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.

He 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!

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Formerly, designed and developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged pre-50! I have returned to developing from home, but some of my time is also spent volunteering with the UK charities Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) and the [UK] Stroke Association (www.stroke.org.uk). I created this account with the alias "sca11y" but have since aligned it with the name of my blog.

10 thoughts on “Religion”

  1. I agree with you that religion is important as a value system as long as it has life affirming values and wishes no harm to non-believers. I also think that religious rites are valid for a sense of peace and continuity that people need in this noisy world. Just like any meditative experience. I also believe that there is a lot that we don’t know and perhaps can never know and that we view life and the universe through a very limited prism. I like your approach to these matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points. I think your keyword is “harm”. If somebody gains nourishment from their religion, and it doesn’t harm anybody else, then good luck to them. It really doesn’t matter that somebody else might feel that same sense of nourishment, that’s for them to reconcile.
      We can easily be fooled into thinking that we know everything, because we have Google in the palm of our hands, but I’ve found that I don’t have to dig too deep before I reach limits – I’m thinking back particularly to when I had the stroke, and the air was full of “we don’t know”s. Looking back I still find that surprising, given the number of strokes there have been since medicine began. But perhaps the subject for a future post?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find this very interesting. I love the way you havenput things. No ne should ever try tomoush their beliefs into someone else and most certainly not resort to violence. It is appalling how many people have been kilked in the name of religion. I havenpeople who come to my blog thoygh, who say they will pray for me, and they may even pist an actual orayer. Though I am not too comfortable with that, I recognise that it comes from kindness so I respind kindly back. Mi do have a sirt of a faith I suppose, but a very fractured inel. I do not believe in certainties. But that is ok with me. I get angry uf sineine us condescending though if I do not believe like them, or if they try to force me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re-reading my last paragraph, I should have opened it out, so as not to be specific about JWs, because the point really applies to anybody who would try to tell us that their beliefs are better than our’s. But I can’t really edit my post *after* people have seen and commented, a lesson for me there not to post so hastily, but I was ready for bed.
      I have once or twice been told that I am a hero, or inspirational. I presume I am not * very* heroic because it has only been once or twice :-). I don’t feel particularly heroic after I’ve spent the day sitting on the couch. Exactly as you say though, it is said with kindness so I thank them and move on.
      I’m not sure anybody ever offered to pray for me, perhaps they feel I am beyond that kind of help 😀 ? Rest assured, I will not offer to pray for you, although if there is any way I might be able to help, please contact me. But you know where I am… I’m good at computers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol. I understood, and understand. People in WordPress have said they are oraying for me. Some have even written their prayer down in the Comments box. Whilst I don’t truly like that, I don’t upset them by saying anything so accept it graciously as I know they are kind people. My own faith began when I was 13 and I am 71 now and things have changed since then. I believe in inner syrength, which some have called God, but I would not necessarily call it God. Bthe Jury is out on that one!

        Like

        1. Yes, I was in a church almost by default, and in my early teens was so fed up with the hypocrisy of some of the members, that I rejected both churches and religion. At that age, my views were very coarse, and they have refined over, what, forty years since. Both *can* be positive for someone, both *can* be very negative as well. We see from something like social media that people tend to follow what they like, not what they don’t like, so I’m sure for like-minded people a church can be a wonderful bond. Just not for me.
          Do you feel your health deterioration has had any link to your beliefs? My gran was 99 when she died, and certainly, in her later years, she became more spiritual. She said it helped her to believe in something. It was certainly something I thought and thought about after the stroke, although I never changed my view. I can only assume that cancer would focus the mind, in exactly the same way that stroke did.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I would like to answer your question more fully than I am able to at the moment, but yes, my cancer did make me think more spiritually. It helped. The deterioration in my health is nothing to do with my beluefs or non beluefs as far as I know. There is so mych that I would like to say here really though. I mught add that talking about religion/god/faith etc can always set me off because I did Theoligy to Oh.D level, but not for the qualifications but out of my questioning nature. I was alwats open to all kinds of interpretations of things. My following of Theology also encompassed Philisophy, and various other things, like sockoligy etc. And psychology. I have never however come to any absolutely firm answers and I dlubt all the time. I too have had exceedingly bad experiences of church, and have actually found them mainly to be quite cruel at times. It was so for me when I went blind. However, one does not need to be in a church to be spiritual. I do actually relate very much to the story of Jesus i erall, because I think that the whole story encapsulates what human nature is. I could talk further, but will leave it at that here. I did turn more to a sliritual way during my cancer and whilst going blind, as a way of dealing with bodily pain etc. Not shre if it meant anything in the conventional way of thinking though. Hope that explains a bit

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I, too, am an atheist, and my approach to religion and faith is “whatever floats you boat” coupled with “don’t tread on me,” (i.e., don’t tell me what to believe or attempt to pass laws that do).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.