Deity: When I write Deity I am referring to any and all masculine, feminine, plural forms of any God and Goddess of any Religion; I just don't want to have to write God/dess(s)(es) or s/he-them every single time!
Need for Religion:
An explaination for Why beyond science. Why do we need something like that? Why is the Why more important than the What, as in what we do with our time here? Why do We seem not to be enough?
A way to control the populace. History explains this one pretty well.
How the "religion of the moment" changes over time. Again, history explains this one pretty well. And if there were an Only Way, would it not change that much over time? Nations have risen and fallen over time: so have religions. Each in their time were considered the greatest, the best, the only way to live.
Loop Hole Idea:
A belief that you can't judge/question Deity the way you would judge/question a Human. So Deity has a loop hole to Its own rules? "I only practice 75% of what I say so do as I say not as I do, and even if you do everything right I may test you just because I can; You can't question Deity!" That sounds like a tyrant mad on power. Doesn't sound worthy of respect or trust never mind worship.
Reasons to believe:
Guilt, two fold: original sin/some kind of built in weakness of character, someone/thing sacrificed for us:
A Deity that sacrifices itself or part of itself to erase some flaw in us (which It must have created if we are Its creation)? That is psychotic. Did Deity pull wings off of flies as a Child?
If an ancester of mine killed someone and got away with it and then a decendant of the victim was able to prove my ancester was a murderer I would not put on trial for the crime. We are in need of saving of some kind because of an inborn error? How low is our collective self esteem? We are capable of great good and great bad and we don't need a scapegoat/tempter or divine help to do either: both are our choice. Ultimately, the only forgiveness we may need is our own.
Fear/Threat: some form of punishment, usually painful and eternal:
"Love Deity or Die!" This just smacks of manipulative brainwashing. Fear isn't Faith.
Bribery: attainment of some reward in this life or some next one in exchange for total and unquestioning submission/obedience; usually part of the Only Way mentality. A Paradise earned only in exchange for giving up any other thoughts, beliefs, choices or even ability to question, is a cage even if it's is gold. This one is so blantantly idiotic to me that I can't think of anything else to say about it at the moment except that it is blatantly idiotic.
Community: being with like minded individuals, why do we need to be with like minded people on an issue that can't be proven fact, can it lead to trying to "get rid of" all unlike minded individuals? Should not our Humanity be our Community? Do we not miss out on more of our Humanity by concentrating so much on things both born (skin color for example) or chosen (religion)?
Only Way mentality:
Not just a belief of certain religions but certain sects of a religion, ie, the religion itself may not believe it is the Only Way but a sect, or several sects, may believe that their way of believing is the Only Way to believe/practice their religion. Again, can it lead to trying to "get rid of" all unlike minded individuals? Suicide bomber-ish.
There's only one thing that would make me convert to a religion that has an Only Way belief. Just one thing. Deity would have to show Itself to the entire world at one time, not through miracles or deeds or something, I mean the "face to face." Deity wants willing total submission and obediance? Deity, not through stories, metaphors, miracles, sacrificed sons, etc, simply has to ask me, and ask each and every person, for it. Simple, straightforward, honest, curteous. Until then, any Deity who says It gives me free will only to demand it in return or I will be punished is no Deity worthy of respect or worship but a tyrant mad with power. Conduct unbecoming a Deity indeed. Too too human in the worst possible senses, which of course just leads back to religions being more human made as a need for an explanation for our existence or a need to control the populace and not any real Divine Inspiration.
Best way to see what a religion truly believes: watch how they treat those who don't believe as they do:
Do they live by example and wait to be asked of their beliefs or do they take it upon themselves to tell you about it (whether you've invited them to or not)?
Do they become a Political Movement and try to have their country's government "legitimize" their belief as the Only Way (and if they do this should they not be taxed)?
Do they try to disrupt, close or remove any businesses/groups that don't believe as they do through illegal/inappropriate protesting procedures or the spreading of negative stories without any factual backup?
Time spent in church, temple, synagogue, ritual, etc, instead be spent volunteering in a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, hospital, nursing home, etc. If an hour a week can make even one person smile have you not been at Worship?
Money put in a collection plate be donated to a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, hospice, home builders, etc. Woudn't a few bucks be more a bit of Paradise on Earth as part of a cold person's blanket than a stained glass window or missionaries purse?
Instead of devoting hours to read Holy texts, liturature, etc, using that same time to learn to understand how our society works and how positive changes can be made without the loss of personal choices; would that not be the Holiest Words ever?
Do both, but do people truly? Most pray, chant, spell, etc but rarely do the follow up; the actual leg work. Make the leg work the prayer, chant, spell, etc.
We don't need outside Forgiveness or Grace or whatever; we need to forget differences both born and chosen, and deal with each other in the one thing that is true for all of us: our Humanity. That should be our major Spirituality, or major Divinity. Our Humanity is the source not only of our worst traits and possibilities but also our best traits and possibilities. The more we look outside ourselves the worse it will become, the more we will be divided by things we have no control over or things we have no proof of. The faith I have is the faith in the worst and best of Humanity. I choose to work on the best. Isn't that Why enough?
April 9, 2007
April 9, 2007
Loose (loos), adjective, looser, loosest, adverb, verb, loosed, loosing:
free or released from fastening or attachment,
free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered.