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Monday, July 23, 2012

Religion - I Swear To God...

I was asked about my religious beliefs at a gathering this past weekend. I have no real religious beliefs, so when asked if I was an athiest, I responded "I suppose so..." From that moment on, I was trapped into trying to explain why it was difficult to believe in "God" and "heaven" and "hell", etc., despite over 2000 years of there being no real physical proof that any of these things existed. Okay...

I didn't even think to turn the tables on these folks and ask them to tell me why I should believe in such things, beyond a blind faith, for which I have little appetite, and a book of fairy tales written hundreds of years after the fact, detailing "facts" that were usually slanted to any given political need of the time. Or at least that was my understanding of the compilation of stories that would become known as "The Bible" and serve as the blueprint for the Christians, Catholics and all the other folks who believe that the Savior is a ginger-haired, blue-eyed anglo from the middle-east.

What?

I merely stated that I have no idea about such theologian topics and prefer to base my beliefs in fact and that which can be proved or housed in logic. This does not include unicorns, leprechauns, ghosts, angels, God, Santa Claus, The Devil, Heaven, Hell, Atlantis, Bigfoot, Nessie, or The Lost Dutchman's Mine. For me, it makes more sense to believe that there are other worlds out there, circling any number of the bazillions of stars, that might support life as we know it. And if this is the case - and by all the math and logic I can muster, it should be - then the idea of a God creating our world and man in his image and watching over us with a kind, benevolent eye and all that rigmarole is no more than empty caterwauling. After all, if he created us, then he must have created them as well and who has time for that kind of babysitting? And if you don't buy the fact that amongst all those bazillions of stars, there must be at least a few that might have life, then I poo-pooh you - Steven Spielberg would never lead me wrong.

It makes sense to have such beliefs as God and heaven; it makes the idea of our imminent demise a bit easier to stomach if there is a fluffy cloud and a harp to retire to once we have shuffled off the mortal coil. I get that - the idea of throwing an ass-load of blind faith at the notion, however, seems absurd to me. Add the fact that hell and the devil seem to be a fairly recent addition to the tales and I feel even better about not burning in the ever-after for writing my thoughts on the matter. At least that's what I've been told - as in all other matters, I am lazy and not known for diligent research.

That all said, I must admit that I believe in "The Golden Rule", which seems to be a tenet of all religions and based on pure common sense - treat others as you would wish to be treated. This is sound thinking in my opinion and even if I am brought no documentable biblical rewards for doing so, I think I sleep a little better at night for my efforts and that's got to be worth something.

I hope that none of my "religious" friends get too up in arms over this, or feel the need to save my sinful soul. In fact, given the two options, I would prefer they simply get up in arms over it and de-friend me, or put me on a prayer list or something rather than trying to talk me into getting my sinful soul saved. That would save us all a bunch of uncomfortable conversation.

Either way, God bless you and I hope we all end up where we belong when our number is eventually called, preferably loudly and clearly. And I wish everyone the best - I swear to God.

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