Religion and the “art” of thinking for yourself

This post is one of my opinions on religion. If you are a theist and are offended by atheists please stop reading now. If on the other hand you’d like to have a discussion, please poke holes in my argument. I NEVER actively look for an argument with theists so don’t start one with me. However if I do get into one, I am willing to say things that you might rather not hear.

What’s the first thing that most religious people tell you – OBEY. Never question what’s in the book. Everything is depicted in black and white. Never in the shades. Morality is dictated by the author of a book, who is writing it in his own image. In this sense, if people were to think and analyse every single word, phrase and statement everything but the truth will sink in the sea of reason. That’s precisely why you are forced to take everything as it is written in the book.

I believe in evolution. I believe in the scientific process. It’s only process that allows itself to be critically analysed and if there are bugs allow itself to evolve into something better. In a way it’s a selfless act. Religious books on the other hand declare themselves to be above all the rules. In a way it is a monarchy while evolution is democracy. Most of the religions in the world state that you should be willing to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. If that’s the case then evolution and the scientific process is following these scriptures better than these books.

I do not doubt the importance of religion in our history. Some of the best songs were written in praise of the Gods. I listen to them. I enjoy them. I have nothing against religion when it produces something good. With art it is making people to think and create something pleasant for everyone. With the Crusades or the Jihad people are/have creating/created new and innovative methods to kill and massacre scores of people. At the same time many of the advances in medicine took place during these wars. However how many people had to die before a needle and thread solved a lot of the problems on the battlefield? There is good and there is bad. There is good that comes out of bad but only as a byproduct.

Why does religion discourage questioning the foundations on which it is built? I might be wrong here but it has everything to do with justification. If one had to prove that God exists, you have to start from the basic premise – Does God exist? Skip that question and build everything around the assumption that God already exists and things get a whole lot easier. Now you can define exactly how you want the society to function around you. In this way, religion is a form of control. A monarch’s ultimate weapon. When people fear something that they cannot comprihend, you can get them to do a lot of dirty things. The Crusade and the Jihad are the best examples of this. Scores of people dead and the conflict still exists. For what?

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2 responses to “Religion and the “art” of thinking for yourself

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for your views and thoughts on religion and the arts. Personally, I enjoyed the read and the perspective of it.
    Below are a few suggestions and thoughts to think about. I hope you enjoy them.

    Obey –
    1. to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of: to obey one’s parents.
    2. to comply with or follow (a command, restriction, wish, instruction, etc.).
    3. (of things) to respond conformably in action to: The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steering wheel.
    4. to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one’s conscience, etc.).

    Granted Obey can be a command, but also an instruction. In science we have ‘instructions’ – methods that we must follow to get to certain answers. If we do not follow those methods, then we are lost.

    If you follow the law, then you are certainly ‘Obeying’ the ‘Commands’ or ‘Instructions’ of the society you are living in. So, in that sense (putting aside the ultimate rebel ), we are all obeying laws, instructions, commands, and personal thoughts.

    Does ‘Obey’ have to be? Certainly not. As a Christian, one of the best things and debatable the worst things we have in life is ‘Freedom of Choice’. We have the God given right (I prefer – “Opportunity”) to choose how we’d like to live our lives. Good, bad, neutral, indifferent, crazy, rude, etc. You name it, people are living it.

    So let’s tie this together quickly, we (Christians) are asked to ‘Obey’ (The reason I say asked, is because each person has ‘freedom of choice’). I don’t know all religions of the world, but I do know from reading the Bible that I am to ALWAYS ask, question and learn. The Bible never states that we should OBEY blindly and without question.

    Which brings me to my the recap on it. People are people. People like to have the feeling of being ‘In Control’, which everyone knows that’s just an illusion we have to feel safe, secure and powerful. Those ‘In Control’ have the ‘Freedom of Choice’ to dictate to others (Those willing to listen and follow a leader) what they should do, say, think and be. People can and will always fall short of goodness…which leads me to my final thought…

    The important thing to remember, God never tells us or asks us to judge one another or obey without thought. He asks us to love one another unconditionally and through true love (with no fear or hatred or animosity) we find what it means to be ‘good’ in God’s eyes. 🙂

    So, that wraps up my quick thoughts on it. I hope it provides you with a different perspective to think about and chew on.

    Take care,
    A Good Friend

    Ps. Thinking of a fun paper I read awhile back. It said, ‘Why do people judge and condemn one another…Even God waits till man’s last day before he judges them.’

  2. What do you say about this man….Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha who said…

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

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