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so let's be controversial again! RELIGION \o/ 
11th-May-2010 01:18 am

OK first just let me say that English is not my main language, and I am not even that good with words in the first place. So if you get offended by something, try to think twice and ask yourself if maybe you are misunderstanding what I am trying to say. And if you leave a comment, be nice to eachother! I'm very lucky with you guys, and how nice you are when you comment here. Almost never any trolling ^__^

I watched The Invention of Lying tonight. It is a comedy, and a funny one, but I was really thinking about how good it was at showing religion for what it is. It showed a little bit of why we have religion in the first place, with the good sides, and how hard it is to avoid the bad sides.

I am atheist. While I don't exclude something more spiritual, I really doubt it. And I really think religions are all something made up or imagined by people. It is just too easy to be suspicious of something that has changed so much throughout history, depending on what people had a say in the matter. Let me use Christianity as an example as it is what I know the most about. The Bible was written by a bunch of dudes. A bunch of them decided what went into it, and what did not make the cut. Some of the main stories in there are also suspiciously (to say the least) similiar to other mythology from the same region, predating Christianity by a good bit. And even after they finished it, it has been changed right? Even a translation is a pretty big transformation when you consider this is supposed to be the written laws of our lives. Think about all the different "truths" that have been presented as the word of God, from medieval Catholic church to Hitler to that original Mormon. No way, man. This is all people and their ideas.

And then when you look at the ideas... We all laugh at the ridiculous science fiction mythology of that Scientology guy, but people accept the stories of Christianity without thinking about it because we've been so familiar with it since we were little kids. Jesus walked on water? Sure, everyone knows that :P That's not ridiculous at all. Oh and what about the Father who has a Son who is also at the same time the Father (...). Or the virgin birth. I know a lot of this is described as "miracles", but once you go there then you are kind of in the same category as the Scientology alien stories for me. I'm pretty sure that if you look at the people with the most education, you will find they are a lot less religious. Once people have more knowledge of how the world works it becomes harder to convince them that thunder and lighting is actually a hammer god in the clouds, or that boys kissing boys is something dangerous.

Please don't get me wrong; I am not dismissing those of you who are religious as uneducated or stupid. There are many people in this world who are more intelligent than me and who are also religious. But it is something that makes me wonder.

And it's hardly harmless either you know? There is so much shit going on in the name of religion, so much hate and conflict. I know there are many good things going on too, but do we really need that to be nice to eachother?

(Sorry again for the awkward writing. I am not good with words!)
(no subject) - Anonymous
10th-May-2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
I speak English, but as it is not my main language I find it easy to be misunderstood.

Yes, tragic...
10th-May-2010 11:44 pm (UTC) - Interesting Subject
People should have the right to believe what they want. As long as this does not hurt anyone else. I don't like the idea of people fighting wars over religion. No one should be killing another person over religion.

In my life, I have witnessed death many times in my hands. But watching my mother take her last breath was a peaceful and amazing moment. Markus, I believe you just missed witnessing this with your great father.

Hugs & Love Always,
10th-May-2010 11:59 pm (UTC) - Re: Interesting Subject
Yes people should have the right to believe what they want, but in many cases it is hurting somebody else. People fight wars, kill, discriminate all thinking they are doing what God wants them to do.

I was there when he died, but this was not a religious experience. It was about us, not some Jesus guy.

Edited at 2010-05-10 11:59 pm (UTC)
10th-May-2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
I tend to believe that religion is over-rated. Stories told long ago that you interpret one way and then repeated as you perceived them. I just believe...you get as good as you give. Oh...and if there is an afterlife...I want a lot of cute guys to do nasty things with! LOL God knows I'm not getting it now.
10th-May-2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure there will be cute boys waiting sorry :P
11th-May-2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Christianity is just as ridiculous as scientology, imo. The only difference is that scientology was consciously created to manipulate and gain money, whereas Christianity developed towards the same goals in a more subconscious way. I think one can be incredibly intelligent and believe in religion allegorically, but I don't encounter many critically-thinking fundamentalists.
17th-May-2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Well maybe not quite just as - scientology is pretty out there :P But yes, I agree with you.
11th-May-2010 01:17 am (UTC)
You are right.

I was talking to my old Mormon bishop a long time ago about why he believed in Mormonism. (He's really smart. His whole family are scientists and atheists. So I was and still am really confused as to why he believes in Mormonism) Anyways, he told me that if there is not god there is no right and wrong. So I told him I'm atheist and I know right from wrong. But he insisted that without religion we wouldn't know right from wrong.

So this is why I think some people are religious and this is what I told him. They are bad people and they need an excuse to do what is right. Being an intelligent human being just isn't enough for them. I told him that he knew Mormonism was bunk but it's his clutch. Without it he is too weak to be a good person. From then on I could tell that he respected me because he knew I was right but he would never admit it.

17th-May-2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Well in a way he is on to something I guess. Human rights are only human rights because we say they are. There is no universal right and wrong. But that's not going to make me pretend to believe fiction is real...
11th-May-2010 01:28 am (UTC)
Here's my take on it - speaking as a scientist and an engineer, someone whose daily life is totally rooted in science and logic.

I spent 20 years trying to get the reality of god. Along the way I studied many cultures and many histories. What I found was that in all societies, in all times and all places, people have always had a religion. Sometimes it's very simple and beautiful, sometimes it's very complex and well, stupid.

But the experience of the godhead has always been universal. So, whether or not god exists in the objective sense, I believe that the belief in god is very much a part of the human experience. I don't believe in any of the common religious views about god, I found my god while fasting on a mountain top, but that's my experience - everyone must find their own.

The experience of god is very much like the experience of love. Neither can be objectively proved to be real - they are simply emotions. One can live a purely rational life and reject both, and many people do. I prefer to embrace both as part of my animal humanness, just as I embrace my sexuality - it's part of my existence, my experience. If someone wants to say that none of it exists outside of my head, well that's fine.

Here's a simple experiment for you. Whenever you hear an argument against the existence of god, replace the word "god" with the word "love". You'll find that the exact same argument also disproves the existence of love. Then decide whether or not you want to live in a world without love.
17th-May-2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I think that universal presence is because people needed ways to explain things they couldn't otherwise.

As for "love"... In the end it is just a word anyway. It means has a lot of different meanings depending on who is using it and the situation. I think in most of the situations it involves instinkts and hormones and chemical reactions in our brains. You can say that is a cold way to look at it sure, but these are things that have been discovered you know?
11th-May-2010 02:37 am (UTC) - Pshh.
Religion was created because people fear the unknown. Hell, if I saw an eclipse as a caveman I probably would have created an explanation just to keep from going batshit crazy. I always compare religion, in modern times, to haggis, that Scottish "delicacy." Haggis was created because back in the day, food was scarce. People had to eat just about every disgusting part of the animal, parts you probably wouldn't even consider putting in your mouth now. So they stuffed all these parts in a stomach casing and called it sausage. Today, in most first and second world countries, you can go to the market and get nice butchered cuts of meat. No nasty bits, unless you're into that kind of thing, hah. I feel the same way about religion. Back in the day we needed it to explain the unexplainable. But thanks to Gallileo, Newton, et al., we have science to explain these strange days when the sun is blocked out. I'm sorry, organized religion just does more harm then good. Find your own spirituality and keep it for yourself. You don't need to justify what you believe happens after you die. No one can disprove that yet. Haha. And finally, to quote Sir Paul McCartney, "I worry that religion starts wars."
17th-May-2010 06:20 pm (UTC) - Re: Pshh.
Well I can understand the origin of it, I have no problem with that. Fear of the unknown, and something to hold on to when you need hope in your life. But that doesn't make it any more true.
11th-May-2010 05:50 am (UTC) - Tom from Seattle
Well.. first of all... im drunk... had little bit of rice wine and XO brandi... ; )

I find myself really confuse because I always believe in Science and evolution but at the same time.... It seems like anything great achieve by humans really require a leap of faith.......which I find a strong spiritual life plays a big part of it.

and only god can create something as beautiful as you... an ANGEL!! ;) haha so cheesy but i love it.
17th-May-2010 06:22 pm (UTC) - Re: Tom from Seattle
I'm not sure what you mean. How do the great things require leaps of faith? And if they do, what does Jesus or Allah have do do with that?

Pff :P
11th-May-2010 06:12 am (UTC)
i completely agree. and those who applied their religion too much tends to be really stubborn
17th-May-2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Really stubborn!
11th-May-2010 08:03 am (UTC)
I love this, and I agree with most of what you have to say. Religion is supposed to be about LOVE, right? Yet there is so much pain and war because of it. As far as believing goes... as an old theology student I've got a very open mind, so I'll believe that people will believe anything if it helps them in their own lives. But religion should be personal, I think.. and people should have a chance to believe what they want to believe. This includes everyone, even atheists :P
Good entry. I don't think you're bad with words or anything, I think you got your point across :)
17th-May-2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Well "supposed"...depends who you ask. Those people with "God hates fags" posters think that hate is an important part of it. Sure you can dismiss them, but in my mind the loving God is just as false. I think we should be able to love without having someone command it of us.
11th-May-2010 08:45 am (UTC) - Haggis, boys and eternity
Religion as haggis - I like that. Boys in heaven? In my religion of course there are. I suppose there are lots of reasons for religion, but one is to explain (or to explain away) free-will, and/or to guide the use free-will for good or bad. Free-will emerges from what? What guides those little atoms 'n' stuff to deviate from the path ordained by physics to make (and allow) you to do what you do? Is it human, is it something we have to attach to a divinity? Maybe one day we will know the answer. In the meantime, I guess, some look to some god or other to supply the necessary answers, just like they once did to explain the passage of the stars. It is nice to imagine we are eternal anyhow, and religion is the only thing offering us that at present.
Nice question Markus, and great replies as usual.
17th-May-2010 06:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Haggis, boys and eternity
Like I commented above, I don't have any problems seeing where religion and people's need for it comes from. I just think it is something that collides with the intellect. For one to advance, you have to let the other go some.
11th-May-2010 09:26 am (UTC)
I think you got it pretty right Marcus. Your english is fine trust me.
17th-May-2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
11th-May-2010 11:58 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree with everything you said. Personally I have nothing against religion; organized religion, on the other hand, has been nothing but a pain in the ass to civilization since civilization began.
17th-May-2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
What is non organised religion then? When God speaks to Abraham?

I see what you mean though.
11th-May-2010 01:46 pm (UTC) - Religion
If religion would bring people together it would be a positive thing in life. But it really seems to divide us more than anything else.
17th-May-2010 06:29 pm (UTC) - Re: Religion
Yes, it does both.
11th-May-2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Bigots using religion as an excuse to be bigots will never be ok.

Or using it to get power as many do.
17th-May-2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
Amen :P
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