"Religion, again." Or "How to make a world full or idiots."1
Religion is like an exposed nerve for me. A critical topic if you will. If both fascinates and revolts. I love movies and stories about angels and demons raging a great unseen war across the heavens for the souls of mankind. I am energized by the great debates of the meaning of the word of God and the histories of the emerging idea of the Christian Faith. To me, it's a wonderful story much like Lord of the Rings, or any Final Fantasy game.
Back in time, Religion was a way to explain why the sun came up, why the seasons changed, why people died, and how we came to be. Because of the simple ignorance of the world we inhabited, combined with the yearning to know the answers to every question beginning with "Why?". It also often sprang up around great idealists who believed truly noble things, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, these people all believed that humanity should be a moral and good people. These beliefs built up around these noble idealists became so paramount to our way of life, that challenging it was inviting ridicule, exile, or even death. in times where towns were small and venturing into the wilderness was extremely dangerous, these penalties carried heavy weight, and usually death. Now then again, why would anyone challenge ideas like "Do onto others as you wold have others do onto you."?
I have relatives who are very religious. To them, religion serves as a moral guide, a way to live their lives so that they can be happy with themselves and their contribution to the world. "It fulfills their soul." Whatever that means. I think it means it brings them happiness, if so then it is a good thing. Most people who goto church go because they feel this same sense of fulfillment of the soul. They are the ones every week, giving to the church, even if they themselves are on hard times. They are organizing food banks, homeless shelters, care packages, fund-raisers, and everything else good that comes out of the church. Then they are the others, and unfortunately they are the ones in charge.
For a select few, Religion has become an institution. It has become a powerful entity with many abilities. For some it is a means to control the masses, from conception to death, literally. There are folks who use the power that their titles within the church to abuse, rape and inflict great pain on people. Religion is a tool used to justify war, social injustice, and every crime that is strictly forbidden in the Christian bible. The greatest atrocity, the unforgivable sin that Religion has been most accountable for, is breeding stupidity.
This is why I believe Religion should be abolished. I know we can't just make people stop being Spiritual, people will believe what they believe, no matter how stupid it sounds to others. I think we as a society as a whole can move past the need for an exterior omnipotent entity to guide our every action and explain the world around us.
The earth was flat once, flat, and the sun, planets and stars revolved around Jerusalem. That was the belief once, it has since been proven false, even the church has acknowledged their misjudgement. How did we find out? Did it take someone to finally sail across the world? Did we believe that the sun revolved around the earth until we went into space? Well, no, actually, science figured it all out. Or, rather people did. A man named Eratosthenes supposedly figured out around 240 B.C. that the earth was round, he even roughly calculated the circumference of the planet! Yet, somehow, the belief that the earth was flat continued until Columbus set sail in 1492 and didn't fall off the edge of the world. Galileo was put under house arrest because he argued that the earth and planets revolved around the sun, his calculations proved correct and we thankfully did not have to go into space to prove it to the world.
Science can and should replace our exploration and explanation of the world around us and the universe at large. It is a tool to be used to understand the workings of everything. The application and investment in science has been responsible for every advancement society can attribute to its improvement in quality of life, ease of travel, communication. Everything. The last advancement Christian Religion gave us was Jesus, who taught people to love one another, care for each other and to help each other. Great for morality, don't get me wrong, science is not a moral code nor should it be. Science should be guided by sound moral principals, always, but it should not be bound by Religious Dogma. Peer review has always kept the integrity of science. If a scientist claims that "By doing X, we can get Y", then other scientists attempt the same feat. If others do so, and the majority of the community agrees that the findings hold true, then the theory is proven, and everyone is happy. If other scientists cannot reproduce the experiment, then whoever claimed "By doing X, we can get Y" is proven wrong, and the theory is false. Simple as that.
For morality, we only have to look into our own brains. There are chemicals that are released when we do something nice for someone. It makes us feel good. Morality explained. Being good to people makes you feel good. Very simple concept, does no require you to hate, or discriminate against anyone biased on their belief structure.
See, I think religion has become outdated. And there is no church on earth that follows all the tenants of whatever aspect of the faith they believe in. Dancing, in one Christian faith is forbidden. Hardly noticed anymore, although it took a great Kevin Bacon movie to really bring the absurdity of it to light. Faiths preach that their structure will make you a good person, and you will be rewarded for being obedient to those laws. Time has passed and many of those laws have become outdated and, even the church itself has changed these supposed Holy Laws, passed down by God. If God is all seeing, his laws would have accounted for the future.
We live in a world, where almost every species we see requires, a male and a female to mate to create progeny. Requires. Yet there are faiths that demonize half our population. In this world, would a faith that placed men below women in the grand scheme of things be popular with men? Doubtful. I honestly wonder at the women who, with fiery faith, and blind righteousness further their own reduction to their biological function. What benefit is it to us to simply ignore, or belittle anyone biased on gender? For us boys, do we honestly think our mothers know absolutely nothing, and can teach us nothing? Laws that allow the slaughter of millions of people because they don't believe in the same magic man in the sky. Laws that allow people to be made slaves. Laws that state fundamental principles against murder, hate, violence, yet stand silent when breaking such laws serves their needs. We desperately need to come up with a new way to define our code of conduct to each other, one that doesn't undermine anyone because of their gender, race, age, or beliefs. I include belief because that can change with education, and time, hopefully. What we are using right now, isn't working.
Religion provides answers to the deep questions of the universe. Such as, "Why am I here?" Or so they claim. In fact, religion is just a cult. It's a way for one person, or a group of people to hold power over a larger group of people. It boils down to "If you listen to me, everything will be alright." People want everything to be alright, the world is a big place full of things that are intimidating and unknown, people want to feel secure, they want to know that they are doing things right. Everyone wants to feel as sense of belonging, and a sense of purpose. Other people recognize that, and use that to wield great power. I'm not saying that all priests are priests because they want to have power. I am saying that people listen to priests on all sorts of matters of life. Priests, are effectively scholars of the bible, Ph.D's in fact. Would you consult a geologist on matters of your love life? Maybe if he or she had a great marriage, or gave good advice. And if that geologist gave you great advice, and helped you. Would you then expect that all geologists are good marriage councillors? No. Simply put, when you create a system where power over many people can be obtained simply by studying a religion and convincing others you subscribe to those beliefs... Well, you can get problems. I would not mind so much if said religions were good at policing themselves, but that is another rant.
The problem with relying on a metaphysical abstract entity that cannot be seen or touched, but interpreted by scholars, is that these scholars have come up with all kinds of really strange ways to explain the way the world works, because they have no idea themselves. Flat Earth Theory, for example. When people accept these, obviously false explanations of the world, it really opens them up to believing in all sorts of other stupid nonsense. If you believe that there is a magic man in the sky who created you, and all things in the universe, and loves you, is it so hard to believe that people can be turned into animals? Or that Gold will rain down on you if you pray hard enough? This is where the people looking for power have flourished, this is why there are so many extra laws and tenants attached to so man faiths. Men wanting power, and control over people, and because they "Believe" in the religion, they must "Believe" in all its laws, even if they don't really make much sense.
"Don't worry. Stop digging in that dirt, stop looking up in the sky, stop doing your experiments. I have all the answers you seek, I have been given all the answers, and I will give you these answers if you believe in me and follow my rules." That is Religion. That is a Con. That is the first step to shutting down your reasoning. If you believe everything you are told, you are being programmed to BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU ARE TOLD. If that does not scare you, then nothing further in this article will be any benefit to you, go away.
Why is this pissing me off so much? Well, normally it wouldn't, for the most part, I viewed religious nuts as nuts rockin' away in their stuffy churches. Fine by me. But, alas, as time passes for some reason, religion has been leaking into the rest of society, again. Politicians cannot get elected unless they believe in God. Canadian politicians would never dare such a thing, but lately, even that is changing. Religions ridiculous explanation of how the world came it be is being taught alongside evolution. We can prove evolution. We actually have seen evolution at work. But no, a very small minority is dictating it's fucked up retard nut-job belief structure of the rest of society, and now our children are getting infected. They are being taught, that they don't have to think for themselves. Hell no.
See, according to these nut jobs, they are trying to make society better. If everyone just, did exactly what they were told, we wouldn't have any problems. Just as long, as its these nut jobs who are the ones barking out the orders. And the way it's going, it will be the nut jobs barking the orders. They are the ones with the guns. We are the people who use our reason. We don't need guns, because we don't have irrational fears about terrorists invading our homes to steal our daughters and our beers. See where this is going?
How do we stop it? We, since we are dealing with people who believe a magical man in the sky has given them diving right to kill in his name provided the murdered was a non-believer, I'd say we are in a bit of a pickle.