I find religion to be quite a loaded topic. I theorise religion being an innate instinct of humankind. A psychological response to one that is feeling stress (life threatening/non life threatening) and anxiety as well as something that fuels your needs and wants. Let me give you an example:
– Early mankind believed in all sorts of dieties. The environments that they lived in were dangerous times. There were Roman Gods, Greek Gods then later the spread of Christianity, Islam etc.
The point I want to get to is what do you guys think of religion? Is anyone on the same page as I am? Is God a figment of our inner egos resulting from our intellectual superiority compared to other animals? Why should we believe books such as the Bible or Koran and other scripts as they most definitely have been influenced by human editing. Let me know what you think what religion stands for you!
I was raised a christian, and I can say with confidence that some people NEED religion. It’s a long story that led me to that conclusion, but I know 100% that some people need religion. Religion gives people comfort in the face of inevitable death. There are many reasons why people need religion, but that is definitely the main reason.
Another reason is that people need a paradigm of reality, and since most people are stupid ( just my opinion ) and can’t understand a large portion of science, they need religion to be their mental model of reality.
Yeah, since most people don’t go out of their way to educate themselves and think about the universe, they just accept a religion as the defining doctrine. But that is in no way bad. I think religion for us is instinctual, or a better word would be inevitable. We think too much, and to contradict my first sentence, we’re too smart, and so we have the ability to sit around all day, and that leads to fearing the future, fearing death. Animals don’t have time to fear death, nor the amount of awareness.
So I think religion will always be a part of the human race, and that’s both good and terrible. The problem is that we throw the bible on children when they’re so young, they have no other choice but to believe every word of it without knowing why.
I never jumped on the bandwagon. I waited. So after years of studying and practicing Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Taoism, I finally read the Bible, started praying to God, etc. It’s just like gambling, If God is real and I choose to believe, then I’m all set. If he isn’t real, then I lose nothing. But If I take my chances and say that there is no proof of God and the Bible is a big fantasy like a Homer epic, and all of it is indeed real, then I suffer for eternity.
It’s just best not to take it all so seriously. That’s why I think it better to start with Eastern religions, build up the insight, compassion, and the ability to laugh, then move on to Western religions. The hard truth is that we don’t know. Not one person truly knows why and how we exist, and what is going to happen after we hit the floor. It’s all faith, and faith is a good thing, as long as you understand the fact that we don’t know anything for sure. If you blindly go into a religion like Christianity without this awareness, you might end up judging everyone and becoming a real annoying asshole.
When thinking of the pros/cons of religion my mind often pulls up stories of drug-addicted lowlifes, thrown in prison with no hope of rehabilitation, only to be later ‘saved’ or born again in the Holy Spirit. Do I find it bad that these people somehow turned their lives around miraculously? No. I think “good for them”. I do, however, find it bad that they had to rely on a belief in some supreme deity, whose main purpose is to forgive them. I am hopeful that one day humanity will progress to the point where people will have the mental self-control to better themselves, without fear of burning in an eternal pit of fire, but until then there are many who actually NEED that fear/hope to live better lives.
Napoleon said that only religion keeps the rich people rich (not killed by those who have less). It’s true. People’s peaceful ideals and traditions separate them from the animal kingdom. Being part of a civilized society happened with teachings of religious traditions, family values, brotherhoods and the ideology that we’re all one. Bashing on religions because it’s to keep people controlled is wishing upon chaos and defying civilized humanity. Fanatically following a cult is wishing upon chaos and defying yourself. The Bible and the Qur’an show how history in society repeats itself. They’re prophetic and that’s their use. If we were all raised without people’s love and what values strengthened them to give it to us we’d be pretty much relying on natural selection without being able to progress neither scientifically nor humanely.
For me religion (especially the christian church) serves only the purpose o setting an ethnic base. I do not believe in a god of some sort, I am pretty much an atheist. But the core of the christian ethnics are IMO very pure and need to be uphold by us humans to restrain the inhumanity that comes with pure capitalism. Capitalism is good in the way of repaying useful effort of people, but we need to help, heal and protect the people who cannot afford those things.
But there are some people who seem to be so weak they need to believe in some god, whom forces them to live by those ethnics, otherwsise they are going to be punished.But despite of those people I do not see any sense in believing in a god.
People rely on it to develop faith that they are worthy and taken care. It’s not real faith though because it requires that you defer to something external to earn it. I think a lot of it was also people trying kindly to teach others how to have mystical experiences and thinking there is only one way to go about it. But the majority of it was people manipulating the need for faith in others to glorify their own imagined superiority because they were the most in need of love in the first place. And lots and lots of chauvinism and fear of women.
The use of archetypes is the most powerful part of it though because it is so helpful to transform inside and out and develop inner faith. Even if you’re sourcing it externally you feel it internally.
The subject of religion is very different from the subject of God. Human beings have a spiritual aspect to their Being which may or may not involve ideas about God and may or may not be connected to any organized religion. Even so, both the idea of God and the existence of religions comes from the fact that human beings are conscious and intelligent and very complicated creatures who want to know what and where they are and what it all means. We are no different from “early mankind” in that regard…we still know nothing about “the meaning of life”…we have perhaps reinvented our deities in the form of science and technology…things we put our faith in and hope will somehow save us from death and suffering…even if it’s all merely wishful thinking giving us comfort and distraction from the reality of human existence.
Without religion we would still be barbaric romans with no values. Unfortunately nowadays the term religion has got a very negative connotation often connecting it with things like ‘extremism’ ‘the church’ etc. Religion in essence is a beautiful thing in my opinion. It gives us the opportunity for great spiritual and personal growth and it is definitely one of the things that distinguishes us from other animals.