A PHILOSOPHICAL APPRAISAL OF RELIGION AND ITS PRACTICE IN NIGERIA
In recent times, there has been an increase in the uncontrollable trend of bloody
violence, resulting in senseless killings, maiming of innocent lives, and destruction
of properties, mostly in the name of religion. This violation of human right also
comes in form of sexual assault, brainwashing, and inordinate affection for
material possessions, with their concomitant evil making religion one of the
avenues through which man's inhumanity to man is displayed in an unquantifiable
dimension. Hence, suggesting that the relevance of religion is to dehumanize man,
eroding his dignity, which constitutes a disablement to societal development.
However, the goal of religion is to add value to human life and make him worthy
of serving God. Religion should centre on dignifying human lives by giving
credence to man as "crown of God's creation" rather than a lamb for religious
sacrifice. The problem of religion-related conflagrations could largely be
attributed to a misconception of what religion entails or a misinterpretation of its
goals. Hence, in this paper, a redefinition of the goal of religion is proposed to
accommodate man's dignity in the scheme of things. The paper examines through
phenomenological method some religious clashes and moral decadence in
religious practices in Nigeria and thereafter analyzes critically how the
restructuring of religious practices through the tenets of African humanism can
advance the course of things in Nigeria.
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