Religion

I already follow several WordPress blogs. They’re quite interesting, although I need to be careful about how much time I spend on it. For now, it’s still the bedding-in phase, so I’ve chosen to follow a few. I’ll unfollow later if it all gets too much.

Somebody posted yesterday about religion. It’s a subject that I don’t normally touch. I’m settled with my view, I’m not interested in changing anyone else’s view, so it’s generally a subject I find pointless to discuss.

But I do have a view. Don’t we all? I don’t think my view is particularly offensive toward anyone, so I decided to share it.

I think somebody’s “faith” boils down to whether they believe in intelligent creation. If you say “yes”, then I guess you’re ripe to believe in some religion or another. But, in saying “yes”, you open up further questions, like what happened before he/she/it created the universe? When did he/she/it create it? What have they been doing since? I mean, these are all questions a child might ask, but they’re nevertheless perfectly valid. Things like how they stand about evolution, for example, a subject where evidence exists which might well contradict the teachings of a religion, I must admit, I’m happy to take the science. In fact there is an inverse link, I think, between our scientific knowledge and religion. As one increases, the other gets smaller, and it becomes apparent that we use religion to explain those things we don’t understand.

So just on that basis, I guess you could say I’m an atheist. I’m not even agnostic. I’m not particularly open-minded on this – it’s a nonsense to say you’d buy something if only it could be proved, safe in the knowledge that it can’t. In my case, I have pro-actively considered the concept and rejected it.

But notice in the last paragraph, I deliberately referred to “faith”, not “religion”. That’s because I think that religions, almost universally, offer good blueprints on how to live life. So in that respect, they have value. If you’re a Christian, you might wish to turn the other cheek, or to love thy neighbour as thyself. You could probably argue that those aren’t bad attributes for somebody to have. Although they could believe those things whether they believe in Christianity or not.

But not quite universal. Some very current examples include a guy exploding a bomb, or picking up a rifle, or driving a car into a crowd of people, for religious reasons. Think a bit harder, and you realise that history is littered with other examples. The crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and so on. Even slavery was, at one stage, justified by being “god’s will”.

And there’s the rub with religion. Some people will use their beliefs to harm other people, where my philosophy is more “live and let live”. But in the spirit of being tolerant, I do realise that religion could positively influence somebody’s behaviour.

In being tolerant, however, I do draw the line – every time a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on my door, saying “I’m sufficiently confident that my beliefs are superior to your’s, I have decided to come to your space to tell you about them”. As far as I’m concerned, the height of arrogance. (In fact, I’d advise anybody to ask them why they feel that their beliefs are superior to your’s.)

So there we have it. So am I going to rot in hell for eternity? An intelligent creator would surely have better things to do than to pick on me!