brook > dive > religion
"...You're allowed to believe unicorns live in your shoes for all I care. But the day you start telling me how to wear MY shoes so I don't upset the unicorns, I have a problem with you..." Matthew Schultz
My expanded views on religion, faith, and - to a lesser extent - tradition. I would like to start this by saying that if you consider your religious beliefs to be a personal matter that play no part in your treatment of others, then the rest of this page is not specifically directed at you. However, if you allow your faith to dictate your friends, conversations, and stances.. well, you are probably beyond being "helped", but I'm going to scream at you anyway.
I Don't Know...
Theoretically, I am very agnostic. Despite our best efforts, humans presently and always will have limited observational ability. It is impossible for any of us to say with certainty what exactly is responsible for the grand accident known as the universe; we just have ideas. But, in practice, I feel more like a post-theist - religion itself baffles me, seeming like an obsolete relic which should be totally irrelevant in daily life, yet it lives on through a combination of induced fear, maintained misinformation, and its own inertia.
...And Neither Do You.
The very debate over the possible non/existence over this or another Great Architect feels not only futile, but harmful. We exist for a mere blink of Time's eyes, so regardless of if this is our only life or we get more, it would be better spent doing good because we can, than for fear of eternal vengeance or hope of permanent reward. Besides, how could we EVER claim to know the will and intentions of one or more beings whom are commonly defined as unknowable? Infighting is a distraction - we are, all of us, part of the human race.
But We Exist.
"If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help - we need not waste our energies in his defense. It is enough for us to give to every other human being the liberty we claim for ourselves. There may or may not be a Supreme Ruler of the universe - but we are certain that man exists, and we believe that freedom is the condition of progress..." Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
I do not consider religion to be a plague, but I regard it like smoking; I really wish you would quit, as it could save you a lot of money, stress, and health problems. But, as long as your exhalations don't interfere with the work of others, and [you're convinced that] you need to partake, then who am I to say you can't?
On The Other Hand..
With the benevolence out of the way, this is the part where I will demand that you make actual use of the gigantic brain buried somewhere within your thick skull, because you either ignore, enable, or do harm to politics and people. Stop funding the tobacco companies! They manufacture addictive products that are the known causes of respiratory illnesses and shortened lifespans!
Responses to Common Arguments
- Without fear and acceptance of God, what's to stop you-
- Regardless of what the second half of that question is, it's probably a shitty thing to do to another person. Either that, or this pesky thing known as the "legal system" would interfere, and that just won't do. And don't even START with that 'consequence-free murder' crap: What it means to kill someone
- Are you aware that you will burn in hell for all eternity when you die?
- Are YOU aware that you are wasting your ONE AND ONLY life by devoting it to endless, unresolvable argument about how you've made the correct choice in a bet against infinite odds? Betting on Infinity
- Even if the concept of the after-life wasn't scientifically unsound, where would Heaven be? Deconversion 3.3.2: Spong
- You think that something as complex as all this just happened?
- Reality is 13.7 billion years of A Thousand Pennies being tossed a trillion times per second. It is astronomically improbable, but so is literally every single other possible outcome! A Thousand Pennies
- Boy, you non-believers sure are full of yourselves.
- Let me get this right: The belief that our world and everything on it was deliberately and carefully designed by an omnipotent being for us to benefit from.. is somehow humble? How, exactly, am I the arrogant one, when you claim to be, via visions and prayer, in direct two-way contact with the almighty creator of the universe, and YOU are able to PERSUADE that being to CHANGE the things you dislike about its creation?!
- Are we not all entitled to our beliefs?
- You can have your beliefs, but I am not required to respect or admire them. Especially since you treat them as something to be proud of, instead of what they actually are: opinions that you refuse to consciously reconsider. You could be doing God's work, but what if God is just your own conscience imagining itself as omnipotent? Deconversion 2.5: Simulacrum
- America was founded on Christianity.
- Which is why Christianity is mentioned in the Constitution, except that it isn't? The free practice of any or no belief system, as provided by the First Amendment, requires the ABSENCE of a state religion and faith-based law systems. So, in reality, America was based on freedom. And what's with this "first system therefore ONLY system" line of thinking, anyway? Are we not supposed to adapt to better tools and methods as they are discovered and improved upon?
- You just want to live a life of decadence and sin-
- Stop right there. Any time I hear someone talking about sin, it reminds me of a federal spokesperson rambling on about government transparency, as if it were something that actually existed outside the speaker's fantasies. Besides, who are YOU to tell ME why I do anything, let alone refuse to follow a violent, anti-intellectual, hypocracy-inspiring tome?