I got to thinking the other day about how Religion(in general) and the Force(Jedi & Sith) are similar and different. From my personal observation both ideologies have their positives and negatives though many will argue that they are both based on fiction and/or non fiction.
One of the positives of both Religion and the Force is that they give people hope. Religion gives people hope when everything around them seems so bleak that they just want to give up. Though for many people use Religion as a means to keep going in life even though they feel like just giving up. The Force or more specifically the Light side of the Force give Jedi hope when confronted by the dangers the Dark side of the force holds.
Now for some people who use “hope” to get through there lives, others see it as a crutch or is seen as a lie. Some Atheist see it as a crutch because some people act as though they are incapable of doing anything with out the guidents of their particular god. Sith, or dark Jedi, see it as a lie because they feel that Jedi are no match for their power. On another hand that same “hope” could be seen as a form of slavery. I say it can be seen as a form of slavery because once you believe you are incapable of doing anything on your own what ever you draw you strength from(Religion or Force) you become dependent on it. For example many devout Catholics believe that anything is possible through god. An many people see this as one needs the help of their god to achieve their or his/hers/it’s (god’s) goals. Force user have a similar dependence since most of there power comes from the Force. Though with Jedi they draw on the world around them, nature and other living beings, while Sith draw power from with in, emotions such as hate and fear. But in the event that either group severs the connection to the source of the power the results would very. Though threw my observations people who disconnect from god seem to be happy and those who disconnect from the force seem to still be able to kick ass, just not as much.
Another upside to both of these ideologies is the sense of community. It allows like minded people to have a space where they can feel comfortable around those who share the same ideas. The down side is that they both have a fairly exclusive community and there for do not always accept outside ideas. For many religions if one brings up any idea that go against the doctrine they are some times told to not ask questions or change the subject. And in some cases, depending on the question, it is considered heresy. Same goes with both sides of the force, anything that goes against the doctrine is said to be ignored. In general it is not wise to only follow one way of thinking and by doing so one becomes ignorant of any and all other possibilities. Which is not a wise path to take especially when one wants to improve ones self.
A side effect of these sometime exclusive communities and ideas is that they sometime clash. Christians and Muslims are the biggest offenders because either group makes up a good chunk of the world population. According to PewResearch.org and PewForum.org there are about 2.18 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims. So with so many members there is bound to be conflict. The less violent conflicts come from who is right. No matter what religion or side of the force you are on you think your way is the right way. The more violent conflicts usually end with the deaths of thousand upon thousands. If you read this and your first thoughts were 9/11, nice try but no. If you want real conflict due to religion go back to the Crusades. In this case Christians were the aggressors and Muslims where the ones on the defensive. When it comes to the Jedi the closes thing in comparison is the Great Hyper space war ended. See video here.
When it come to political conflicts it’s not so much religion against religion but religion against society. In today’s day in age Muslim extremist seem to always be on the news due to their protests and them wanting people who are not Muslims to obey Sharia Law. Thankfully the people who want that are in the minority but unfortunate they tend to hold public office in many places. Now if you are reading this in America and happen to be a Christian you might be thinking that their is no equivalent. That is where you would be wrong, it’s just more subtle and more palatable. Like when any politician says that the Unites States is a Christian Nation, which is not true. For example, some of the first immigrants where Quakers not Christian. The founding fathers were Deist not Theists, look up the difference. Our nations motto “In God we Trust” was not official until 1956, was not put on coins until 1864, and paper money till 1957. Though when it comes to force users it is not so much political but ideological, at least for Jedi. For example there was a split in the order to help the Republic during the Madalorian Wars and if you played KOTOR you know what happened. Though when it comes to the Sith it’s always about power, always. Someone is always out for a power play which causes constant in fighting. But when they all have a common goal they will wait 13 centuries to execute there revenge(after the Great Hyper Space War to the start of the SWTOR MMO). An master Yoda says the dark side is the east path, little green liar.
With all these similarities you might be thinking what are the differences. Well there is only one that I can think of and I feel it’s the only one that really matters. When one prays to their god for say their sick mother to get better and she does. People tend to chalk that one up to god. An the only proof that they have that god did it is there belief. Despite the work of doctors, nurses, and the advancements in medical science some people thank god over them. An to convince someone else that god did it they also have to believe. The force on the other hand does not need your belief in it to work especially if you are being forced choked to death. Belief is the biggest difference between Religion and the Force
Overall both of these ideologies I feel are fake but I only wish one was real. Why don’t you guess which one.