Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's time to talk about religion...

I sometimes find that I need to ask myself if I am religious or not. Truth is, I don't know. I don't think I am. I don't think there is a religion that speaks to me the way it may speak to others. I suppose I find so many problems with religion that contradict my own moral ethics and to devote myself to a religion that, say, forbids the union of same sex couples, or denies a woman the right to get an abortion, I just can't do that. And in any case, I want to believe that religion is more than just about self-discipline. I think it's constantly misrepresented and many religious fanatics take their beliefs out of context and create a situation that solely centres on one matter (ie. Westboro church), completely distancing themselves from what is meant to be a belief in a "god".

So if I am unable to devote myself to a religion or deity, perhaps I should look into Agnosticism. I think Agnosticism is the belief that there is a god or deity that exists, but it's unknown what that god/deity is, and it is impossible to know. I know many of my friends who can't accept religion have opened up to Agnosticism. I think for a period in high school I subconsciously believed that there was something out there that could make sense but I wouldn't know it until I died. Then I came up with the theory that once we die, we just relive everything over and over again, which, when I think about it now, could explain deja vu. I think I clung onto that for a few years. A lot of my friends see merits in different religions, and they've applied "no sex before marriage" rules to themselves. Again, I have no problems with it as it is their choice and it doesn't hurt anyone.

I've been thinking about death a lot recently (and not in a "I want to kill myself" way, mind you). I try to imagine what death would be like, and all I can think of is sleeping. When I sleep and dream, I don't realise I'm sleeping or dreaming. I don't realise I am breathing (or not breathing) either. If our organs shut down, would we notice it? Would it hurt? I don't know. But that's dying, not death, I suppose.

When I think about Atheism, I always feel like it's the mean bully in the play ground that tells religion and Agnosticism that they're stupid and dumb. I suppose my experiences in philosophy classes has made me think that Atheism can be really mean, or to be more precise, certain atheists can be really mean. There are some atheists who are just as bad as the religious fanatics, who condemn other beliefs, telling them they are ridiculous. What makes them better than a person who is religious? Sure, religious people don't have proof that their belief/religion is "real", but Atheists don't have proof that religion is not "real". There are some people who are so against religion and so pro Atheism that it seems like Atheism is their 'religion', and I don't see how that is "better". It's disrespectful and insulting.

But of course, not all atheists are so intensely against religion. I know so many atheists that see it just as their belief and not something to be pushed onto others. I have religious friends who don't care that their friends are atheists or practice other religions. I just think, if it doesn't hurt anyone then why is it another person's business that they are of a certain belief?

This is why I hated The Merchant of Venice so much. In the play, these Christian or Catholic characters force a Jewish man to convert to their religion after he loses a bet. Sure, this guy was a bit of an arse hole, but to force him to be Christian or Catholic? That's terrible! That is one of the worst things that I can think of at the moment. It's so insulting. I was very upset with the play.

Anyway, I'm not here to piss off religious people/Agnostics/Atheists. It's just my way of seeing things. These are my thoughts. I don't know what I am and to be honest I'm probably happier not being boxed into a definition. But I just want to say, whatever you practice or believe, it's your own choice and I respect that. We should all respect that.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Interesting thoughts indeed! Concise, and well thought out.

    Personally, as an atheist, nothing you said there pissed me off or offended me. I found myself nodding along to your points.

    I guess the reason I'm atheist has to do with my upbringing: i was about 15 before i realised such a thing as a religion that WASN'T Catholic. I also didn't know anyone who wasn't religious. This made me annoyed that this belief system had been forced upon me, and I was being brainwashed into thinking that homosexuals, non-catholics, and just different people were evil and going to hell.
    This is not the way to teach religion.
    Then when i began to notice things which were against the bible, which seemed ok to me, but in the bible were condemned, it was food for thought.
    Also, my mum is the most religious person I ever met. I went to church every sunday with her, did sunday school, she had pictures and statues of angels all around the house.
    And then what happened, happened. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. If any "God" has that in his plan, and "it was meant to be", then I'm not following that fucker. (also, the next person who tells me something like "it was meant to be; god has a plan for everyone" about that subject, i will punch them through the face)

    I'm sick of people looking down on me cos i don't have religion. "Oh, god has a plan for everyone". Great. He can leave me out of his, and I'll leave him out of mine.
    Works out for everyone.

    In closing, I liken a good catholic/religious person to a good vegetarian: they do what they believe in on their own and with others like them, but don't force it on anyone else.

  2. very well said, old chap. I have nothing say, other than that I very much agree and respect your opinions greatly. It's definitely not meant to be forced onto others.

  3. I honestly think that religion is a tedious topic. I have talked about it much in the past but now find that mostly it's something which should be private. I am atheist through and through because it is right for me. It just fits. I don't tell anyone else what they should believe , and I won't take any shit from anyone who tells me what to believe in.

    Becoming an atheist to me was akin to the realisation that santa claus doesn't exist. At a certain age, you just put two and two together. Over the years, the more I have learnt about science and reason, the more I have felt comfortable with my beliefs.