The religion thing

Wednesday 28 March (2007)

This has been bugging me for a while now. People all over the internet talking about how ‘religion is bad’ and that we shouldn’t be Muslim or Christian or whatever because it creates barriers and makes people kill each other. ‘Love is the only religion we need,’ they say.

And of course, there’s only one alternative to all of this, and that’s atheism. The incredibly dull concept that this is really all there is; there are no forces at work beyond the ones we have observed for ourselves, like gravity, and when we die that’s it. Apparantly atheism is a better way to live because you adhere to a moral code, and not some prescribed text. Ideas like ‘don’t murder people’ and ‘stealing is bad’ (which are coincidentally found in books like the Bible.)

Bullshit. If I honestly thought that this was it – when I die, I die, and I’ll never be judged for my actions – then I wouldn’t need a moral code. Why pay for something when you can take it for free? I mean, what’s the harm? Life would be pointless in my eyes, and also the only experience I would ever know. Why shouldn’t I make it as fun as possible? Hedonists – now there are some good atheists. Rapists, they’ve got it down too – oh I mean sure, they might cause pain to whoever they molest, but at the end of the day that pain is really just a series of chemical processes, right? It doesn’t mean anything. Who cares if someone elses chemical processes make them feel bad when mine are giving me orgasms?

I don’t buy any of this. Read on if you want to see my rant.

I just really hate that there are only two options – religion or atheism. It’s not the case in the real world at all. I’m not a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, but I’m certainly not an atheist. Is there a word for what I am? The religious people would call me an infidel, or heathen. The atheists would probably call me an agnostic, because they only believe in the tangible. Maybe I’d be classed as a pagan. I don’t know.

But this is how it breaks down: there’s something behind all of this. I don’t want to start running around in circles with the whole stupid ‘who created the creator?’ bollocks, because however mind-bending that concept is, the idea that the universe and consciousness just kind-of happened is ultimately lamer. I mean, the big bang? That’s the best idea they can come up with? ‘Well, uhm, once there was nothing – except this singularity. And then it just exploded! And the whole universe came flowing out of it! And after billions of years, it cooled down and stuff, and then weird things started happening and… well, long story short, the Earth ended up forming and here we are.’

Nice try.

Of course, my beliefs are probably just as far fetched. But it doesn’t matter to me, because I believe them. See how it works? The only difference is that I don’t try and convince other people that I’m right. I don’t want to be part of a group of like-minded people. They’re my own beliefs; I formed them mostly myself, and so what if I used psychedelic drugs to help me understand them? These are real experiences we’re talking about here, not just lofty concepts on a piece of paper.

So what’s my argument? My argument is this: stop trying to group people. If more people would just think about it themselves, and keep it to themselves, the world would be a better place. Stop reading what other people think because your truth is right there in front of you. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, then you have every right to think it’s bullshit – and you’d probably be a fool for believing it unquestioningly, too.

This sounds anti-atheist, and it really isn’t. Atheists are good people, because they don’t discriminate between religions. They just kind of, look down on them all in the same sort of way.

You don’t need drugs, perhaps you don’t need anything at all. Just think about what makes the most sense to you. And if you really believe there’s nothing else to the world, then fine. But don’t choose it just because it’s your ‘only’ option. And definately, definately don’t look down on other people who do believe in something. Ultimately, atheism is a form of faith as well.

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5 Responses to “The religion thing”

  1. Laura Says:

    Umm…so sorry, but you said you giving us another option…what was that again? “There’s something behind all this” was all I got…is that it? Nice article, dude.

  2. stan Says:

    Yeah, I’d kind of been up all night when I wrote this – I didn’t make the most astute point. What I was trying to say is, you don’t have to be into a religion OR an atheist.

  3. jamesellison Says:

    Dude, it’s called being agnostic – to be honest, there should be no such thing as atheism, because if god appeared in front of those fact-lovers then they’d change their tune. I don’t think there’s a christian god or a muslim god, that stuff is all bollocks – but I agree, the big bang and science, determinism; all boring. Nobody really knows, and I’m pretty sure nobody ever will.

    I’m not going to pretend I know much about this whole thing, but religion was really just an old way of getting societies working properly, and it’s not especially needed anymore. We’ve now seperated the explanation to why we’re here and what we should and shouldn’t be doing while we’re here because it makes more sense.

    Determinism is really interesting though, and it’s sort of hard to argue against it in a way. It’s a lot of fun to wind up free-thinking sorts by insisting their apparent free-will is merely a series of chemical reactions. 🙂

  4. apocalipstick Says:

    I think I am an atheist. Its just a basic label that make it easy to convey a position towards ( agianst ) religions. But sure I belive in science. in some authourities. in belife, even. but mostly I care about people, and relations (in the widest sense).
    I tend to dislike any form of essensialism but I belive the humanity has a thing about defining our relations, position to the world. a need that I think we should fill. I think it importent to diffrentiate that from truth though,

    I think that is my main grudge agianst atheism. I dont look at taking anything from the domain of belief and replace it with “truth”. or “science”.
    I think doubt is something we should respect more, and learn to live with.

  5. christian Says:

    first of science is not fact so atheism is just as lofty as religion. religion in it of itself i think is a relic of a time when order was not so easily achieved too. but the term is agnostic and thats fine because i get your psychedelic opinion but i like what nietzche says about one’s self being our own gods and if that were true then your surrounded by deitys so just enjoy live and stop trying to figure it out. for all we know we live on painted graph paper and you should probably jump off square (0,0)


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