|Saturday, Novemeber 22, 2003
Ok, I'm not sure if this is going to be a rant or not. It started because of my conversation with someone about their choice of religion. They requested I don't discuss it with them and I feel like talking about it anyway so I'll write about my thoughts and feelings here.
I don't like religion. The religion we happened to be talking about was Scientology. The very fact that he didn't want to talk about it at all and got very defensive at the mere mention of it throws up a few warning flags in my mind. Denial is one of the biggest problems with religion. The problem is that people infuse it with their own identity of self and purpose in life. Once they do that it's very hard to discuss it without them taking it very personally. Accepting that you've given yourself to something that isn't real and have been living your life according to lies isn't a very nice reality to wake up to now is it?
So what are my problems with religion? It spreads ignorance, violence, and promotes the wrong kind of thinking. And since I have no belief that there is some sort of god or something else: there are two possibilities. Either someone supposed incorrectly with all the best intentions and fabricated religion, or someone maliciously and purposefully created religion with full intent of enslaving the masses without them even knowing it. It enslaves people to their own minds. It's the ultimate big brother. It's really quite a frightening though that absolutely every action and thought that I have or experience is all being seen and tallied up by some cosmic entity or entity and at the end of it all will be reviewed and my reward, be it negative or positive, will be given to me. Of course, specific religions have their own little additions to this. They all have different ideas on what is good and what is bad. Some have different punishments and rewards. Some are specific while others are vague. But most of it boils down to just that. Without being brainwashed with this from birth, I have a hard time thinking any clear thinking adult could possibly assimilate this into their lives. It's all so preposterous, so ludicrous.
So anyway, on with why I don't like it at all. Most people who are atheist don't really have a problem with people and their belief in god. I do. I don't express it too often as people are very vehement about their beliefs and will defend them (hehe) religiously. But when people say things like "Thank Jesus" or other things it disgusts me. I really hate it when they thank Jesus for something they did. Like when an athlete thanks Jesus for scoring. No!!! It's not Jesus! It's you!!! Stop pretending that you aren't the one responsible for your life and the way it's lived! You did it! It was your hard work and energy that made you good at your sport! It's your will and determination that got the ball in the end zone!!! It's you dammit! Don't go giving away your hard earned and deserved credit! This is also the reason I hate blessing food. My rabbis explained to me that we thank god for the food. That doesn't make any sense. Somebody grew it. Somebody took it to the store. I went and got it from the store and paid for it. It's my goddam food and I thanked everyone I needed to thank by paying for it! I EARNED that food. It's all mine. If god wants me to thank him for food he better help out a bit more. God never makes me a burger, god never goes grocery shopping. My food dammit! When people tell me about how positive an influence god has been on their lives is disgusts me too. They should learn how to deal with their own problems. Support your own damn self! You don't need to pretend that there is something out there doing it for you! You are all you need. If not, you are weak. Experience sadness, experience happiness, and know that it's all yours. Your life is yours! It doesn't belong to some invisible guy in the sky! And when times are hard, well shit, grit your teeth, suck it up, and pull through. I don't have the answers for you. Only you can truly make the answers for yourself. Don't take the easy and false path of pretending god has your answers.
Yeah, so still on an individual level (I'll get to what I hate it does to society in a bit), it promotes the wrong method of thinking. People who believe in god, believe in god first, and then try to prove his existence after the fact. This leads to people deciding what they think sounds best first, and trying to defend their position after the fact. This is obviously flawed as the research, question, and discussion should come before the conclusion. And once you decide the ultimate truth in your life this way, it is a natural extension to base all thought processes on the same type of pre-concluding reasoning. If religion had it's way, all intelligent and thoughtful discussion would be non-existent as the ultimate goal of religion is all and ultimate answers.
So in a broader sense, I hate religion because it ruins my life, the lives around me and society. It infringes on my life every time someone argues that evolution should not be taught in school or my co-workers/classmates can't think correctly and efficiently because they have been taught to just accept the things that are said to them without reasonable question or discussion. That detracts from my time, which is one of the most precious things as it is finite. It ruins other people's lives as it puts them on crutches that they don't need. They can think and feel for themselves. They don't need to hobble around with these ancient and inefficient beliefs in the world. And it effects society by it's intrinsically violent and controlling nature.
This really deserves its own paragraph. Religion is INHERENTLY CONTROLLING. Since it is inherently controlling it is almost inherently violent. Once you have a group of people all believing the same thing, it is a simple task to get all of them to do what you want. Especially when you are speaking for someone who knows all, sees all, and can manipulate all. Religion is responsible for such wonderful things as the crusades, and more recently, the WTC's destruction and all following vendettas started by Bush. Religion doesn't help at all. It only provides happiness at the cost of knowledge. That is a trade most unhealthy.
One of the best arguments for religion is that it brings a system of morals for people to follow. Admittedly, it does do that. The problem is that it is a flawed and weak way of doing so. It is always either based on reward or punishment by some outside means. It is a selfish way of looking at things. It teaches people to care only for themselves, to only care for others when it's necessary. A much more efficient way of looking at morality is whether or not something will help all people. If people adopted that outlook on life the world would be a much better place. Not that there aren't problems with that too, but it would be better. The idea would be that since people would be equipped with more logical ways of thinking, they would be able to quickly and efficiently understand the situation they are placed in, and come up with the best way to help society. And if everyone helped society, we'd all be better off! The most important thing to remember is that society includes you!!! Helping it helps you. Someone who believes in religion takes away that personal responsibility to the rest of humanity. They don't come up with their own rules, they don't care about what happens to others. God handles all of that for them. The greatest issue with that, is it leaves loopholes. There are loopholes in any code of law that allow for the detriment of society without punishment to the offender. Once you only do things that help society, there are no loopholes. It either helps, or it doesn't.
Believing in god is ultimately the easy way out. That's why people in desperate situations most often turn to god for help. It's too hard to do it on their own, so they take whatever solution is easiest. It's too hard for them to come up with something else.
I feel that this writing was fairly inarticulate. It gets across most of my main ideas though. It's a good start. Hopefully I'll refine my views and ideas and write something a little more organized eventually.
Oh yeah, and one more thing! The pathetic argument of "Well what if it is true?" is the biggest crock of shit argument I have ever heard in my life. I can prove absolutely ANYTHING with that argument. It provides no evidence what-so-ever for whatever claim you've generated. It's a pathetic sentence of non-sense.