REASON AND LOGIC part 1 RELIGION
I don’t think that any one subject in human history has ever been more controversial. No single one thing has both united people and torn them
apart. Religion has forged alliances between people who otherwise hated one another and split countries apart.
In it’s most basic form religion is merely a way of codifying our beliefs in a supreame being and what it wants us to do, as well as how our
actions (or lack thereof) effects our fate both durring our lifetime and in some afterlife.
But a quick overview of all the religions and their various subsets makes them anything but simple or susinct.
Buddism, Bahai, Christianity,Confusism, Hinduism, Islam, Judasism, Shintoism, Touism Zoroasterism, Wicca, and about a thousand others which are too small and too numerous to mention. Just one of these religions (christianity) is split into two primary sects Catholic and Protestant which are them split into even more and more subsets. A good example of this is Christian-Protestant-Baptists- 300+ individual subsets (denominations) of “Baptist”.Many of these have little or no differances between them, while others have Major differances on issues of dogma.
The problem lies in that human foible called pride and arrogance. The pride that no other deity is as great as yours (because really who wants to think that they could have chosen a better, more popular, stricter, more forgiving, more powerfull, more interested, more of anything or everything being, to devote their lives, money, time, or indeed life to). Nobody wants to feel that they have chosen badly, that they could have chosen better, that their parents could have chosen better for them, that perhaps they weren’t thinking at all and merely accepted everything that they were told. Nobody likes to admit mistakes or feel as if they have been duped into a system of belief. Whole empires have been built or destroyed over the supposed wishes of some all powerfull being.
Religion, by it’s very nature tells us to accept the thoughts and opinions of those “more educated”, “more experianced”, more “in touch” with the divine being, over our own thoughts, our own logic and reasoning, over our own experiances. It teaches it’s adhearants to sit down, shut up and turn Off their minds.
Religion seeks to dominate our minds, our thoughts, our bodies, and our property.
Religion is often held hostage by those seeking to subvert your freedom of choice.
Most religions have several key things in common.
1 a holy book or writings which purport to tell the believer what their deity wants or expects of them, in order to find his favor, and hopefully lead to a path of enlightenment or on to a deserved reward in the afterlife. Often these holy writs or tomes are written in an old and long dead language, deviation from which is highly discouraged. Often these books are curiously vague and contradidt themselves throughout their pages. Love your enemy as yourself, turn the other cheek, enter into the land and slay all the people and animals in the name of the lord your god. Is it any wonder that we are schitophrenic about our religions, while still clinging to it ferverantly?
2 A holy person who’s job it is to bring the word of the deity to the people and interperate it for them. Buddah, Jesus, the prophets, Confuscious.
3 As well there are innumerable quantities of clergy who are all to happy to tell you what the holy person ~really~ said or meant (often while ignoring these very tennants themselves, because of course they weren’t meant for ~THEM~, just you lowly servile believer types.
4 Several key immutable points of Dogma.
5 Several offshoots or denominations/sects some being more strict and some being more liberal often aguing amongst themselves over the nterpretation of one or two key points of dogma.
6 With a few exceptions most religions have a complete animosity and intollerance of other religions or deity’s. Often they would far rather you
simply not believe in anything than believe in the wrong deity or worship the same deity as them in a method other than their own.
7 A morality code or system of living. Laws, rules , guidelines to enlightenment, as well as punishments for transgressing these laws or rules.
Call them what you will, but every religion has them. I’m not saying that they are right or wrong, just that they exist. Sometimes these codes of morality find their ways into secular or civil law. The reasoning on the “exceptions” to these rules is often laughable. “You shall not marry or have relations with a brother/sister/cousin/mother/father”…….unless of course you are royalty, then it’s all okay by god, because you have to keep your bloodline pure. WTF? Okay a couple of words on THAT, hemophilia, hermaphroditism, polydactilism, maddness, idiocy…….mutation. Once or twice for every several generations you can get away with it on a DNA level, any more than that and you might as well just take up life as a pick and shovel uranium miner, for all the good that you are doing your precious bloodline.
Often times members of a particular religion don’t even believe all the things that their chosen religion purports to believe. Sure they may agree with the basic tenants, or they belive that following the basic tenants will somehow keep them safe from harm (either here on earth or in an unspecified afterlife), but not ALL of the tenants of their faith. Often they will justify their unbelief in a specific tenant as being “unclear” or “open to interpretation” or even “not what they understood the scripture to mean” …….I’m sorry but it said to pluck out your own eye rather than let it lead you into temptation…..how is that unclear? It says to kill people who do X/Y/Z …..how do ~You~ interperate that? They justify things as no longer being valid…..Who said? Where is it written? They justify things by saying that they no longer follow that law because of (X event ) despite the fact that the rule/law/guideline was written after said event, and despite the fact that their main religious icon said that he “did not come to change the law, but to fullfill it. For truly I say unto you, until heaven and Earth pass away not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished” (Mathew 5:17-18) BTW there are 613 laws (not just your favorite 10) so you christians had better get started reading.
Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve been hammering pretty hard on one or two particular religions, but since I know them pretty well, and most of my audience does as well, it just seemed logical to use them as a good example.
Now I could go off on a short tangent about a religion that has as one of it’s basic tenants , ceremonial , religious, symbolic canibalism,of a
human sacrafice, even though it’s laws specifically outlaws human sacrafice, but I won’t. Mostly because that short description says enough.
Humans have an inate fear of the unknown. We want answers and are willing to believe almost anything that purports to have them. Even
when it goes against our very nature (actually especially then) or against our better judgement and all reason or logic. We even choose (yes it is
a choice) to believe them when it goes against our own experiances and history. We will go so far as to completely ignore facts staring us in our
face (fossils anyone?) and use any argument we can think of to justify our chosen stance. We will use any trick of language or argument to try
and sway our selves as well as our audiance. We have to keep convincing ourselves. NOBODY is screaming that the sun is going to rise tommorow. You know why? Because science and our experiance agree that it will. It is taken as a given. Nobody has to convince me that Julius Ceaser existed….we have plenty of evidence to that fact (a whole lot more than one book that uses itself as it’s own reference proof)
What often astounds me is people’s desire to NOT know more about history. Is it a mental block that makes them afraid that they might find something that they don’t like? perhaps that their religion “Borrowed” and incorperated things from way before it’s time? Build a boat to escape a flood with all his family and livestock? Gilgamesh did it first in Sumaria (hey maybe Noah used his boat building plans right?), Virgin birth…..sorry Marduk, Krishna and Zoroaster beat Jesus to that by a few thousand years (18th century BCE) but at least they paved the way and made it seem at least plausable to those willing to believe that Mary didn’t give it up to a mere human. The laws of god as given to moses
(Leviticus) ….I think Moses coppied off of Hammurabi’s paper……except of course he predated Moses again by a few thousand years.
Really is there anything wrong with just saying “hey, these are good rules, lets use them and add a few of our own”? Oh except of course then you can’t say that your deity gave them to you as his solem and unwavering law and use that to keep your people in constant fear of a vengefull god, just waiting to smite them at the least provocation.
Now I’m not saying that all religion is bad, but I am also not saying that I necessaryily want to hear about your religion either. My beliefs are mine, and in all likelyhood nothing you say can or will change them, though you might help me clarify them, one direction or another. BUT whatever direction I go you can almost certainly believe that I will use MY judgement and place everything under the magnifying glass of reason and logic. I do not need nor will I tolerate being spoonfed the pablum that passes for organized religion.