have had been brainwashed into the muslim variant of the abrahamic cult from an early age on.

Sunny2's avatar

I was a good little girl here and I would be one there. I’d do what was expected of me and follow the state religion.

whitenoise's avatar

@zenvelo
I happen to know a lot of Saudis and moat dont like wasabi. If one would be caught enjoying wasabi religiously, then one would likely be in big trouble.

(Unless it comes with ginger and soy sauce, of course. :-P )

Blackberry's avatar

It depends on who raised me. I would have higher chances of being born into nonsense.

bookish1's avatar

Interesting question, but I wouldn’t know how to isolate the effect of being born in Saudi Arabia on other aspects of my life.
For instance, if I were still born to a South Asian father in Saudi Arabia, he would most likely not have been a Brahmin, which would have affected the material conditions in which I was raised, as well as the values and expectations implanted in me.
If I were still transsexual and not-heterosexual in Saudi Arabia, well, my life would be less than enviable…
Counter-historical hypothesis are fun to think about but impossible to prove decisively, and also impossible to stop once you start them rolling.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I’d try to vocalise my position as a feminist as much as I could before being subsequently whipped and beaten. :-/

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@bookish1 : The details of the question are about religion. Basically, I was trying to get people to think about chance playing a role in their religion.

bookish1's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake : Well, if this had been in General, I would have stuck with that. I see what you were trying to do. I’m religious; I was raised with two religions and ended up following a different one, and I don’t go around saying my religion is Absolute Truth.
Chance played a role in everything else about my life, including the fact that I was not a childhood mortality statistic, and it’s like that for everyone.

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