Having been preoccupied with economics and monetary matters for the better part of four years now, I am going to post on something I actually intended to say a lot about when I first imagined my blog....... religion. My interest in religion is mostly in how bad a job most religion does in actually helping people with their big questions in life.
Religion has become just another sports team for people to blindly support and defend. Few actually think about what any of their "sacred" texts say and how they may have been edited over the years to say what they say. The assumptions of all religions are that their baseline facts are the right ones to start with, not the other guys'. Religions all operate with a "model" in mind and their recommendations follow from there. As I finish these first two paragraphs I am struck by how I could just as easily substitute the word economics or economists for religion and not have to change any other words. Its all a belief system and Ive grown weary of economists and HOW they go about defending their belief systems. They are not seeking truth, they just want to win. Many Pastors and Priests are the same way.
In an Alternet article, http://www.alternet.org/belief/how-non-believers-can-counter-annoying-religious-dogma-life-without-god-meaningless, the author makes a very interesting statement;
"I don't have a sacred text, or beliefs that I wish to place beyond challenge or mockery. None of my positions are beyond argument. I will change them, if persuaded. My dislike of dogma and my respect (as opposed to "respect") for rational debate doesn't make me weak. Indeed, I hold that the very contingency of my positions are at the core of their ethical force. If you can't point to a line in a book, or the dictates of a religious hierarchy to justify your opinions, then you have to own them yourself. You are fully responsible, and that is, in its own way, as radical and disruptive as submitting to the will of the divine."
The part about owning your own statements and not hiding them behind some line in a text word of some dead "authority" is an important one I think. I hear too many "Christians" say and do reprehensible things and then try and dismiss themselves from responsibility by saying "Its not me saying this, its Revelations 2:16 5-9" As if to add, "... just take it up with that dead author if you don't like it."
I cannot call myself atheist, I am more of a comfortable agnostic. I have no wish to be certain one way or the other. I know there will be no proof either way in my lifetime.... or ever. "Proof" comes from humans....... fallible humans, so we will never prove or disprove a God. I like having these questions to ask, I just despise the way most people want to actually discuss their answers. I will be happy moving in many directions on this issue as my life unfolds. When I see most of the staged debates between atheists and Christians however, I do find myself siding with the atheists most of the time. I just think too many Christians, humans for that matter, are really uncomfortable with uncertainty and end making all kinds of ridiculous systems to convince themselves there is something that they can be certain about that isn't death or taxes.
I know and have met some of the best people around at my church or surrounding church activities. There are many religiously motivated authors or speakers I get great joy in reading or hearing. Religion has motivated many people to do outstanding things but as an institution I think religion is a negative force. It is not uniting people it is reinforcing divisions.
Wow, I guess I did end up talking about economics after all.