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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!)
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?