A common thread I seem to see in persons of religion, whether fervent or not, is that somehow following certain rules will help to guarantee a better outcome in the afterlife.
Many of these rules involve basic civilized human behavior, and are common to most populations.
Then things get dicey, when the worship part enters the picture.
It seems most gods want specific behavior patterns from their worshipers.
The more one adheres to these specific demands, the less likely one is to be thrown into the sun, or some other hot eternal place.
So building up a backlog of goodnesses is essential, so one can bust out a portfolio of payments made to try to offset the damning patina of original sin, which is the sin of just being born. And that's just the beginning. Don't forget the bad things that one actually does. And thinks. Bad thoughts are bad, too. Better say some hail marys or dip into a river or something; that may be the difference between a two storey tudor in the heavenly burbs or the furnace room.
Or so it seems to some of us less enlightened unchosen ones.
Does anyone share this assessment?
I think that, depending on your lifestyle, you should choose your religion wisely. I was originally raised as a Methodist. A nice, relaxed bunch, that have clear do's and do not's. You know where you stand if you want a cosy afterlife.
Then, because we moved, and churches were more spread out, we changed our account to Church of England (being English an'all), which has a nice middle-of-the-road policy. It seemed a little bit like "we're not saying you can't enjoy yourself, but being reasonably good and wholesome should get you a hall pass when you're transferred up."
And then I went with some friends to a Catholic Church! I asked many questions to see if they had contract with more flexibility... they did. It appeared they were quite strict with their small print, except for the great little get-out clause right at the end — "If you break any of the afore-mentioned rules, please tick the 'genuinely repentant box (take care not to leave it too late!), and all's good, you can come up... all forgiven."
But, in the end, I opted for 'non of the above'.
Your assessment is what I believed when I was religious but now that I'm actually Born Again with testimony of my new conception, gestation, trivial, birth childhood and about 29 years an adolescent that isn't the reality I'm experiencing.
I've found that almost all things are lawful but I am required to determine when they are appropriate to partake of. What is termed sin means missing the mark and the mark is we are to indulge and abstain from all things according to an eternal law we will be taught from within ourselves. The primary requirement is to overcome the mind of good and evil and have no attachments to become objective and open to hear one's own inner voice, usually contributed to Satan because it goes against most things civilization have taught, giving directions.
I hear a few Buddhist notes in that tune.
Well Worst of HP, I'm seeing the heading and of course you know I am thinking about scientology. They really are a bank and you have to pay them big bucks -- real money, not good deeds. They just want you to keep the money coming. They don't really care if you're a good person or not, not like real religions do.
Capitalists and socialists, what should the ticket cost? Insurance against ion dust and hell, would seem to proffer a golden calf. Sell your mind or sell your body seems to be the prevalent plans. God takes care of you or insurance does God.
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