Religion: a topic which both interests and bores me.
I consider that religion should be a personal thing. A conscious choice. Something not bludgeoned into one's head by rote, rite and repetition, nor by unreasoned illogic and faith (though I have no problem with reasoned faith).
I wonder why religions argue so much. The doctrines of most don't differ greatly - there's one god, you must worship him, worshipping any other god is evil. I don't think it says in any of their holy books, "This god is not the same one as mentioned in that other book".
Fair enough, arguing with those religions who really do differ, claiming no god or many gods. Though even that is questionable, the "one god" is supposed to be omnipotent, surely it could, then, act as many gods, or as nature, or whatever it feels like.
Carefully not straying into the realm of "holy books contradict themselves", which is heavily done elsewhere online and easily findable with a good search, I think it's far more significant that "holy men" contradict the "holy books" in far more significant ways. Warring is a pretty fine example. And breeding.
Throwing in a personal touch, I have my own religion, Xenari Mantisism. It has no book and few doctrines. You can't be a Xenari Mantis because I'm not going to tell you the few doctrines that there are. That's one of them, honesty is another. If you like the sound of my religion from what little I've said, you could send me money as though I'm a cult leader, and I'll ignore you, or you could make your very own religion, which is far more convenient because you can tailor it to suit your needs. (Perhaps it's against your religion to wear a tie? If you're sacked for not wearing a tie, that's discrimination, then.)
Corvidae are sacred to the Xenari Mantis. Because I say so.
What about gods, and worship (since worship is part of some definitions of religion)? Sod that and call Xenari Mantisism a belief system, then, not a religion. There may be one or more gods, there may not, and either way it doesn't affect the way I act or feel, so I don't feel the need to know. Anyone caught trying to persuade me either way will be promptly ignored. If I were a god, I certainly wouldn't want millions of whining worshippers grumbling at me at all hours of the night. I'd give the quiet independent ones the nicer afterlife.
I look at such things this way... If there is a god, and a heaven, and I'd only be allowed into heaven if I were to sycophantically and mindlessly worship this god, I'd really rather go somewhere else. The company of millions of mindless sycophants for eternity really isn't an idea that appeals to me. If my understanding of whatever-flavour-of-Christianity is correct, Satan was thrown out just for disagreeing about something. Bollocks to that.
[ Think back... ]
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